Tuesday, June 27, 2006

As if the IDF and the security forces did not have enough problems to deal with. For weeks if not months there have been warnings about terrorists planning to kidnap soldiers and settlers. The army has warned the settlers time and again not to travel by hitching a lift and its warnings have been ignored constantly, as we could see two weeks ago, when two young women were almost kidnapped. Today a nightmare scenario seems to have become reality. Apparently a teenage boy from Itamar ( who according to his father "has the habit of leaving for trips with friends without informing his parents" ) was kidnapped and is held by Palestinian terrorists. Israel, of course, should do everything it can to free this boy, even if that includes endangering our soldiers. But it is about time that the settlers themselves start to realize that they have a responsibility not only for their own security but also for that of those who are there to protect them. Also, it would be a proof of their intelligence and their sense of responsibility if the settlers started to show signs of understanding that they do not live in the most peaceful and safe neighborhood in the world, and that - whether they like it or not - different safety rules apply within and beyond the Green Line. As a friend of mine pointed out, public transport in the Westbank is very infrequent and can be unreliable, but I am sorry, that does not justify constant reckless behavior that endangers yourself, your children and those who have to endanger themselves not only to protect you - that is their duty as long as the government has not decided to get us out of at least most of the territories - but also to prevent you from getting into unnecessary trouble and - after you got yourself into that trouble - to save you. Let's hope and pray that Eliyahu Ashri and Gil'ad Shalit will return home soon, safe and in good health.

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