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Destroyed from Within
by Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover

What to do with a deadly virus that is prone to rapid genetic mutation, which allows it to quickly develop resistance to any drug or vaccine marshaled against it? Until recently, the strategy has been to attack the mutagenic mechanisms of the virus itself.

This approach seems logical enough, but has not proven itself to be effective. A prime example is the HIV virus, which has to date infected 33 million people across the globe and causes the deadly AIDS disease. This virus mutates so rapidly that despite international studies with collaboration among top scientists from many different fields, no vaccine or even viable treatment has yet been discovered.

 So what other course is there? You could try the reverse. Coronis Research SA has recently developed a novel treatment for HIV that actually accelerates the mutagenicity of the virus. The plan is to stimulate the virus to mutate to such an extreme that it destroys itself.

This strategy, while going against the accepted wisdom, nevertheless has shown great promise. Instead of fighting the mutations, stimulate them and let the virus destroy itself.

It seems that G-d has used a similar strategy to eliminate various evil regimes who threatened world peace as well as the wellbeing of the Jewish people. A recent example was the sudden breakup of the Soviet Union. It was not a military strategy that led to its defeat, but an erosion from within.

The intransigence of Iraq grew to such a height of audacity and evil that it led them to invade a neighboring country and to attack Israel with missiles. However, the sequel was that the people of the country turned against their evil dictator, deposed him and eventually ensured that he received his just punishment.

In light of these precedents, we see that the belligerence of Iran and North Korea are likewise growing. This will lead to their eventual demise, the sooner the better. “Not with power and not with might, but with My spirit,” says G-d.

We have also seen this prior to the redemption from Egypt. King Pharaoh had reached an intolerable level of stubbornness and cruelty, absolutely refusing to free the Jews despite the ever-mounting severity of the plagues. This led part of his nation to rebel against him. After hearing about the projected plague of the firstborn, some of the firstborn in Egypt, fearing for their own lives, began a civil war against those who remained loyal to Pharaoh. This was a prelude to the ultimate destruction of Egypt only a few days later, when the Egyptian armies drowned in the Reed Sea in pursuit of the Jews.

Today we also find ourselves in the period immediately preceding the final Redemption. It seems that once again, G-d has chosen this approach to defeating the evil. This time, the evil will be absolutely destroyed, as this exile will not be followed by any further exiles.

Prof. Yirmiyahu Branover is chairman of the Center of Magnetohydrodynamic Studies and Training at Ben-Gurion University. 


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