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The first battle is not to save Israel but to change your mindset and make you wake up.
Israeli society at large, what is the matter with you? Are you expecting this government to bail you out of your problems? Have you resigned yourselves to behaving like ostriches, digging your heads in the sand until the danger passes? You can neither run nor hide and the economy alone won't save you.
You should be aware by now that a government's main role is to protect the country and its population. Peace is secondary and often transitory. But even peace has not been provided to you.
Just think about it for a moment. Last month the giant LHC particle accelerator was launched in Europe. Scientists hope to somewhat replicate the Big Bang and detect what they call "God's particle". Skeptics deplored the cost. Unscientific minds are concerned that a black hole will result and devour the Earth. Well, there's a black hole already trying to devour you, it is called the government of Israel and its system of proportional representation. Furthermore, there is no shortage of candidates for the role of "God's" particle (God in " ", here), each one highly qualified, if the purpose is to recreate the Big Bang with Israel in the center.
This leaves one unanswered question: who is "God"? "God" is Shimon Peres. I challenge you to come up with a better choice, under this scenario.
"God" is safe for the foreseeable future but his particle,
presently in charge as Prime Minister, refuses to leave the
experiment, colliding with friend and foe in a futile search for an
even rarer element called "peace". If he finds it, you will definitely
be absorbed by the black hole already in place.
EVEN IN THIS HOUR OF TROUBLE THIS PARTICLE DOES NOT COME TO TERMS WITH THE REALITIES OF LIFE, totally ignoring the most basic requirement to keep Israeli society at large alive outside the lab: mass, as in mass support. In recent interviews Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has confirmed this notion.
He stated "Israel would have to leave parts of east Jerusalem", Israel "couldn't hope to maintain its control of the more than 200,000 Arab residents there." This is totally wrong, because Israel has had control for over 40 years, and is in a position to continue to do so, if only an undivided capital was important to him. Furthermore, with over one million Arabs elsewhere in Israel, Olmert is making clear that control over them is far from assured, given the precedent he is creating.
"I'm the first one who wanted to enforce Israeli sovereignty on the whole city. I admit this," he said. For decades he "was not prepared to look at reality in all of its depth." Was he the first one? That's an outright lie. And he is still not prepared to look at reality in any depth. Giving up territories to stop attacks by religious fanatics has never worked and never will a basic fact in mankind's history.
Olmert said Israel would keep "a percentage" of the West Bank, but would have to give Palestinians the same amount of Israeli territory in exchange, "because without this there will be no peace." That's another lie, it not only misrepresents the other side's minimal demands, but also weakens Israel's claims on its own "recognized" land, something no other nation would do.
He also said Israel "would have to leave the Golan Heights to make peace with Syria." Besides the obvious fact that risk versus reward is totally biased against Israel, Olmert is rewarding a terrorist state by surrendering the very piece of land stolen from Israel by the British before independence. Therefore, it not only legitimizes Syrian and Lebanese claims to other areas of Israel, but also strengthens their case. The Syrians have tried to destroy Israel and have lost. The message to them should be not to do it again, or risk losing even more territory.
Indeed, regardless of who is Shiite and who is Sunni, all of them claim the whole territory as Jewish-occupied Arab land, but this Israeli caricature of a PM refuses to face this threat, and apparently so do most of you.
Olmert continued: "Unfortunately, the Palestinians don't have the necessary courage, strength, internal determination, will or enthusiasm". More lies. For a fake nation created in the 1960s they are showing far more resilience than any Israeli government since Oslo. He won't admit that he was never capable of making the Palestinians, the Muslim countries, and the world realize that Israel is led by people with courage, strength, internal determination, will, and enthusiasm. And who could argue with it, after he said the nation was tired of fighting and defeating its enemies?
IT IS TIME THE AVERAGE ISRAELI REALIZES THAT KHARTOUM'S MESSAGE STILL LIVES. "No peace, no negotiations, no recognition" has not changed in any meaningful way, other than adapted by Egypt and Jordan to continue the struggle while being rewarded by the west. And it seems to be working beyond their wildest expectations. Hallucinations by Israel's ruling elite can not be referred to as negotiations.
