The Forests of Jerusalem are Going Up in Flames

The media festival surrounding the state comptroller’s report on the Carmel fire disaster has not calmed down yet and we are being informed of new records in arson attacks on the forests around the city of Jerusalem. In many cases, fuel containers, matches and burning tyres are discovered at the arson sites. The inhabitants of Arab neighbourhoods close to the fires repeatedly throw Molotov cocktails into the burning forest to fan the flames. Fire fighters approaching the area are attacked by a barrage of stones. This is what happens in a state that has lost both its sovereignty and it deterrence.

There are swift and effective solutions, but nobody will order their use. This is, after all, a state that is happy to receive 150 incoming rockets and mortar bombs within two or three days and wait, doing nothing, until the murderers would feel like stopping the fire. Lighting a forest is an attempted murder. It has no other definition. Facing an attempted murder, one should use what can be defined as self-defence.  There is no reason not to ambush and shoot ‘youngsters’ carrying fuel containers and tyres into the forest. There is no shortage of snipers in the IDF and the other security arms. The Knesset knows how to gather and pass new legislation at breakneck speed when it feels like it. A minimum sentence of 30 years in prison to whoever is caught carrying means of arson or igniting forests is not disproportionate taking into account the murderous results such an act could cause. Fire fighting vehicles approaching Arab neighbourhoods must carry armed guards. Throwing a barrage of stones is also attempted murder, which should be met with immediate live fire.

A few weeks of intensive security activity of this kind, not just around Jerusalem but also on the Carmel and in the area of Misgav where arson is rife, and we will be able to read about a dramatic drop in this terrorist, nationalistic activity that is aimed not just at damaging property but also at taking lives. Will anybody do anything about it? You can forget it. The Israeli government has long ago ceased being the landlord.

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