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Have we gone crazy?
By BEN CASPIT
01/03/2013
Yes, there is upheaval in the Middle East and we are exploiting it. But why? To prove that we are crazier than they are?
 
Israel is going nuts. It’s hard to believe that less than four years ago, Binyamin Netanyahu stood up at Bar-Ilan University and accepted the idea of a two-state solution.

Polls taken after that speech gave Netanyahu the highest ratings ever.

It’s hard to believe that he is now head of the same party that this week sent four of its top candidates to a conference in support of annexing the territories.

It’s hard to digest that the election campaign headquarters of the same Netanyahu frontally assaulted President Shimon Peres when the latter dared to voice his support for a two-state solution, the very same idea Bibi endorsed at Bar-Ilan.

But the insane idea of two states did not suffice for the cheeky Peres.

He went on to ask Bibi’s boys what they would do after they succeeded, finally, in evicting Abu Mazen, the president of the Palestinian Authority.

Who would take his place? Might we even miss him? Is there another Palestinian partner who consistently combats and preaches against terror? And it’s hard to understand that all these things are taking place at the same time as the situation is heating up in the territories.

There are sparks of an uprising against the regime of the secular, pragmatic, life-loving Palestinian Authority in favor of the death brigades of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Islamic extremist organizations, breathing down the neck of anyone who still believes that two states can somehow coexist.

But perhaps they won’t be able to blow up our region, and perhaps even the whole world, so easily. So now they’ve started stirring things up on the Temple Mount.

Yes, that may sound exaggerated, but it’s really happening. There is a group called The Headquarters of Holy Organizations which sends the media loads of emails on a daily basis, detailing the visits to the Temple Mount by Knesset members, public officials and other lovers of freedom and justice. They go up there in the hope that the world will understand that we have finally gone mad.

The truth is that they are right.

There is no place more explosive in the whole world than the Temple Mount. If someone really wants to set the world on fire, this is the place to do it. So they do. And not just marginal characters.

Yes, we all know that Likud Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin went there to pray. The thing is it is now catching on. The flow of visitors to the Temple Mount is growing steadily.

It’s possible that redemption will come from there. Who knows, maybe we will all soon rise in a storm cloud from there toward heaven? I recall the arrogance and superiority of the old Netanyahu, who approved the opening the Western Wall tunnels in 1996 with poor timing and against expert recommendations.

The perspiring Netanyahu who was forced to rush to Washington after the beginning of the riots that caused the deaths of 13 soldiers, and creating “a new friend” at the White House. Yasser Arafat was his name.

The power-hungry Netanyahu never brought us or himself anything good, but it seems that this time, it’s going to lead to an extreme situation that we haven’t seen before. This time, it’s manic depression.

The arrogance has turned into panic at a dizzying speed. After a poll shows Likud Beytenu losing just one seat in a week, they attack everything that moves, whether they need to or not.

After the failed personal assault against Naftali Bennett, they are now targeting his party, Bayit Yehudi.

This time, it may be justified. Bennett’s party is scary, radical, influenced by fundamentalist rabbis and excludes women.

Israel used to be a modest country, seeking peace and calm. We captured the Temple Mount but did not go wild.

There’s no argument over the fact that the people of Israel’s raison d’etre is to be found there, on the mountain where the Temple used to stand. The argument is over the way we need to realize this common dream.

We used to be a country that understood its place and situation, trying its best not to rock the boat, not to incite, and to keep the status quo. We used to be a country that is aware of the tragic situation that placed 5 to 6 million Jews in the midst of hundreds of millions of Arabs and more than a billion Muslims.

Israel understood it would have to follow certain rules to figure out which way the wind was blowing and to stop itself from being destroyed or carried away in a storm.

But that Israel is no more. Now there is the new Israel, messianic and excitable, an Israel which forgot that it’s not the tail of the dog or even the hair of its tail. Israel is the dog.

God save us! Even people who used to be pragmatic, such as Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, are showing no signs of sanity, competing to see who can incite more or enrage the world more or embitter Barack Obama’s life more or insult the Europeans more.

Yes, there is upheaval in the Middle East and we are exploiting it. But why? To prove that we are crazier than they are?
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