Friday, January 09, 2009

Our Test Chat

Yori Yanover: The UN Security Council has evenhandedly ordered both sides to stop shooting and Hamas promptly increased its rocket fire.

Ehud Tokatly: Right...

Yanover: One of the points mentioned in the Israeli press is the fact that the resolution ignores the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and the requirement of his release as a precondition to a ceasefire. Is this now the new pretext for continued fighting?

Tokatly: What do you mean?

Yanover: Even if Hamas stops rocketing, as long as they don't release Shalit, we keep fighting?

Tokatly: Don't think so. The whole UN thing is irrelevant. Hamas is not a State.

Yanover: The resolution "stresses the urgency of and calls for an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza." How do you define "fully respected"? Fully means everybody.

Tokatly: And I can declare that I call for rains to start in Spain.

Yanover: Fine, but you should also know this: BEIRUT, Jan 09, 2009 (AFP) - Hamas rejects the UN resolution on Gaza as it is not in the best interest of the Palestinian people, an official with the militant group told AFP in Beirut. So Hamas is being very official with the rejection thing. Also, all the stories from news agencies today start with "Despite the UN resolution urging blah blah, Israel today killed babies."

Tokatly: I see. I think it's a mistake on all UN member states' part. They are totally confused. Our civilization is in danger, not Israel.

Yanover: Because there's a little Hamas waiting in the wings for Belgium and Denmark and Togo?

Tokatly: Not in the wings. INSIDE Belgium, France, Germany, Britain, Canada, the US and all others. People don't realize that Israel has been getting informal messages from Egypt, Jordan and other Arab countries: Finish them off! We're doing them a service.

Yanover: Who are the "them" that we're supposed to finish off? Are they specific Gazan bad guys? International bad guys?

Tokatly: We're talking about the Hamas now, but two years ago we got the same messages about Hezbollah and they are all part of the global Islamist terror offensive on the organized world.

Yanover: But I don't think you're talking about a conspiracy. It sounds more like a huge cultural and social trend, almost like the waves of Mongol armies sweeping through the near east, on its way westward.

Tokatly: It's both. The breaking up of the modern political structure in the post-modern era invites the barbarian tribes to attack. It's like a faulty immune system that cannot handle a tiny, trivial virus.

Yanover: And the reason the virus is successful in picking up millions of supporters?

Tokatly: It's the same reason. The modern state, the concept of the 'nation-state', has let down all of us. The Islamists are using these feelings of bitterness to manipulate and incite the masses. Their motto is: 'Islam Is The Solution'.

Yanover: Except that the way it appears to an outsider is that its more nihilism than religion. It's about offering a life of care-free eternal war, with no responsibility other than killing, and with imagined afterlife rewards. This is deeply immoral, not religious.

Tokatly: You're right, but I think that we, Westerners, tend to underestimate the valid root causes, or even worse - completely misunderstand them.

Yanover: Please explain...

Tokatly: As I said, the root cause is the disintegration of the Free Society and its various ideologies. We don't believe in anything anymore, have no values, no morality, no solidarity, just relativity and plenty of subjective 'narratives'. This weakens us and turns the less-Western masses away from our ways.

Yanover: So what you're saying is that the way to respond to Hamas, Hizballah, Al Quaida, et al, is to change ourselves from the inside? If that's the case, I wish you all the best, but it doesn't look like we're ready for the effort. Meanwhile, all the other side has to do is point and yell: Kill that!

Tokatly: No, I'm saying that when you're ill, you first treat the symptoms, try to kill the virus without mercy. Not the poor, misguided, brainwashed masses, but the gangs that control them. Then you must look into your own problem and start a long process of deep healing. Otherwise, another virus will attack.

Yanover: Let me ask you about a different region of the world. In Afghanistan, President Obama is planning to increase US involvement manifold. History teaches us that any foreign power getting involved there ends up stuck in an unending war. Is there a non-military way of salvaging Afghanistan from the same Islamist forces?

Tokatly: The Afghan case proves my point. If you only use power, you will fail. There must be a real change. Just a hint: Islamists and the West have common values. We can work on sharing them, while fighting the negative forces.


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