Back to the Stone Age

If, in the state's 64th year, nuclear weapons are central to the conflict, what will be left for future generations?

Yoel Marcus once improved on the note Moshe Sheh wrote to himself in the margin of one of his speeches - "weak argument, raise your voice" - by adding that if speaking louder does not work, bring up Hitler. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brings up the Holocaust. And if referencing the Holocaust is a prelude to an attack against Iran, the analysts say, we have reached the point of no return. Let us just hope that when the storm passes there will be somewhere to return to.

One moment until, and just as the scents of spring take over all around the heavy smell of petroleum blocks the nose. It is heartbreaking to hear U.S. President Barack Obama pleading with Netanyahu to stop talking about a strike on Iran, because it would send oil prices on an upward spiral. In my mind's eye I see an overflowing river of money dumping into the coffers of the petroleum companies, the Republican representatives of which grow more pro-Israeli and more pro-war by the day. But we can relax: Israelis will not have to pay too dearly, in the worst-case scenario the body count will not exceed 500.

In the name of history, we should remember the sight of then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations, waving proof of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Of course the weapons of mass destruction evaporated and all that was left was a pathetic speech.

In the meantime, we can anticipate a season of copious rockets, 200,000 of them. By my back-of-the-envelope calculation, that's one rocket for every 35 residents. My village, Yafia, will get 600 rockets, although in light of the Arabs' filthy habit of dancing on the roofs during bombardments we can assume the effect will be doubled.

Hezbollah and Hamas will blanket the south and the north with ineffectual Katyusha and Qassam rockets. Jerusalem, which is sacred to the world, is immune to missiles. And so the brunt will fall on the people who live in the center, who are typically described as hedonists, blind to the troubles of the hinterlands, who dance in discotheques while the south and the north suffer. We are due for Version 2.0 of "fallout of wimps," when those who left the danger zone were castigated for fleeing rather than standing up to defend their national honor. As if it is shameful to care about one's own welfare and that of one's family. But it is better to be a live wimp than a dead hero. On the other side, too, people exercise their fundamental right to be afraid; when a blow approaches, the people of southern Lebanon beat down the gates of Beirut. In times of crisis, all nations are cut from the same cloth.

If Israel's hawks have failed to stop the Katyusha fire from southern Lebanon - just a stone's throw away - after more than 30 years and two wars, two smaller operations and constant military action, then how can they destroy nuclear installations hundred of kilometers away? An outside observer of Israel's military efforts would think the wars were intended to fill the arsenals of Hezbollah and Hamas with Katyushas and Qassams.

Were the history of the conflict to be compressed into a short documentary, it would only result in depression. After all, the crux of the conflict was the Palestinian problem. And now, when things are somehow falling into place, the conflict is moving to a nuclear trajectory. If the Iranian nuclear problem is somehow resolved, who can guarantee that no other threat will emerge? Sinai, for example. From one war to the next, the danger threshold goes up. From an intifada of stones to long-range missiles, and that is not the last of it.

If, in the state's 64th year, nuclear weapons are central to the conflict, what will be left for future generations? Let us hope they will not be reduced to using, in their wars, the oldest weapons of all. Stones.

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