Published by The Freeman Center

The Maccabean Online

Political Analysis and Commentary
on Israeli and Jewish Affairs

"For Zion's sake I shall not hold my peace, And for Jerusalem's sake I shall not rest."



A Jewish Science Fiction Story

By Theodore P. Druch

 

(Excerpt from the Abridged History of Israel by James Wilson and Yechezkiel Cohen. Reader’s Digest Press. 2315 ed.)

Chapter 35: The Great Peace

By 2022, it became clear that the so-called “Arab Spring” of 2011 had not lived up to expectations. True, as we have pointed out in the previous chapter, a number of pseudo-democracies had arisen, but they were unable to totally rein in the tribal feuds that had plagued the Arabs for over a millennium and a half, and were advancing only in fits and starts.

Israel, as powerful as it was, had little to fear from these nations plagued with political infighting and corruption.  While most of the Arab nations were at war within themselves, they did not fight with each other, so a general peace obtained in the region.

This state of affairs was shattered in 2020, when Iran, which had, against all predictions to the contrary remained immune to the popular uprisings, disclosed that it had a secret cache of nuclear weapons. Though this was a clear violation of all its treaty obligations, there was little that could be done about it because, by now, Iran had entangled itself so thoroughly into the economic affairs of the world it had so cleverly fooled, that sanctions would have had an adverse effect on everybody else too.

The ensuing Iranian nuclear blackmail would have changed the face of the Middle East, if not the world, but Israel had never been fooled, and had been feverishly working to counter any weapons the Iranians might develop. Under the brilliant leadership of two Nobel laureates, Yakob Kreutzler, and Avram Mendelson, the Weizmann Institute was set to work on the Kew Gardens project, named after Kreutzler’s birthplace.

(The scientific aspects of the Kreutzler-Mendelson Effect are beyond the purview of this history and can be studied in detail in Hoffman’s excellent collection  A Cross-Disciplinary Study of the Kreutzler-Mendelson Effect. Oxford University Press, 2035.  It remains the definitive work on the subject, though it is, by now, of interest only as a scientific curiosity.)

Prime Minister Halevy addressed the UN on October 3, 2022, announcing that Israel had developed a system to disarm and neutralize any nuclear device, anywhere in the world, without affecting its own.

The scientific world, of course, protested that such a thing was impossible, and demanded a demonstration. Israel replied that it was ready to provide such a demonstration under whatever circumstances, and in whatever place, that the international community should choose.

The United Nations was convened in special session to deal with the crisis. Committees were formed, debates took place, and with unusual haste, the UN Plan was ready six months later. It was agreed that Russia, the United States, and China would each detonate its most powerful weapons in Antarctica, where they could do little damage. Israel was afforded the most inaccessible region of the Gobi Desert.

The test was scheduled for noon GMT on March 16, 2023. The results, as we know, were spectacular. Israel’s bomb made a new crater in Asia, and not even a single snowflake melted in Antarctica.

A shell-shocked world slowly came to grips with the fact that tiny Israel had – overnight - assumed the mantle of the most powerful nation on earth. To maintain this position, Israel decreed that any attempt by anyone, anywhere to commit war upon anyone else, would be met with low-yield nuclear weapons, cleansed of their radioactive properties; a process the Israelis had perfected some twenty years earlier.

The Israeli response to a handful of major outbreaks, and the destruction of several major cities, including Tehran, was enough to finally put a stop to the practice of national aggression, and the world was dragged, kicking and screaming, into The Great Peace. It lasted almost two centuries. 

2079  - Washington, DC.

President McCoy arose from his desk in the Oval Office to greet the entering delegation. It comprised the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Attorney general, the Speaker of the House, and the Senate majority leader.

“You all know why I called you here,” McCoy began, “so I’ll dispense with the details and get right down to brass tacks.”

“If you would sir,” said the Secretary of State. “Please.”

McCoy shot him an evil glance. If I come through this, I’m definitely getting rid of that supercilious prick, he thought.

