Under overskriften «This Holocaust will be different» skriver Benny Morris i Jerusalem Post (18. januar) et essay som fremstår som en uhyggelig realistisk spådom om hvordan scenarioet kan bli – og blir – om ikke noe gjøres i forhold til Iran.
Det som er så uhyggelig er uunngåeligheten i det hele. Morris ser på ingen måte lyst på situasjonen. Spørsmålet er om det er mulig å se lyst på det. Regnestykket er nemlig enkelt om man tar de gitte faktorer og regner ut resultatet. To pluss to er alltid fire, om da ikke djevelens overmann kommer på banen og overstyrer kjente naturlover.
Scenarioet – djevelsk logisk – er i korte trekk det vi alle kjenner, den erklærte jødehateren og Holocaust-fornekteren president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, som så snart Iran er på banen med atomvåpen vil skyte raketter mot Israel med islamistene i Qom som åndelig og moralsk ryggdekning.
The orders will go out and the Shihab III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel’s half dozen air and (reported) nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel’s anti-missile batteries and Home Front Command units.
With a country the size and shape of Israel (an elongated 20,000 square kilometers), probably four or five hits will suffice: No more Israel. A million or more Israelis in the greater Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem areas will die immediately. Millions will be seriously irradiated. Israel has about seven million inhabitants. No Iranian will see or touch an Israeli. It will be quite impersonal.
At noen av de døde vil være arabere vil antagelig ikke plage Iran noe særlig.
Some of the dead will inevitably be Arab – 1.3 million of Israel’s citizens are Arab and another 3.5 million Arabs live in the semi-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Haifa have substantial Arab minorities. And there are large Arab concentrations immediately around Jerusalem (in Ramallah-Al Bireh, Bir Zeit, Bethlehem) and outside Haifa. Here, too, many will die, immediately or by and by.
Så til spørsmålet om radioaktitivitet etter et atomangrep. Jerusalem er muslimenes tredje hellige by, – den vil bli ubeboelig for lang tid fremover. Stilt overfor valget ikke å få byen noensinne, vil valget være enkelt.
A QUESTION may nevertheless arise in the Iranian councils: What about Jerusalem? After all, the city contains Islam’s third holiest shrines (after Mecca and Medina), Al Aksa Mosque and the Mosque of Omar. But Ali Khamenei, the supreme spiritual leader, and Ahmadinejad most likely would reply much as they would to the wider question regarding the destruction and radioactive pollution of Palestine as a whole: The city, like the land, by God’s grace, in 20 or 50 years’ time, will recover. And it will be restored to Islam (and the Arabs). And the deeper pollution will have been eradicated. (…)
He is willing to gamble the future of Iran or even of the whole Muslim Middle East in exchange for Israel’s destruction. No doubt he believes that Allah, somehow, will protect Iran from an Israeli nuclear response or an American counterstrike. Allah aside, he may well believe that his missiles will so pulverize the Jewish state, knock out its leadership and its land-based nuclear bases, and demoralize or confuse its nuclear-armed submarine commanders that it will be unable to respond. And, with his deep contempt for the weak-kneed West, he is unlikely to take seriously the threat of American nuclear retaliation.
Or he may well take into account a counterstrike and simply, irrationally (to our way of thinking), be willing to pay the price. As his mentor, Khomeini, put it in a speech in Qom in 1980: «We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah… I say, let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant…»
Ingen grunn til å tro at Iran vil velge den langsomme metoden, å bygge seg opp som atommakt, og så satse på at jødene vil forsvinne av seg selv, tvunget til å flytte for sine livs skyld. Ahmadinejad har neppe tålmodigheten som skal til, skriver Morris.
Heller ikke denne gangen kan Israel håpe på hjelp. Selviskheten vil sørge for det, som i det første Holocaust. Russland og Kina er opptatt med sine muslimske markeder, Frankrike er besatt av arabisk olje, USA med sitt mislykte Irak-oppgjør, alt driver Israel inn i et face to face oppgjør med Irans atomvåpen. Helt alene. Og det etter en demoraliserende krig mot relativt enkle fiender, under en politisk svak ledelse.
