Over the years, guided by a leadership lacking depth and courage, the Israeli governments lost the ability - and some intelligence leaders the integrity - to draw true conclusions from the goings on around us.
In principle - but only in principle - the stormy days alluded to in Zrubavel Gilad's lyrics "The Storm Rages Around Us" (the Palmach anthem, which to the melody composed by David Zahavi swept and excited the Jewish community in the state's early days ) is reminiscent of the goings on "around us" today. Especially in Syria and Egypt.
But is there also a similarity to the rest of the anthem: "But our heads will not be bowed?"
In the sense of the technical, military preparedness, "by daylight and in the dark," there probably is, without comparing it to the operative capability and means we had in those difficult days of the past. But is there also a similarity in spirit? Cohesiveness? Camaraderie ("every fine young man to arms")?
One of the main weapons that enabled the victory in the War of Independence was, in addition to the hope and sacrifice, a true grasp or reality - in contrast to wishful thinking, which has became a sort of religion that has accompanied us in the past decades regarding the developments in the Arab world.
Over the years, guided by a leadership lacking depth and courage, the governments lost the ability - and some intelligence leaders the integrity - to draw true conclusions from the goings on around us. We have been dazzled by groundless peace theories and by fallacious rules of "international law." We have become meek slaves to daydreams and denied the loud, consistent signs warning of the earthquakes about to shake the world around us, up to our very threshold, while we relentlessly endeavor to advance two states for two peoples.
Deep currents, not democratic ideals, have led and will continue to lead the inevitable crumbling of the artificial "nation" states set up by the British and French colonialists of the early 20th century. Some foretold, some warned that in the long run, states consisting of rival tribes and conflicted nations cannot exist. There is no future for states in which radical Islamic factions and ethnic groups foster eternal hostility toward each other. These states' end will come sooner or later.
But the ears were blocked. Israeli and Western foreign affairs policy was based on the dominant, stereotypical assumption that the tribes have joined into nations. The international community recognizes borders, even when drawn with artificial lines and mixed or separated rival nations, tribes and religions. This recognition is fixed in international law. They deluded themselves. With time they too will adopt Western democratic values.
A considerable part of the people who shaped this world view, or more correctly, faith, that we live in a new Middle East (some even preached for a pacifist "end to arms" policy ) are still in central influential positions, like Shimon Peres. Others, mainly media people, Arab affairs "experts" and retired defense officials, continue to defend a policy that is proving those conducting it wrong before our very eyes.
And if the imperialist interests that brought into the world 22 authentic, successful and cohesive nation states weren't enough, mainstream Israeli factions have adopted yet another nation, a Palestinian one, which has existed from time immemorial. And they are acting devotedly to grant this nation too - on the basis of the other 22 Arab states' prosperity - a state.
An Israeli official of renown met a senior Arab official from an Arab state. "If you behave like you did in 1967," said the Arab, "then you have a future in the region. If, on the other hand, you continue to act with low spirit, as you have been acting since your tremendous victory in the October war (1973 ), you have no future in the area."