גירסה אנגלית של המאמר "מי מפחד מברק אובמה"
The Logic in Madness
Column of Zeev Galili
Yes we can say 'no' to America
In Jewish communities all over the world the question is asked, is the election of Barack Obama to the United States presidency good or bad for the Jews.
Did you lose your mind
Before I provide my answer to this question I would like to bring you this story about the president George W. Bush. During the negotiation with the Hezbollah for the exchange of two captured and murdered Israeli soldiers for the serial child murderer, Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar and other Lebanese terrorists held by Israel, President Bush called Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and asked him, did you lose your mind? Why negotiate with a terrorist organization about the release of your soldiers who may not be alive? We have many US citizens kidnapped all over the world but we never negotiate with terrorists on principle. Negotiate with terrorists and every US citizen around the world will be targeted for kidnapping. In Iraq, for example, there are hardly any kidnapping. They know they will get nothing from us so they rather kil
An American President, obviously, can be more pro-Israel than our own Prime Minister
Like those old ghetto inmates
Israeli Air Force Commander General Benny Peled once said, "After I die I wish they remember I said the Jews came to their land after 2,000 years, tried to build a State but instead succeeded only in building another Shtetle." And he was right! Recent Israeli governments act like those old ghetto inmates trembling in fear of the world's bullies
Whether Barack Obama is good or bad for the Jews may be irrelevant—something beside the point. The real question should be, when our country will get a pro-Israel Prime Minister to head a Zionist government
Historically American Presidents did much good and very little damage to Israel. Some liked us more than others for sure, but they all acted in America's own interests and during the long cold war with the Soviets this was fine with Israel
The big life-threatening mistakes
The big life-threatening mistakes to our existence here were very much our own misdeeds. No American President forced us into the shameful Oslo capitulation, nor brought Yasser Arafat and his Fatah terror organization into our land. No American president forced us to panic-flee South Lebanon, nor ordered Arik Sharon to leave Gaza and destroy the thriving villages of Gush Katif there. And no American President leaned on the discredited and lame-duck Ehud Olmert to negotiate land concessions with Syria or divide Jerusalem. These disasters and disasters in-the-making were perpetrated by governments headed by delusional Prime Ministers often to ward off charges of corruption
The Oslo Syndrome
Is there any scientific work to back up General Benny Peled view of Israel's shortcomings? Indeed there is. Kenneth Levin, historian and psychiatrist, in his book The Oslo Syndrome: Delusion of a People Under Siege, wrote that Israeli governments' policies from the signing of the Oslo Agreements to the Second Lebanon War of 2006 are more than failures of good leadership and good government, they are expressions of a national pathology—a delusion, where a delusion is defined as holding on as acceptable truth to a mistaken belief, easily discredited and proven false
Levin goes on and explains that the roots of this delusional view of reality can be traced to thoughts and behaviors learned and adopted by people long exposed to pogroms, prejudices and other gross mistreatment. Jews have always tried hard to convince themselves that a bad situation (e.g. the Holocaust) is not as bad as it seems to be. The notion of self-guilt, or as the Jewish Zaionist thinker, Max Nordau, wrote in the 19th century, "we Jews see ourselves with the eyes of the anti-Semites," did not help clearer thinking in Israel either
Israel's reality of a small nation under siege from its beginning, surrounded by enemies who deny its right to exist, has resulted in distorted, self-delusional thinking as in the extended Jewish Diaspora but with much greater dimensions
"The Eve of a New Dawn".
With this background the elite intellectual strata of Israeli society adopted the belief that Israel is hated because it is guilty as its enemies charged, and what is needed is a change in behavior in order to cast off the siege and end the hostility. Those who need to change, Kenneth Levin explains, are not the evil, racist, and terror-perpetrating Arab governments but democratic and pluralistic Israel.
These views of the elite intellectual strata blinded generations of Israeli governments to believe that legitimate Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria are the cause of Arab hatred and their desire to annihilate Israel. Thus the slogans of "peace process", "end of occupation" and "land for peace" were born. Collectively it was called the "The Eve of a New Dawn
Some Israeli members of the elite strata, like left wing politician Shulamit Aloni and writer Amos Oz described their new Utopia as one where soldiers do not get killed and their parents "…will walk behind their coffins no more", and "…death will not ambush Israelis again."
