Eitan Haber
Photo: Shalom Bar Tal

Threats beyond the tents

Op-ed: Socioeconomic protest is important, but we must not forget the bigger threats at hand

There is no doubt that the socioeconomic protest that has swept across Israel in recent weeks is impressive. But the cost of housing and the price of cottage cheese, although very much important in their own merit, are not the only burning issues on the agenda, some of which are lurking just around the corner. Here is a reminder:


The Iranian nuclear bomb: The assassination of one Iranian nuclear scientist or another creates the wrong impression that Tehran has ceased its efforts to obtain nuclear arms capability, or at least slowed down in its quest. This is far from being true. The Iranian efforts are ongoing and rather successful. As far as Israel is concerned, an Iranian bomb endangers the very existence of the State of Israel and the solution to this problem is probably the most complex task Israel has ever faced in its 64 years of existence.


Palestinian statehood bid at the UN: Over 100 countries are set to endorse an independent Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly. Such recognition is inevitable even if Israel succeeds in diplomatically thwarting the upcoming bid. In the day after, whenever it arrives, we will witness a growing impatience towards Israel in the international arena. What will happen? What will the nations of the world do? One can only guess. As far as we are concerned, we must prepare for diplomatic and security-related calamities.


The threat of rockets and missiles: Massive stockpiles of rockets and missiles possessed by terrorist organizations have been accumulating on our northern and southern frontiers. The terrorist groups and Arab states realized during the first Gulf War that the home front is Israel’s weakest link, and acquired a very large quantity of projectiles. There is not a single point in the State of Israel that is not covered by this arsenal. One should believe, hope and pray that the Israeli home front will be subjected to rocket fire for the shortest period of time and that IAF will manage to curb this threat.


Protest marches: It is from the "Arab Spring" (what a euphemism for such bloodshed) that Israel and other nations learned that it is very difficult and perhaps even impossible to face masses of unarmed civilians. The idiots and tough among us will argue that the solution is simple: fire at will and mine roads. But the solution is not at all simple. Let’s hope that the defense establishment has an idea of how to properly deal with this threat.


All of the above and other dangers that are not mentioned here are not some distant nightmare. They are real and are on the table. Some have partial solutions, while others (still) have none at all. In other countries, any single threat can fill an entire tenure. In Israel, all these threats are surfacing simultaneously.


As noted, all these annoying words do not aim to undermine, even slightly, the socioeconomic issue that is currently our foremost concern. The opposite is true: The people involved in the latest protests are a large and important part of the solutions available to the State of Israel in facing the trouble in store. At the moment of truth these people, their actions and conduct, will constitute the solution.


Hence, if the prime minister wishes to run a vital state, he should accommodate them as much as is possible. The PM will need them, and many others, the day he sounds the alarm.



פרסום ראשון: 08.03.11, 14:02
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