Has Our Expiration Date Arrived?
The question is not whether Israel will still exist in 10 years,
but what kind of Israel will be here in 10 years?
By Kobi Niv
October 11, 2012 "Haaretz"
- - Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said not long
ago that in 10 years there would be no more Israel. What
foolishness, right? Clearly, Israel will survive forever. First
of all, because that is what our leaders say. Second, we have a
fine army, smart bombs, a stable economy and high tech, too. And
third, because God is with us. These are facts.
And yet, if you look at history, recent and distant, ours and
others', countries and regimes have fallen and disappeared, even
those that had great armies and atom bombs. The communist Soviet
empire, for example, with its army, police forces and missiles,
existed for less than 70 years.
Indeed, the key question is not whether Israel will still exist
in 10 years, but what kind of Israel will be here in 10 years,
if any. True, it's a hard question to answer, because the
future, as we know, is unknown. But on the other hand, the
future is almost always a consequence of processes that precede
it. And the processes with which we are moving toward the future
are painfully obvious.
A battle has been under way for some time for the soul of the
Jewish-Israeli people. This battle, between the
religious-Zionist wing and the secular-liberal wing, seems still
to be undecided. Some calculate that in the coming elections, in
a certain constellation, with the help of God and tricky
combinations of events, the secular liberals will be able to
establish a government, cancel out
(with the help of some hocus-pocus ) heinous religious Zionism
and send it packing to Canada or Kamchatka. But if we really
look around, it is as clear as day that this battle has already
been decided and that religious Zionism has won. This is no
mistake, nor is it by chance. It has won because most of the
Jewish people in Israel are religious Zionists, even if some
disguise themselves during elections as supporting a "centrist
The only question that remains is whether the people of Israel
and their government are 70 percent religious Zionist, or even
only 60 percent religious Zionist, and when we will reach the
critical mass of 90 percent - as soon as two years from now, or
only in another seven?
The situation is not about to change, either tomorrow or ever.
The weight of religious Zionists in the population is growing
heavier, while the weight of liberal-secular Israelis is
declining. So where are the voters going to come from who will
bring down the religious-Zionist government? Just look at how
the education system has become more and more nationalistic and
religious. The Israel Defense Forces and its commanders have
become more and more religious Zionist. The laws are becoming
more and more religious Zionist. The courts are becoming more
religious Zionist. The secular-liberal media is collapsing and
the academic world is also beginning to crack and fall into the
arms of religious Zionism.
And if you raise your eyes above the walls that we have built to
hide reality from ourselves, what will you see there? Will the
Gaza ghetto disappear and its hostility fade away if we continue
to ignore it? Will the Palestinians in the West Bank become more
Zionist the more settlements there are? And if we bomb Iran,
will that improve our ties with the peoples of this region, or
might it not do so?
The more these trends persist - and there is nothing on the
horizon to stop them - in three, seven or 10 years, Israel will
become more religious Zionist, zealous, insular and
unrestrained. It will be at constant war with the surrounding
countries, with many nations boycotting its products. Its
economy, in which inequality will grow, will weaken, and the
best of its secular-liberal young men and women will leave it
for Canada or Kamchatka.
Can a country like this continue to exist over time? You decide.
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