Friday, January 27, 2006

That was fast

When talking about politics, especially Middle East politics, you've got a lot of people of all sorts saying "if Israel does XYZ, then horrible thing ABC will happen," or "no, Israel should do 123, because otherwise 9,10, 11" will happen. Usually both are right, or could be right, and Israel is just stuck between a rock and hard place. If Israel often seems to be making it up as she goes along, it's because we're stuck in a dark wood with no clear path. Go this way, you might be eaten by wolves; go that way, you might disappear into quicksand. So you've got people saying "no! Don't turn left! Yonder lies the wolves!" and others saying "Stop! I think people have sunk over there." So we're just picking our way through the brush and branches, hoping we don't step someplace very bad.

Last summer, Israel decided that this picking through the woods is exhausting, and it's time to try to find a place to rest, and that she'd better turn somewhere or she'll collapse from exhaustion. So she turned left, and there were people who said "No! Wolves! Bad!" and she said "It's a risk we'll have to take, because we have to get out of this situation one way or another. If the wolves are there, we'll just have to deal with it then, and maybe that will be better than this endless wandering around and fatigue. If there are no wolves, great. If the wolves are there, maybe we'll find another way around them."

Well, it turns out the wolves are there after all.

They'd said "if we leave Gaza, it will turn into Hamastan."

What amazes me is not that they were right, but that they were right so quickly. It's like . . . magic. Say "Hamastan," and it appears before your very eyes. Amazing.

I still think that the decision to leave the woods was a reasonable one, and could very well yet turn out to be a healthy one, in the long run. The wolves are there but they have not sprung. And if they do spring, well, we're well-armed and determined, and some would even say we have God on our side, and so the story might have a happy ending after all. And anyway they may have sprung on us even if we hadn't left the path, if they were hungry enough.

But I give credit where credit is due. It doesn't make those who foresaw Hamastan right about everything. But they were definitely right about this. And how! Wow.

PS Notice that I never said the wolves wouldn't be there. . . Jack.

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