Tuesday, May 13, 2008

“As it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us”

In his recent essay at National Review Online Mark Steyn lays out a case for Israel’s “possible doom.” It doesn’t make for pleasant reading.

Ever since Shrinkwrapped posted on the idea of Israel having “lost the will to survive”, I am beginning to wonder if this is some part of the zeitgeist to which I’m not privy. Not that I mind missing that particular burden.

Certainly, Mr. Steyn gets around enough to repeatedly run into the whiff of decomposing predictions. He says:

Almost everywhere I went last week - TV, radio, speeches - I was asked about the 60th anniversary of the Israeli state. I don’t recall being asked about Israel quite so much on its 50th anniversary, which as a general rule is a much bigger deal than the 60th. But these days friends and enemies alike smell weakness at the heart of the Zionist Entity. Assuming President Ahmadinejad’s apocalyptic fancies don’t come to pass, Israel will surely make it to its 70th birthday. But a lot of folks don’t fancy its prospects for its 80th and beyond. See the Atlantic Monthly cover story: “Is Israel Finished?” Also the cover story in Canada’s leading news magazine, Maclean’s, which dispenses with the question mark: “Why Israel Can’t Survive.”

I don’t have a subscription to the Atlantic and I haven’t trusted their opinions on anything since Michael Kelly was killed in Iraq five years ago and they were left bereft of his point of view.

I’m not so familiar with Maclean’s leanings, but it is instructive that they have Israel’s demise as a declarative sentence.
- - - - - - - - -
Mr. Steyn notes the comparison between the aid we supply to Israel and what goes to Egypt. This is a point I’ve been making for some time, and one that became most apparent when citizens in Cairo started lining up for bread rations in April of this year:

Would I rather there were more countries like Israel, or more like Syria? I don’t find that a hard question to answer. Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East (Iraq may yet prove a second) and its Arab citizens enjoy more rights than they would living under any of the kleptocrat kings and psychotic dictators who otherwise infest the region. On a tiny strip of land narrower at its narrowest point than many American townships, Israel has built a modern economy with a GDP per capita just shy of $30,000 - and within striking distance of the European Union average. If you object that that’s because it’s uniquely blessed by Uncle Sam, well, for the past 30 years the second largest recipient of U.S. aid has been Egypt: Their GDP per capita is $5,000, and America has nothing to show for its investment other than one-time pilot Mohammed Atta coming at you through the office window.

The noise-to-signal ratio has only increased in the last ten years. Nothing, but nothing, will deter the progressive socialists in Europe and their American mini-me’s that Israel is verboten. First Europe:

Since Israel marked its half-century, the “right to exist” is now routinely denied not just in Gaza and Ramallah and the region’s presidential palaces but on every European and Canadian college campus. During the Lebanese incursion of 2006, Matthew Parris wrote in the Times of London: “The past 40 years have been a catastrophe, gradual and incremental, for world Jewry. Seldom in history have the name and reputation of a human grouping lost so vast a store of support and sympathy so fast.

And now good, old dependable Richard Cohen, one of the premier self-flagellators on the Left:

…”Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.”

Steyn notes acerbically:

Cohen and Parris, two famously moderate voices in the leading newspapers of two of the least anti-Israeli capital cities in the West, have nevertheless internalized the same logic as Ahmadinejad: Israel should not be where it is. Whether it’s a “stain of shame” or just a “mistake” is the merest detail.

I have never found Cohen moderate, though he is predictably anti- everything that I find interesting or worthwhile. He’s not even a good writer, which is why I stopped reading him years ago. On the other hand, Mr. Steyn’s professional hazard is that he has to read far and wide for his living.

Here is Steyn's own dysphoric prediction:

Arabs will soon be demanding one democratic state - Jews and Muslims - from Jordan to the sea. And even those who understand that this will mean the death of Israel will find themselves so confounded by the multicultural pieties of their own lands they’ll be unable to argue against it. Contemporary Europeans are not exactly known for their moral courage: The reports one hears of schools quietly dropping the Holocaust from their classrooms because it offends their growing numbers of Muslim students suggest that even the pretense of “evenhandedness” in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” will be long gone a decade hence.

