A tragedy and a miracle

— Understanding Israel better —

Government and opposition in Israel are putting aside their differences and move to form an emergency government, modelled on that of Levi Eshkol just before the Six Day War in 1967, which the then opposition leader Menachem Begin had also joined.

Those who do not know or do not really want to understand what it means to have three generations of people, now numbering almost ten million, living under the constant threat of death and annihilation, crammed into a strip of land the size of Cyprus — I am talking about the inhabited territory of Israel — will probably never understand the most important thing: the magnitude of the siege mentality on the human psyche.

And in fact it is not fictitious here, as in this particular state of mind. Here it is both real and documented.

Iran and its terrorist organisations in the Middle East have today accomplished two things: first, to cause a shift in world opinion by pushing states even relatively hostile to Israel, such as South Africa for example, to publicly support it and denounce ‘Palestinian’ terrorism, weakening the myth that disinformation, anti-Semitism and Arab marketing had created in recent years especially; and secondly, and equally important, to close the most dangerous internal rift in Israel’s history and to unite the people under the weight of an unprecedented threat.

In this respect, today’s tragedy also yielded a small miracle.

Israel, which, mistakenly, has spent the last fortnight watching the attacks and explosions on the border with Gaza, has no choice but to crush Hamas, whatever that entails. The terrorist attacks and the isolated -daily yet isolated- murders of civilians in the past were one thing.

Today’s massacre has definitively and irrevocably changed the facts, and no Israeli government or political force will be able to survive if it shows even the slightest inaction any longer. Nor should it.