Prayer could send peace around world

December 08, 2000

AT first it seemed a good joke, Israeli flags appearing on websites promoting Hezbollah.

Messages of defiance in Hebrew on militant Moslem pages. Depictions of Yasser Arafat as a pig, in situations that would make even a pig blush.

The young Jewish hackers who mutilated Arab internet sites were striking a modern blow against an enemy whose tactics were mired in the Dark Ages.

Palestinian teenagers threw stones — Israeli schoolkids hurled back packets of data.

Arab terrorists plotted suicide attacks — Israeli intellectuals fooled Iranian servers into shutting themselves down.

Fearing international condemnation, Michael Eitan, head of the Knesset’s Internet Committee, announced that hack-attacks on Moslem sites were illegal.

‘‘We need to explain to the Israeli public that we are not a country of piracy and that children should not be declaring war,’’ he said. No one listened.

Angry but impotent, Lebanon Shi’ites who saw their websites being picked off by electronic sniper fire launched a global plea to Moslem hackers in Europe and the US. Following a report in the Beirut Daily Star that two pro-Hezbollah sites were recruiting whizkids, more than 60 Israeli sites were hit.

Army, government and tourism web pages were torn down, sent up, blacked out or kicked in. Denial-of-service attacks, the kind of mass email onslaughts which froze the web giants eBay and Yahoo! earlier this year, were used to cripple Jewish internet service providers.

One email, sent like a chain letter from sympathiser to sympathiser, claimed: ‘‘The more money the Jews lose in fixing and strengthening their systems means less money to buy bullets and rockets for use against our children . . . Maybe you can’t hold a gun and fight, but you can contribute to the struggle.’’

Such propaganda is, of course, idiotic as well as cynical. Israel’s defence budget is not tied to her computer network costs. Soldiers are not told, ‘‘Only two bullets each today, boys — we’ve had some unexpected website expenses.’’

And the damage done, in what the Arabs have started to call ‘‘an electronic jihad’’ is superficial. The public face of Israel’s computer superstructure may be bruised, but the brain behind the face is not even jolted.

The two are kept totally separate. Any hacker who crashes a government information page and imagines he is damaging the country’s real information network is deluded.

In an investigation into what it sarcastically called Cyber War I, the Jerusalem Report dryly concluded: ‘‘National security was not endangered . . . It’s a nuisance, nothing more.’’

But on the real computers of the Ministry of Defence at Ha Kiryah in Tel Aviv, programmers are staring at a much greater threat. According to analysis leaked to the Times, the Palestinian uprising is following a predictable pattern which appears to lead inevitably to bio-terrorist attacks in Britain and America as the Middle East conflict goes global.

The recruitment of hackers from schools and colleges worldwide has already shown that no war can ever be restricted to the Holy Land again. The internet has made our planet much smaller than a global village — it is a single house. And if there is a fire in one of the rooms of your house, the whole building is threatened.

In the scenario which Ha Kiryah computers suggest is unfolding, one huge terrorist attack in an Israeli city will be enough to sweep away the ceasefires permanently.

Too many terrorists hate peace for this scenario to seem anything but a certainty — one massive explosion, 100 women and children slaughtered in a school or a marketplace, 100 million viewers taking sides.

The initial atrocity will be forgotten as Israel wreaks a terrible revenge, pounding the Palestinians with incalculably greater might. Syria, Jordan and then Iraq will be drawn into the conflict.

America, torn for months between supporting the Israelis and pandering to the Saudis, will seize the opportunity to drop nuclear devices on Iraq.

In the worst possible outcome, nuclear devices in terrorist hands or wielded by rogue Russian factions will be detonated in the States. This is the Doomsday scenario.

More probable is a long campaign of terrorist attrition against the West as the Arab states keep failing to dislodge Israel. The merest hint that Islamic fundamentalists are deploying bombs containing anthrax, necrotising bacteria and ebola viruses will plunge cities into panic.

Remember how Israeli children were trained to don gas masks during the Gulf War? Those pictures could be repeated worldwide if real terror takes grip.

These scenarios differ from the projections traditionally drawn up by war-room analysts, because they are using computer algorithms based on patterns seen throughout the natural world at every mathematical level, from the shaping of coastlines to the spread of diseases, from the growth of a coral to the onset of a species’ extinction.

Impartially, unemotionally, the computer uses chaos theory — the branch of maths which locates ever-repeating formulae at the heart of madness and disorder — to project an image of the future.

Chaos theory is based on uncertainty. What the computer sees is not what must unavoidably happen. One tiny, unforeseen change in the pattern — a single voice speaking out for peace, a single act of love in the midst of the hatred — can be enough to set a whole new future unfolding.

According to chaos theory, the breath of a butterfly’s wing in China can be enough to set a cyclone spinning across the Atlantic.

And by that law, the force of a single prayer can be enough to roll a wave of peace eastwards up the Mediterranean, to purge the Holy Land of war.

Read Uri Geller’s stunning online novel, Nobody’s Child, at
Uri Geller’s ParaScience Pack is published by Van Der Meer at £30. To hear an inspirational message from Uri, call 0906 601 0171. Call costs 60p per minute.
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