But an ultimately isolated Israel will prove unequal to the task, like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an onrushing car. Last summer, led by a party hack of a prime minister and a small-time trade unionist as defense minister, and deploying an army trained for quelling incompetent and poorly armed Palestinian gangs in the occupied territories and overly concerned about both sustaining and inflicting casualties, Israel failed in a 34-day mini-war against a small Iran-backed guerrilla army of Lebanese fundamentalists (albeit highly motivated, well-trained and well-armed). That mini-war thoroughly demoralized the Israeli political and military leaderships.
Dilemmaet er det som gjør regnestykket så djevelsk. Iran er ikke mulig å ødelegge med konvensjonelle våpen.
Taking out the known Iranian facilities with conventional weapons would take an American-size air force working round-the-clock for more than a month.
Så gjenstår atomvåpen, de som Israel påstås å ha. Når skal Israel eventuelt bruke dem? Når Iran har angrepet og utryddet millioner av israelere? Eller har kanskje Israels lederskap mage til å starte, – og få verdens fordømmelse som aldri noe land i historien har hatt?
IN SHORT order, therefore, the incompetent leadership in Jerusalem would soon confront a doomsday scenario, either after launching their marginally effective conventional offensive or in its stead, of launching a preemptive nuclear strike against the Iranian nuclear program, some of whose components are in or near major cities. Would they have the stomach for this? Would their determination to save Israel extend to preemptively killing millions of Iranians and, in effect, destroying Iran?
This dilemma had long ago been accurately defined by a wise general: Israel’s nuclear armory is unusable. It can only be used too early or too late. There will never be a «right» time. Use it «too early,» meaning before Iran acquires similar weapons, and Israel will be cast in the role of international pariah, a target of universal Muslim assault, without a friend in the world; «too late» means after the Iranians have struck. What purpose would that serve?
So Israel’s leaders will grit their teeth and hope that somehow things will turn out for the best. Perhaps, after acquiring the Bomb, the Iranians will behave «rationally»?
Nei, som i det første Holocaust vil jødenes fiender, denne gang Iran, få drive sin slaktning uforstyrret. Kostnadene ved å stoppe dem vil bli for store, uansett hvordan man vinkler dem.
BUT THE Iranians are driven by a higher logic. And they will launch their rockets. And, as with the first Holocaust, the international community will do nothing. It will all be over, for Israel, in a few minutes – not like in the 1940s, when the world had five long years in which to wring its hands and do nothing. After the Shihabs fall, the world will send rescue ships and medical aid for the lightly charred. It will not nuke Iran. For what purpose and at what cost? An American nuclear response would lastingly alienate the whole Muslim world, deepening and universalizing the ongoing clash of civilizations. And, of course, it would not bring Israel back. (Would hanging a serial murderer bring back his victims?)
So what would be the point?
Morris avslutter med å bringe en hjerteskjærende historie fra Holocaust i Polen, om en fødende kvinne som blir fratatt sitt nyfødte barn, – det blir trampet i stykker uten at tilskuerne gjør noe for å redde det.
A terrible episode happened with Mrs. Grynberg. The Ukrainians and Germans, who had broken into her house, found her giving birth. The weeping and entreaties of bystanders didn’t help and she was taken from her home in a nightshirt and dragged into the square in front of the town hall.
There… she was dragged onto a dumpster in the yard of the town hall with a crowd of Ukrainians present, who cracked jokes and jeered and watched the pain of childbirth and she gave birth to a child. The child was immediately torn from her arms along with its umbilical cord and thrown – It was trampled by the crowd and she was stood on her feet as blood poured out of her with bleeding bits hanging and she stood that way for a few hours by the wall of the town hall, afterwards she went with all the others to the train station where they loaded her into a carriage in a train to Belzec.
In the next holocaust there will be no such heart-rending scenes, of perpetrators and victims mired in blood (though, to judge from pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the physical effects of nuclear explosions can be fairly unpleasant).
But it will be a Holocaust nonetheless.
Jerusalem Post (ikke på nett)
(takk til Yngve N.)