The bad cop (say Gene Hackman) starts to interrogate the
suspect. He shouts, curses, threatens, hits him. At the right moment,
the good cop (say Clint Eastwood) enters.
"How do you dare to behave like this?" he shouts at the
bad cop, "get out!" He offers the frightened suspect a cigarette and
coffee and says: "What a beast that man is! He can do terrible things to
you. Only yesterday a man almost died during his interrogation. But I
can get him off this interrogation. Only, just to convince the boss, you
must give me some little piece of information. So who was your
accomplice in the bank robbery?"
Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres are playing now these
characters for a world-wide audience in a movie that may well win the
Oscar some day. "Excellent acting," the jury will report, "an
exceptionally convincing performance."
The bad cop, Sharon, shouts: "Hold me! I am crazy! I’ll
go berserk!" It’s easy for him to convince the audience, because they
remember his previous movies ("Blood and tears in Kibia" or "Is Gaza
burning?" not to mention the blockbuster "Darkness in Sabra and
His partner is equally famous. Shimon Peres, an actor
who won many prizes, played the bad guy in his early movies ("The Way to
Suez" and "The Dimona Mystery" spring to mind), but for many years now
he has been cast as the peacemaker. Who doesn’t remember "Doves in
The division of roles is natural. Central Casting could
not do better. Sharon threatens the world. If let loose, he will invade
the Palestinian territories, kill Arafat, drive masses of Palestinians
across the Jordan river, perhaps invade Lebanon and Syria on the way. An
earthquake will send shudders throughout the Middle East, the regimes of
Egypt and Jordan may collapse, even Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States
will totter, the oil will catch fire, the global economy will collapse.
But all this will not happen. Why? Because Peres, the
good cop, is holding Sharon , preventing him from going berserk. He
travels between the capitals of the world, imploring presidents and
prime ministers: Please, help me to restrain that terrible person! I
can’t do it if you don’t let him enlarge the settlements and break the
existing agreements, and if you try to compel him to return to the
negotiations. It’s bad, but it will prevent a catastrophe!
The world rests assured. The leaders are afraid of
Sharon, but as long as Peres is at his side, everything is OK. Nothing
really terrible can happen.
All this is playacting, of course. Peres is quite unable
to prevent Sharon from doing anything he wants to do. Nowadays, Peres is
a political lightweight, while Sharon is a heavyweight master. He could
get rid of Peres anytime, putting an end to his career forever.
So why doesn’t he go berserk? Because the American sword
of Damocles is hanging over his head. No Israeli leader can oppose the
will of the United States when it really concerns American interests.
All Israelis know this. After all, they are the only people outside the
US who wave American flags on their Independence Day.
These days, Washington is in the hands of the oil
people. They are content with "condemning" Sharon as long as he only
assassinates Palestinian leaders and enlarges the settlements. He knows
very well that there is a red line and where it is. He waits patiently
for the day when he will succeed in convincing the Americans to allow
him a free hand for the great adventure, as they did in 1982.
In the meantime, he uses Peres in order to tell his own
extremist supporters that he must "restrain himself" against his will in
order to preserve "national unity". While the good Peres crosses the
oceans as a travelling salesman, selling Sharon’s policy of
"liquidations" and all the other instruments of occupation and spreading
the lie about the "generous offers" which were refuses by Arafat.
Peres has already been awarded the third of a Nobel
prize. He can now look forward to receiving the half of an Oscar.