Zvi Bar’el writes: It’s not important what’s said at the United Nations, what the superpowers are busy with or even what strategic issues are guiding the powers that be. When Israel speaks the world stands at attention. The Iranian threat? If it weren’t for the revelations by Israeli intelligence and the fears of a vicious response by Jerusalem, it’s doubtful whether the United States or the rest of the world would get excited about Iran’s nuclear program.
Syria’s chemical weapons? Only the public statements by Military Intelligence research chief Itai Brun forced the U.S. administration to admit that chemical weapons had been used. Al-Qaida in Sinai? A few rockets fired from Sinai and the deadly incident on the border turned Egypt into a threat, forced Mohammed Morsi’s regime to clash with armed Salafist groups and dragged the United States into the arena.
The wrong impression is that only Israel has precise intelligence in the region, and without it the world wouldn’t know about the dangers. The right impression is that Israel knows how to turn its intelligence into an international panic. This should be a proud achievement for such a small and strategically unimportant country. It’s an enormous success to harness the world’s strongest power to help the country that always says it doesn’t need foreign armies’ help.
But this same country that notices distant threats before anyone else has become deaf, dumb and blind when the threat is lying at its doorstep. When was the last time the prime minister spoke about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? What happened to the polished finance minister who promised to launch talks with the Palestinians? What has the defense minister done except for closing and opening the Kerem Shalom crossing after every mortar shell falls on Israel?
True, the conflict with the Palestinians is dwarfed by the Iranian threat, Syria’s chemicals and the missiles from Sinai. It’s not a “strategic threat,” it’s like an annoyance that produces an expression of sympathy, or hand waving that expresses insignificance or boredom.
This isn’t a conflict that requires us to call up reserves, launch planes or locate weapons so they can be bombed. This is a conflict without the beef that has almost no Jewish casualties, doesn’t provoke demonstrations in Israel, and the media is sick of. It’s a conflict that’s unconvincing in its conflictedness, that doesn’t need the world’s participation or wrangling over red lines. It has no red lines – or Green Line. [Continue reading…]