Through Binoculars

Revelation follows revelation, and soon it will be revealed that the Mavi Marmara was nothing more than a floating version of the al-Qaida hideout at Tora Bora and that Osama bin Laden was the captain.

Revelation follows revelation, and soon it will be revealed that the Mavi Marmara was nothing more than a floating version of the al-Qaida hideout at Tora Bora and that Osama bin Laden was the captain. And meanwhile soldiers and policemen were once again attacked from an ambush and roundly humiliated, but at the settlement of Beit El, both the army and the Taliban are our people and therefore there is no need to hold demonstrations of solidarity with the Israel Defense Forces.

Last week, I met Amir Peretz at the funeral of a friend. I recalled that he was the man who was defense minister and did not know he must remove the lens caps from binoculars. Ehud Barak, by contrast, will never be caught with covered lenses; but what does he see through them, what? Ever since he stood on an airplane wing in the springtime of his youth, he has not been able to take off; his military courage could not be translated into civilian courage. Barak is a cowardly politician who is now hiding behind the naval commandos, together with his colleague from another reconnaissance unit. His policy and that of Benjamin Netanyahu is to continue the guerrilla warfare with the same means and concepts; and their joint binoculars are field binoculars through which time and space cannot be seen.

We can understand the feelings of the Beitar supporters whose soul has tired of left-wing defeatism - first, the soccer season has ended and the World Cup is only starting today, and between these two events they cannot curse either Arabs or Blacks. Where will they direct their insults, if not at Tel Aviv? And secondly, they are justified in their feeling that an injustice has been done here; it is possible to think that in the past, in the shady days of glory, things were conducted differently.

As we mark the 43rd anniversary of the Six-Day War this week, it is worth recalling in all decency that it was not the entire government, nor the security cabinet and not even a septet who decided on conquering the Old City, the entire West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal. Those who refuse to believe this - and how is it possible to believe this - should once again read Ami Gluska's book "Eshkol, Give the Order!" which is the most authorized and documented account.

The war of salvation, which was in fact a Pyrrhic victory, was a war where successes and opportunities were exploited, which progressed without any plan drawn up in advance by the General Staff or the government. More than once, decisive moves in the field were announced as established facts, contrary to government positions and behind the government's back.

This is not history, but current affairs - most of Israel's wars progressed far beyond their original target. The war did not end where the politicians had originally thought it would end, but rather with the personal caprice of the heroes of the day, those in uniform or those who had recently removed their uniforms. And what is some wretched flotilla compared with the glorious wars that are now a perpetual source of regret?

There is neither time nor space when looking through binoculars, and 43 years later, there is still no border. There are other countries in conflict with one of their neighbors. But the condition for a conflict over borders is that there should be a border. Only in a place without borders is the conflict not over a border but over existence itself.

Recently there were reports about confusion at the Eurovision Song Contest. During the semifinal, the map of Israel disappeared from the film clip. Our ambassador to Oslo was furious and protested: "It is inconceivable that Israel should be the only country that does not have physical dimensions and is merely an intangible entity." The pressure had an effect and the distortion was corrected. Our foreign ministry, it was reported, "transferred to the Norwegians possible maps that could be integrated into the film of the final round."

Are we on the map? We're on several maps.