Since the end of the 1960s, the alliance between Israel and the United States has been an open one. Israel learned to reject any solution to the conflict with the Palestinians with the aid of the "Soviet interest" demon and turned itself into a stick. Its withdrawal from the territories was the Americans' carrot to the Arabs. The peace with Egypt was made possible only when that country abandoned its alliance with the Soviet Union. But that world has disappeared.
In no time, our leaders got addicted to a new kind of landlordship - a world with a single power where Israel enjoyed the status of a regional power under the aegis of the patron. In this way, it received treasures - 1 million immigrants, permission to settle them in the territories, expansion of the settlements to catastrophic proportions, advanced weapons, and a green light for three wars against a civilian population.
That chapter has ended and political Israel does not understand the new world. From time to time, we hear hints that U.S. President Barack Obama is "naive." But Obama was elected after the United States' failure to be the sole superpower became obvious to all. That's where the discussion about the Iranian nuclear program must take place.
The reaction in Israel to the Iranian-Turkish-Brazilian agreement reflected a lack of understanding. It is true that no military power is stronger than the United States, at least regarding its power to destroy. It is true that its leaders still tell us occasionally that we can rely on them. It is true that the United States is still the leader of the West and the West is "the free world," even when it supports starving the people of Gaza because they voted the wrong way in their elections. But the United States also knows that it has the largest national debt in the world, and, to a large extent, the economic crisis of 2008 did not become a huge world disaster thanks to China's economic prowess.
Moreover, China does not merely have important economic ties with Iran. Since 2000, China has comprised almost half the world's demand for concrete. Chile is flourishing thanks to the high price of copper, Australia is flourishing, and even Brazil and Argentina have recovered to a large extent due to Chinese demand for raw materials.
On the other hand, China has not replaced the Soviet Union, and a bipolar world is no longer possible. Even Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's "diplomatic variant" - "there is Russia, not just the United States" - stresses just how much Israel is living in the past. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal only one day after embracing President Shimon Peres in Moscow stresses that. And that time, too, we seemed to be amazed. In a world like this, Israel looks like a decorated general from the previous century.
The stirring victory of capitalism paved the way for a hungrier world but also the kind of world where there cannot be only one or two powers. We are referring not merely to the United States and the European Union but also to Brazil, Russia, India and China. And in fact, also to other regional powers that rely on their own strength because that world, its entire soul, is business - and business also means partnership at a time of crisis.
And Israel? It still thinks in terms of "we have the House of Representatives in our pocket." There is nothing better than the colorful event in Dubai to show how far behind we are. Dubai? It's a kind of small Bedouin encampment where it is possible to send assassins with wigs and tennis shorts, as if it were Lillehammer, Norway, 1973. The disdain for Qatar's proposals for ties is also a sign of the old self-importance madness. As if the world were completely hypnotized by the judges' reasoning at the Israel Prize award ceremony.
This is also where the powerlessness in Israeli terms is revealed regarding "world public opinion." The apparent loss that we will face in this campaign in the West dwarfs questions about public opinion in India, Brazil or Turkey. If you would like an image: Ben-Gurion International Airport's new terminal was built as a megalomaniac airport for "the new Middle East." But its departure and arrival halls are populated almost entirely by Israelis, and by security officers who wait in the corners of the giant corridors for youths from different parts of the world whom they suspect will want to go to Bil'in.
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