Difficult to know what to begin with, or how to descibe the lunacy I am observing:

— Lebanon my be on the verge of making arrangements with Hezbollah regarding the confiscation of weapons: Hezbollah would be able to keep their weapons, but just not be allowed to show them in public.

Barry Rubin says — in response to claims that as a result of the war Hezbollah will no longer be a “state within a state” — that this will be because Hezbollah is stronger and can control the state.

— Assad of Syria declares that Bush’s dream for a new democratic Middle East is dead, Hezbollah has won the war and Israel is the enemy.

— Hamas announces that they will return Gilad Shalit only if we release thousands of prisoners.

— And the puncher: Our esteemed Minister of Defense has declared that war brings new opportunities, and now is the time to begin negotiations with the Palestinians and lay groundwork for negotiations with Syria. Huh??


I recommend a piece by Ari Shavit from last Friday’s Ha’aretz, “A Spirit of Absolute Folly.” With insight, Shavit examines the national mindset that get us into our current fix.

“A simple thing happened: We were drugged by political correctness. The political correctness that has come to dominate Israeli discourse and Israeli awareness in the past generation was totally divorced from the Israeli situation. It did not have the tools to deal with the reality of an existential conflict…

“… Another thing happened: We were poisoned with an illusion of normalcy. The State of Israel is fundamentally an abnormal state. Just because it is a Jewish state in an Arab region, and just because it is a Western country in a Muslim region, and just because it is a democratic state in a region of fanaticism and despotism, Israel is in constant tension with its surroundings.

“… However, in the past generation this cruel insight has dissipated, the delusion has spread that we have overcome our problems and reached a state of tranquility, and that we can live in this place like any other nation… Weakness prevailed. Our willpower was weakened.

“Both political correctness and the illusion-of-normalcy spread first and foremost among the Israeli elites. The Israeli public in general has remained for the most part sober and strong. It did not err with illusions of a new Middle East. It did not turn its back on the existential imperative, the defense ethos and the IDF. Even its core values were not destroyed. Therefore, it impressively withstood both the test of terror of 2001-2003 and the test of “fire-on-the-home front” of 2006…

“… On the other hand, the Israeli elites of the past 20 years have become totally divorced from reality… Their unending attacks, both direct and indirect, on nationalism, on militarism and on the Zionist narrative have eaten away from the inside at the tree trunk of Israeli existence, and sucked away its life force. While the general public demonstrated sobriety, determination and energy, the elites were a disappointment.”

Source: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=ari+shavit&itemNo=749564
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