What's on my mind? Quite a lot, actually. Enough for me to at least bend a rule I have not to do anything that feels like 'labor' on Sunday by writing this post, which may or may not feel like 'labor'.
First, the shape of the hopeful agreement with Iran and the (admittedly expected) screeching from the Right about it. In my opinion, comparisons with Munich are way out of court here. All Chamberlain & co. had was Hitler's word; we and our allies have quite a bit more in mandatory inspections at EVERY stage of this pipeline. And it's too nauseatingly easy to play Monday-morning quarterback to Chamberlain now anyway. Anyone who wants to argue how wrong he was, you go and put yourself in 1938 and banish ALL the history since that time from your mind--temporarily, anyhow! Then I might listen!
But anyhow, there will be close, mandatory inspections (without which the sanctions won't be lifted AT ALL) and carefully monitored 'lines' which, if Iran steps over them, will snap sanctions back into place. And Iran may be looking for a time when either we, the EU, China or Russia will get lazy about them. Which means we need to keep all our eyes peeled and ears pricked for twenty years or so.
And I can hear the voices screeching like Gladys Kravitz on the old 'Bewitched' series about how they're Not To Be Trusted and they'll figure out Some Way To Cheat. Well, from the particulars of what's been agreed on so far, they'll have to work pretty dam' hard to cheat and not get caught at doing so with the safeguards built into this framework! It is with enemies and not friends that one parleys and negotiates. Some will say that Israel's enemies hate Israel for what it is and not what it does. That's a big reason why there are such verification mechanisms in this agreement, none of which were ever in the Munich agreement. If Israel has no reason to trust Iran, neither do the six countries doing the negotiating--and the agreement shows that fairly clearly!
Second, I'm disturbed by voices within Israel sounding alarmingly like echoes of Amalek. After Israel's been hearing such voices from its enemies for 67 years now, the surprise in that respect is that it hasn't happened sooner and I'd say Israel deserves a kudo or two for that. And Israel seems to be mirroring the disturbing American phenomenon of poor whites (in this case, poor Mizrahi Jews) voting enthusiastically for the very government whose economic policies keep them poor--and doing so out of ethnic 'hatred'. Although, considering it is Mizrahis, who (one might think) know Arabs up close and personal more than do Ashkenazim, who are keeping Bibi in power, one needs to ask why. Just how much better do Mizrahis know Arabs than do the Ashkenazim? And what is a positive Mizrahi understanding of being Jewish, that is, which is more than being 'non-Arab non-Muslim'? If someone can articulate such a thing to me, I'll be grateful. Third, to what extent are Mizrahi Jews internally Arabized, that is, colonized?
In Leon Uris's book The Haj, the title character says this to his Jewish friend: "Are you not living out the greatest fantasy of them all? Do you believe you will overcome the entire Arab world?" (And the next passage makes it clear he means culturally, not militarily)
"I'll tell you what your Ben Gurion fears. He fears Israel will end up as a Levantine nation doing things just as we do them." His friend snarls back it won't happen as peace and love are values to Jews. So it was then and still is now--but to what extent? Netanyahu's government seems to show precious little of those values. Especially since Likud relies as heavily as it does on the votes of poor Mizrahis, I wonder and I worry.
Third, the 'demographic time bomb' may, as Caroline Glick ventures, yet prove to be a fizzling firecracker, but Martin Sherman seems to have a better grip on the consequences of annexing Arabs brought up as Nazis from the age of three than does Glick, whose attitude seems somewhat more Caligulan (let them hate as long as they fear). Better to either keep the PA or erect twelve emirates--but Israel must control or at least vet the educational materials for at least twenty years before annexing Judea and Samaria outright. That and a gradual improvement of infrastructure to bring it up to Israeli standards are urgently necessary firsts.
I want my country (USA) and Israel to remain allies, but we still have different interests. We are the superpower and to go to war with Iran for oil and regime change would be another unmitigated disaster, especially in light of the 1953 coup which ousted Mossadegh and reinstated the Shah. That gave the Ayatollah the 'fuel' he needed to create the Islamic Republic; any bets on the kind of fuel our crushing of the Islamic Republic might give a future Ayatollah or Shahanshah?
We should take the annihilatory words of Iran seriously--but we should also see where they can be surreptitiously 'deflated'. And words may or may not precede concurrent action. We must stay alert for signs of action and keep the salt handy to sprinkle on the words when it looks like bluster. And above all, do all we can as individuals, families, localities, regions and nations to ensure that peace and love stay real values to us and that, in seeking to destroy today's Amaleks, we don't look in the mirror one day and see--Amalek.