The Unreal Distraction of National Security

Larry Derfner is annoying. Sanctimonious. Arrogant. A Leftist with a big L.

And far too often right.

That’s the worst part. I hate that. A Leftist that gets at least some things right. (Okay, okay, more than some things.)

Here’s what he wrote in the Jerusalem Post yesterday: 

Rattling the Cage: Chapperim, macherim, and shtinkerim

Larry Derfner, THE JERUSALEM POST  Jan. 10, 2007

All of Israel wants to know: When did this country become so corrupt? When did you see the heads of the Income Tax Authority and the prime minister’s right-hand woman getting arrested on suspicion of running a bribery-for-tax-breaks scam with their businessmen friends? The rottenness has reached the top! When did this start? How did it start? What have we come to?

Corruption is a terrible problem in the Israeli government, and it is shocking to see Israelis tolerate it – and even participate.

How can such an ethical society with such a high moral vision tolerate such a thing?

I’ll tell you why, and it’s a lesson for everyone. Israeli society is distracted. The police are distracted, and the legal system is distracted.

And, that distraction is called National Security.

When your existence is threatened… When the lives of those that you love are threatened… You don’t worry so much about whether the government is corrupt. You worry more about whether they are protecting you.

Unfortunately, National Security can turn into a trap. Lots of things happen in the name of National Security. Your rights fly away. Your lives are disrupted. And, if you don’t watch out, you’ll find your society in chains.

America runs the risk of going down the same road if they become too obsessed with security. Several Americans have asked me if it was safe to be in Israel, and that question ALWAYS surprises me.

Is it safe to be in Israel?

Of COURSE it’s safe to be in Israel. Compared to America, crime is almost nothing in Israel. There are few places in Israel that your daughter wouldn’t be safe walking through at night.

You don’t have to worry about whether your kids are going to be safe when they go out to play. You don’t need to worry about your wife or your mother or your brother.

In Israel, when it comes to crime, you are fine. (And, your chance of being hurt in a terrorist attack is next-to-zero)

So, what’s the lesson for America? Don’t let National Security blind you. Terrorism is terrible, but it won’t kill you.

Corruption, on the other hand, will. 

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