He ends with this, a kind of anticipatory requiem:

…unlike much of the rest of the west, Israel has the advantage of living on the front line of the existential challenge. “I have a premonition that will not leave me,” wrote Eric Hoffer, America’s great longshoreman philosopher, after the ‘67war. “As it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us.”

I agree with that sentiment, which is why I am fighting for Israel. And I wonder -- if we maintain our troops in Iraq - if our presence might not slow down the lava of madness flowing from one of the axes of evil and spreading over all the Middle East.

You don’t really think Iran plans to stop with Israel’s destruction, do you? The Saudis don’t, and neither do the Egyptians. Unfortunately, there is no state in the Middle East with the intestinal fortitude to stand up to Iran.

No one but Israel.

23 comments:

Afonso Henriques said...

It is sad that Israel seems to become to old so fast, walkink towards the end. And I wanted them to destroy Al Aqsa and look out for what lies under it!

It is sad. Israel has been a front line state and, as Lebanon, it has been a "strange front line state".

First, are those two states Western/European?

And once I am a racist and have seen many things about "Arab Jews" and "non white Jews" who were discriminated by the white Jews (I saw this in two or three French documentaries. I didn't believe at first, especially because the documentaries were proudly pro Palestinian and openly Anti-Semitic). I didn't believe so I went check out in Wikipedia.
The state of Israel is composed by:
few more than 35% Askenazi Jews (European Jews)
few less than 35% Mizraim Jews (Oriental Jews)
some 30% Palestinian Arabs.

Notice that the Zionists (all that almighty strong Jews who blew up the Arabs away) were Ashkenazi and that there are many Jews (the Moroccan who exposed the Jewish nuke to the world comes to mind) have divided feelings concerning the Palestinians in general.

The sources are reliable. And it seems that the Jews are indeed divided. I found that the Jews were so divided that this main divide between Askenazi and Mizraim is of no importance.
Will the Jews unite?
Who have not seen documentaries about Jews who were "objectors of conscience" despite their best friend was killed in a terrorist attack by Palestinians?

My conclusion: the same as Dymphna.

ISRAEL SUFFERS FROM THE SAME AS THE WEST DOES, IF IT FALL, IT JUST MAY SHOW TO US ALL WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO US NEXT!

Imagine if muslims invade Israel em mass. What you think will happen to those poor Jews?

That is what I wanted to see being debated.

whiskey_199 said...

Israel's problem is the West's problem. Too rich, too suburban, too sheltered from the realities of life.

That which gets people ahead in suburbia, in the professions, agreement, lack of violence, always calling in the "authorities" etc. is a total failure in dealing with dangerous, deeply tribal people. Israelis being mostly wealthy suburbanites have no mental model to deal with a tribal people. Just as Americans and Europeans have no mental model.

Too much wealth and peace and safety leaves peoples unprepared for violent adversaries willing to kill and die to achieve victory.

Dennis Mahon said...

Just an aside, MacLean's is the magazine owned by Ezra Levant--one of several Canadians being "interviewed" by the Canadian Human Rights Commission for possible hate crimes against Muslims (Levant came to the attention of the HRC when he published excerpts from Mark Steyn's book America Alone). I would not expect MacLean's to be anti-Israel.

For more about the MacLean's/Levant/Steyn controversy, I recommend the Free Mark Steyn blog (http://www.freemarksteyn.com/) and Kathie Shaidle's blog (http://www.fivefeetoffury.com/).

Homophobic Horse said...

Oh I wouldn't worry one bit folks.

Euromed. Think about it. If Euromed expands to include a besieged Israel, they could do a Kosovo and make Jerusalem an independent state. Wouldn't that be funny.

Dymphna said...

@whiskey_199

Israel's problem is the West's problem. Too rich, too suburban, too sheltered from the realities of life

Are you serious??

I'm speechless. If that's your take on Israel's "problem" I can't think of what to say that would bridge the chasm between what you see as the problem and my perceptions of what is going on...

I will ask you, however, how many of our rich suburbanites keep gas masks for every member of the household?

And when was the last time we were shelled by Canada or Mexico?

How many rich suburbanites did we lose thru bombs set off in restaurants during our Christmas celebrations?

Do *we* have to set up mandatory conscriptions for our youngsters so they'll be ready to fight?

When was the last time a suicide bomber took out a crowd of Americans going about their daily lives?

Have any of our seminaries been invaded and our seminarians shot?

You and I don't live in the same America if you see us as in a similar situation.

You are describing ennui and existential boredom. Those are luxuries that Israelis don't have.
___________

Homophobic Horse:

Oh, heavens. Euromed would just start up the ovens again...all the Jews neatly gathered in one place. How convenient.

Ypp said...

Come on guys. I read that predictions in 1948, 1956 and 1967 were much worse. The difference is that now on campuses they speak their minds openly whereas at that time it was Pravda that talked that openly. Where is that Pravda now? Sorry for those degrading campuses.

ScottSA said...

Dennis Mahon said...
Just an aside, MacLean's is the magazine owned by Ezra Levant--one of several Canadians being "interviewed" by the Canadian Human Rights Commission..."


That's not quite correct. Macleans is the equivalent of Time or Newsweek in Canada, and Ezra is not and never was the owner of it. He owned the now-defunct "Western Standard," a much smaller Alberta based magazine.

You're right about his involvement with the HRC though.

Simon de Montfort said...

Whiskey 199, your depiction of Isrealis is as Wrong as D sez it is. Isreal is a Bastion of Preparedness, despite the insufferable hippie-radical voices from the usual Suspects.

I could never read Hoffer and am surprised he was prescient about Israel. They are the 'thin red line' keeping watch in the Night--a Night that grows darker by the day

But, Romans elected an anti-immagrant mayor, and it's a momentary amusement watching the BBC wet itself. Red Ken will be leaving us soon, and maybe that will help steady someone's nerves here and there

Maybe Isreal is not alone

kahaneloyalist said...

Alfonso, I actually live in Israel and I know for a fact that your statements about the supposed discrimintion against sefardic Jews are entirely false, as are your population numbers(Arabs are 19% of the population, JEws are 76%, Druze and others, mostly Russian Goyim make up the rest.) Though the discrimination claim is a central tenant of Arab propoganda.

All Jews are brothers regardless of "race" it happens that the early Labor Zionists who ruled the country for 30 years and for nearly as long before there was a state, were mostly from Russia, and Ashkenazi.

While the Sefardim were as Zionistic as any Ashkenzim they tended to support the more right wing groups like Herut, or later Kach, and everyone who opposed Avoda was discriminated against.

Your claim that the mighty jews were all Ashkenazim is again utterly divorced from reality, the Irgun, and Lechi had signifigant numbers of Sefardim in them. Helping to drive out the most powerful empire in the world at the time the British.

If there was a mass invasion the same thing that happened in the 3 other wars where there was a mass invasion, there will be mass slaughter of Arabs.

Ashan said...

As an American who has lived in Israel for more than 25 years, and as one of those supposedly spoiled suburbanites, I can state unequivocally that Israelis are not on the verge of lying down to die because some asshat commentator in some journal says so. True, we feel helpless in the face of a corrupt and inert government that has basically gone and "lawyered up" and that bends over backward too easily to accommodate external pressures against out national interests.

We - almost to a person - want our IDF to act decisively against the enemy. Enlistment to the toughest units has risen considerably. We have the power to do what is right for us.

As one of those high-tech types, I work with men and women who served in elite units. No one is wringing their hands in fear over what may be. All will rise to the occasion to the defense of this country. (And everyone feels so relieved to be back in Israel after a business trip abroad.)

Olmert, Livni and the rest of the lowlife politicos, aided by a pervasive left-wing media, stand in the way of carrying forward a great little nation. Of course we feel angry and frustrated. But never for a moment doubt our will to survive.

Don't believe everything you read.

Defiant Lion said...

