For several years, Israeli leaders and the public at large have nurtured the illusion that the state’s national security policies, the construction of the so-called “security fence” (better known as the Apartheid Wall) and other counter-terrorism mechanisms have made Israel safe. In reality, the Wall could not possibly have achieved that purpose — it has never been completed — moreover its actual purpose has always been somewhat transparently political as it carves into Palestinian territory.
The obvious fact is that the lull in violence since 2006 inside Israel has had as much to do would the choices of would-be attackers as it has had with the effectiveness of Israel’s efforts to thwart attacks. Indeed, the more extreme the Jewish state becomes, the more vulnerable it will be to violent reactions generated inside its own population. An ethnocracy in which 25% of the population are treated as second-class citizens inevitably ends up sacrificing freedom in the name of security.
As for today’s bus bombing, one of the most obvious conclusions to draw is that attacks on Gaza cannot continue without provoking a backlash from the West Bank. Israel’s leaders are foolish to imagine that they can politically profit by dragging out the process of reaching a ceasefire agreement.