The policy of Israeli prime ministers since the 1990s, when the nuclear Iranian threat emerged, was to let the Americans lead the move against Teheran. Prime Ministers Peres, Shamir, Rabin, Netanyahu, Barak, Sharon, and Olmert expected the international community to do the unpleasant job for us. At one point it appeared they are even capable of it, when the US managed to remove the threat of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi acquiring nukes.
Yet after that, the bad movie season came along. First was the grandiose and terrible production of the American and coalition entanglement in Iraq. Everything started there, if we recall, with fears that Saddam Hussein desires nukes or other weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, for more than a decade now we've been watching the North Korean nuclear movie, with a recent explosion shocking the world.
Yet those two were merely the promo to the nuclear film currently directed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is methodically fooling the White House and UN all the way to the splitting of an atom for military purposes.
The viewer Ehud Olmert gazes at the screen and is disheartened. Why isn't inspector Mohammed ElBaradei, the winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and IAEA chief, unable to do what inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan, Clint Eastwood that is, did with one handgun? Why isn't Sheriff George W. Bush pulling out his rifle in order to drive the bad guys out of town, before they make the global village evaporate in smoky mushrooms? Where is Olmert's admired teacher, Menachem Begin may he rest in peace, who with a few small F-16 bombs destroyed in 1981 Saddam's atomic delusions?
Yet the realistic viewer Olmert knows that today's inspectors and sheriffs are not what they used to be. Bush isn't Reagan, who winked as he condemned Israel for bombing the Iraqi nuclear reactor and continued to arm Israel with the weapons that would enable it to stage the next strike. And what about Olmert? He isn't Begin. He looks at his hangars, where the F-15I fighters capable of hitting Teheran are still shining, and is not giving the order.
Instead, he holds another important discussion with Shimon Peres, Tzipi Livni, Amir Peretz, Gideon Frank from the Atomic Energy Committee, Meir Dagan from the Mossad, Amos Yadlin from IDF Intelligence, and Yuval Diskin from the Shin Bet. He'll be comforted by meetings with top security officials and by the gentiles' limited capabilities – until the next bad movie comes around. For the time being, he'll remain in the frustrated viewer seat and keep Dimona shrouded in fog. Because what else do the people of Israel have left?
I have a friend in Sdeort, who recently woke up to another barrage of three Palestinian Qassam rockets. He says his family's life has turned into a bad routine under the threat of a Russian roulette. For now he's not leaving Sderot, because that's his only home.
"The life of my children is of no interest to Olmert, as otherwise he'd undertake a deceive action like he did in Lebanon," says Haim Kuznitz. He returns to his daily routine of threats, but asks that we use our connections to arouse top officials.
At Olmert's office eyebrows are raised. "Israel has acted and is acting decisively to suppress the fire, but there's no magic solution to the Qassam," officials say. So what do we have? No negotiations, the siege on the Hamas government continues, more Palestinians are going hungry in Gaza and in turn volunteer to join terror groups that fund them. So is there any wonder the Qassams continue to fall like rain on Sderot and the Gaza vicinity?
"The issue of Qassam fire is on the prime minister's agenda at all times," his office said.
The cynical Kuznitz says that Sdeort should come up with ideas of how to make money from this. Perhaps hold yet another holiday festival in town.
"For clearly understood reasons, it's doubtful whether the event will draw the Israeli masses," he says, "but I already have a name for it. Forgetfulness Festival."