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Israel: 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 party."

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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