Likud MK Moshe Feiglin has defended the decision by the Tel Aviv municipality to cancel school trips to Jerusalem over safety concerns, and blasted criticism of their decision as an attempt by authorities to avoid responsibility for the ongoing violence in the capital.
Last night, it was revealed that eighth-grade field trips to the Kotel (Western Wall) and Ammunition Hill – next to the place whereWednesday’s deadly terrorist attack took place – would be cancelled, along with other additional trips following orders from the Tel Aviv municipality, which was apparently responding to concerns by parents.
The decision drew sharp criticism from one of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat’s deputies, who branded it “outrageous.”
“If we and our children can maintain a routine, so can your children continue trips to Jerusalem as usual,” said Rachel Azaria.
But Feiglin begged to differ.
“The decision of the Tel Aviv Municipality to postpone outings to Jerusalem, is not essentially different from the decision taken by the residents of Nahal Oz,” he wrote on Facebook, referring to the southern Israeli kibbutz, many of whose residents chose to abandon their homes in the face of what they said was a lack of confidence in the government’s ability to protect them from Hamas mortar and rocket attacks.
The Likud lawmaker insisted “with great regret” that in both situations “the correct decision was taken,” and launched a scathing attack on officials who he said expected Israelis to operate as if Israel were still under British occupation.
“We need to understand – the British Mandate is over. We are no longer in the days of ‘tower and stockade,” he wrote, referring to the systematic strategy of the early Zionist pioneers to settle and secure new outposts in the face of hostile Arabpopulations and British antipathy.
“Back then it was correct to fight the enemy via the citizenry. But today we have a state and its central task is to provide security. That is why there is a state, an army and a police force.”
“The leadership cannot evade responsibility for the security of its citizens and turn the responsibility onto the citizens with patriotic arguments from the past,” he continued, branding attempts in his view to do so as “a fig leaf for the bankruptcy of the defense (establishment).”
“If the IDF is Gaza, and the police in Jerusalem, would receive the order to win and it was clear that that is what they were doing speedily and with determination,” it would be acceptable for the government to demand its citizens shoulder their part of the burden and continue visiting the capital in a show of solidarity and defiance, he said.
“But if the government, the army and the police choose to ‘manage the conflict’ as if they were a Limited Corporation and not a sovereign state, then it is certainly possible to understand the decision of the citizens of Nahal Oz or the parents council of Tel Aviv, who are not interested in taking part in the games of these ‘leaders’ and to endanger their children in order to allow the state to avoid its responsibilities,” he concluded.