Israel is facing the same 3-headed serpent that is crushing the life out of Europe and the US:

1. Gloabl capitalism
2. Islam, but most destructive of all
3. Marxism.

The goal of the marxists is to destroy the west and that includes the state of Israel. Israel and the worldwide Jewish community have their betrayers, traitors and self-haters that are so prevalent in Europe.

It is those marxist world govwerners, the EU and the UN who openly support and fund Islamic terror, it is the jew-hating, west-hating media who push the "Palestinian" cause and it is the marxist-socialist controlled west that urges Israel to show restraint when defending itself. And even when they do, they are accused of "atrocities" and of course the morally bankrupt smear "disproportionate response".

Appeasement and dhimmitude to Muslims is the tactic, the same vile, cowardly tactic that enabled the west to destroy Kosovo and betray a once valued and needed Christian ally. What the marxists did to Serbia they will do to Israel of that I have no doubt unless Israel is prepared to defend itself, consequences be damned.

This is all about the destruction of the west and I'd say between the 3 threats outlined above, they are doing an excellent job.

Afonso Henriques said...

"Alfonso"
Afonso, please.

"I actually live in Israel and I know for a fact that your statements about the supposed discrimintion against sefardic Jews are entirely false"

So thank you for sheding a light upon me. That's why I never give up on this blog.

According to your numbers, there are 75% Jews in Israel, according to mine numbers there are 70%. No big difference. The difference is about Palestinians and I am sorry, but I'll put the estimtives between 25 to 30%. In Gaza there are one million people. Do you want me to believe that Gaza is multicultural? In seven million people, one million is something. If there are another million of Palestinians in Israel, it would already be more than 25% so... and they breed at light's speed.

"Though the discrimination claim is a central tenant of Arab propoganda."
I really do not doubt you on this.

"Your claim that the mighty jews were all Ashkenazim is again utterly divorced from reality, the Irgun, and Lechi had signifigant numbers of Sefardim in them."

Ok. The question is not really racial as I think Jews are in fact "brothers regardless of race". The question is, how many of them came from traditionally Western societies.
The notion I get (and I am not saying this is truth. This is what the French anti semites say) is that the non European Jews lived very well with muslims and others until the advent of the State of Israel and as such, they have sympaties towards the Palestinians.

That Moroccan Jew I mentioned was the more credible example. They showed many more. I just do not know weather and how are the maind divides among Jews in Israel.
I think that there are many young Jews who seem to hate Israel and believe that Jews behave badly towards Palestinians.
Before the advent of the State of Israel, Jews did fit in (as in Europe) with muslims. Isn't it?

"If there was a mass invasion the same thing that happened in the 3 other wars where there was a mass invasion, there will be mass slaughter of Arabs."

This time I am not so sure. The Arab numbers are much, much more this time. I wish you good luck, though.

Ashan said...

One more thing - about these gloom & doom peddlers like Parris and Goldberg: Israel is not just a piece of real estate to be simply argued over. There are over 7 million live at stake. I really bristle when these presumptuous, pompous, self-important pontificators blast away at Israel, where I and my children, and other people's children live and breathe. They enrage me and make me sick.

SC&A said...

Virtually every penny of our aid to Israel is spent here, a unique situation.

Israel purchases military and technology that keeps tens of thousands of American employed and enables research here. In virtually every other instance, American aid leaves and is never heard from or seen again (literally).

In addition to spending aid here, Israel has never defaulted on a loan guarantee. In the instances where loans were forgiven, Israel has always compensated by spending an equivalent amount, here.

I thought that might be of interest.

Conservative Swede said...

Ashan,

What you write is very interesting. Let me first say that I agree as it's been said: "As it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us." Given our cultural similarities, Israel could be something of a crystal ball for telling us how Westerners will react once the level of Jihad has reached the same level here. So it's good to hear about the fighting spirit. But it is very disheartening how the media and the politicians continue with their wimpy appeasement ways after decades and decades of high-level Jihad! Is this what we will see in Europe too? Where does this come from? Israel not feeling threatened enough, and still being more worried about looking good in the ideological beauty contest of this planet? Is it the Chamberlain phenomenon? But that one at least yielded within a decade.