The President and the Secretary of State had been thrust together by politics, and there had never been any love between them. Secretary Hatfield had done everything in his power to thwart McCoy’s foreign policies, a fact that had not gone unnoticed by the press, and made the President  look like an impotent buffoon, unable to control the direction of his own administration. He, of course, always had the last say in policy matters, but the public infighting did great damage to his reputation as a strong leader.

This time he’s gonna be out on his ass. Or I will, I guess, he thought, swiveling his gaze around the desk, fixing each man in turn with his most iron-lipped smile.

“I have decided to take the deal.” McCoy steeled himself for the outburst that he knew would follow.

Hatfield’s face was the most expressive, cycling from stupefaction, to disbelief, to horror, and finally, to disgust. He even managed to turn it red, all the way up to the top of his bald pate straddled by patches of graying black hair.

He looks like one of those weird monkeys, McCoy thought, and he looks like he’s about to have a fucking stroke. Could I be so lucky?

“Mr. President. I must protest.” Hatfield spluttered. “You can’t do that.”

“I can, and I will. You can fight me on this, you can all fight me, but I will take it over your heads to the Congress and by the look of the smiles on Senator Harmon and the Representative from the great state of Kentucky, I won’t have any problems. What do you say, Charlie?”

“I say go for it. I can deliver the House. .”

“And you’ll have an easy time in the Senate.” Dave Harmon’s echo broke in.

“But, but. .”  Hartfield spluttered some more, his face getting even redder.

Come on, ramp it up you old fart. Drop dead on me, McCoy thought. Aloud, he said, “What’s the matter Jim, can’t get your motorcycle started?”

This remark brought forth guffaws from the Legislative Branch, while the Secretary of Defense had assumed a permanent scowl, and the Attorney General, as usual, seemed impassive.

“But, but,” Hartfield seemed incapable of not spluttering. “But. . we already decided that it would be a bad idea. An alliance with Russia at this point would be sheer madness.”

“You decided that, not I, but as you can see, I have the Congress with me, so you can just go fuck yourself this time, and you can get ready to pack your bags. As soon as the vote is over you’re out of here. I must have been nuts to appoint you at all. I should have just let the fur fly. So much for fucking bi-partisanship. Fuck you and fuck your Republican friends. I’ve had it up to here.”

McCoy nearly cut his own throat with the edge of his hand.

Hatfield, incredibly, turned an even brighter shade of red and looked like he was about to explode. Instead, he stared for a long second into McCoy’s hard eyes, turned on his heels, and stormed out of the room through the door held open by a stone-faced Secret Service agent.

So much for that asshole, McCoy thought. He turned to the Secretary of Defense. “What about you, George, will you be with me or agin me?” He turned on his most persuasive Texas drawl.

“You and I have been friends for a long time, Sam, but I think you’re barking up the wrong tree here. You know as well as I do that you’re pushing the edges of the Constitution. I can’t go along with anything that puts our military establishments together.”

“Come on, George, I told you that I’d fight to the death for you to be in charge. That’s all I can do. This day has been coming for a long time, and neither you nor I are big enough to stop it. I intend to lead it. You can come along, or follow Jim out the door.

The Secretary of Defense turned to the Attorney General. “Have you signed off on this too, Bob? As I recall, you had plenty of doubts. What’s changed your mind?”

Bob Harris thought for a bit before speaking, but he always did, so it could not be interpreted as any kind of unusually pregnant pause.

“I have to go along with Sam. There’s a new day dawning, and all the old nationalisms have to be rethought. Look at yourself, after all, a ceremonial overseer of a ceremonial military. It’s just stupid to continue to imagine that any of the old realities hold anymore. We are no longer the masters of our own fate, and it’s high time we accepted it and acted accordingly. This alliance will put an end to all the petty squabbling, and I’m all for that.”

The Secretary of Defense let out a long sigh. “I was hoping that it wouldn’t come to this, but you’ll have my resignation in the morning, Sam.  I’m sorry. I won’t fight you, but I won’t go along with you either.”

 “I’m truly sorry to hear that, George, but why don’t you take a day or two to think about it?” McCoy’s face proved the sincerity of his words, and George Foster could tell the difference between the politician and the friend.