To this Levin brings Winston Churchill's famous comment: "Chamberlain had to decide between surrender and war. He chose surrender and got war
.To say 'no' to the American
United States contribution to Israel's security is significant. Without doubt, Israel depends on the United States for military aid and political support, but does Israel have to follow America's wishes to the letter? The answer is a definite 'no'. Generally America's and Israel's interests are similar but not identical. America, too, makes mistakes, like letting Iran fall into the Ayatollahs clutches by President Carter. Israel is still paying a price for that blunder. Israel needs a government that knows to say 'no' to mistakes
The last government to say 'no' to the Americans was the one headed by Yitzhak Shamir. President Bush the father, no great friend of the Jewish state, tried to dictate Israel's policies. Shamir said 'no', and what happened? Nothing, the sky did not drop from the heavens
Yes, it is sometimes okay to say 'no' to America because Israel contributes more to America than America contributes to Israel. Noted Israeli scientist Ezra Zohar studied the aid issue and demonstrated that the value of the military and political intelligence Israel provides to the United States national security exceeded, in dollar terms, the value of the American aid to Israel.
Prime Minister Shamir steadfastness to American pressure is not the only example of Israel saying 'no' to America. Zachi Shalom in his book, Between Dimona and Washington: The Struggle Over Development of Israeli Nuclear Option, 1960—1968, reviews the development of Israel's nuclear option—a top Israeli national interest
When the U2 spy plane discovered the Dimona nuclear facility President John Kennedy viewed the development of the Israel's nuclear option as a strategic threat to the United States and demanded American unconditional control over the Dimona nuclear reactor. The pressure put on the Ben Gurion government at the time was meant to terminate the project. However, when the Americans realized the supreme value with which Israel viewed the project, Zachi Shalom concluded, the Americans relented knowing Israel will not give up the development of its nuclear option. Eventually, a compromise was struck and the Dimona project remained the centerpiece of Israel's nuclear option
The point to remember now, as new American enters the WHITE HOUSE, is that in the matter of its supreme national interest Israel will not budge. And if by choice, the West Bank, known in Israel Judea and Samaria, would be viewed by our government as a supreme national interest, would Israel have to lock horns with America? And isn't an undivided Jerusalem a supreme Israeli national interest? And the control of the Jordan Valley is it a supreme national interest to the discredited current government of Ehud Olmert
"We would never force our opinion"
Robert McNamara Kennedy's Defense Secretary
It is of interest to mention here what Robert McNamara, President Kennedy's Defense Secretary, reaction was when he heard of Moshe Dayan, Israel's Defense Minister Say, "Of course the City of Hebron is personally significant to me, but if the Americans insist I will give it up." Secretary McNamara summoned Reserve General Yosef Geva, the Israeli military attaché in Washington for a small lecture. "Let me explain to you, and I would be happy if you would convey my words to your colleagues back home. We in the United States have a firm opinion of what shape the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict take should, but we would never force it on any party. If we force our own views the solution will explode in our face and we will have to become physically involved. We can not guarantee your existence—it is your responsibility
leadership with a long term vision
In Proverbs 29, 18, the wise king Solomon said almost three millennia ago, "Without a prophetic vision a people become unruly". We live in a period when our leadership must have a long term vision, even a prophetic vision. In a modern sense a prophetic visionary is a person who can hold within himself myriad incalculable possibilities and intuitively decide upon the right one; a tall order indeed. Since its beginning the State of Israel had one such leader, David Ben Gurion. In the state's early days, when Israeli industry could hardly produce a bicycle, Ben Gurion envisioned an industry that can produce nuclear weapons and rockets.
The irresponsible behavior of the Israeli leadership since the Oslo Accords awakened great misgivings about our ability to survive in the crazy world in which we live now. most part. The old proverb, "Without prophetic vision a people become unruly." Has never been timelier than now.
see also THE BIG MAP OF THE EMPTY LAND
The Logic in Madness
Column of Zev Galili
Translation by Asher Torren <email@example.com>