Don't Worry, Be Happy?

The most serious existential threat to Israel.

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Moshe Feiglin,

לבן ריק
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צילום: ערוץ 7
Last week, former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevi declared that Israel has nothing to worry about.

"No existential threats hover over our heads," Halevi explained. "Israel cannot be
"Israel cannot be destroyed." -- Efraim Halevi
destroyed - due to things that the public knows and things that the public can only imagine." Halevi added that Israel triumphed in the last Lebanon war and that it was actually Iran that suffered a serious blow.

"That's interesting," I thought. "I wonder what it is that prevents Israel's destruction. What do I know and what can I only imagine?"

"Aha!" I realized. "Halevi must be referring to the IDF. After all, our army is stronger than all the Arab armies. That must be the thing that Halevi said that we know."

The problem, though, is that since its glorious victory over the Hizbullah, I am far from convinced of the IDF's capabilities. Since the Six Day War, which was a clear victory for the army as a complete, functioning unit, the IDF has only won on one front - the "battle" to destroy the Jewish settlements of Gush Katif and northern Shomron. Indeed, IDF generals boasted of the efficiency that the IDF displayed against the Orange enemy, comparing its triumph to the Six Day War.

Just one year later, one third of the population of the State of Israel spent a month in bomb shelters while the IDF mostly fought against itself. For some reason, the former Mossad chief sees this as a fatal blow to Iran. It makes me wonder if the analysis and evaluation capabilities of those people supposed to be responsible for our security are up to par.

Time and again, the materialistic world view that takes only physical and technological factors into account has produced arrogant evaluations from Israel's leaders. For some reason, the analyses of Emmanuel Wald, Uri Milstein, Aryeh Stav and a small number of additional brave intellectuals - who have been shunned throughout the years for shouting that "the emperor has no clothes" - have consistently been much more precise than the analyses of those who have headed the government and army command.

If a small terror organization with a stock of flying pipes has managed to create the current crisis, what will happen when tens of thousands of Syrian and Egyptian rockets - both conventional and non-conventional - begin to simultaneously rain on Israel's Emergency Mobilization bases, main traffic arteries and reservist meeting places, and, of course, on Israel's crowded population centers?

Perhaps, Mr. Halevi, when referring to the "things that we know," was actually talking about our ally, the United States of America. Surely, the US will stand at our side and never allow evil people to destroy us. But we cannot ignore the facts. The short history of US-Israel relations proves just the opposite. Whenever Israel has faced an existential threat, the US has turned its back on us.

From the very start, when the state was established and it looked like Israel was going to collapse under the Arab onslaught, the US reneged on its support for the establishment of the state and even placed an embargo on weapons shipments to the newborn country. It was Czechoslovakia (and actually the USSR) that saved the day. When Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran and President Johnson was asked to make good on the commitment
A small terror organization with a stock of flying pipes has managed to create the current crisis.
the US had made to Israel after its post-Sinai Campaign retreat, his answer in the face of the existential threat to Israel was, "I can't find the American copy of the document."

So, for lack of "things that we know" that prevent Israel's destruction, I decided to skip to "things that we can only imagine." Surely, the former Mossad chief was hinting at Israel's nuclear capabilities. Our enemies cannot destroy us because we can also destroy them. That sounds logical, but it is simply erroneous. One nuclear bomb can destroy a large populated area, not more. Does Mr. Halevi think that the Iranian ruler will not send his bomb our way because he will fear for the lives of a few million Iranians who will be at the receiving end of Israel's retaliatory payload?

Just a few nuclear bombs on Israel's crowded population center, Gush Dan, effectively destroy the State of Israel. Iran, on the other hand, contains many "Gush Dans" scattered at safe distances from each other. The men who sent battalions of children to clear the Iraqi minefields, supplied with the Koran and plastic keys to the Garden of Eden, are not likely to be troubled if they must sacrifice one or two Iranian cities to turn into the modern version of the Islamic hero Saladin and eliminate the Zionist cancer.

I continued thinking about Halevi's comments and reached the conclusion that he is right, nevertheless. It seems that G-d loves us and, somehow, we will manage in the face of external threats. The problem is that the most serious existential threat to Israel is not external. It is Israel's own leaders, ministers and advisors. If they decide to give Jerusalem to our enemies, then the State of Israel is not facing any threats of destruction at all. It is simply destroying itself.