By Yael Paz-Melamed
We were the ones to take it upon ourselves, not in our favor, and maybe even without anyone meaning that, to stand in the breach against the nuclear Iran... And behold, this is for months that we’re doing everything in order to get exclusivity on this terrible burden.
Translated by Viktoria Lymar
Edited by Steven Stenzler
8 March 2012
What’s the big problem for the Jews at the AIPAC conference in the U.S. to clap hands? For it’s us, Israelis, who’ll need to pay the price of Netanyahu’s speech. At the moment – we are alone.
If I were an American Jew, and a privilege fell on me to be one of 14,000 delegates who listened excitedly to the address of the Prime Minister of Israel, I would add two more thunderous standing applauses. Maybe, even a few tears would run down my cheeks. What do I care? For it’s not me who is going to need to pay the price of his war rattle. At the maximum, I’ll have to pay a couple more dollars to fill the gas tank in my car.
What is that compared to my Jewish pride in view of the strength, resolve and might of that country, which I – crystal clear – won’t dare to visit in the near future. Am I out of my mind? It might be, they’ll decide to attack exactly during my stay there. And then what?
But I live here, like seven million more citizens, and therefore, we are to pay for the results of the eloquent speech in fluent English.
Perhaps, that’s the reason for why the Prime Minister’s interlocutors are not the Israelis, but rather the American Jews. Over there, there is laid the great respect, enthusiasm, applause that lift Netanyahu sky high. Over there, it is also possible to recur time and again to the hell of the Holocaust, to boast the supremacy of the Israeli army without saying a single word about the heavy price to be charged if we indeed hit Iran. And this price tag will come, and it will be much heftier than what they guess.
As of now, the man who keeps another war from breaking out on us is the U.S. President, reinforced by the President of the State of Israel. But let us not delude ourselves that this will be sufficient for us. The chain of fiery speeches by the Israeli Prime Minister is largely the result of us, the citizens of the state, turning into defenders of the Western countries, as well as of quite a few Arab ones.
We were the ones to take it upon ourselves, not in our favor, and maybe even without anyone meaning that, to stand in the breach against the nuclear Iran. At the moment, we are on our own in this crazy place, while the two people in charge of our safety and our lives, Netanyahu and Barak1, are leading us step after step, with determination and without sensitivity, toward the point of no return.
It’s true that our Defense Minister has reassured us that there will not be killed 5,000 Israeli civilians – probably not even 500, but who guarantees that it’s not going to be more than 5,000?
Paranoia and Irrationality
Netanyahu and Barak can meticulously plan everything, except for the outcomes. Except for the cost. Most unfortunately for us, it does not depend on them. The arguments for attack on Iran are based on the working assumption that we’re faced with an irrational leader who won’t hesitate to undertake insane steps against Israel, unless we impose a preemptive strike that would destroy his nuclear capabilities. It’s only that this assumption works both ways. The same non-rationality, he may put into effect also if we assault. The paranoia guiding the proponents of offensive speaks of wiping out the State of Israel if we won’t act against the Iranian nuke.
Within Netanyahu’s concepts, the annihilation will be of the entire Jewish people, as did the Nazi Reich, which is comparable to Ahmedinejad’s regime. This too works both ways. If we strike, could it be established for certain that the State of Israel will continue to exist with the same power and prosperity we enjoy today?
Had Netanyahu delivered a speech before 14,000 Israelis, he would have had to address these questions. For they are our life, and this is our fate. It’s just that he does not have even one incontrovertible answer to these existential questions. He can only estimate. How in the world did we get to the situation where these questions are being rolled to our door? Until not long ago, Iran was the problem of the globe with the U.S. at the head.
And behold, this is for months that we’re doing everything in order to get exclusivity on this terrible burden. The one to pick most of the fruit of our mad stubbornness is Obama. What’s better before the elections than appearing as the sane leader who does everything to avert war in another distant country? Too bad he is not our leader.
Original Hebrew article:
1. Ehud Barak – Israeli Defense Minister