The system of “sacred balance” is Israel’s way of surviving and feeling normal. If something happens on the left, it immediately must be canceled out by an event on the right – and then everyone can relax. These equations create the illusion of sanity and save the sticky majority, which is searching for the warm and opinionless center, from having to relate to matters in a matter-of-fact way. It is from there, from the wide open spaces of a valueless and content-free consensus, that Israel’s ruin will come – because if everything is balanced and canceled out, there is no need to take a position, or to do anything. It is therefore not surprising that Israel, with all its equations, cannot make decisions on matters of morality and state.
The latest equation bridges between draft-dodgers and the soldiers who refuse to evacuate homes in Hebron. On the face of it, we have draft-dodgers – the left-wing bleeding hearts from greater Tel Aviv – and evacuation refuseniks – nationalistic and idealistic, but “a little” too extreme, too patriotic and too religious. And we are in the middle: We live outside Tel Aviv, but not in Hebron; we want peace but are not prepared to pay the Arabs the price. Instead of being flooded with concern over the fanatics and rabbis who have penetrated the fabric of Israeli statehood like cancerous cells, we have created an equation. We were furious for two days, we condemned them – and we went on our merry way. Everything is balanced, thank God.
After the waves of demagoguery, spin and media opportunism have passed, it will become clear that this equation is extremely dangerous, because it releases us from dealing with this country’s unruly elements. The more we ignore the cancer of rabbinical nationalism, the closer and more concrete the mortal danger is. The real equation is between the refuseniks of Hebron and their foundation in Torah – and Hamas, Hezbollah, Christian fundamentalists and their fanatic brethren.