It was to be a foregone conclusion. Israel, a tiny country of no natural resources, inhabited by a few million spunky refugees with their backs to the sea, bordered on all sides by totalitarian Arab Muslim regimes financed by the largest deposits of black gold in the world and bent on pursuing a religious war of extermination against the Jews... well, Israel's days were said to be numbered before they began. Even with subsequent Arab defeats, again and again, Israel was said to survive on borrowed time.
With the latest crisis in relations between Israel and it's Great Power backer, the United States, Israel's enemies waxed triumphantly about the Jewish State's imminent downfall. Pundits, analysts and news reports all concluded that Israel's best days were behind it, as the gloom of approaching defeat was working its way into the Jewish psyche, undermining the energy and creativity of the state's early generations. Brave Israeli newspapers, secretly bypassing strict Israeli censors, published English samizdat, bringing to the world the self-professed inside story of Israeli democracy's slide into militarism, racism, fascism, religious radicalism and apartheid.
Under diplomatic pressure and economic blockade from the Arabs and their Western allies, the Jews of Israel were said to be marking their final hours, rationing their last grains of wheat, their final drops of water. From the reports, the situation seemed dire, perilous, bleak, glum, dismal, and in general need of a thesaurus.
The reports were wrong. From the center of global Zionist power - Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Center's Food Court - a live video performance of a flash mob performing a much-loved chorus piece from Verdi’s Il Trovatore shook the world. Western analysts and punditry were left bewildered at this stunning coup de grace. In one swift act, the Jews of Israel had removed all doubt of their permanent survival, their commitment to pluralistic democracy and of the Jewish State's enduring cultural and economic success.
The Arab world reeled from a mixture of shock, horror and disbelief. Gone were the hourly pronouncements of imminent victory over the "Zionist dogs". Their confidence and honor shattered, millions of Arabs converged on the palaces of their tyrants, demanding answers, starting with a reliable translation from the Italian in the video, leading to questions of how the Jews, under international sanctions and blockade, had managed to amass more food in one mall's food court than all Arab nations, put together, had fed their people for a week. Set aflame, disoriented and defeated, their cultural humiliation complete, the Arab "street" would take a generation to heal from its wounds.
They said opera was boring, and they were right... until now.