Current Terror Wave May End, but the Sea Remains the Sea

From here on the breakers will come in sequence, because one generation of children goes and another comes, each one more mature and less forgiving than the last.

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Palestinian youths throw rocks at Israeli military vehicle during a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. Credit: AP

When the prime minister sows despair and horror, we have an obligation to plant a bit of consolation here. And on second thought, regarding the man who is haunted by demons: Didn’t we exaggerate in assessing the role that “she” plays in his life, in our lives? Did we analyze correctly which of those two is calling for help in the night? Everyone who attributed an excess of gloom to this column and its author will now hasten to apologize.

Take comfort, my people (one “take comfort” will suffice for now): The third intifada will not end quickly, but for you it will end soon. Although “security sources” estimate that it will last for months or even years, they are wrong, as usual. The cutlery intifada will soon die down. It’s already dying down, because it’s starting to get boring; and everything that’s boring is less threatening. No, it won’t end, we’ll get tired of it. That the nature of a “wave” – that it is followed by another wave, and the sea remains the same.

Soon the editor of the news broadcast will say, “We just received the report about an attack between Tzora and Eshtaol” and the editor has to ask, “Why, who died and how many; and why is this attack different from all the other attacks, and why do I have to open the broadcast with it, as if the victims of the weather and the Israel Electric Corporation are less interesting – and why can’t we report terror attacks the way we report traffic accidents, as a matter of routine; and until when, in your opinion, will blood fuel the ratings? That’s it, it’s finished.”

After all, let’s admit that already now it’s hard to remember everything that happened in a month, and all those who were harmed, who by stabbing and who by being run over, who on purpose and who by mistake, who in Jerusalem and who in Be’er Sheva, not to mention Hebron, which is beyond the hills of darkness. We want to remember them all, but we aren’t very successful, because they’re becoming blurred. I come today bearing good news: Next week, in two weeks from now at the latest, life will return to the street, and you won’t feel a need to look behind you any more; the routine will do its job, and when you get used to it, it’s less frightening.

Yes, you’ll get used to it, because you have no choice and no government; get used to it, just as you got used to brutality and hatred, violence and corruption, lies and incitement – just as you got used to Benjamin Netanyahu. Even the initial excitement – like over the Israelis who pulled their guns on the assailants – will pass, because how many heroes-of-the-day is there room for in this country?

And what, are you so frightened that you’ll sit confined to the house, and you won’t visit the clinic? And the family doctor won’t give you the results of the test, for which you’ve been anxiously waiting? And the doctor will tell you that you don’t have to die from it, but you don’t really live either, because there’s no cure for this pain? Exactly what Dr. Bibi told us: “We will forever live by our sword” – the pain will last forever. Sometimes a medicine can be administered for relief, because we don’t know how to treat the root of the problem, only the symptoms.

“The height of the flames” will alternately rise and fall, and the “security sources” are exempt from answering the question of when the knife intifada will end. When it reaches its end, you’ll immediately find a new beginning for it, and when will the land be quiet for 40 days?

The intelligence community doesn’t have to busy its little head analyzing the fourth intifada, because one intifada touches on the next with all its nerves. From here on they’ll come in sequence, because a generation of children goes and a generation of children always comes, and from one generation to the next they’re becoming more mature and less forgiving. No more “rounds,” but rather one complete circle that goes round and round.

What Netanyahu’s common sense failed to do is being done by time, which is removing doubts and clarifying the picture: The intifada is here in order to keep rolling – to change form and to put on youthful anger; and certainty is good for your health, and clear vision is comforting.

About “the force of destiny” you write an opera, because destiny is mysterious and dramatic. About force of habit you write only a column, because habit is predictable and banal.

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