Memo: To: Website fans, browsers, clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Letter from Russian/Israeli Jews
Dr. Alexander Galper is a renowned Russian astronomer who has lived in Israel in recent years with his wife Marina, a lawyer and member of the Israel Bar Association who stood for election in 2001 for the Knesset. They are e-mail friends who Iíve come to know these past three years through our common interest in Russian philately. A member of Israelís National Academy of Sciences, Alexander has shared with me his insights on the political flow in Israel and now in this letter explains why he is so worried about an Iraqi war spilling its unintended consequences into Israel.
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 20:34:59 +0200
You find below with my wife Marina our view of current Israel political situation. What follows is based on our regular visits to Israel and our talks with friends who remain there. Still, I understand that our staying last year in a cold north Saint Petersburg adds a taste of snow to the picture. On the other hand I am not sure that a view on a cyclone from its center is more precise than a view from aside. Clearly, you are free to use (or not to use) these notes in any way you chose.
The coming war: pro and contra for Israel.
(I). In sharply right-shifted Israel- 2003 the Jewish population is waiting impatiently the new American - Iraq war. The Big West Father is expected to punish from minute to minute the small, but bad East guy. It looks indeed outrageously when a disgusting dictator of a Hitler type does not like America as strongly as we do. No other justifications for the war are applied.
These great expectations of the cheap useful war (with a moderate risk for Israel) are among the ideas around which the nation is nowadays consolidated. A non-popular left minority should either book tickets abroad or be prepared to a patriotic ostracism. See, for example, a crash of left party "MEREZ" in a course of the last Israeli elections.
The immediate profit of this war for Israel is obvious. Our closest enemies will be ruined (for a small price for us) and our other (also closest) enemies, including Palestinians, will learn a remarkable lesson.
And this nice picture could be easily strengthened. A lot of free American weapon. May be, some American loans and different money fluxes. Our honorable and increasing role in the Middle East as an unique representative of the Big Father. An unhidden No-Palestinian-state tough politics, and its acceptance by European community, explaining it as our care about a security of West civilization. Easily guessed the President's Bush kind OK for any our future force demonstrations, expansions, settlements and violence against the Arabian civilians.
One of the main character features of Israeli (but not Jewish) mentality can be named as a short scale aiming. It means briefly that a predictable future and a relevant past for a person are included in a small time neighborhood around the current moment. In other words, an attitude to a time of a team on a raft after a wreck. When the most actual are a day of staying and a night of surviving.
A countless number of wars and still a questionable existence of Israel as a XXI century country force Israelis not to fully trust to tomorrow. And, hence, within this short term scaling, the coming war seems to be a great political and economic success of Israel. For a tiny country with a politics catch into a trap of primitively understood by rights Zionism and with a visible crisis of economics the War could be a Chance. A Great Chance of 2003 send by heaven, treated "Jewish interests" as a merit of a core of the world.
This point of view is shared enthusiastically today by a main part of Israel society due to the fact that the society, honestly saying, always considers Arabian as a class of an "untermensh" nations. They are not 100% as we are, are they? Most likely, they even cannot feel pain, disasters, loss of relatives, and many other human feelings so deep as we, Jews, do.
In a broad sense, Arabian civilians used to troubles of a war as to a wind with sand coming from their deserts. O, they will quickly forget the war troubles. And will unconsciously remember only how strong and terrible in anger could be the Big West Father and his smaller son with a six ends star on a "lapserduk".
(II). And, indeed, they will forget quickly and will remember forever. However, not exactly as we want it.
The war (especially the lost by Iraq war) will consolidate the Muslim World. In the started this March (not at 09/11) war between two civilizations the Muslims will fight against the aggressors, because (in contrast with 1991) now US first makes an unfair move. The feel of their justice could be a decisive factor in a long-term battle. Replacing a broken imaginary axis of evil the war will create a number of real axes spanned the Muslim world in its struggle.
Thus, nuclear weapon creation will be immediately accelerated after the war in Iran and North Korea.
Note, further, that Israel will be considered by its newly born by the war enemies as a part of US. As its remote state conveniently located just in the vicinity of Muslims patriots. A mesmerized influence of Koran will reduce a fear of death in this battle (fair for Muslims!). Their ability for suicide actions will be a motto of a postwar terror. Israel hardly will be able to counter pose a weak energetic of its expired Zionism to this hurricane of death.
Taking into account next the difference in human resources one can predict with sure a possible hell of terror where not only Palestinians, but also the complete Muslim world will be involved.
At this point Israel appears to be in the situation above all its limits. Having today only a few millions of unarmed Palestinians fully under a physical Israeli control Israel cannot get rid from a nightmare of terror. A qualitatively new level of mega-terrorism disaster with billions of ready for revenge Muslims will result in an exhausting period with years of Israel resistance.
(III). That doesn't mean a necessary collapse of Israel as an independent country.
But that means inevitably default of Israel's economics. Israelis will live in an more and more ideologically and mentally ill neurotic society, full of fear, hatred and envy. Its army, starting to be a dominate factor in the country will cultivate a murder like behavior, as a recommended model for its young heroes. This will be in an extreme contradiction with moral values of Judaism leading to an unprecedented split between secular and religious. The professionals will emigrate and their way abroad will serve as an example for young generation fixing in the country without any future.
Let us summarize. Independent on how the proposed March war will be ended Israel could not gain from it on a scale of years.
Finally, a first day of this war together with a tragedy day of Rabin's assassination will serve as a couple in black of gravediggers on a funeral of Israel as a viable country.
Marina Heifetz, A member of Israel Bar association.
Dr. Alexander Galper, Saint Petersburg Institute of Applied Astronomy.