Jurassic Park


“Jurassic Park” is one of Steven Spielberg’s immensely successful kitsch-movies. If he wants to produce a sequel, something like “Jurassic Park II”, he should come to Israel.

In the original film, a group of scientists succeeded in resurrecting the dinosaurs by cloning. They intended to create an amusement park where people could admire the terrible lizards (that, by the way, is the meaning of dinosaur). But the plan misfired when the dinosaurs attacked their creators and devoured them one by one.

Something like this is happening now in Israel. A transient public whim led to the resurrection of two stuffed dinosaurs é Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres. They are now leading us to a war that will eat up many-many human beings. The meal has already started. Daily, people are being devoured, most of them Palestinians and some of them Israelis.

(It should be remembered, though, that, contrary to the movie plot, things here happened quite accidentally. The Likud candidate, Bibi Netanyahu, refused to stand for election for some negligible reason, clearing the way for Ariel Sharon, who would have had no chance otherwise. At the time, if the Likud had put forward the horse of Caligula as its candidate, it, too, would have been elected. Ehud Barak had tricked himself to political death, thus making it possible for Peres to return to the leadership of the Labor Party.)

It has become fashionable to point to the age of these Siamese twins, as if this was the problem. But it is not age that makes a dinosaur. A human being can live a hundred years and still be nothing but a very old human being. A dinosaur is a dinosaur because he belongs to a pre-historic era. It’s not a matter of age, but of substance.

Sharon and Peres are stuck in the 40’s and 50’s of the last century. Their mental world was formed then. The notions and myths of those years have set their minds and direct their actions today. Sharon has never moved from there, Peres has jumped ahead but returned, at the first opportunity, to where he came from.

Sharon practically boasts of his dinosaurishness. “There is no new Sharon!” he proudly proclaimed recently. Soon he will plaster the walls with the 1948 slogan: “The whole country a front-line, the whole people an army.” Shimon Peres will adopt the funeral speech made by Moshe Dayan in 1956 in Nahal-Oz, the very place that has again become a front-line kibbutz: “Who are we that we should argue against their (the Palestinians’) hatred? Before their very eyes, we turn into our homesteads the land and the villages in which they and their forefathers have lived.”

The dinosaurs multiply quickly. The country is being filled up with bands of little dinosaurs that repeat the slogans of 1936 as if they had been invented just now. They roam the media, the political arena and every site (and web-site). Dozens of years of progress evaporate as if they had never been there. There was no Rabin, no Oslo, no New Middle East, no high-tech, no secular revolution, no nothing. Everything that was created after 1950 is out of bounds.

President Katzav, that profound philosopher who is now the chief thinker of the state, repeats the prophecy of Ben-Gurion that sometimes, in the remote future, “the Arabs will resign themselves to our existence”, and only then peace will come. That’s to say, it will come by itself. There is no need for us to do anything about it. We have only to wait. We have waited for 53 years, we shall wait another 500 years. Why not? What’s so urgent?

Ben-Gurion’s concept brought on us the Sinai war, the Six-day war and the Yom-Kippur war. Each war caused the next one, and all of them emanated from the conviction that there is no need to search for peace and pursue it. It’s enough for us to stay strong and to hit the Arabs on the head, from time to time, whenever they try to raise it. Back then, Sharon was the military stick and Peres the political stick in the hands of Ben-Gurion.

Since then, the world’s landscape has changed completely. Mountains have become valleys, seas have turned into land. Leaders and powers have changed. Our region, too, has undergone great changes. The Arabs don’t want to wait. Chemical and biological weapons are being produced in the neighboring countries, together with the missiles to deliver them. Some of them are working on the production of nuclear bombs.

In the movie “Jurassic Park”, the problem is solved by nature. The new dinosaurs drop dead before they have time to devour the last remaining scientist. They could not face today’s challenges. Our dinosaurs, too, will be swept from the stage, because they cannot deal with a reality they don’t understand. In their stead will come (so I hope) a new creature: a modern, sovereign, secular, peace-oriented Israeli, the Israeli of the 21st century.