In an opinion article on the Shabbat edition of the newspaper ‘Israel Hayom’, the journalist Dan Margalit complains about the ‘populist’ decision, in his words, of the mayor of Beer Sheva to halt school studies in the city as long as the Grad rocket attack from Gaza on the city continues. This short article has all the hallmarks of the distorted Israeli media. I decided to respond here to Dan Margalit, tackling each point.
Margalit writes: ”Two day ago a cease fire was declared on the Gaza front and the home command allowed studies to be renewed, but Beer Sheva’s mayor Ruvik Danilovitch decided by himself to halt them. Another day passed, the home command thought that it was possible to return to the desks of learning, but again Danilovitch and his colleagues decided to cancel study.” Mr Margalit – in the name of personal and journalistic integrity, wouldn’t it be fair to mention that the cease fire exists only in the imagination of a few government ministers and senior IDF officers, and that Grad rockets continue to be launched at the city?
Margalit continues: “So obvious, and so wrong. Because not everyone should do as they please, even if they are the mayor.” Yes Sir. Contrary to the irresponsible behaviour of the current Israeli government and other governments that preceded it, which allowed the rockets to accumulate in Gaza and did nothing to destroy them, the mayor of Beer Sheva is taking personal responsibility for the lives of its citizens and especially its children. He does not want that a Grad explosion inside a school class or a kindergarten, that will cause a massive slaughter, will finally give the government and the army the excuse to pull the finger out of the dark hole and to take decisive action – he wants decisive action now, when the blood of the children of Beer Sheva is still flowing in their veins and not spilled on the floor of their classroom.
Margalit then says: “It is inconceivable that the parents will run around between the populist mayor and the General of the Southern Command Tal Ruso who also takes responsibility for his actions.” The mayor is not a populist – the mayor demonstrates personal responsibility and public leadership which are so rare these days, and the citizens of Beer Sheva understand that and stand behind him. And if we are talking about General Tal Ruso – where is the personal responsibility he showed after ordering not to close route no. 12 despite the precise warnings about an imminent terror attack there? The blood of the eight who were murdered there is still screaming from the earth.
And Margalit ends with the following paragraph: “To the point, it is worth considering Danilovitc’s conduct. He sets up such a low criteria for the halting of study which will give every snotty (terrorist) in Gaza – who holds a rocket or two – the right and the ability to close a long list of schools. In a properly run state this practical possibility should be inconceivable.” What should be inconceivable in a properly run state, Mr Margalit, is that a few thousand snotty Gazans will turn the state of Israel with all its military might into a circus, fire when they want, stop when it suits them, continue after committing to a cease fire without any effective response on Israel’s side and boast about their achievements, one Abu after another, across the pages of Israel’s media which serves their cause with such eagerness.
Be strong and courageous, Ruvik Danilovitch. Your city and other southern cities were abandoned to their fate by the Israeli government and its army. If you will not show leadership at a time of crisis, the citizens of your city will feel completely lost. Continue working for the capital of the Negev while those in Jerusalem blurb themselves to oblivion, and unlike some other mayors of past and present times – keep your hands clean. Israel needs leaders like you.