Emanuel Shahaf

Oh What a Wonderful War

On average, we are clocking up a war every 8 years or so and we haven’t had one for 6 years so the itch is understandable. After all, the people of Israel are at their very best when we stand united against a common enemy. Fortunately, in this neighborhood there is always one to be found so we are never at a loss. The few attempts undertaken to turn our enemies into neighbors by means of peace agreements have fallen flat and the only peace agreement still holding on (don’t hold your breath!) is the one with Jordan which was signed in 1994. The one with Egypt is in suspended animation now that the Muslim Brotherhood has taken over Egypt by democratic election, waiting for better days. The Oslo agreement with the Palestinians is, for all intents on purposes dead although its vestiges are still drifting along, driven only by momentum. At this stage I must remind you that we have always been a people of peace and there is nothing we want more than peace and none of this is our fault at all. As a matter of fact, we had nothing to do with any of these developments, I think.

Lead by two failed Prime Ministers who are both trying to improve on  dismal performances in their earlier appearance in ministerial positions, we are now coasting, fully conscious but nevertheless in total denial, towards another war of choice. I believe it’s number 3, but who is counting ?  We have a messianic manipulator (Bibi) who will leave no maneuver untried to make sure he gets what he wants without having to go through elections now that he is beginning to understand that the social and economic realities may deprive him of his subscription to the title of Prime Minister. And we have a cerebral pianist (Barak) who will obsessively pile up argument after argument to convince the listener of the need for the most ridiculous policy choices while playing to our deepest fears and convictions and ignoring the world around us. Oh but he is so intelligent.

And there is nothing we can do. We already walked the streets and it didn’t help much, last year. And this year it was even less successful. What can we do ? We are the sovereign but elections are far away. And we don’t have an opposition worth while mentioning. And it’s so damn hot.  Oh well, it’ll just have to be war again. Or does it ? Is there nothing we can do ? Do we really have to stand and watch as two miserable failures, both as individuals and as politicians will drive this country into war ? Why ? Because we are scared out ouf our wits ?  People, it’s not too late, let’s bring this farce of a government down before the outcome of the coming war and the ensuing commission of inquiry will do the very same, only after we all paid the price. And a price it will be indeed.

About the Author
The author served in the Prime Minister’s Office as a member of the intelligence community, is Vice Chairman of the Israel-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chairman of the Israeli-German Society (IDG), Co-Chair of the Federation Movement (, member of the council at and author of "Identity: The Quest for Israel's Future".