Maybe only a proper world war is able to break this international trance. But the Muslims might very well be too smart and/or stupid to take it to that point. With low level warfare and demographic Jihad they will be able to conquer us, without the survival instinct being effectuated in the elite levels of our societies.

kahaneloyalist said...

Afonso, Vanunu who is the traitor who revealed some Israeli nuclear secrets was indeed Sefardi, but on the whole Sefardim lived with Muslims, and thats why they despise them. To quote Rabbi Kahane zt'l "The sefardim lived with Arabs, and under Arabs, and its not a experience they ever wish to repeat, thats why they support Kach."

On the whole life for sefardim living in Arab countries, outside of Arab/Islamic propoganda was pretty hellish, as it always is for non-Muslims under the Islamic heel. Which is why with rare expections Sefardim on the whole will vote either for religious parties, or the most nationalistic.

Lastly Tamani Jews alone made up 30% of the second Aliyah, and they were as tough as anyone else.

Afonso Henriques said...

Kahaneloyalist,

So, you can ashure me that there is no potential for a intestinal war or mistreatment between Jews in Israel.

Nice to know it. Also I heard that Sefardims are the descendents of the Portuguese and Spanish Jews who were expelled in the late XV century.

I would so like to say the same regaeding Europe.

Zeke said...

Dymphna, you wrote: "And when was the last time we were shelled by Canada or Mexico?"

Well perhaps not shelling but here is what todays border news is:

"Three Mexican police chiefs have requested political asylum in the U.S. as violence escalates in the Mexican drug wars and spills across the U.S. border, a top Homeland Security official told The Associated Press ....

"It's almost like a military fight," Ahern said Tuesday. "I don't think that generally the American public has any sense of the level of violence that occurs on the border."

As the cartels fight for territory, this carnage spills over to the U.S., Ahern said — from bullet-ridden people stumbling into U.S. territory, to rounds of ammunition coming across U.S. entry ports.

U.S. humvees retrofitted with steel mesh over the glass windows patrol parts of the border to protect agents against guns shots and large rocks regularly thrown at them. At times agents are pinned down by sniper fire as people try to illegally cross into the U.S.


I catalog at this at: http://www.blogofthegods.blogspot.com

I have few visitors, but I catalog it anyway. Just go read the headlines! You will be amazed.

Dymphna said...

thanks for this information, zeke.

I have opened the page and will go thru it tomorrow...I mean today.

Heather said...

Uh, Alfonso...not to rain on your parade, but...

If there are 7 million people total in Israel, and 1 million of them are Palestinians, that's a little over 14% of the population, and nowhere near 25-30%.

Afonso Henriques said...

Please read:

"In Gaza there are one million people. Do you want me to believe that Gaza is multicultural? In seven million people, one million is something. If there are another million of Palestinians in Israel, it would already be more than 25% so"

"If there are another million of Palestinians in Israel, it would already be more than 25%"

I'm not the very best on Maths but Heather, I am not that bad either.

2 million is 25% of 8 million.

EW1(SG) said...


"... And even those who understand that this will mean the death of Israel will find themselves so confounded by the multicultural pieties of their own lands they’ll be unable to argue gainst it."



I consider myself lucky to be just too damn stupid to be confused by mult.. multi... multi whatsiwhozits, and so have no problem arguing against evil when it pokes its head out.


Defiant Lion: You do realize that "Gloabl capitalism" and Marxism are mutually exclusive, right?

Let me also point out that global capitalism has done a tremendous job of improving the lives of millions of people around the world in my lifetime, and an incredible job after the fall of the Soviet Union's sphere of influence.

So many examples of this abound that I won't even attempt to list them: but if you would like to share a counterexample, I would be happy to point out the errors in your thinking.

Dennis Mahon said...

scottsa:
That's not quite correct. Macleans is the equivalent of Time or Newsweek in Canada, and Ezra is not and never was the owner of it. He owned the now-defunct "Western Standard," a much smaller Alberta based magazine.


Ach, you're right, I'm wrong; mea culpa.