Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
the struggle continues

July 01, 2011

A National Exercise in Scare Tactics, Written by Tamar Gozansky, Communist Party of Israel, Friday, 24 June 2011
Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak and the remainder of Israel’s cabinet members are running a scare campaign about what, supposedly, will befall Israel if the UN General Assembly votes in September in favor of recognition for a Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders. Foreign Minister Lieberman has even announced that the approval of such a resolution means no less than the annihilation of Israel.

This is why the government has pulled an even more drastic tactic out of its sleeve – a national drill run by the Home Front Command, optimistically labeled “Turning Point 5”. According to the plan, command and field simulation exercises were carried out for a scenario, in which hundreds of ground-to-ground missiles are fired into Israel for a period of one month. The citizens, who according to this scenario will be subject to bombardment by thousands of missiles, were required to drill “entry into protected spaces” after receiving a warning on their cell phone. Two million school children also took part in the drill.

The information publicizing the national drill have stated, that in the framework of the simulation exercise, authorities practice responding to an event in which 400,000 citizens leave their homes because of a missile attack and are transferred to live in army bases and tents in the Negev desert.

Only part of Israeli citizens have cooperated with the guidelines and actually entered a protected space on the day of the drill. But everyone, even those who did not take the exercise seriously, were treated with a fair dose of brainwashing and induced panic: in the next war Israel will be bombarded with thousands missiles that will strew death and destruction. When such a scenario is presented as inevitable, as a natural disaster, as a stroke of fate – so the military and civil establishments would like to hope – few will ask the question: how can such a missile attack be prevented?

Those who do ask will require an answer: perhaps Meir Dagan, former chief of the Mossad, should be listened to and the answer is not a military initiative against Iran? Perhaps the advisable thing to do is to recognize a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders? Perhaps Israel’s militaristic thinking should be replaced by civilian-oriented thinking, and instead of living on the sword, we should begin to think about how we can achieve a life of peace and neighborly relations with the Arab nations?

But the Netanyahu government and the army hope that the voice of the questioners and of those who reject the logic of the scare tactics will be fainter than the incessant grating of the inflammatory fear-mongering sounded through the established media channels.

After five days of a media-saturated national scare campaign about the bombardment by thousands of missiles in the coming war, Netanyahu hopes he will stop being bothered by those who ask him, why he recently stated that the conflict with the Palestinians was insoluble, and that he will not be pestered with demands to present an actual plan for an agreement, so that he can continue to bandy the empty slogan, that “we are in favor of negotiating with the Palestinians over everything”.

George Orwell wrote in “1984” that “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.” When this reasoning is applied to the Home Front Command drill, we can say that if it is granted that the people in Israel are doomed to be victims of a missile assault, and its freedom is expressed in the certainty of that knowledge, all else follows: the government must be trusted; it is natural for the establishment to root out “traitors”, anyway there is “too much democracy”; and “is this a time to be discussing the price of cottage cheese!?” and so on and so forth.

And thus, the national drill accomplishes its true goal.

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