As I was covering the news today, it suddenly occurred to me that everything is coming to a head and fast. Four things are coming together all at the same time, and it all is quite ominous, though I am never one to freak out and give up.
The first thing happened only yesterday, on Saturday August 21, 2010. That is, Iran became a nuclear power. 80 tons of enriched Russian uranium are either in or on their way to the Iranian nuclear reactor in Bushehr, and all Israel can do is fold her arms, scowl, and say “This is unacceptable!” like a 10-year-old girl with a highly developed vocabulary on a playground whose barbie doll was just stolen by the schoolyard bully.
The second thing happened today. That is, the restarting of the peace process, for the umpteenth time, was announced for September 2. If those talks actually last for more than, say, 15 minutes, the extension of the building freeze in Judea and Samaria will doubtlessly be announced forthwith, as the government is itching to give away the precise amount of land needed to make the world finally leave Israel alone and supposedly treat her like any other normal country. Likud MK Michael Eitan has already suggested evacuating cities and having soldiers live in people’s houses before they are destroyed.
The approach will not work, of course, but if PLO head Abu Mazen is smart enough to take whatever offer Israel gives him, it will only leave Israel socially scarred with warring sects of Jews wounded by each other at a level more than 30 times worse than that of the Disengagement from Gaza of 2005. Judea and Samaria have 300,000 Jews. Gaza only had 8,000. This at about the exact same time that Iran will become a bona fide nuclear power. Good timing? And somehow I doubt that the Iranians will suddenly treat us Jews like a normal country if we are finally at “peace” with our Arab brothers in arms.
The third thing that happened also happened today. That is, Ehud Barak appointed Major General Yoav Galant as the upcoming head of the IDF. No, this is not in itself a bad thing, if not for the fact that he obviously did it to hurt current IDF head Gabi Ashkenazi’s standing. The daily Ma’ariv newspaper is even writing now that Ashkenazi may even leave the IDF after the High Holidays rather than stay until February, when his term officially expires. This is because he has been publicly embarrassed by Barak who has been known to dislike Ashkenazi for a long time. People assume that Barak is jealous of the latter’s popularity, and judging by a comparison of Barak’s lifestyle – including hosting lavish dinners in his Tel Aviv luxury apartment while owning two others and flying first class to air shows on the public dime while eating in fancy French restaurants – with Ashkenazi’s, a quiet man who shies away from the media, the conjecture is probably right. Nobody likes Barak, not even his own political party. Everybody likes Ashkenazi, especially because he has no political party.
The point is that we have an infight in the IDF with a chief of staff threatening to resign at the very time that a peace-talks-concessions-driven Intifidah may erupt at any point and Iran has just switched on its nuclear reactor.
The fourth is that the High Holiday season is starting in two weeks. For those that believe in the historical relevance of the Jewish calendar, this should not be taken lightly. With the world economy teetering on who knows what, the hottest planetary summer on record, Russia on fire, Pakistan flooding, the US Army pulling out of Iraq and a $100 million mosque about to be built on the site of the worst Islamic terror attack in world history, all signs point to, let’s say, quite an interesting ride.