Sunday, November 24, 2013

Agreement reached in Geneva

"For the first time in nearly a decade we have halted parts of Iran's nuclear program"
(Barack Obama)

Agreement reached in Geneva
By Barak David, Haaretz Nov. 24, 2013 | 2:03 PM 

"Most Israeli officials denounce 'bad' nuclear deal; Peres says 'time will tell'; Lieberman: Israel must consider alternative allies; Gal-On gives positive repsonse: Deal slows down fast track to bomb."
Read article in Haaretz

How does Israel live in the shadow of nuclear threat? A fictitious scenario is described in the metaphysical novella Requiem: A Tale of Exile and Return:

It seemed the Iranian leaders were biding their time. Intelligence confirmed that Iran had the bomb, or at least was very close. Having learned from the Israelis, the Iranians enforced a policy of deliberate ambiguity as regards their weapons capacity, maintaining they had already reached nuclear capability for peaceful means. Both Iran and Syria had greatly expanded their stocks of chemical missile warheads. Russia and China warned Israel of severe sanctions if it would attack, and the government had realized that an attack most likely would miss the target(s), and serve as pretext for counter-attacks on all fronts. There was a widespread feeling that the day of the bomb was coming closer.

Tel Aviv, known for its vibrant night-life, now saw hedonistic farewell parties for friends leaving, and parties celebrating “Gog and Magog,” “Doomsday,” and “Who will close the light at the airport?”

Missiles and rockets were fired from Gaza, often from schools and mosques, with the Israeli Air Force trying to target the militants. At one occasion a school was indeed hit, killing six small girls. The case was brought to the United Nations Security Council, which, surprisingly to many despairing Israelis, did in fact condemn the killing of civilian Israelis (in the course of time, just like during the events of 2000-2005, Israeli hospitals and schools, places of entertainment and worship, had been hit. Suicide-bombers now seemed to favor kindergartens and old age homes). However, “this could under no circumstances serve as a pretext for unnecessary and indiscriminate violence against the civilian Palestinian population, including children.” Libya and Pakistan were to head a special United Nations Human Rights delegation to investigate Israel’s frequent breaches of international law. Egypt and Jordan decided to freeze diplomatic relations.

While previously a few rockets and missiles had been the daily barrage from Gaza on Israeli towns and villages nearby, now not only the range and the precision of the missiles had been greatly increased, but at least thirty rockets were fired daily. One hit the oil depot in the Ashdod port’s fuel storage facilities, causing severe damage and closure of the port. The town was temporarily evacuated.

“We may then ask which steps can be taken to prevent the threat of catastrophe?” was the question Professor Shimeoni intended to ask his audience, since the purpose of his story was to ring the bell of urgency, by presenting a worst-case scenario.

“Is it not paradoxical,” he thought, “that the Arabs of the Land are hostages to the Iranian leader’s doomsday calls. As long as they induce hope in him of victory, he need not press the button.” He felt this was but one of those enigmatic manifestations of an order he could not really grasp, yet it accentuated his sense of devotion, and his intent to listen to his Inner Voice.

He imagined the loneliness of those who once upon a time had really been only a very few, and his heart pounded strongly when he thought of the vibrant industriousness and creativity in Israel, which were so striking in the shadow of genocidal threat.

Suddenly he interrupted his stream of thoughts, and wondered how his words would reverberate in him, were he to listen to his own lecture. Imagining himself in the audience, the remarkable picture of the Sabbath evening service in Bergen Belsen, a few days after liberation, crystallized before his eyes. While the dead and the dying still lie on the ground, the barely living survivors let their voices rise from the ashes into divine Hope, ...

No comments: