Al-Arabia has announced that later this week, Hamas will accept the Egyptian offer for a one year cease-fire and the opening of the Rafah passage between Egypt and Gaza. It is common knowledge that Hamas's acceptance depends on Iran.
In the meantime, it is never a dull moment in Israel. Israel shifted gears from a war-like feeling to pre-election intensity of broadcasts, commercials, advertisements and signs that sprung everywhere. The very first radio commercial was that of the leading party, Kadima, which for several minutes had nothing to say except about the lies of (Opposition Leader) Netanyahu.
The nation's leaders cannot grow up and transcend beyond name calling and petty-bickering. Foreign Minister Livni, who is also Deputy Prime Minister as well as the head of the leading party, seems to be running a Monopoly game: She instructs Spain how to deal with the new lawsuit brought against Israeli leaders (accusing of crimes against humanity), then advises Cyprus how it should act against the vessel carrying its flag now at its port with Iranian missiles hidden in its cargo. Possibly it is time to try to bring the house in order before managing the affairs of the world?
Barak, the current Defense Minister, has just announced that people who never carried a gun in their hands should stop the "talking party" ("getting lost talking"); I am not sure if he was referring to Livni or to Olmert, the Prime Minister.
In the meantime, four rockets were launched today toward Israel. Prime Minister Olmert has directed his Government to respond with a disproportionate response. Hamas rushed to announce to the world that no rockets were launched, it is all "electioneering exercises in Israel."
I am quite amazed at the Chutzpa (daring attitude) of Israel's enemies: Hamas declares itself a victor and is behaving accordingly. It launches operations to remind Israel who has the upper hand; killing one soldier and critically wounding another three. Hizbollah has looked at the world and decided to transpose the facts: Israel does not have any soldiers MIAs and POWs (there are six of them), it is the one holding Iranian hostages. The creativity of its latest declarations is simply dazzling.
Transposing reality seems to be a weapon of choice. A new presentation now circulates the internet, comparing pictures from the Holocaust to newly committed atrocities by Israel. It is fascinating to see the one-to-one comparison of pictures, as it becomes evident that many of the pictures are either doctored or were set up exactly for the occasion. How else would so many identical scenarios be captured by camera? "Made for the International Theater."
The rise of anti-Semitism in the world, a real tsunami that threatens to submerge any safe ground, has been receiving some, but insufficient, attention in Israel. We must recognize that the "old" anti-Semitism was replaced by anti-Israel sentiment, followed by calls for divestment from an Apartheid state. Most recently, the attention of hatred turned into the new Nazi regime.
What Israel must do now is disengage itself from the upcoming elections (Tuesday, February 10th). Spending tens of millions on an intensive marketing effort is throwing good money to waste. In fact, it shows us in all our nakedness, with all the ugliness that one should rather keep hidden. We must follow the same line Benjamin Netanyhu took during Operation Cast Lead when he stated he is not the Opposition Leader but rather part of Team Israel fighting for its survival.
Benjamin Netanyahu has had the wisdom to look a few steps past next Tuesday, to look around past the immediate self, and see the threats that endanger Israel: Iran and anti-Semitism, the enemies surrounding Israel and the fifth column inside Israel proper. May the other candidates composing Israel's current leadership follow his footsteps. May they do so for one and only one reason: we have no other choice. Either we wake up now, or we will be awakened very rudely in the very near future. It may be too late.