Sometimes people speak their subconscious minds. Sometimes the subtext comes out suddenly as the text itself. It happens without their noticing it and the listeners don't always realize that this is what has happened. And the more official the remarks are, the less we realize that what we heard was a genuine truth, as the speaker sees it.
That is what happened on Sunday, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. In one sentence he exposed the naked truth: "All threats to Israel's home front are dwarfed by a nuclear Iran."
You might have thought that what motivates Netanyahu, doing battle against the bad guys in his heroic, Batman-like way, is the concern for the well-being of Israel's citizens; the desire to save them from possible harm - or, to his mind, almost certain harm. But as it turns out, this is really, really not the case.
The threat to the home front is not what is important. Not the dead, the injured, the destruction and the devastation. All that is dwarfed. Pay attention to the choice of the word: dwarfed. Not less hard, not less serious; dwarf-like. Very small. The stuff of fairy tales and scoffed at, as well. Such is the threat to the home front.
You might have thought that the Iranian bomb would only be dangerous if it could strike Israel and her citizens, but apparently, that is not the case. The threat against Israel's citizens is dwarfed by the very existence of the bomb. Countless words have been written about the fact that a nuclear Iran is no less dangerous to many other countries. Netanyahu has turned it - contrary to Israel's interests - into Israel's problem. Now it turns out that it is not even Israel's problem, but rather a completely personal problem of Netanyahu's, which completely dwarfs harm to Israel's citizens.
In 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1325, which reaffirmed the key nature of women's involvement in negotiations for sustainable peace. The resolution stemmed from the recognition of the unique harm done to women and girls in violent struggles, and it stresses that women and children are the main victims of wars in our time, which usually take place in civilian zones, on the home front.
The countries of the world have understood that it is impossible to keep ignoring the home front, its women, children and noncombatant men - that is, less manly men - and the price they pay in a war. The resolution also expresses the understanding that the unique and dramatic contribution of women to "the prevention and resolution of conflicts and peace negotiations and peace-building" cannot be ignored. This was evident in Northern Ireland, for example. Jurists Yofi Tirosh and Anat Tahon detail in a forthcoming essay the ways in which the resolution seeks to break the gender barrier when it comes to peace-building and peacekeeping, a barrier that has nevertheless remained in place as of the beginning of the 21st century.
Israel is the only country that passed an amendment to a law in the spirit of Resolution 1325, in 2005, initiated by then-MK Eti Livni. But one does not have to be an expert either on war or on gender to know that this law is a dead letter. There are no women in the important decision-making positions and there are no women whose voices are heard. This should come as no surprise; the prime minister made clear that for him, this whole "home front" is dwarfed - the home front and the dead men and the dead women that would be killed in and after an attack on Iran.
Netanyahu let fly this statement at the same meeting in which he approved changes in the regulations governing the way the cabinet works. These changes will give him extensive powers and will, in essence, give him the authority to to get almost any decision passed. In other words, King Bibi is on an ego trip. As it turns out, this is all about "whose is bigger," and "I'll show them who they're dealing with."
Many writers attribute messianic elements to Netanyahu with regard to an attack on Iran, and now we have heard the admission right from his own mouth. Never has there been such a transparent, yet successful, spin. The Israeli "home front," which allows Netanyahu to "dwarf" it every day in favor of the wealthy and the settlements, should listen carefully to the prime minister's remarks and must not allow him to turn it into his cannon fodder.
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