Goodness is the natural way of things. Whatever is natural is usually good. By trial and error, societies developed mutually beneficial—good—traits. Acting against society normally means acting against naturally developed goodness. People have grown averse to opposing their societies, and don’t fight the rare evil, believe it is a passing aberration only.

Goodness need not fight impurity, or it would transform itself into wicked Inquisition. Rather, as God separated day from night and Israel from other peoples, so the good people must be able to remove themselves from the evil world. Living separately, they would serve as a beacon to nations: a beacon shines and lights the path, but doesn’t rush to ships. So Israel is a place for good people only, for practicing the divine good.

Good people are soft. Purity, in Umberto Eco’s words, involves dangerous haste, and does not equal goodness. Good people are not militant purists. Good people cannot fight evil, and it often subdues them. Their only way to preserve goodness is to escape the wicked world, whether to ghettos or to the settlements of Judea.

Otherwise, goodness has to be fisty, as it is indeed set out in the Torah. Good Jews exterminated Amalek and executed the transgressors of Shabbat. They invaded Canaan, took over other peoples’ land, and fought aggressors over trivial issues.

Tolerance and law-obedience doom goodness by barring it from preemption and disproportionate response. The Torah wisely prescribed disproportionate response such as the double fine for theft, on the presumption that some crimes go unpunished and punishment should make criminal activity overall unprofitable. Not so now. When an Arab insults a Jew, the latter cannot fight back physically, or he faces arrest. What is the alternative: insult him, too? When Arabs shower Israel with Kassam rockets, we’re not allowed to retaliate in such a manner that there would remain no Arab nearby to light a match. What is a proportionate response to ten-year-old Arabs hurling stones at Israeli cars? What is the proportionate response to an Arab MK demanding Muslim sovereignty over the Temple Mount? Egypt started four wars with us, lost all of them, but lost no land. Syria has started about as many wars, and now demands the Golan Heights in return for peace; they attacked and lost, but lost nothing.

Wicked people go on the offense, but good ones are only allowed strictly proportional defense, and even that must be forgiving, as in the case of young Arab stone-throwers or jailed terrorists who failed to become murderers. When not every offense is punished, crime becomes highly feasible. A tolerant defense is mere restoration of status quo ante: when someone wields fist near your nose, you can only remove the fist; worse, according to the army regulation, you have to remove your nose and drive away from stone-throwers. Mere restoration of status quo ante offers security to the offender: at the worst, he won’t succeed; punishment is unlikely, and suffering almost unthinkable.

Tolerance is always a losing tactic. In a series of offensive acts, some remain unanswered, especially if they are small. The tolerant party’s position constantly deteriorates as the offender encroaches. If the status quo ante is not reinstated even in ten percent of all incidents, toleration translates into a major loss after hundreds of thousands of incidents. Israel discounts land grabs by Arabs, crime, and tax evasion.

Strict restoration of the previous situation makes sense when the government deals with disorganized criminals. Each of them has his own interests, no statistically significant group is responsible for his crime, and large-scale policies are inapplicable. the Israeli situation with the Arabs is different. Four million Arabs in Israel and her environs daily encroach on Jewish laws and interests. Arabs act in implicitly and explicitly concerted efforts. Police cannot physically go after each offender and arrest each of the thousands of participants in a riot or every tax evader (all Arabs). The water supplier cannot feasibly sue or disconnect every Arab who flouts his water bills. The real choice is between losing our country to Arabs and applying collective, disproportionate, efficient punishment.

Tolerance means just that, tolerating offense.