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Author Topic: How long will Israel survive?
Mycroft_
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2230

posted 15 January 2004 12:29 PM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Gwynne Dyer:
quote:
JERUSALEM FELL to the Crusaders in 1099. The subsequent battles swayed to and fro, but the Crusaders held most of the eastern Mediterranean coast (what is now Israel, Lebanon and Syria) for almost two centuries. Then the local people, overwhelmingly superior in numbers then as now, expelled them. It is an open question whether Israel will last that long.
Listen to Avraham Burg, speaker of Israel's Knesset (parliament) in 1999-2003. “It turns out that the 2,000-year struggle for Jewish survival comes down to a state of settlements, run by an amoral clique of corrupt lawbreakers.... A state lacking justice cannot survive. More and more Israelis are coming to understand this as they ask their children where they expect to live in 25 years. Children who are honest admit, to their parents' shock, that they do not know. The countdown to the end of Israeli society has begun.”

Burg's sense of panic is not misplaced. 760,000 Israeli citizens now live abroad (in a country with only about 5 million resident Jews), and that total has increased by 210,000 in just the past three years. The embassies of Eastern European countries whose citizenship will soon confer the right to live anywhere within the European Union now have long queues of second- and third-generation Israelis seeking to recover their ancestral passports just in case.


quote:

Israel's problem is not as acute as the one that faced the Crusader states, for, at the moment, it enjoys a huge technological and economic lead over the rest of the region. If there is still to be an Israel even two hundred years from now, however, it must make its peace with its neighbours in the next few decades, while it still holds all the cards.

None of Israel's current advantages — a monopoly on nuclear weapons, conventional military superiority over all its neighbours combined and an unconditional US guarantee of its security — is likely to exist a hundred years from now. Some may be gone in twenty years. If Israel makes a deal with the Arabs while it still has the upper hand and creates trade and personal ties throughout the region, it could become an established part of the neighbourhood and last a very long time. If not, then sooner or later it faces the fate of the Crusader states.


quote:

In Israel, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is building a wall that will leave the Palestinians with only 9 per cent of colonial Palestine and no peace treaty. In the occupied territories, Palestinians are abandoning the “two-state solution” and adopting the goal of a single non-ethnic state within the borders of old Palestine that includes both Jews and Arabs. It means another generation of waiting, of course, but what attracts them to that one-state solution is that within fifteen years, Palestinian Arabs will again outnumber Israeli Jews within the lands between the Jordan and the sea.

Professor Ali Jirbawi of Bir Zeit University in the West Bank put the new position very clearly in November: “We should say we accept a two-state solution, but that it means going back to the 1967 borders (before Israel conquered the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) and a fully independent and sovereign Palestinian state. We should give them six months. If there is no decision, we should say that Israel, by its own choice, doesn't want a two-state solution. If Israel wants a one-state solution, we accept. But twenty years from now, we're going to ask for one person, one vote.”


quote:

People like Palestinian National Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat still cling to the two-state goal, and Sharon stubbornly pursues his one-and-a-quarter state solution (which merely drives the Palestinians deeper into rejectionism), but the caravan is moving on. The notion of a second partition of Palestine that produces ethnically defined Israeli and Palestinian states living side by side is sliding off the table, and that is not good news for Zionists. A united, democratic Palestine would not be a Jewish-majority country, so it will not happen. But if that is the only alternative to continued occupation and confrontation, then Israel is in big trouble in the longer term.


[ 15 January 2004: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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Babbler # 490

posted 15 January 2004 11:54 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If this is an official dead pool, my money's on twenty years.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 16 January 2004 01:40 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If Israel makes a deal with the Arabs while it still has the upper hand and creates trade and personal ties throughout the region, it could become an established part of the neighbourhood and last a very long time. If not, then sooner or later it faces the fate of the Crusader states.

Sounds like ol' Gwynne's been reading al-Q's posts on the subject.

Integration with the region and its people is the key to Israel's survival.

The current Israeli policy of building walls and ghettoes hurts everyone.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 January 2004 01:55 AM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
If this is an official dead pool, my money's on twenty years.

Could go any day, apartheid seemed like it would go on forever too. USSR, the same. I say three years before something breaks in the middle east.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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Babbler # 2230

posted 16 January 2004 02:36 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The problem with the Israeli right wing is that they either believe the US will never abandon them or they're religious and believe God will never abandon them. The fact is that Israel's existence in the modern world is only secure as long as it's in the US' interest to arm and finance the Israeli state. Once either the US national interest changes or the US is no longer able to give Israel a security guarantee the countdown to the end of the Israeli state will begin if the Palestinian question is unresolved and the state remains at loggerheads with its neighbours.

Israeli's arrogance may well be its undoing.


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 16 January 2004 03:06 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Once the Middle East runs out of oil, Israel will cease to be of economic importance to the US, which may then lose interest in financing the country.

Of course, new questions will arise in a world without oil.

Who knows? US Christian Zionists may see the ensuing darkness as another sign of the End Times and prod Israel into helping them accelerate Armageddon.

Nah. Predictions are for Gipsys.


From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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Babbler # 2230

posted 16 January 2004 09:29 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Rick Salutin: Partition has been tested: It doesn't work
quote:
Benny Morris is an Israeli revisionist historian whose work shows that during the move to partition, Israel expelled or transferred many of its Palestinian inhabitants through means that included terror, massacres and rape. People tended to assume he decried such things, but last week, in a gut-wrenching interview, he said he approved expulsion -- though not rape and massacre -- and even felt Israel might not have gone far enough. He said, "There are circumstances . . . that justify ethnic cleansing," such as "annihilation of your people" by an enemy who, unlike you, has "no moral inhibitions," and is like "a wild animal that has to be locked up."

Let me say I do not find such thinking shocking or incomprehensible. It is not hard to follow the terrified, categorizing logic it employs.

The real question is: How can you think your way out of such a mindset and its conclusions? I would say you might begin by not defining yourself solely or mainly in terms of an ethnic, religious, national or other general identity. If you see yourself largely as a human being, or a moral agent, and then view those others, who seem threatening, in a similar way, you are less likely to move relentlessly and confidently to such stark conclusions as Benny Morris does. Partition, it seems to me, flows out of, and then reinforces, the fearful, narrow view: We cannot live with them, I can only live with my own, there is nothing in common to build on. Such ideas present themselves as conclusions based on the past, but are at least as much premises about the future and what is possible from now on.

Such a shift would not require abandoning religious, ethnic, racial or other identities, but it would mean relativizing them, if only a bit, in a (I realize this is not exactly a trendy term) humanistic frame.


[ 16 January 2004: Message edited by: Mycroft ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged

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