How can a tiny nation, hated wherever it resides, possibly survive? This has been the paramount question governing Jewish life for two millennia.
During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, the country lost more than 6,000 of her finest soldiers, which was 1 percent of her total population, the equivalent of 3 million losses pro-rated for America’s population. A devastating start on the road of independence.
So when one recalls the reality that faced Israel in 1948 and where the country is today, it is nothing short of a miracle. Every other people so conquered and exiled has in time disappeared. Only the Jews defied the norm. Twice.
But, I fear, never again. That’s why Israel’s worst-case scenarios matter today, even if the peaceniks continue to protest against occupying anybody except the cafes in Tel Aviv.
Maybe imagining nightmarish scenarios is only the fantasy of some pessimist writers. Maybe Israel will live through a very quiet period ahead and the worst-case predictions will never materialize.
But Israel’s enemies are working for a future that is clear to them: a world without Zionism, a world without Israel.
Why is it not alarming when Haifa, the third-largest Israeli city, is building “the largest underground hospital in the world” to be used in case of war? Is it immoral to be on alert for a possible disaster when the Jewish State is distributing new gas masks or when the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv installs numerous underground shelters? Even the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, is building a labyrinth of tunnels and rooms from where the Jewish leadership would guide the country in case of attacks.
Israel remains the only “bunkered” democracy in the world, a country where its military Research and Development Directorate calculated the effects of an Iranian nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv: “A blast radius of about 500 meters and 20,000 people killed,” they said.
According to a Yedioth Ahronoth poll published in 2007, 47 percent of Israelis said they were concerned that in 2048 – the centenary of Israel’s founding – there will be no Israel. Now the deadline is September 2011.
What will happen after the Palestinians will have sought the unilateral declaration at the United Nations?
Pinhas Inbar, one of the leading experts of the Middle East, in a dossier for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, explained that the Arabs could launch a “Third Intifada.” Other experts suggest that the Palestinians have no material interest in resuming the Jihadist struggle.
The Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, just declared that the Palestinians are planning “violence and bloodshed such as we have never seen.”
If the Palestinians get a vote for independence, the day after the UN resolution, the Arab security forces could violently lay claim to the land now in Jewish hands. If instead the UN enterprise is a setback, terrorist groups could revive terrorism on a large scale.
The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, says that the army is not ready for “a mass invasion of the borders,” after Marwan Barghouti, a terrorist leader of the Fatah movement, sponsored an appeal for “popular marches” against the Jews. The army is building a northern barrier against Syrian and Lebanese infiltrations.
The Jerusalem police just held the largest joint drill since 2005, when Israel dismantled the Gush Katif. Attacks are expected against Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. Violent episodes could take place against the military checkpoints and the security barrier.
There is a dossier about “popular terrorism” with road blocks and fire. The Arab community in Galilee could join the violence under the incitement of some violent Arab MKs that are asking to change the name of Israel in “Falastin” and to remove the portrait of Theodor Herzl from the Knesset.
The Islamic Jihad could launch Grad rockets on the Israeli southern cities like Ashkelon, Sderot and Beersheba. Thousands of Jews will have to flee to shelters. An al-Qaeda squad could bomb the Eilat airport with rockets launched from Jordan. Attacks could be planned against Jews at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.
The Arab League could request the UN Security Council to order a no-fly zone above Gaza. Syrians, Lebaneses, Egyptians, Gazans and Jordanians could flood Israel with hundreds of thousands of people.
At the opening of the Durban III conference in New York, the assembly led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could condemn the “Israeli apartheid regime” and the Organization for the Islamic Conference could accuse Israel of destroying the Al Aqsa Mosque. Violent demonstrations could shake up the Islamic world, while appeasing religious leaders in the West would call for “respect for Islamic and Christian Holy Places.”
Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem would again become the scene shootings and terrorism. Israeli leftist figures could advance the demand to de-Judaize the flag (with its Star of David) and the national anthem Ha-Tikvah, and drain school curricula, the army, and the constitution of their distinctive Jewish national character.
Turkey could break off its ties with Israel, and Israel would have to mobilize the army to face a new Egyptian threat. Jewish areas in eastern Jerusalem could be subjected to Arab sniper fire. The town of Maale Adumim could be besieged and its inhabitants slaughtered on the road. The Hebron Jews could be the victims of a new Jihadist pogrom like in 1929. Hamas and Hizbullah could shower a hail of rockets on Israel, reaching the skyscrapers of Tel Aviv.
Were Katyusha rockets to start falling on runways at Ben-Gurion Airport or on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway, Israel’s economy would simply cease to exist.
Thousands of Israelis could flee from Jerusalem. Israeli Arabs could gather in Nazareth to denounce the “apartheid” they are subjected to in Israel itself. Arab-populated areas of the Galilee, Akko, Jaffa and North Negev could go on general strike and commence violent protests.
The suicide bombers could blow up again in the restaurants, shopping malls, cafes and bus stops. The Western media would demonize the Israelis by new blood libels. Attacks could increase throughout Europe against Jewish schools and institutions.
The Iranian ayatollahs could announce that they have set up a nuclear battery to protect the “Muslim brothers.” The mullahs in Qom could convene in a secret meeting, under a portrait of Ayatollah Khomeini, to give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the go-ahead. From Tehran to Tel Aviv, an Iranian Shihab-3 rocket would take 12 minutes to hit the Jews.
In the mindset of the Islamic multitudes and Western appeasers, the goal is clear: they want an Israel that packs up and goes away. They dream about millions of Israelis with their suitcases in a long march that lead them to ships and aircraft. Destination: diaspora.
The Jewish houses left with everything in them, the Israeli postal offices empty, Yad Vashem closed, the Wailing Wall destroyed, the registry archives in Cesarea and Beth Shean vandalized, the Jewish bookshops toppled, the Knesset used by alley cats and the electric cars abandoned along the way like a huge flock of dead birds.
Call it the evaporation of the the State of Israel. The Jews would return to their homeless status in Russia, France, America, Poland. In Warsaw they might rebuild the ghetto. From Baghdad to Haifa, tens of thousands of miles covered only by the voice of Al Jazeera.
Can it happen? God forbid not. But if we peer into our hearts, can we really be completely sure that Israel will see its centennial in 2048?