On Thursday evening, June 12, 2014, three teens attending one of Israel’s Yeshivas (religious seminary) disappeared. Rumours say they had been ‘tremping’.
‘Tremping’ is a form of hitch-hiking. When you tremp, you usually stand at road-side and hold your hand out and angled downward towards the road beside you. When a car pulls over, you negotiate a free ride.
But in Israel, ‘tremping’ is more than just ‘hitching’ a free ride. In Israel, especially near many of the country’s smaller communities, ‘tremping’ is a form of socialization. Riders gather. They chat. They form friendships. Cars stop. Sometimes, two or three cars line up to offer a ride.
It’s a courtesy thing. It’s how Israelis interact with each other.
Nevertheless, Israel is at war. Tremping carries risk. We have all seen news reports of Arabs disguised as religious Jews offering rides—looking to kidnap someone. We have heard of Arabs forming teams to hunt someone—anyone--to kidnap.
We are at war. Our cities are at risk. Our children are at risk. Tremping is a risk.
Whether these boys were tremping or not, we all expect them to be safe. That’s our Prime Minister’s job. He is supposed to create and enforce policies to enhance safety, not reduce it. If we are not safe, he will pay a price for his negligence.
Kidnapping Jews is important. Everybody knows what happens when you kidnap a Jew: the Jews give in. Jews will release hundreds of convicted Jew-killers for a single kidnappee. The last kidnapped soldier (who was not murdered) brought the release of more than 1,000 convicted killers.
Kidnapping is a weapon in the Arab war against the Jew.
For several months now, Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) officials have been calling for more kidnappings. We have all been reading about these calls. We know what the Arab is thinking. We know what’s coming.
Now, it’s happened. Three boys, age 16-19, have disappeared.
We pray for their safe return. We pray they will be found soon.
But while we wait, anger builds. Yes, that anger is directed at Arabs. Arabs have been attacking Jews lately with increasing boldness. There are more attacks in Jerusalem. There are more attacks against Israeli soldiers.
But we have also seen Youtube videos showing something else. Israeli soldiers have been emasculated.
We recently saw one video in which a soldier was attacked. Patiently, he fended off his attackers. But then one attacker got behind him. He raised his rifle and aimed it at the other, while he turned to get both in front of him. The attackers fled.
The soldier was arrested. He was threatened with prison. He had committed the ultimate taboo: he had pointed his weapon at the enemy.
This is why Netanyahu will pay a price for these kidnappings. His leadership has harmed our ability to protect ourselves. Under his leadership, the enemy now sees that we cannot even point a gun at him.
Netanyahu will pay for that.
In another recent video, two armed soldiers arrest a violent Arab protester. Immediately, they are surrounded by a mob of screaming Arabs. The soldiers will not raise their weapons. Frightened, they release the arrestee to the mob.
They are helpless. Their weapons are nothing more than props.
Netanyahu will pay a price for that.
Just last week, many in certain Israel cities noticed an unusual increase in Arabs riding buses they don’t normally ride, walking on streets they don’t normally walk. Something was in the air. What was it?
Now, three Jewish boys have disappeared. Maybe they were tremping. Maybe they weren’t.
It doesn’t matter how it happened. They’re missing and Arabs in the PA celebrate. They hand out candies. Fatah (the ruling Party in the PA) has posted on its official Facebook page a call for PA residents to destroy all video and photo evidence of the kidnappers, in order to hinder the Israeli search.
Yes, the IDF will crack down hard. But it will be too little, too late.
We pray for the three boys. We fear for their safety.
Netanyahu will pay a price for this kidnapping.
Netanyahu will pay a price for this kidnapping because this is a small country. There is little decentralization. The Prime Minister has a controlling voice in the IDF (Israel Defence Forces). He has a controlling voice in the civil administration. He has a controlling voice in how assertive our security forces are in protecting us.
More and more, he is perceived to be withdrawing that protection. More and more, he appears more concerned over what gentiles say—and less concerned about Jewish safety. More and more, he seems to respond to Arab attacks with indifference—until it is too late. Then he slams the barn door after the horses have escaped.
However this ends, Netanyahu will pay a price for his neglect.