Reprinted from The Jerusalem Post of June 4, 1998
In a voice laden with doom, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, of raucous TV and radio fame, warned Israelis a week ago of a second Holocaust facing them within a decade. The thrust of his grim warning of what lays ahead is that if Israel's leaders do not bow humbly right here and now to the Palestinians, in abject surrender to their demands, the end of Israel is a dead certainty. In effect, Lapid told his audience, "The news in the year 2008 will thunder out to the rest of the world that Israel has been wiped out by a nuclear bomb," The world's main concern would be that the Mediterranean will be polluted with radioactivity.
If Mr. Lapid wasn't so obsessed with passing an instant opinion without pause for breath, he would surely remember that the wars against Israel were not provoked by the actions of distant countries such as Pakistan. The catalyst for the outbreak of wars has invariably been terrorist attacks launched by Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank. It happened for the first time on November 30, 1947, 24 hours after the UN voted to create the Jewish state. Convinced that terrorism softened up the Jews for a successful invasion her neighbors were prompted to attack.
It happened again in 1956, when Egypt and Jordan encouraged terrorists to attack the Jews in such volume that Israel was forced to go to war. A similar situation faced the Jewish state in 1967, when acts of Fatah terror encouraged president Nasser of Egypt to threaten the Jews, believing - as did the Syrians and even the Jordanians - that the country was ready to fall.
And why did Israel invade Lebanon in 1982? Never mind blaming Ariel Sharon and Menachem Begin for having a blood lust. The growing weight of Yasser Arafat's nascent army north of the Israeli border forced Jerusalem to strike the viper in its nest before its fangs could cause even more damage to the Israelis who lived in the north.
SURELY it is not the flexing of nuclear muscles by India and Pakistan which poses a danger to Israel. If Lapid and those who use the present nuclear shock waves sweeping the world to launch unbridled attacks on the present democratically elected government would pause a moment and think like sane, logical individuals, they would realize that the macho games being played on the Indian subcontinent have nothing to do with Israel.
Israeli intelligence officials have long known that both countries were diverting considerable resources to become nuclear powers. Never mind that in so doing they deprived their starving citizens of the very essentials of life.
The hysterical nightmare fantasies being expounded by Lapid and his ilk, in the guise of "logic," is that Pakistan will pass on nuclear weapons secrets to Iran and maybe even Iraq. Either or both will wipe out Israel with one of their bombs. Come off it, Mr. Modern Day prophet. The rulers of Pakistan have no intention of letting Iran or Iraq become nuclear powers. They are aware of the unpredictable minds of the men who rule the lands on their on their western borders. Might not one of them turn against Pakistan one day?
For the Lapids of this world, and others whose personal agenda is to lash at the policy of standing firm in defending the right of Israel to define its own defense needs, they are ready to whip up hysteria to warn of Israel facing nuclear annihilation within a decade. Their mantra is simple: "Make concessions by noon. Give him 13%, 15% more land. While we're at it, why not 125%? That will save Israel from a nuclear holocaust, Mr. Lapid.
You tell us that you faced the Holocaust in Budapest. As you seem to have remembered nothing and forgotten everything, permit us to remind you why was there a Holocaust: It was because the Jews did not have a land of their own. No borders, no army, nowhere they could stand tall and proud and defend themselves.
How can Israel best resist destruction in the future? By pitifully bowing to the demands of a man who makes no secret of his wish to wipe out the Jewish state? There is only one way, and you will surely agree with this if you give the matter some measured thought: And that is not to surrender a millimeter of your precious, beautiful land to a man who is only interested in creating the conditions for all-out war the moment he has built up his armed forces, which he is doing right now. Every inch of land increases his strength, his grip on soil from which he plans and dreams of creating a Palestinian state and sending any surviving Jews - dead or alive - into or across the Mediterranean Sea. That is the real danger, not a nuclear Pakistan.
(c) Jerusalem Post 1998