The joke is still on you, Israeli society at large. Last week Olmert categorically stated that talk of a unilateral Israeli strike on Iran was "part of our delusions of grandeur. The thought that if America, Russia, China, Britain and Germany cannot deal with the Iranians we Israelis can ... is an example of a loss of perspective." Liar, liar, liar. If this is the case, then why the big fuss of making Lieberman the Strategic Minister dealing with the Iranian threat? What did it accomplish? Did he come up with a workable plan? Where is it? How much did it cost the nation? Well Israelis, don't count on your mainstream media to investigate this story for you.
As a matter of fact, the only "forceful" action was taken by Ehud Barak who, upon becoming Defense Minister, forbade Lieberman from entering the Defense Ministry. Now, how's that for teamwork dealing with the Iranian threat? It might have been better if Barak had dealt with missiles raining on Sderot or with Hizbullah in the north, but I suppose one has to start somewhere.
However, Ehud Olmert is not only a liar. His lies don't hide his incompetence. He and his party exist to expel the "settlers" from their homes. But under his tenure the "settlers" population in Judea and Samaria increased by 20%. Therefore, Israelis, regardless of how you feel about this issue, are you seriously planning to vote for Kadima again? Isn't incompetence even more dangerous than lies?
The PM mentioned three recent attacks in which East Jerusalem residents rammed Israelis with vehicles, killing three people and wounding dozens. "Anyone who wants to stop the attacks must give up parts of Jerusalem." He then proceeds as if further demands by the Arabs on the holy sites or the return of "refugees" do not exist. If national and municipal authorities can not control their own capital, what can they control? What are the reasons for such flimsy control? Who was responsible for it, if not "God" in his previous roles? If releasing control over East Jerusalem to the enemy is the way to achieve peace and tranquillity, then by the same token he should give total control of Judea and Samaria to the "settlers". Based on recent accusations that he himself has made, the Religious Right can also be violent, therefore, let him use Arab control of East Jerusalem as a buffer to protect the "good" Jews from the "bad" ones. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
BUT WHAT GOOD IS THIS ARTICLE WITHOUT A CONSPIRACY THEORY IN IT? Professor Sternhall has been the target of an attack by a pipe bomb, and Olmert has insinuated the Religious Right might have been responsible. However, if this is the hypothesis, why not also imply that Olmert's Leftist government, using its full resources, was responsible for co-ordinating the bulldozers attacks from East Jerusalem into West Jerusalem, in order to facilitate the city's partition?
The good professor stated that "Settlers are anti-Zionists...politicians must declare war on the extreme right and occupation; that is the swamp where those mosquitoes breed. Otherwise they won't even be a footnote in history." One wonders whether the place he now resides was not a swamp where mosquitoes bred until other settlers cleaned it up a few decades ago. Well, let's give the "settlers" due credit. They're bright enough to get the job right if they want to. Besides, to them Sderot matters more than Sternhall, only the government doesn't seem to think so. This pipe bomb was just Professor Sternhall's pipe dream, the peace pipe he is willing to smoke with Israel's killers. Before he cries foul, he might as well borrow a couple of expensive cigars from Olmert, smoke one with him, and keep the other for the first non-settler Monica naïve enough to become his intern.
Failure used to bring down governments in Israel. This is no more. The worst PM in the history of the country is leaving because of successive corruption charges, not due to his failures and a war defeat. In other words, things are getting worse, not better, in Israel. Blaming the Right without proof makes the Left look like Europe during its pogroms.
Meanwhile, the Quartet, made up of the US, Russia, EU, and UN made clear last week that the Israeli people no longer matter when it comes to changing negotiating positions via the ballot box. It stated: "The Quartet underlined its commitment to the irreversibility of the negotiations." It "called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth." It also noted "the importance of confidentiality in order to preserve its integrity." Both Olmert and Foreign Minister Lipni are happy to oblige. No one seems to know what has been offered. Anyone in doubt can check the State Department's web site at http://www.state.gov:80/r/pa/prs/ps/2008/sept/110375.htm. The Israeli Left can now celebrate another victory against the people of Israel. At the same time, former Secretary of State James Baker III, hardly a friend of Israel, went on record stating that any US foreign policy initiative can only succeed if it has the support of the American people. When was the last time a minister in Israel said something similar? When was the first time?
