Opinion: The horrific terror attack in Be’er Sheva shows PM that the most urgent matters he must contend with are domestic, and as long as he chooses to focus solely on international issues, the home front will not be quiet

After being notified of the atrocious, deadly terror attack in Be’er Sheva, the hurrahs of the summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh – where Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was at the time of the event – were silenced.

Bennett’s heroic victory lap around the track field, known as the international political arena, came to an abrupt stop. Everyone was abruptly reminded the reason why international aspirations take up a humble volume of Israel’s attention.

Domestic matters over intl. matter
Coronavirus and terror again on the agenda in Israel (Illustration: Guy Morad)


What was supposed to be a geopolitical triumph for both Israel and Egypt – diligently orchestrated by the best and most elite advisors of the two political leaders – came tumbling down in a span of eight minutes.

The timeline of the events tells us that Bennett, proud and content, was on his way home when he received the news of the slaughter of four innocent civilians that took place in the Negev’s capital. Enclosed in an armored sound-proof vehicle, Bennett was bashed over the head with the reality check that was awaiting him back home.

A mere 600 minutes separated between what was a cheery day under the pampering sun of Sharm El-Sheikh, and a day of national grief and tragic funerals. Bennett’s dream of strutting back into the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem with his head held high – withered away.

מוחמד בן זאיד, עבד אל פתאח א סיסי, נפתלי בנט
Summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh (Photo: The Egyptian presidency)


The peaceful Egyptian breeze gusting over Israel was abruptly replaced by a storm of horror and anxiety; the festive photos of Bennett and his Arab companions were tucked away, and instead came a bombardment of ghastly images and videos from the scene of the attack.

Talks and reports of the war in Ukraine cleared the way for the local breaking news as the public tuned back to dealing with the life or death matters close to home.

Bennett learned the hard way that the most urgent matters are right here at home, and as long as he doesn’t get to the bottom of them – the home front will not be quiet.

זירת הפיגוע בבאר שבע
Bennett and the scene of the terror attack in Be’er Sheva (Photo: Haim Hornstein, AFP)


I bet if it was up to him, Bennett would continue basking in the warm Egyptian sun, or go on skipping between Russian President Putin and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, while reprimanding Biden. But it was not to be.

The far too familiar buzzing that lingers after a deadly terrorist attack rung in Bennett’s ears far before he touched down in Israel.

It was written on banners of angry protesters who took to the streets after the attack and on social media posts all over the internet. Some politicians, including Benjamin Netanyahu also chipped in – not letting a good crisis go to waste.

הלוויתה של דוריס יחבס
Funeral of one of the victims of Be’er Sheva attack (Photo: Herzl Yosef)


There were also voices calling to “end it once and force all,” suggesting to destroy all Bedouin communities in the Negev, most of which were constructed illegally, chatters demanding the civilians who shot the terrorists be treated as heroes, and far-right lawmakers’ provocative suggestions that Arab officials were somehow responsible for thi

Bennett has already proven that Israel’s international status is not dependent on the identity of its prime minister, and although his last name isn’t Netanyahu, he is certainly more than capable of conducting productive talks with world powers such as the U.S. and Russia, and claim his title as a major player on the international arena.

Now, he must prove he can deal with domestic issues as well as international ones.
Its still too soon to tell if Bennett will go back to old habits, and pick up the attitude of an eager right-wing, media-hungry activist, or if he’ll adopt a more calming positions, as is expected from the Israeli prime minister when grief and rage bellows at every corner. What’s certain is that he must set aside his efforts to solve international conflicts for the sake of restoring the peace within Israel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in his office in Jerusalem
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in his office in Jerusalem (Photo: Amit Shaabi)


Bennett is now established than ever. From making a deal with Egypt to establish direct flights from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to Sharm el Sheik, and all the way to clinching trade agreements with Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the prime minister has gained enough credibility to admit that Israel failed to tend to the Bedouin issue.

Throughout the past few months, Bennett has succeeded in asserting his status as a diplomatic expert. He even upkept trusting relations with Qatar for the sake of calm in the Gaza Strip. A man with this reputation cannot allow himself in 2022 to fail at ministering to a dispute that has began one millennia ago.

All eyes are fixed on Bennett, and they will stay put until the Negev residents are given back their sense of personal security and the Bedouin population is not pushed to the sides.

As reported by Ynetnews