By Yitzhak Laor, Haaretz – 21 Aug 2012
It looks like the left’s protest against a war with Iran is another reflection of “The Unhappy Consciousness” – we know it will be bad and there are no political answers to the predicament, since we don’t know what to respond to anyone who asks, “So what do you suggest?”
Although Benjamin Netanyahu’s most prominent opponents come from the defense establishment, Netanyahu is correct to distinguish between all the states that have nuclear weapons in the world and Iran. None of the other states are threatening to wipe another nation off the face of the earth. Iran’s leadership is not declaring its intentions to produce a bomb and perhaps it is far from being capable of doing so. On the other hand, it is declaring its desire to wipe out all traces of the State of Israel.
Such discourse is no different than what we heard coming out of Arab capitals in the 1960s; but Ahmad Shukeiri, the first chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, did not have a cannon. The Revolutionary Guards, on the other hand, have missiles that can destroy Tel Aviv.
The Israeli left chooses to join the opposition’s discourse, rather than make its own voice heard, loud and clear. This is not an unusual occurrence. For years, in arguments against the settlements, it has warned of the “demographic danger.” Along came the neo-fascist right and used that warning to make its argument against Israel’s Arab citizens. There are other examples, as well. They always stem from the left’s need to be close to the “people of action,” even when those people do not have particularly good solutions to the situation.
So the leftists go out to demonstrate against a strike on Iran under the cover of anxiety; the very same same anxiety on which the government itself feeds. Israel has used the term “existential anxiety” in more than one war in order to mobilize support in the world and in Israel. But what are the objectors to the war on the grounds of Israel’s defense saying, exactly? “War with the United States – yes; war without the United Staes – no.” This discourse builds a consensus in anticipation of a terrible war, which will involve us anyway. Does the left support an American attack on Iran only because the thousands of fatalities won’t be “ours?”
And in all this objection jollity, we have also heard arguments against the war “because of the home front situation.” Wow, great; build shelters and then we’ll support your war.
As always, the idiot of the moment is interviewed on his “radical” positions. This time someone has recommended accepting the balance of terror. In contrast to the stance of the underground Iranian Communist party, which opposes Tehran’s nuclear policy, we were invited to console ourselves with the balance of terror, which will not end, of course, with Dimona versus Qom. The region will be teeming with reactors within a decade, as several dozens of physicists warned more than 45 years ago in a petition published in Haaretz. It was at that time that (according to foreign media ) the current state president, who was then a future Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was arming Israel with nuclear weapons.
Therefore, even though all the peace slogans look good on television – “Wait for the United States”; “Build hospitals”; “We don’t want to die” – we cannot do without some down-to-earth logic. The left cannot campaign against such an apocalyptic war, which is threatening to destroy Lebanon, or Tehran, or Tel Aviv, when it is clear that the “Auschwitz discourse” will star in all the media (Israel Hayom’s propaganda is only a cheap aperitif ).
The left cannot avoid the truth that only a few are saying aloud right now: A nuclear demilitarization of the Middle East is the answer to the Israelis greatest quandary. The validity of this demand has never been more clear. The religion that has developed here – the basic belief that only we should have nuclear weapons, because we are the arm of God – has reached a dead end. Apologize to Mordechai Vanunu.