Instead, PM Olmert stated loud and clear: "To those who speak of the threat of missiles, I say: even today, the State of Israel, from end to end, is in the range of missiles from terror organizations, and, therefore, conceding a meter more or less is not significant. I believe that every meter from the Jordan Valley and west is part of the historical greater Israel, because there was never another culture that ruled this area. But right now, other people who belong to a different culture live there." For a Prime Minister to say that since the country is under missile range, then it does not matter if it concedes another meter or so is beyond belief. It is not just a lie. It is not just stupidity. It is not even treason or corruption. It is an altered state of mind, a contagious form of madness that may have started in European ghettos but eventually mutated into a far more dangerous disease affecting Israeli society at large. Shimon "God" Peres is deadly to all those who bow to him.
As to another culture living in Judea and Samaria, it is the same culture of terror that exterminated millions elsewhere over the last fourteen centuries, and the same one that exterminated thousands of Jews living in the very same places of "compromise" not a hundred years ago. They're not done yet, and every meter counts anywhere between the river and the sea.
Olmert wants to establish a difference between Israel and Greater Israel. In other words, those receiving the rest will target Israel for destruction. Well, not quite. Israel is also prepared to give part of the Negev to double the size of terrorist Gaza, or even give it to the Egyptians, in return for a piece of the Sinai no, not to Israel, but to Gaza. In the latter case the area of hostility will triple in size. The IDF will have to provide far more weapons and bullets to be used against the Jews. Even Wall Street investment bankers could not match it for stupidity.
What are you planning to do about it, secular Israelis? Shouldn't you oppose such ideas even more vehemently than you'd object to a rabbi who forbids non-married Jewish couples from holding hands? Shouldn't you oppose it just as you'd fight against a rabbi who forbids married Jewish couples from dancing together in public? Just think about it. Can you hold hands or dance under fire and threat of destruction? The "settlers" will be homeless and unable to protect you. How can someone like Samir Kuntar stay away when rejection by Israel of a Greater Israel beckons?
The Israeli government deals with "settlers" and other Jewish opposition more harshly than it deals with the International Solidarity Movement or the foreign parasites of Peace Now. The first two have no political value. They can't be bribed, coerced, or even told to shut up. So for them only hardship is available. The others have their own foreign source of financing, thank you. Including a love boat cruising between Cyprus and Gaza.
IN ISRAEL, WHEN PRESENT THEORY DOESN'T FIT WITH REALITY, THE THEORY IS NOT CHANGED TO COMPLY, BUT THE REALITY IS ALTERED TO FIT THE THEORY. This qualifies as a definition of madness, and is also applied by the worst violators of human rights in the world. Well, guess what. The Muslims and the Quartet are much better at this game than Israel. And it shows.
What does Israeli society stand for? What do you stand for? The leadership certainly knows little about Hasbara and how to motivate Diaspora Jews to fight for the country. Suicidal policies is something that Jews abroad are starting to recognize as more of an Israeli idea and a localized "ideal". It's not kosher anymore. The result is more alienation.
The Israeli system of proportional representation, the absence of proper checks and balances, the undemocratic amounts of power in the hands of the High Court and the Attorney General explain most of what is wrong with the country. It is not a well-functioning democracy, although it compares favorably to its neighbors', and uses this fact to maintain the status quo. It's run by an elite of criminals or quasi-criminals aligned with bizarre political scientists and with a mainstream media not interested in meaningful change, but in manipulating the news in order to maintain control. Their daily statements, ideas, and perceptions show total disregard to what the citizens may think, let alone want. Israel's diplomats are becoming well-trained robots, carefully selected to disseminate the ongoing madness abroad. Those who disagree are shunted aside.
What does Kadima stand for, besides being a magnet for Shimon "God" Peres? It stands for more than demolishing people's homes and surrendering to everyone. It stands, with direct intervention from the Attorney General and High Court support, for overthrowing whatever you voted for or against. It stands for no choice for the people, because in the twisted mind of its members it already incorporates all of the people's wishes, given its membership and political alliances. It tries to scare you by stating that it is either a two-state solution or a non-Jewish state, but, if this was the case, why is its new leader looking for a national salvation government with the Right? Why not look for a fresh mandate? Because although it tries to scare you, it is also afraid of you, it knows what you are likely to do to them: the same that the East Germans did to the Berlin wall.
This is also the time to indict you, Israeli society at large. You
have been quiet for too long, safely using the excuse that you are not
capable of changing anything. Your capital is being given away and you
do nothing, when most of you are hardly an hour away by car.
