Light tension has in recent weeks entered our relations with the neighboring state, though these relations remain excellent - thanks for asking. Their leaders may feel a twinge, as the far tips of their wings are clipped; but the damage is not serious. Since its establishment, the state of the Israel Defense Forces has lived amicably alongside the State of Israel. Borders between the two states are well-known, and are defensible. Ambassadors of this other state carry out their roles successfully within the State of Israel; they lobby and apply pressure, typical in relations between delegates of one regional power and those of another.
Even when thousands gathered last Saturday night on the border of the neighboring country, no border incidents were recorded. Demonstrators marched toward the fences of its capital, Hakirya, but they didn't address anyone inside it. They saw the luxurious towers; they knew that the laws applying within them are unlike ones in effect in their state; though these laws might be to the detriment of the protesters, that did not cause them to direct their rage, or their distress, at the capital of this neighboring country, the only place which can provide them salvation.
True, occasionally someone will utter a word about the defense budget, as without a real reduction in this budget, there is no hope of resolving Israel's social woes. But you can rely on the leaders of this neighboring power; they know what lies in the hearts and souls of their neighbor, they know how to deal with these unusual murmurs of dissent. All they have to do is spread alarmist, intimidating words about dangers and elevate the security threat; they will make a few declarations of goodwill, perhaps even, as a special gesture, they might evacuate some acres of land occupied by the State of Israel; and then everything will resume its normal course. Of course, they will be the ones to reach decisions about the evacuation of territory, and IDF bases (including deserted ones ) in settled areas; the State of Israel's foreign intervention in this decision-making process is out of the question. That's the way it is, with this neighboring super power.
True, some delegates from this neighboring state have been almost completely idle. For several weeks, reserve major generals such as Giora Eiland, Yitzhak Ben Yisrael and Yaakov Amidror have been absent from the television studios; this is exceedingly unusual. Similarly, television news military correspondents and others of this ilk are temporarily out of work. Some even prophesied that Israel's agenda is about to change, and that security and religion will be shoved aside by discussion of secular-tinged social issues; but with the end of summer around the corner, it's a sure bet that religion and security will find their way back to center stage. Meantime, heads of the neighboring state are already preparing for the next war. They excel at that. They demand enlargement of the security budget, though this year's security budget is the largest in Israel's history: NIS 54 billion is not enough - another NIS 11 billion is needed, and the social revolution can wait, or implode. Why is more money needed for security? Because the heads of this state recite (and also create ) threats. "New challenges" are on the horizon this year, some of them stemming from "threats caused by regional changes." The Egyptian people are fighting for freedom, as are the Syrian people; after having abandoned terror, the Palestinians are engaging in an international diplomatic move. In the minds of leaders from this neighboring state, all such developments translate into new dangers, and warrant demands for additional budget.
Residents of our neighboring country do no deal with social welfare issues. Two-thirds of its budget take the form of wages. These are not skimpy salaries. Its residents are protected by by some of the world's most progressive social laws: retirement in one's forties with considerable pension and property benefits. These are terms dreamed of by residents of the neighboring State of Israel. Also, the neighboring state benefits from the acquisition of tomorrow's airplanes and super-futuristic submarines. They get these items whether they need them or not. For example, preparations for raids on an innocent, idiotic Gaza flotilla lasted for months and cost millions. No more needs to be written about this bottomless budgetary pit. But the mounting protest in the neighboring State of Israel about housing woes and health care remains unheard - none of the voices from the tent protests penetrate the insulated windows of this regional power. Everything in it is okay.
Israel needs an army, even a large, strong one. But it does not need a greedy, unbordered army. Only on the day when the protest is directed toward Hakirya, only on the day when the state of the IDF turns into an integral part of the State of Israel, will we be able to say that a real social revolution has transpired here. Until then, let the IDF win.
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