This week, the world watched in horror as the Hisbollah unveiled it's state-of-the-art weapon, the non-Katyusha rocket.
This week's crisis was marked by the thousands of rockets which did not fall on Northern settlements, as citizens waited anxiously in shelters and security rooms or moved out.
The non-Katyusha can be non-fired from a portable rocket launcher easily transported over any terrain by a single non-commissioned soldier, even a little one. Once airborne, it remains non-detectable by all radar, sonar, molar and other detection and mastication devices. It does not reach targets up to 22 kilometers.
Unlike conventional missiles, which strike and scatter individual citizens, these babies have a shock wave that can scatter entire populations of an urban area over surprisingly great distances, reaching, in this case, hotels and guest rooms as far as fifty kilometers away, even as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Those protected by their shelters or non-security rooms become non-entities. Living off supplies which are not handed out, they cease to exist in the minds of local officials.
The new "non-K " weaponry, as it is already being called, has a strong psychological effect on its victims, particularly those in administrative capacity. The immediate effect is administrative incapacity, followed by incoherence, incompetence, and incontinence, the latter leading to non-compoop, in shelters where the plumbing is infacilitated or non-existent. This was evident in decisions made at all levels.
The Non-K is certainly a weapon whose time has come. Every year, politicians talk more non-sense while young people vibrate to non-music, and media personalities spend hours discussing non-issues. The most powerful country is shaken by the scandal of a president who had non-sex with that woman. The entire developed world quivers in fear as the year 2000 approaches, and then on Jan 1, crazed terrorists and suicidal cultists do not attack, lights do not go off, markets do not crash, elevators do not stand still, and airplanes do not fall from the skies.
Here in Israel, we are dealing with a President who did not know that a millionaire was slipping millions of dollars into his account, a publishing mogul who was not aware that he had hired goons to turn his rival into a non-living state, and a Prime Minister who did not realize that his multi million shekel election campaign was illegally funded by charitable foundations which were not charitable and unfounded.
So, what lies in store for us on the non-event horizon? It all comes down to simple highschool arithmetic. You are no doubt familiar with real numbers, rational numbers and imaginary numbers. The imaginary numbers here are the millions of dollars we are about to gain in revenue with Syria. While experts in favor of the Golan handover realize - and publicly announce-- that only one side wants a peace with open borders and trade, the idyll of humus in Damascus ( and why not Damasc-cuscus im kvar) is still being sold to the public as the chief prize. Irrational numbers are for counting things like accords that stipulate that you can shoot Jews as long as they're on the right side of the cage. But the casualties are measured in numbers that are all too real.
This morning, the citizens of Kiriat Shmona, along with its virtual image 'Hamaktesh Hatsfonee,' that exists only in my column and your minds, went back to what we laughingly call 'routine.' Let's hope it lasts a long time.
- Barry Silverberg, and his not so silent partner.
Feb 11, 2000.