An open letter to Ehud Barak
I don't want to be here when the state is destroyed because of one man gone wild, who will soon be revealed as either foolish or crazy - and we didn't know it.
When I heard you play I sensed that someone else, with soul, was playing. I loved in you the Hebrew Prussian from the kibbutz. I can't help but love you, despite everything I and others have written, because you are smart. And when you are not playing, your anger slips away.
I come from a home where God was in music, and when I returned from the War of Independence in a cast my father said Jews and a state would not work. But even in America I remained Israeli. I felt that this was important after the Holocaust. Because then, as now, I believe that Israel was the outcome. Only a few came here for Zionist reasons, but when there was no choice the Zionist movement could have acted to bring more Jews here.
Now the next disaster is on its way and you are silent. Something happened. When an hour after the attack in Bulgaria, Benjamin Netanyahu said enthusiastically that Iran was to blame, even I knew it would take time before we knew who really did it. It's like back then, when Arik and Raful waited to strike in Lebanon and the attempted assassination of poor Shlomo Argov fell into their hands. Just a few days later came the first Lebanon war, which led Israel into one of its darkest periods.
I live in an old house, about 80 years old, in which there is much cardboard and little stone. The map coordinates are those of the Kirya defense compound. I was there in 1948 when Sarona was a British compound that had just been abandoned and we were preparing for Operation Nachshon.
Today, anyone who wants to strike at us will try to hit the Kirya. There or in some other deeply buried command center you will sit with your family, along with Bibi and his family. And the missiles will tickle your steel walls and you will witness the destruction of nearby Ichilov Hospital on giant screens. After that they will collect the dead. For sure, tens of thousands will be killed and you won't vanquish Iran. Their nuclear bomb will wait a while - and then they'll let it loose.
America will say: Enough. They have had enough of little Bibi. He will declare war on the president of the United States. He thinks that because he has met Mitt Romney, Romney will be impressed. But no new president, if the old one falls, will begin his political journey with another war. Everything will shut down here. The best air force in the world will be without spare parts. Tanks will not have engines. And then perhaps our so-unwise people, for whom Bibi is God, will understand the price - as Golda and Dayan once understood.
But it will take years to repair. Bibi can go back to America and you can continue playing the works of Scarlatti. Israel's destruction might change the thinking of the people who remain in the western Land of Israel in the partition borders where we live today, after Bibi set up alongside us, with our money, a state of territories and price tags.
With horror, I realize that at age 82 it has occurred to me to leave my birthplace, which has been stolen from me by the Zeev Elkins with their meager knowledge. I have a grandson, and he will not be in the command center deep underground. He lives near me and I believe he, his mother and her partner are in great danger, as is my other daughter in Jerusalem. My book "1948" and its reception abroad will allow me to emigrate to Boston, to my wife's family. That would be the worst thing I ever did, but you, deeply immersed in Bach, know why I am writing you. I want to know whether I am right.
For years I have been arguing with my friends that Bibi wouldn't dare. But when they threaten every day, the misdeed is sure to follow. Israel will be a small country, like a Jewish bubble in a Palestinian state, and the end will come to what the generation of my parents and grandfather wanted to do.
This letter, Ehud, is for you. I don't want to be here when the state is destroyed because of one man gone wild, who will soon be revealed as either foolish or crazy - and we didn't know it. Under the skin of your hands you harbor a great sinner, but also the wise man you once were. And wisdom can sleep, but not die.