September is here and we still don't know what the month will bring. But why isn't it clear when we can clearly see what's coming? We no longer need the astrologers in the intelligence services to warn about the evil, which it's too late to prevent. It's also unnecessary to ask the parties about their intentions because their influence on events is marginal. We're marching toward disaster with our eyes open.
The Palestinian Authority declares that it has no intention of launching a third intifada, the Israeli government announces that it has no intention of causing a bloodbath with its decisions, and both can be believed in this case. The defense minister revealed this week that we've bought nonlethal riot-control equipment, and the Israel Defense Forces is training the security coordinators and emergency squads in the settlements to deal with defiant parades.
None of that will help, and we'll remember what September did to us, though this year September is liable to fall in October or November. The conflagration isn't always immediate. The Israeli government and the PA don't really have control over the territories, which for a while now have been a no-man's-land.
In around 20 days the request to recognize Palestine as a state and a member of the United Nations will be submitted. The results of the vote are known in advance: With or without an American veto in the Security Council, a huge majority will support the proposal. President Shimon Peres would do well to spare himself and us his pathetic rearguard speech, which won't divert a single country from its position. And it's not a good idea for him to be seen as the servant of two masters: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The president should let the foreign minister reap the storm sowed by his whirlwind.
I remember November 29, 1947 very well. I was a boy of 7, and I too was overcome by overwhelming joy. My mother forbade me from dancing in the streets - it's dangerous there outside with a war approaching - but the circle swept me up. People will be swept up in Palestine too. True, there is no focused writing on the wall, because the entire wall is the writing: Very soon they will be disappointed over there to discover that their miserable lives aren't changing. But for a few days they'll ignore the subjugation and celebrate the redemption.
For us in Rehovot there were no roadblocks in the center of the moshava, or settlements surrounding it. Had there been, it's quite possible the joy would have had us climbing the fences. Maybe soldiers won't be the first to fire at the boy climbing. But settlers will fire at him, collecting a "price tag" for everyone to see. They won't allow those unruly kids to behave with chutzpah and have already sworn they'll know how to manage without the IDF. The PA will have no control over the demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful. And the Israeli government has no control over the settlers. And why be naive: On both sides there are people seeking a little more blood, which will grease the wheels of the decision - one more battle and we've won the war.
So what else isn't clear, then? The PA will collapse after Israel cuts it off from its financial pipelines, and Congress, which is drunk on tea rather than wine, will dry up the U.S. assistance. The new-old situation will force the Palestinian leadership to give up its fictitious rule and return the keys to Netanyahu. It must be urged to do so and bring down the curtain on the farce.
Israel will assume the burden of occupation with all its tasks and fears; it will renew its days as of old, just when there's a new spirit, another discourse and a different order of priorities. Instead of free education for preschoolers in Israel, Israel will invest billions abroad - in education, health and garbage collection in Nablus and Hebron.
There is no way of removing the yoke from our necks without breaking the head; there is no way of getting rid of the territories entirely without one more round of withdrawal symptoms. And we're cured.
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