“I’ve thought about little else for the past few months. My decision is final. I’m truly sorry, but I won’t take any part in dismantling the country.”

“Come now George, you’re exaggerating. Combining two ceremonial armies that haven’t got shit to do anyway is hardly dismantling the country.”

“It’s the first step, and it’ll go piecemeal from here on in. What’s next Sam? Education? Russian as a second language?  Why not the fucking Treasury too? We can change over to Rubles? What the hell. Count me out.”

The Secretary of Defense followed the Secretary of State out past the statued guard.

“Well, I guess there’s no one left but us chickens.” McCoy looked pensive. “It looks like the fat’s in the fire. Let’s hope we don’t get burned.”

“Where’s the Vice-president in all of this, sir?” Harmon asked.

“Right now he’s probably shitfaced drunk in the can, but you can count on a tie-breaker if it should come to that.”

In spite of Senator Harmon’s assurances, it did come to that, and the Vice-president had to be prodded out of his stupor in order to vote, eliciting more than a few outright guffaws from the august assemblage below.

Things went a bit more smoothly in the House, but it was touch and go for a while during the debates.

President Samuel J. McCoy presided over the uniting of the American and Russian military establishments. George Foster was persuaded to accept the post of Secretary of Combined Defense. He had simply gotten used to being the ceremonial head of a ceremonial defense establishment, and hated to miss the ceremony. James Hatfield died of a stroke on the very day that the Accord was signed. The American people, as usual, didn’t really give a shit, as long as there was enough work and plenty of money, liquor, and drugs to go around.

The deal was signed, sealed, and delivered, ready to be sent up to a higher authority for approval. 

2079/5840 – Jerusalem, Israel

PM Goldberg sat back in his leather chair, looking from a distance at the ocean of papers spilling out of the portfolios spread out on the desk before him. He’d been musing, and his cigar had gone out.

A knock on the door jolted him out of his reverie. It opened to admit his secretary David, followed by Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Cohen, whose fur streimel was nearly knocked off by the door lintel. Without breaking stride, the Chief Rabbi swept it off his head and straightened his yarmulke.

“I understand it has arrived.” The Chief Rabbi never stood much on ceremony. He looked over at the pile of papers on the desk. “Is that it?”

“Good to see you too, Yehudah.” The PM smiled.

“Have you read them?”

“Not really. I’ve glanced through them, and everything seems to be in order, but I don’t really want to get too involved. Let the meshugginer goyim do whatever the hell they want. What does it matter to us?”

“It matters because it’s Russia.  You should know that. Your great-great grandfather’s father’s father, alavasholem, was murdered in the Kishinev pogroms. That’s why it matters.

“I didn’t know him well.”

The Chief Rabbi thundered, “This is not a laughing matter.”

“Oh, but I think it is. If America and Russia can put aside their differences, why should I worry about my dead ancestors?  Nobody’s even lit a yahrzeit candle to him for a century and a half.

“That is not the point.”

“No. The point is can we trust Russia and the United States not to conspire against us? I, for one, don’t give a damn. This constant monitoring of everyone else takes valuable time from my job. What the hell could they do to us anyway? Don’t you think you should stop with the paranoia already? Get it through your head. We’re safe.”

“Jews are never safe. Even when we’re safe we’re not safe. All the brains aren’t here in Israel, you know, what if they figure out a way to stop The Machine? Then what?”

Goldberg was amused. The Chief Rabbi never failed to stumble over Kreutzler-Mendelson, and had merely taken to calling it The Machine. But he couldn’t entirely dismiss the Rabbi’s misgivings. They were his own. Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do about it.

“We’ll just have to face it when, or if, it happens. I am assured that it is impervious to outside influence, as we have all been since the beginning. Why worry about what we can’t control? And if it isn’t America and Russia, it will be America and China, or China and Russia. Take your pick. There are plenty of brains in all of them. And don’t forget about Europe.”

“I spit on Europe, may it disappear from the face of the earth.”

“Then it’s a good thing for them that you weren’t around when we were deciding who to nuke. They wouldn’t have had a chance.”