Meanwhile, you live your lives looking for security against your
declared enemies, while those assigned to protect you are really the
ones responsible for so many of your unnecessary deaths. They are the
ones who release your murderers. They are the ones who had many
soldiers killed in Jenin, Lebanon, and elsewhere, who would be alive
today had it not been for incompetence, corruption, and the desire to
please those who today control your country from abroad. And you have
done little or nothing about it.
WHY IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO YOU THAT THOSE IN CHARGE SAY, SUPPOSEDLY IN YOUR NAME, THAT ELECTIONS ARE UNNECESSARY BECAUSE YOU WANT STABILITY? Do you have stability right now? Since when has secrecy become synonymous with stability? Little children get more information from their parents on relevant matters than you do from your government on life-death issues. Your leaders represent the international community, not you. This situation would have been corrected long ago in any other moderately democratic Parliamentarian system. But you have no direct representation. You are an abused lot because you allow yourself to be abused, but if the whole country is turning into a shelter for abused people, well, it's not going to make a difference, is it? You are not in prison, you are free to come and go. It's not as if you needed to be rescued from Arab countries or from the old Soviet Union. You can do more to help yourselves.
You can organize in the hundreds of thousands and force meaningful system and leadership change. You can boycott a newspaper or two. You can challenge your mainstream media because just about everything they publish is speculative and biased "analysis". They don't want change. You can kick the American Secretary of State out of the country if you choose to do so. Remember that she will be hiding safely in Washington when the next wave of expulsions take place, just as she did at Gush Katif.
And if the government dares attack you, then your numbers will grow by a million or two. Stop being taken for granted in-between elections. Change the system. You would be surprised by what you can achieve. It's OK to vote but also to take to the streets in protest against the status quo. Unlike Iraq in Saddam's time, you don't get shot. Take advantage of it.
Remember that Israel has the largest number of war heroes per capita than any other country in the world. And, according to the 2008 Survey of Patriotism among Israeli Jews published by the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Herzliya Inter-disciplinary Center, 92% of you would actively engage in a military battle for the country. Furthermore, 85% oppose the repartitioning of Jerusalem in return for peace. This is who you are. So why do you let the elite take you for granted? How can they partition country and capital in secrecy and without your permission? Sure you can do better if you decide to.
Just don't expect the Diaspora Jews to do all the work for you. Some of you don't even like us much, because we seem to interfere. And what do you think the other six billion people are doing? How long will it be until you break out of the cycle of appeasement and fear you inherited from your ghetto predecessors? It's time to let go of this complex. It's killing you again, and it's killing many Jews elsewhere. This is a consequence not only of your government's policies, but also of your own omission.
Diaspora Jews are free to decide where to live and what to do. We'd have to be very masochistic, were we to admit the greatest accomplishments of our lives were to oppose Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres and many others like them. Painful sacrifices for us and you, gratification for them. Thanks, but no, thanks. With you, maybe, without you, no. Remember, those people hate Zionism, and they will make you pay the price for their hatred. Indeed, you've been doing so for quite a while now.
Have we been dealing with the cause or the symptom? Obviously it's the latter. Every time we help rescue something in Israel you allow them to give away something else. The first battle is not to save Israel but to change your mindset and make you wake up. In the last analysis only you can bail the country out. Force system change. Push for checks and balances. Demand a Constitution that protects the little land you have, because without it you are not protected.
Sabras have a reputation for being hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Consider a more balanced approach. Be a bit softer on the outside, but a lot harder on the inside when appropriate. It works better in your neighborhood and against your present leaders.
I was planning to call you at 3 am your time, so that you could all qualify to be prime minister of Israel, since this is the main criterion needed, according to your own "Iron Lady", she who also surrenders in secrecy. I was going to tell you that your houses are also located in "occupied refugee land", and if you are overflowing with guilt, then you should give them to the "refugees", but don't force those who don't feel this way to give up theirs. After all, you are behaving like the rest of the world. Full of guilt, but demanding that other Jews pay the ultimate price for it.
But I won't call you. I don't like most of you right now.
Wake up and shape up, or you won't be around to be God's favorite particle, let alone God's favorite people.
This essay was received October 5, 2008
Boris Celser has a MBA, and is a lifelong traveler and avid reader. He lives in Canada and is a valued contributor to JewishIndy and Think-Israel. He invites comments to this article - please address them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This essay was received October 5, 2008
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