Israel Palestine Infos
November 5, 2011
“Hold me back!”
EVERYBODY KNOWS the scene from school: a small boy quarrels with a bigger boy. “Hold me back!” he shouts to his comrades, “Before I break his bones!”
Our government seems to
be behaving in this way. Every day, via all channels, it shouts that it is
going, any minute now, to break the bones of
Binyamin Netanyahu says so in every one of his countless speeches, including his opening speech at the winter session of the Knesset. Ditto Ehud Barak. Every self-respecting commentator (has anyone ever seen a non-self-respecting one?) writes about it. The media amplify the sound and the fury.
“Haaretz” splashed its front page with pictures of the seven most important ministers (the “security septet”) showing three in favor of the attack, four against.
A GERMAN proverb says: “Revolutions that are announced in advance do not take place.” Same goes for wars.
Nuclear affairs are subject to very strict military censorship. Very very strict indeed.
Yet the censor seems to be smiling benignly. Let the boys, including the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense (the censor's ultimate boss) play their games.
The respected former long-serving chief of the Mossad, Meir Dagan, has publicly warned against the attack, describing it as “the most stupid idea” he has ever heard”. He explained that he considers it his duty to warn against it, in view of the plans of Netanyahu and Barak.
On Wednesday, there was a
veritable deluge of leaks.
All this seems to
indicate that the whole hullabaloo is a ploy. Perhaps to frighten and deter the
Iranians. Perhaps to push the Americans into more extreme actions. Perhaps
coordinated with the Americans in advance.
(British sources, too, leaked that the Royal Navy is training to support an
American attack on
It is an old Israeli
tactic to act as if we are going crazy (“The boss has gone mad” is a routine cry
in our markets, to suggest that the fruit vendor is selling at a loss.) We shall
not listen to the
Well, let’s be serious for a moment.
Some may think that I am going out on a limb. Shouldn’t I add at least “probably” or “almost certainly”?
No, I won’t. I shall
Since the 1956
LET’S LOOK at the map. That, by the way, is always recommended before starting any war.
The first feature that
strikes the eye is the narrow
“Narrow” is an
understatement. The entire width of this waterway is some
When the first Israeli plane enters Iranian airspace, the strait will be closed. The Iranian navy has plenty of missile boats, but they will not be needed. Land-based missiles are enough.
The world is already
teetering on the verge of an abyss. Little
To open the strait by
force would require a major military operation (including “putting boots on the
ground”) that would overshadow all the
In a rare show of unity,
I don’t know whether the
operation is possible at all. Iran is a very large country, about the size of
Alaska, the nuclear installations are widely dispersed and largely underground.
Even with the special deep penetration bombs provided by the
Moreover, it is quite certain that with the beginning of a war, missiles will rain down on Israel – not only from Iran, but also from Hizbollah, and perhaps also from Hamas. We have no adequate defense for our towns. The amount of death and destruction would be prohibitive.
Suddenly, the media are
full of stories about our three submarines, soon to grow to five, or even six,
if the Germans are understanding and generous. It is openly said that these give
us the capabilities of a nuclear “second strike”, if
Then there is the
political price. There are a lot of tensions in the Islamic world.
BUT THE talk about the war serves many purposes, including domestic, political ones.
Last Saturday, the social
protest movement sprang to life again. After a pause of two months, a mass of
people assembled in Tel Aviv’s
Also, many people believed that the euphoria of the Gilad Shalit festival had wiped the protest from the public mind. It didn’t.
By the way, something
remarkable has happened: the media, after siding with the protest movement for
months, have had a change of heart. Suddenly all of them, including Haaretz, are
sticking knives in its back. As if by order, all newspapers wrote the next day
that “more than
The protest has not spent itself, as the media assert. Far from it. But what better means for taking people’s minds off social justice than talk of the “existential danger”?
Moreover, the reforms demanded by the protesters would need money. In view of the worldwide financial crisis, the government strenuously objects to increasing the state budget, for fear of damaging our credit rating.
So where could the money come from? There are only three plausible sources: the settlements (who would dare?), the Orthodox (ditto!) and the huge military budget.
But on the eve of the most crucial war in our history, who would touch the armed forces? We need every shekel to buy more planes, more bombs, more submarines. Schools and hospitals must, alas, wait.
So God bless Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Where would we be without him?