Israel Palestine Infos
June 19, 2010
A Flash of Lightning
NIGHT. UTTER darkness. Heavy rain. Visibility close to nil.
And suddenly – a flash of lightning. For a fraction of a second, the landscape is lit up. For this split second, the terrain surrounding us can be seen. It is not the way it used to be.
OUR GOVERNMENT’ action
Israelis normally live in
darkness as far as seeing the world is concerned. But for that instant, the real
landscape around us could be seen, and it looked frightening. Then the darkness
settled down over us,
This split second was
enough to reveal a dismal scene. On almost all fronts, the situation of the
The flotilla and the attack on it did not create this landscape. It has been there since our present government was set up. But the deterioration did not start even then. It began a long time before.
The action of Ehud Barak & Co. only lit up the situation as it is now, and gave it yet another push in the wrong direction.
How does the new landscape look in the light of Barak’s barak? (“barak” means lightning in Hebrew.)
THE LIST is headed by a fact that nobody seems to have noticed until now: the death of the Holocaust.
In all the tumult this
affair has caused throughout the world, the Holocaust was not even mentioned.
For two generations, our
foreign policy used the Holocaust as its main instrument. The bad conscience of
the world determined its attitude towards
But time does its work.
New tragedies have blunted the world’s senses. For a new generation, the
Holocaust is a thing of the remote past, a chapter of history. The sense of
guilt has disappeared in all countries, except
The Israeli public did
not notice this, because in
Therefore, the Israeli public is shocked to see that the Holocaust has lost its power as a political instrument. Our most valuable weapon has become blunt.
THE CENTRAL pillar of our
policy is our alliance with the
For many years, this alliance has kept us safe from all trouble. We knew that we could always get from the US all we needed: advanced arms to retain our superiority over all Arab armies combined, munitions in times of war, money for our economy, the veto on all UN Security Council resolutions against us, automatic support for all the actions of our successive governments. Every small and medium country in the world knew that in order to gain entrance to the palaces of Washington, the Israeli doorkeeper had to be bribed.
But during the last year, cracks have appeared in this pillar. Not the small scratches and chips of wear and tear, but cracks caused by shifts of the ground. The mutual aversion between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu is only one symptom of a much deeper problem,
The Chief of the Mossad
told the Knesset last week: “For the
This fact was put into
incisive words by General David Petraeus, when he said that the ongoing
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is endangering the lives of American soldiers in
IT IS not only the
Israeli-American relationship that has undergone a fateful change, but the
standing of the
The world is changing,
slowly and quietly. The
This is not a matter of
one or two years, but anyone who is thinking about the future of
IF OUR alliance with the
For 62 years, we could count on it with our eyes shut. Whatever we did – almost all the world’s Jews stood at attention and saluted. In fire and water, victory or defeat, glorious or dark chapters – the world’s Jews did support us, giving money, demonstrating, pressuring their governments. Without second thoughts, without criticism.
Not anymore. Quietly,
almost silently, cracks have appeared in this pillar, too. Opinion polls show
that most American Jewish young people are turning away from
This will not be felt
immediately either. AIPAC continues to strike fear into Washingtonian hearts,
Congress will continue to dance to its tune. But when the new generation comes
to man key positions, the support for
IN OUR immediate neighborhood, too, profound changes are underway, some of them beneath the surface. The flotilla incident has exposed them.
The influence of our
allies is decreasing constantly. They are losing height, and an old-new power is
on the rise:
Hosni Mubarak is busy
with his efforts to pass power to his son, Gamal. The Islamic opposition in
BUT THE most important change is the one that is taking place in international public opinion. Any derision of this reminds one of Stalin’s famous sneer (“How many divisions has the pope?”)
Recently, an Israeli TV
station showed a fascinating film about the German and Scandinavian female
volunteers who flooded
The present generation of idealistic youngsters from all over the world, male and female, who would once have volunteered for the kibbutzim, can now be found on the decks of the ships sailing for downtrodden, choked and starved Gaza, which touches the hearts of many young people. The pioneering Israeli David has turned into a brutish Israeli Goliath.
Even a genius of spin
could not change this. For years, now, the world sees the State of
MANY YEARS ago, when I wanted to ridicule the addiction of our leaders to the use of force, I paraphrased a saying that reflects much of Jewish wisdom: “if force does not work, use brains.” In order to show how far we, the Israelis, are different from the Jews, I changed the words: “If force doesn’t work, use more force.”
I thought of it as a joke. But, as happens to many jokes in our country, it has become reality. It is now the credo of many primitive Israelis, headed by Ehud Barak.
In practice, the security of a state depends on many factors, and military force is but one of them. In the long run, world public opinion is stronger. The pope has many divisions.
In many respects,
If force doesn’t work, more force will not necessarily work either.
If force doesn’t work, force doesn’t work. Period.