My wife has been asking me to go and get our gas masks already. I gave mine back a few years ago when I was told to give them back, and haven’t made the effort to pick up new ones. I’m existentially lazy that way. But now my wife insists I get them back. And who am I to argue?
Because I was looking to justify my existential apathy, I searched for like-minded souls. I enquired around the office if people had their gas masks – not in an alarming way, but in passing, casually, you know, like in, “pass the salt, and do you have a gas mask?” And, lo and behold, nobody did. Some people knew where to get them, but the sense I get from my coworkers is that they’re not rushing off to the ACE hardware store [where you can apparently pick them up]. So back to my exposed face. Now that my wife and I have moved apartments, I first have to go to the Interior Ministry to change the address on my ID card, and only THEN can I go and pick up a new gas mask. What a drag. Does anyone know where else we could get them? Can’t we just order them online, and get them delivered? I remember a while back that the government had outsourced the collection and distribution of gas masks to the Katz Delivery Company. Are they still around?
We reported this week that the government has run out money for gas masks, so has run out of gas masks, so if we don’t go get them now, we won’t be able to get them after the end of the month at all. But if the government has run out of money for gas masks, isn’t that a signal that they’re not taking it too seriously either? I mean, if the GOVERNMENT is not coming up with the resources to finance the production of more gas masks, then surely it’s not a priority for them. I mean, even the Minister of Home Front Defense has just announced that everything was in order so he’s leaving for China. So if the minister responsible for gas masks and bomb shelters and emergency stores and life under war just gets up and leaves, I can assume that everything is in order, there is nothing to worry about. He wouldn’t leave if the job was only half done, would he? He’s a minister in the Israeli government for Moses’ sake. I trust him.
Not that any of this has anything to do with nuclear war against Iran. You don’t need to be a nuclear scientist to figure out that gas masks won’t do any good during a nuclear explosion. So if it’s not about Iran, it must be about the non-nuclear, non-conventional response we could get hit with if we attack Iran’s nuclear facilities [before they produce a bomb]. Panetta says it could happen soon. Ehud Barak says later will be too late. Everyone is saying that a war is coming. So maybe it’s about Syrian chemical weapons, or maybe Hezbollah has them?
But seriously now, I don’t want to bury my head in the sand, and I don’t think you should either. I don’t want to cause panic; I’d rather cause preparedness.
Many readers of this blog have told me to lighten up, be more positive, more optimistic, talk about some happy things. I’ll get to that, I promise. But at this point in time, I report it as I see it. I just don’t think Bibi and Barak are going to put the fate of Israel as they see it in the hands of Obama. Bibi and Barak think the Iranian nuclear program is an existential issue and not just because the Ayatollahs may use the bomb against us, but also because the Saudis will get it, then the Turks will get it, then the Egyptians and Jordanians will get it, and then it’s Sunni versus Shia in nuclear war, and these guys will nuke each other eventually, for sure, and we’ll be right in the middle of it. I think many Israelis feel that a nuclear Iran is just a nightmare, and attacking Iran before they go nuclear is also a nightmare, but a lesser nightmare. And I think that if it comes down to war, Israelis will pay the price to set the Iranians back. But nobody is preparing us for the brass tacks of all this. The guys at the top are talking about war, but they’re not preparing the home front for ensuing onslaught.
My point in writing this kind of stuff, again and again, is that I feel there is a criminal lack of information coming from the government about what awaits us: if we do attack, then what might happen, what can we expect; if we don’t bomb them and they get the bomb, what might happen, what to expect. And I feel that Vilnai’s departure to China also sends the wrong signal to the populace..people are asking themselves: What does he know that we don’t?