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Consider a thought experiment I read of a few years ago -

Close your eyes and imagine the middle east, and then imagine that every arab state were to lose all its weapons and Israel were to retain them. Then imagine the opposite, that the Arab states, including Gaza, were to remain armed and Israel were to lose its weapons.

I’ll give you more scenarios -

Imagine that Israel were to  invade Gaza, and the IDF were to encounter a Gazan kindergarten in its line of advance.

Imagine that Hamas were to invade Israel, and the advancing Jihadis were to encounter an Israeli kindergarten.

Imagine you had to live in a middle eastern country and be subject to their laws for the rest of your life, but could choose the one. Which would you choose?


  1. El Draque says:

    I agree with the sentiments, with one caveat.
    The first, only applied after about 1960.
    Ben-Gurion was adamant in 1948, that if the Arabs did not attack, Israel would have to attack them. For they needed defensible borders, and more land to house the Holocaust refugees even then wandering the high seas or locked up in displaced persons camps.
    I do not say it was right, I only say it happened.
    Later, they could adopt a more conciliatory tone – especially after the Suez campaign. I think that taught the sensible ones the limits.

  2. NickM says:

    Well… I dunno. I saw something tonight on the foundation of Israel (not for the first time I have seen such shows) and the thing is the Hagannah (sp?) was no Al Queda or Hamas. Perhaps the Irgun were similar* but when the Zionists fought against the British Mandate an overwhelming majority of the Zionist Jews were genuinely outraged by what was done in their name, even coming onside with us against th lunatic fringe unconditrionally. This is a huge difference from the mealy mouthed “We condemn but…” you get from even “respectable” Islamic organisations. No. From everything I know about the Israeli struggle for independence it was way different from this deranged mob of Islamists.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth you always need defensible borders… Any Civ playing fule knows that! Well you do if know your neighbours want to kill you.

    *Oh and unlike the Islamists their ambitions were never global.

  3. Tim Newman says:

    When I lived in the Middle East I was somewhat convinced that most regional hatred of Israel comes from pure jealously. It sure as hell isn’t out of concern for the Palestinians, who are universally detested and considered trouble-makers by the whole region (which is why they are denied even the most basic of services. Lebanon, for instance, refuses to allow Palestinians to to work in Lebanon on the grounds that Lebanese are not allowed to work in Palestine, even though Palestine does not exist. Somehow this is the Jews’ fault). Most of Israel’s neighbours – Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq – are fucking basket cases. They best they have is some tourist attractions dating from Roman times. Israel meanwhile has a thriving developed economy, and liberties their neighbours could only dream of. The 4-0 thrashing the combined Arab armies have suffered at the hands of Israel still hurts, mainly because they know that they just cannot get their act together in the way the Israelis can. And as the prize piece of evidence, just look at the state of Gaza since it came under Hamas rule: hundreds killed in the settling of old scores and outright murder of political opponents, followed by grinding poverty as their leaders fight Israel at the expense of the idiot population that elected them. It would take a lot more than Israel relinquishing control of Gazan airspace (or whatever the excuse is this week) for the gap between the two systems to close to within a century or two.

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