I asked my friend G. whether the agreement with Iran is good or bad for the Jews. In reply, he stirred his coffee and mumbled something about “the Munich Agreement,” “Holocaust,” “It will not come to pass,” etc. Give me a break, I said to him − to me, your good friend, you want to sell that nonsense you market to the gentiles?
My friend G. is a certified commentator on world affairs in general and the Middle East, in particular. He was recently fired from his job, and now observes the world’s affairs from his coffee shop table, whence he keeps an eye on us, as well. Say, I asked him, was it even possible for there to have been some agreement with the Iranians that would be good for us too?
My friend G. looked both ways and said in a hushed voice that an agreement, any agreement, is bad for the Jews. Any agreement? I asked, even the agreement that stopped the − whatchamacallit, centrifuges − the uranium....
My friend G. gave me a punctilious look over his glasses and said: We both know that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, I mean you don’t know what centrifuges are and what enriched uranium is. Trust our prime minister that he knows. All you need to know is that the agreement is bad for the Jews.
I asked if this was his position with regard to other agreements, too. He said that it was − any agreement, no matter with whom, reduces our power of deterrence. We are famous, after all, for being delighted to enter into negotiations, but careful not to sign agreements. That is a position of power we must not forfeit, he said. Whoever enters into negotiations with us knows in advance that he has no chance of reaching an agreement, and that is an excellent starting position!
There isn’t an agreement in the world that is good enough for us, my friend G. continued, and went on to say that an agreement obligates us to change, and we’re actually happy with the way things are. Imagine what would happen if an agreement were to be signed with the Palestinians, just think of the settlers! And the Likud Central Committee? Can you imagine what would go on there? Fortunately for us, my friend G. sighs with relief, the danger of an agreement with the Palestinians has passed, and now we just have to find a suitable substitute for the Iranian threat and find an enemy that will befit our gigantic defense budget.
I asked him what situation would be good for the Jews. Oh! my friend G. said with satisfaction, and painted with glowing words and momentum-filled sentences a picture of the beautiful war that would have broken out if the talks had failed. He described how our cruise missiles would have landed on the reactors at Bushehr and our Marines would wash over Tehran like a river.
Our? I asked, our? You mean the Americans’? Naturally, said my friend G., who else? I asked him if he wasn’t going a little overboard. I asked if he wasn’t akin to an ant that sits on an elephant and is certain that it leads the way. Don’t disparage, my friend G. replied excitedly, don’t belittle the value of our contribution. He mentioned the fighting spirit we brought to the negotiations, he lavished praise on the prime minister’s scary threats and lauded the terror the Hebrew press has struck into the hearts of the entire global population.
I could not help but agree. After all, I myself was frightened by Israel Hayom’s headlines in recent weeks. I had asked myself whence had come the fighting spirit that drove the newspaper to take such a heroic stand in the face of the whole world.
I told my friend G. that I had once seen the editor of that newspaper on the street; he is a Jew of advancing years and hunched in the shoulders. It was hard for me to believe that such a modest personage had come out with an enthusiastic call to attack the Iranians with all our might.
Despite his misleading appearance, my friend G. clarified, this editor is a total Zionist, would never agree to sacrifice even one Hebrew soldier for the sake of the gentiles, but American troops? That is another matter entirely. What effect would 200 fatalities have? Obviously they wouldn’t hurt the military might of our great friend and brave ally.
And furthermore, my friend G. asked that I not forget our strategic importance, the Jewish lobby, our status as a villa in the jungle and our being the lone democracy in the Middle East. He also wished to point out that dozens of prime ministers have been assassinated around us, whereas we have made do with one, and even that is still a matter of debate.
I dared comment that a 65-year-old state cannot pride itself on its democracy; I mean, no 65-year-old boasts of being out of diapers. I also said that we need the world, but the world doesn’t need us. It does not view us as one in need of help, but rather as a country of cruel storm troopers trampling an occupied people. And anyway, I added, everyone knows that we have atom bombs too (No, not true! shouted my friend G. That’s only according to foreign sources!).
Then he asked me cunningly: And have you already forgotten the six million? They are our insurance policy after all, if not in the eyes of the gentiles, then at least in our own eyes. He added further that I should not be surprised if I were suddenly to hear about a targeted killing in the Gaza Strip or about our planes attacking in Lebanon. We will do anything, he said, to make this Bouji learn that there will always, but always, be someone who will rise up to destroy us, and if there isn’t such a one? Have no fear, we’ll invent him.
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