“Where does Mizrachi stand on this matter?”

“I’m all for it.” Boomed the powerful voice of the Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Jerusalem, who flowed through the door without ceremony.”

“News travels fast these days.” Laughed the PM. “The carrier pigeons must be busy.”

He was feeling anything but jovial, however.  He’d been hoping to go through the accord at his leisure, make a decision, and submit it to the Knesset for ratification, without having to do too much to get the Rabbis to agree. Mizrachi seemed a likely bet, but Cohen was going to be stubborn. He cursed for the hundredth time the law that all treaty agreements between the Gentile nations had to be approved by the PM and the two Chief Rabbis before being sent up for final ratification. He wondered again if Israeli politics would ever make any sense.

Goddamn Jews, he thought.

“What are you smiling about?” asked Chief Rabbi Cohen. I told you, this is no laughing matter.”

“Keep your Tzitzis on, Rabbi,” Mizrachi was laughing. “I’m sure we can work this out to everyone’s satisfaction. If there’s anything we don’t like, we’ll just send it back for revision.”

“You’ll send it back.” The PM shouted.  “I don’t give a damn. T’zdrei your own kopfs about it.  Here, I put it into your hands.” He swept up the pile of papers shoving them willy-nilly into whatever portfolios were handy, regardless of their order. “You are welcome to stay here for a week, if necessary, I’m going out for a corned beef sandwich, and I won’t be back until you’re done.”

He turned to the door that was still standing open. “Dovidl, call for my car. We’re going to Nathan’s Deli for lunch. Who needs this michugass?” He turned back to the Rabbis. “You decide. It’s all the same to me. I don’t care what the goyim do, as long as they do it in peace and quiet.”

It wasn’t going to be that easy, but eventually, the Knesset ratified the accord, and for the next century-and-a-half, the United States and Russia were able to slowly, carefully, and secretly, set about destroying the Kreutzler-Mendelson Effect.

You can’t keep good countries down forever.

                                                                       ***

(Excerpt from the Abridged History of Israel by James Wilson and Yechezkiel Cohen. Reader’s DigestPress. 2315 ed.)

Chapter 51: The Shield

The Great Peace of 2023 lasted until 2215, when the USA&R announced that it discovered a means to disable The Machine, as the Kreutzler-Mendelson Effect was generally known at the time. The announcement created a firestorm of demands that Israel return full sovereignty to all the nations whom it had forced into the ignominious position of having to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors.

Perhaps the best expression of Amerussian sentiment was delivered in a speech on the floor of the Senaduma by Senator Iliyevitch on March 16, the anniversary of the UN Plan, and the beginning of the Israeli yoke.

“We cry out for the liberation of our nations and our spirits. We demand that our basic right to follow our human nature be restored in full. We insist that full independence be granted immediately, so that we may fulfill the great national destinies ordained to us by God Almighty, nevermore to be undone by human artifice.”

Within days, plans were laid in capitals throughout the world for reviving their nuclear arsenals.  In this, the USA&R was by far the most advanced, since they had been working on it secretly for years, somehow managing to avoid the ever-watchful eyes of the Mossad.

On July 4, 2216, the USA&R announced that it had a dozen nuclear weapons targeted on Israel, and that if Israel did not accede to their demands at noon, Jerusalem time, the world would be treated to an Independence Day fireworks show the likes of which it had never before seen.

The Israeli response was delivered at 11:55 am. Prime Minister  Eliyahu Binzer announced in a worldwide address, that Israel had developed a shield that would protect it from any kind of thermonuclear explosion, and told the world:

“You want your freedom? You can have your freedom. Your freedom to kill each other. You should only choke on your freedom.”

With that, he pushed a button on a console and uttered his final words on the matter.

“The Chalerya take you all. Meshugginers!” 

2216/5977 – Jerusalem, Israel

PM Binzer looked at the blinking light on the console before him. As long as that light continued to blink, Israel would be safe from nuclear wars. He was satisfied.

“There. Done. Let the Mishugoyim simmer in their own juices. Who wants to go out to Nathan’s for some corned beef sandwiches and felafel?”