April 7, 2009
Farewell to Zion. Forever.By Cliff Thier
The nightmare scenario for Israel is troubling me more and more. The end of the Jewish state is all too thinkable.
Passover approaches for Jews everywhere. A celebration of waiting, and patience, and liberation. There is a prayer that ends with "next year in Jerusalem" and it has been recited for almost two thousand years. All the years the Jews were barely tolerated guests in other countries. All the years they were chased out of one country after another. The words spoke of a longing and need to finally settle in one place. A place from which no one could ever chase them. A place where they would no longer be guests.
It's still recited today even though Jews have exercised sovereignty in parts of Jerusalem for more than 60 years, and all of it for more than 40. This year, however, may be one of the last that "next year in Jerusalem" will be said at Jewish tables and in synagogues while there still are Jews in Jerusalem.
I am haunted by a vision that soon the prayer will revert to the same lament it was since the year 70, when the Romans threw the Jews out of Jerusalem and razed the city.
It seems clear as can be. You'd have to be a fool, willfully blind, an American Jew even, not to see it.
Israel has no other options. If there is to be an Israel two years from now, it must flatten the Iranian nuclear program immediately.
I'm afraid, terrified, that it is already too late. Time has run out. The end of the Jewish state is closing in. And there is nothing that can be done to save it. Thoughts will all too soon turn to saving and resettling the six million Jews who now live there.
Obama seems to be looking for the best way to accept nuclear bombs atop intercontinental ballistic missiles in the hands of Iran's mullahs. Any chance that the United States would either take action to prevent this catastrophe or at least help Israel do the job ended on election night 2008.
Israel knows it must do take out the nuclear weapons capability of Iran. And yet, Israel will not be able to do it. Not because it doesn't have the military might to do so. And not because it lacks the will. But because Barack Obama will order the United States Air Force to stand in its way if it tries. Between the airfields of Israel and the reactors and research labs and storage facilities of Iran sit the armed forces of the United States and its hundreds of planes, missiles and radar. With our bases in Iraq and those floating in the Persian Gulf, the United States separates Israel and Iran. Obama would have to give his okay for Israel to pass. Obama will not.
In fact, he will have the United States erect an armed barrier to Israel.
If you have had your eyes open and your mind not befogged by Obama The Ideal and have paid attention to Obama The Man, you'd already know that this is so. The evidence piled up is the size of a mountain. Obama has surrounded himself with friends and foreign policy advisors who believe the world will be a better place once that sore called Israel is gone. These are not secret haters of Israel but open and proud haters of Israel. Obama surrounds himself with these people. Tell me another explanation for this phenomenon other than that Obama is like-minded. Please. Try. I want to believe you.
Still, if that is not enough for you, then think of Obama's trip abroad last week. Anyone with any doubt that America's friendships have changed need only look at the photograph of Obama bowing before the robed medieval autocrat running the regime called Saudi Arabia (you will have to look on the Internet because the major dailies, news magazines and broadcast networks refuse to show this photo to you). This King of Saudi Arabia, this Oil Well Tony Soprano, writes the checks to pay for the Salafist schools throughout the world that teach that Jews are no more than monkeys who deserve death.
Bowing is not a greeting exchanged between equals in the Saudi's world. It is an acknowledgment by the person bowing that he is inferior to the person receiving the bow. Unreciprocated bowing is an act of supplication. An act whereby subjects pledge loyalty before their king. No president before Obama ever bowed before a foreign leader, let alone an absolute monarch and guardian of Mecca and Medina.
What we witnessed was our representative, the symbol of our nation abroad, acknowledging the superiority of the King of Saudi Arabia. We witnessed the representative of the 300 million free people of the United States of America performing an act of submission to a brutal dictator. The dictator of a country in which Christians are discriminated against. A nation in which women are discriminated against. A nation which provides the funds that make international mass murder possible.
This photograph unambiguously shows this evil man happily bathing in the show of submission by the President of the United States of America. Although this picture received almost no distribution in the United States, rest assured that in the Saudis' world, it is getting plenty of viewing. In the Middle East, in Pakistan, in North Africa, in Venezuela, in Moscow, in North Korea, no one misunderstands the significance of Obama's bow. And, especially in Tehran, where the mullahs understand America's bowing down very well.
Barack Obama, the President of the United States, using powerful body language, acknowledged the superiority of the guardian of Mecca and Medina over the President of the United States.
Israel was our old friend. Yesterday's friend. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia -- the property of the Saud family -- is our new friend. Things change. Obama has made his choice. Obama has made our choice for us. He has made America's choice. And made it in the open and clearly enough even for the willfully blind -- that is, American Jews -- to see.
