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What To Do About Israel

Fred has an interesting take on the Israeli-Palistinian situation:
Anyway, I’m willing to grant that Israelis are uniquely terrible folk, ‘bout like everybody else, and no end monstrous, and eat babies. Being as I am a simple-minded country boy, though, I keep thinking of simple-minded questions. Like, what exactly do we expect the Israelis to do? I mean, I know they’re terrible and all, but they’re there. Maybe a better question is what would you do if you were where they are. It’s easy to solve problems you don’t have from Cleveland.

Now, any discussion of what the Israelis ought to do bogs down in about three seconds into arguments about whether Israel should ever have been allowed to exist. That’s easy. No. Things would have been lots easier for almost everybody. But then, maybe the Apaches don’t think the United States should exist. Maybe the Dravidians think the Aryans should high-tail it back to Iran. The Mexicans want California back, which they stole by force of arms from the Indians, who probably want it back too.

Thing is, Israel does exist. Should and ought to have don’t matter. It’s like saying Aunt Penelope shouldn’t have married a drunk and had seven feeble-minded kids. But she did. You gotta deal with it.


Best I can tell, the Israelis have these choices:

1 March into the sea and drown. It would be a solution of sorts, but the smart money doesn’t like it.

2 Emigrate to Brighton Beach. If they had wanted to, they would have already, so they probably won’t. Leaving isn’t really a choice. Who would take more than some of them?

3 Give the land back and retreat to the borders of 1967. This sounds like a nice idea, from Cleveland. You know, like Mikey grabbed Billy’s ball on the playground, and he should give it back and learn to share and be all friends with Billy.

Maybe it would have worked, once. This isn’t once. There is too much bad blood. It doesn’t follow that because the Israelis do bad things, the Palestinians don’t. They blow up shopping malls.

Leaving aside territorial ambitions, which exist, returning the land would be dangerous on military grounds. For example, look at where the West Bank fits into what is today Israel, note the shape of what remains when they are removed, and reflect on the range of a .105 howitzer. If returning the land would guarantee that the Palestinians would live peacefully with the Israelis, and grow olives, and invite them to drumming circles, OK. But it ain’t likely. Everybody hates everybody else too much. If I were an Israeli, I wouldn’t risk it.

4 Kill all the Palestinians or, in the less brutal school of ethnic cleansing of, say, 1493, shove them into Jordan. I’ll get email disagreeing, but I don’t think, despite Sharon and Kahane and such, that the Israelis would go for the former, even if they could get away with it, which they in all likelihood couldn’t. Expulsion would be a lesser but a huge gamble. I wouldn’t do it.

5 Build that fool wall. I guess that’s what I would do. It’s a bad idea and probably won’t work, which distinguishes it slightly from bad ideas that certainly won’t work.
Well you can't say that he isn't original.

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