Hezbollah rally in Lebanon (archives)
Photo: Reuters

Back to dangerous reality

Op-ed: Those privy to intel on developments in Syria, Lebanon fear we are living on borrowed time

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis traveled to the Golan Heights and visited the nature reserves in the north during Passover while enjoying the relatively calm security situation in Israel. But now that the holiday is over, I suggest we get back to reality; the reality in which we really live in, which is more complex and dangerous than we can imagine.


A senior official in the security-political establishment who took his family to the Golan Heights over the holiday told me with a smile: "Who knows, this may have been the last time we got a chance to visit the region in peace, without fearing for our loved ones."


Those who are privy to sensitive intelligence information on the developments in Syria and Lebanon fear that we are living on borrowed time. Syria is collapsing and Islamist terror groups in possession of long-term weapons are taking over parts of the country. In Lebanon, Hezbollah continues to arm itself and prepare for the possible launching of missiles on our population centers. These may missiles can cause heavy damage and casualties. The most pressing issue is Iran's race toward a nuclear bomb, and the mounting tension between North and South Korea should also concern all those who fear for Israel's security.


And we haven't even mentioned the Palestinians yet. Yitzhak Rabin used to say that every Israeli has a dream: To wake up one morning and find that the Palestinians have disappeared. Rabin would sigh and add: But this dream will never be realized, so we must find a way to live in peace with our Palestinian neighbors.


Solutions to our existential problems

Many of us are under the impression that everything is fine. The forecasts regarding a third intifada have proven to be premature, so, seemingly, there is no reason to rush and present plans for a peace agreement or think outside the box. The code words for the existing reality are: All is quiet for now; everything is fine.


A few weeks ago the State Archives released protocols of government meetings which focused on American proposals for a solution to the Palestinian issue in the framework of the 1979 peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. According to the protocols, Menachem Begin rejected out of hand the suggestion that Egyptian liaison officers be deployed in Gaza to help the Palestinians rule the Strip effectively. Begin suspected that Egypt was planning to transfer control of Gaza, which the late prime minister viewed as being part of the Land of Israel, to the Palestinians.


After I finished reading the protocols I said to myself: What a missed opportunity; what short-sightedness. So, we were left to deal with the Palestinians for decades more, with no agreement in sight.


The Palestinians do not plan on going away, so it is incumbent upon our decision makers to initiate real measures in order to preserve Israel's democratic character and reach an agreement that will be accepted by all sides involved – two goals many of our leaders claim to be committed to. It appears that the existing mindset will not suffice.


Two days after Khaled Mashaal was re-elected as Hamas' politburo chief and after he reiterated that Israel has no legitimacy and that Palestine stretches across the entire territory, including the 1967 borders, the current government must present an initiative.


Those who wanted to be a part of the country's leadership must not rely on statements similar to the one made by Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, who vowed that in the future we will not bow our heads before anyone. It is time that our leaders offer solutions to our existential problems.



פרסום ראשון: 04.03.13, 20:15
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