On my list of things to leave out - after the prime minister's "leaving-out interview" on the country's economy ("if we leave out the Arabs and the ultra-Orthodox, our situation is excellent" ) - are the threats against Iran this past winter. At least so I can sleep better.
There's a story about a man who would return home late at night and take off his shoes very loudly. His poor neighbors would be woken up, so they asked him to keep this in mind. The next night, after he chucked off his first shoe with the familiar racket, he remembered his neighbors. So he took off the other shoe very quietly. Half an hour later his neighbors went upstairs and asked: Could you please take off the other shoe so we can go to sleep?
Now we are waiting for Benjamin Netanyahu, who is keeping the masses in terrible tension, to let the other shoe drop. We're losing sleep and the nightmare is overwhelming. Go ahead, Your Excellency Mr. Prime Minister - are we attacking or not? Not to mention the experts who said that during the season of threats, if you want to bomb you bomb. You don't threaten.
And thus, paradoxically, during the season of threats we were supposed to be calm. Now, as a chronically paranoid person, I am tense precisely because everything is calm, and because the storm, as we all know, follows the calm. And what will we do if the Iranians do something surprising, an attack akin to the 1973 surprise, especially as they are not making any threats?
In between it all, the "fly-in" threat was lifted by the near closure of Israeli airspace. The trend now is to threaten and dig in. To threaten Iran and keep the whole world busy trying to hold Netanyahu back, and to dig in when facing a minor threat of a fly-in by peace activists. And if our "enemies" organize (and I hope I'm not giving them any ideas ) a march, a flotilla and a fly-in, our patriotic government might isolate Israel from the outside world.
Digging in also worked overtime when they fired that missile at Eilat this month. Netanyahu warned that if they kept firing rockets from the Sinai, the Iron Dome would be deployed on the Egyptian border, too.
There's also a story about a distant village where many car accidents took place because the road was so studded with potholes. The village elders met. One proposed setting up a hospital near the road to treat the injured whenever there was an accident. Another said to place an ambulance at the site. After a few loud exchanges, a man of moderate-to-low intelligence stood up and suggested that the road be fixed. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out that this naive man was silenced and accused of cowardice.
Back to our situation, which is in no way similar to the battered road. If every shot results in the deployment of another Iron Dome battery, the entire country will be flooded by Iron Domes and our lives will be joyous - inside an aquarium. The people who benefit the most will be this country's Arab citizens, who have been blessed with the tradition of firing into the air during weddings. Now they'll have Iron Dome batteries for their personal use, which will come in many colors.
Some people say that bombing or no bombing, what matters is that deterrence has been restored. Sometimes I meet young people who are enthralled by stories of brave criminals. They are impressed by some hero who everyone's afraid of. I tell them that even such a hero, in the depth of his soul, is afraid of everyone else. To try to cool their fascination, I ask them what pays more: to be in the middle of every fight or to behave like a regular person. According to the statistics, less-violent people have a better survival rate. They live better. And their nerves are in better shape.
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