Be sure to tell me if you see Obama bowing before Netanyahu -- if they ever should meet. I'll reconsider then, but not before.
The minute Iran has the bomb, Israel will begin to shrink. Jews in Israel will start to pack up and leave. Some at first, but more and more over time, Israelis will leave. Panic will begin to set in after the first 100,000 Jews or so have left their homes vacant. Businesses will be unable to fill job openings. The armed forces will find themselves combining brigades and companies.
Iran won't even have to fire a nuclear warhead at Israel to destroy it. The certainty that Iran can incinerate Israel, and the certainty that Iran will shortly do so, will be enough to convince enough of the six million Jews living in Israel today that they either must leave or be turned to ash that the economy and polity will lose viability.
Television reporters will stand in front of empty restaurants interviewing those owners who still remained, stubborn in the face of reality. The obligatory shot of a newspaper blowing down an empty street will fill the covers of the news magazines of the world. Cameramen will hope for a shot of a rat scurrying past a doorway. The visual clichés for decay and abandonment. The Atlantic and Harpers will run identical stories about how conservatives are to blame for encouraging Israel to be intransigent and unrealistic when it still had a chance to have peace years earlier.
There will be enormous outside pressures as well. Iran will tell the world's economic powers that either they cut off trade with Israel or else Iran will make a European capital or two disappear. Name a single European nation that will hesitate more than an hour before bowing to that threat. Israel's ports will become ghost towns, and what's left of the economy will strangle.
In response, The United States Mediterranean fleet will help evacuate Israelis to Cyprus or Malta or Italy. Some intermediate port of call. Some way station for the reverse Exodus. A few years later, an inspiring movie will be made on the subject by Steven Spielberg.
As many will go to the United States as Obama will permit -- and maybe significant numbers to some other countries wise enough to admit six million educated industrious people, like Canada and Australia. Maybe a number of countries will each agree to take a few thousand or so. Maybe not. Some Jews will stay, of course, as modern day Maccabees, ready to lay down their lives. Others, the delusional few who believe they can get along with the Arabs once they are majority and running the country and it is all fair, will be slaughtered for their folly.
And then one evening, Obama will make an exceptional speech. He will acknowledge the debt that the world will owe the Jewish people for giving up their homeland so that the world can avoid an end-of-days fate. His baritone will ring forth with astonishing beauty. There will be symbolism galore. The phrases will be poetry. Heads will nod sadly.
It will be hailed as one of the greatest speeches ever spoken. Perhaps the greatest. And, when it is given, the cameras will show Charles Schumer and Rahm Emmanuel and Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer in audience.
They, and many others like them in politics and popular culture, are the "warranting Jews" (i.e., Jews who vetted Obama for other Jews). When I tried to wake a Jewish friend to the mortal danger Obama posed for Israel, she replied that that could not possibly be true with someone like Rahm Emmanuel vouching for him.
Martin Peretz will run a column in the New Republic on how he's stunned to learn that Barack Obama is no friend of Israel at all. He will cry in print. He will sob uncontrollably. He will wail that Hillary -- at least Hillary! -- where is Hillary? --should have opposed the sell-out.
A new fund will be established to help Israelis settle in their new homes. Jewish celebrities like Barbra Streisand will raise funds through concerts. Audiences will stand and hold hands at the end singing Hatikvah, the almost dirge-like anthem of the once-nation of Israel. Everyone in those audiences will weep together. Rivers of tears.
The word "schumer" will be added to the everyday language of Jews in the renewed diaspora. A schumer will be another term of opprobrium, and ill mean a Jew who closed his eyes to all evidence and voted for Obama to fulfill some neurotic need to be a "good person." A Jew who blinded himself so that he might succumb to an invented guilt and so helped doom Zion. The accomplice Jew.
And, centuries from now, if there are still Jews, and if they still have Passover Seders, they will speak of that last chapter for the Jews when -- for only 64 years -- Jews lived and governed themselves in the land of Israel. The years when they were not unwanted guests in other people's houses.
I am haunted by the nightmare that the end of Israel's story is already written. That Jews will now make ready to witness it. That there is nothing now they can do for Israel. It is too late. It was too late last fall, after the last vote was tallied. Israel will disappear, as so many other nations have disappeared throughout history.
Those of us who helped bring the end of Israel to pass, can asked God's forgiveness every year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. And, on every Passover, we can all hold hands and recite the Kaddish for the nation of Israel that once was.
We should all begin to prepare ourselves for that day. It's almost here.