IF SOMEBODY steals something precious from you, say a diamond, you may be angry.
Even God himself said so. When He sent a worm to kill the gourd which provided shade for the prophet Jonah in the desert, He asked him maliciously: "Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?" (Jonah 4:9)
And now somebody has stolen from us something much more precious than a diamond or a gourd.
A war. Perhaps even two wars.
So we have every right to be furious.
WAR NO. 1 was to have taken place in Syria. The US was to attack the regime of Bashar al-Assad. A medical operation: short, clean, surgical.
When Congress hesitated, the hounds of hell were let loose. AIPAC sent its parliamentary rottweilers to Capitol Hill to tear to pieces any senator or congressman who objected. In Israel it was said that Binyamin Netanyahu unleashed them on the express request of Barack Obama.
But the whole exercise was cockeyed right from the beginning. The Americans said that they were not aiming to overthrow the Assad regime, God forbid. On the contrary, Assad was supposed to stay on. It was not only a case of preferring the devil you know to the devil you don't -- it was clear that the second devil was much worse.
When I said that the US, Russia, Iran and Israel had a common interest in propping up Assad, I noticed a few raised eyebrows. But it was simple logic. None of these unseemly bedfellows had an interest in bringing to power in Syria a motley crew of violent Islamists, who seemed to be the only alternative if the fighting went on.
So, attack somebody you really want to stay in power? Doesn't make much sense. Ergo, no war.
THE ISRAELI fury at a good war brazenly stolen was even stronger.
If the Americans were mixed up, we were practically schizophrenic.
Assad is an Arab. A bad Arab. Worse, he is an ally of the big, bad wolf -- Iran. He provides the corridor for the transfer of arms from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Verily, the center of the Axis of Evil.
All true, but the Assads -- father and son and their unholy spirit -- have kept the peace on their border with Israel. Not a single bullet in decades. If he falls and his place is taken by crazy Islamists -- what will happen?
So the Israeli gut says: Hit him, hit him hard. But the Israeli brain -- yes there is one, somewhere -- says: keep him where he is. A real dilemma.
But there is another consideration, a much more serious one for Netanyahu and Co. -- Iran.