Another Tack: Remember the tsunami of 1949

Fear-mongering is largely the forte of the fringes. When it infects the mainstream, however, we ought to get seriously worried.

This denotes a successful scare-job by forces who, in the words of America’s immortal satirist H. L. Mencken, aim “to keep the populace alarmed – and hence clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

There’s therefore more than ample cause for concern when Ehud Barak conjures up tsunami images to warn us that we’re about to be inundated if we don’t heed him. It’s even more disconcerting that he infects others, who then wail, panic-stricken, about the imperative to stem the tide with yet more conciliatory concessions.

This doesn’t augur well. Appeasement never solves problems. It doesn’t even facelift tarnished reputations. It inevitably makes bad situations immeasurably worse.

To be sure, what we may face in the UN come September will be unpleasant. No joy will be instilled in our hearts when the General Assembly’s automatic Israel-bashing majority votes in favor of Palestinian statehood within the 1967 lines – in flagrant disregard of what led up to 1967 and what later followed.

Yet we needn’t quake and shiver in our sandals. We have been through worse. Continue reading