On Sunday evening an eerie silence prevailed in the Tel Aviv neighborhood where I live. It was so quiet and so strange that I stood at the window to see whether the traffic had been blocked, whether something drastic had happened. But, no. At 9:45 P.M., with the opening whistle, the penny dropped. Ronaldo versus van Persie. Portugal versus the Netherlands. What fun. The PeopleofIsrael is alive and zapping (Woooosh! A shout is heard from the apartment next door when Podolski scores for Germany. )
And this summer more merriment awaits us: After Euro 2012 and Nadal, there will be Federer at Wimbledon. And then, just around the corner, the Olympics. So you tell me: In such a summer of contentment who even wants to think about Iran? But if we're already on the subject of Iran, then here's a pertinent question: In your shelter, if you have one, will there be good enough reception to watch the Olympic broadcasts?
A country in denial that in 1973 and 1982 sacrificed many of it sons on the altar of "our situation has never been better" and "a war of choice" urgently needs a leader who will say that those cursed wars will be remembered nostalgically once the Israel-Iran War begins. A leader, who instead of self-righteously recommending public debate on the topic of the attack in Iran, will lead and conduct such a debate. Someone who instead of blathering about Chamberlain and Churchill will pose, first of all, the essential questions: For how long will the Israeli attack delay Iran's nuclear armament - half a year, a year or two? And then what, after the blood and tears? Will the Middle East become Europe?
A country in denial needs a leader who will oppose, lucidly, with a clear mind and in every way possible an attack on Iran. Who will make it clear to us the extent to which such an action endangers our future in the Middle East. Who will confirm for all the world to see that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are liable to order an attack on Iran even without an American green light, convinced that the United States will have to come to terms, retroactively, with an Israeli strike. A leader who does not scorn attempts at dialogue with Iran or, alternatively, stiffening the sanctions on the Islamic republic.
Yes, a country stoned to the gills on khat juice and model Bar Refaeli's wedding dress, needs a leader who will galvanize the opposition to the war before and not after it happens. Who will do everything in his power to prevent the losses and the funerals, the protest movements and the investigative commissions.
A leader who will have the ears of hundreds of thousands gathered in the square, before the missiles land and not during the first or second let-up between barrages. Someone who will not blather on about the motives of arrogant leaders but will ask them for answers to simple questions: How many Arrow missile systems will protect Israel's citizens, schools and kindergartens? And is there a single (former ) chief of staff in Israel who agrees with former chief of staff Barak on the Iran issue? And for what purpose are we about to be killed here?
Perhaps an answer will be found to the question of what gave rise to the thesis that, unlike Iran, Israel has a rational leadership? We - the Israelis who only a year ago took to the streets to rise up against the prices of cottage cheese and apartment rentals - need a leader whose call will bring us back out to the streets again. Right now. Not after the war. Before it. To gather in the square and to stand across from the offices and homes of the wise men who are the subjects of the State Comptroller's critical report on the handling of the Turkish flotilla. A report that will be but a light preview of the dark days that will befall us if we do not stop these men.