Poor Wimpy Israel

Don't apologize for killing jihadis.

So once again, Israeli thugs are beating up poor unarmed innocents, gleefully starving out their enemies, and generally being beastly.  Once again, the world unites in horrified disgust and is only prevented from intervention by the evil forces of Israel's lapdog, the Great Satan America.

If you're nodding in agreement, you have probably been listening to, well, basically every well-known news organization on the planet.  The death of several activists at the hands of Israeli soldiers taking control of a Gaza-bound ship has been portrayed as the barbaric act of a wicked group which knows neither decency nor humanity, victimizing innocents who wish only to live in peace.

And you know what?  That description is correct - except for being exactly backwards.  The so-called "peace activists", their Gazan destination, and their supporters are all witting or unwitting agents of a wicked and inhumane group, whereas Israel has such an overpowering desire to live in peace that it no longer is willing even to properly defend itself.

But first, some background.

War Is Not A Four-Letter Word

For as long as we've been following the conflict in the Middle East, that's exactly what it's been called: a "conflict."  That word implies a long-running disagreement, which is certainly true as far as it goes - "Palestinian" is derived from the word "Philistine" whom the Israelites were fighting nearly 4000 years ago, and they're pretty much kept at it ever since barring odd intervals when the Babylonians, Egyptians, Ottoman Turks, or some other foreign power kept them from each other's throats.

In the pursuit of literary variety, there's nothing wrong with the word "conflict."  Unfortunately, that word has been given a rather darker purpose: allowing writers to avoid using the correct word to describe what's going on.  That word is "war."

Why does this matter?  Because in international law, there are rules which apply to the proper conduct of a war.  We usually hear about this from the negative point of view, as in "war crimes"; but there's a flip side as well.  If you are in a war, a belligerent has certain rights which allow them to do certain violent, intrusive things with perfect legality, as long as they do them in the right way.

Why do we say that Israel is at war, and has been for a long time?  Simple: the nation of Israel has been in continues conflict with the terrorist entity known as Hamas for as long as Hamas has been in existence.

The organizing charter of Hamas states that its whole purpose is the elimination of Israel from the map; it's been that way since Day 1, and from that day to this, the leaders of Hamas have sworn to achieve their goal.  If an armed organization avowed to entirely wipe out your nation is not at war with you, the word has no meaning.

This transparently obvious fact has been somewhat obscured at times, because Hamas hasn't always had the power to effectively make what looks like war.  Up until a few years ago, the leading Palestinian group was Yasser Arafat's Fatah organization.  When he founded it, Fatah too swore the elimination of Israel.  Unlike Hamas, however, Fatah removed this clause from its charter and now accepts Israel's right to exist at least rhetorically.

Unfortunately, George Bush's love of democratic forms was a little too strong for the world's good, and in 2006 he demanded that the Palestinian territories hold free and fair elections.  They did; the terrorist group Hamas beat Fatah fair and square.  Clearly demonstrating their commitment to the principle of "one man, one vote, one time," Hamas forces slaughtered Fatah, driving them and their supporters out of Gaza entirely.

Today, there are two separate Palestinian territories under two totally different governments that run things in totally different ways.  Fatah controls the West Bank, and while there are ongoing differences with Israel there, the economy functions and trade is ongoing.  Most importantly, there is not much organized violence in either direction.

Hamas-controlled Gaza is entirely different.  When Israel sends pipe to Gaza for sewer construction, it gets it back in the form of murderous rockets aimed at elementary schools.  Only a fool would continue supplying a belligerent enemy; only a willfully blind and irredeemably biased world community could possibly expect Israel to continue to supply their sworn enemies.

A Legal Blockade

Instead, Israel has declared a perfectly valid blockade under the long-standing and long-established rules of war.  Napoleon declared a blockade on England, and England on him; both tried to use their navies to enforce their policy, England with rather more success.  President Abraham Lincoln blockaded Southern ports; Germany blockaded English ports with submarines in both World Wars.  They all had every right to do this; it's part of the legal, legitimate conduct of war.  So has Israel.

Now, there are certain rules involved in a blockade.  The blockading power is required to publish a list of "contraband" goods that aren't allowed through; obviously weapons, but often dual-use items that can be made into weapons such as fertilizer and construction materials.  Under some circumstances, even food can be legally blockaded, though Israel has not done this.

To be allowed through a blockade, a neutral vessel must submit to inspection either on the high seas or in a port friendly to the blockading power; Israel not only offered this, but went one further in permitting inspection by neutral UN forces.

Had the true purpose of the "peace activist" flotillas been to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza, there is no reason why they could not have submitted to these traditional inspections.  The activists claimed to be transporting food and medical supplies; Israel had already announced that food and medical supplies would be permitted through.

Why didn't the activists go the safe, legal route to accomplishing their stated goal?  Because their supposed humanitarian objective as trumpeted by the world's media was a lie.  The Washington Times reports:

...Missing from mainstream media coverage was that supplies from the flotilla could have been transported from an Israeli port by truck, after inspection, but that offer was flatly rejected. The reasoning was transparent, considering that flotilla spokeswoman Greta Berlin announced last week to Agence France-Press, "This mission is not about delivering humanitarian supplies, it's about breaking Israel's siege.[emphasis added]

Do these people have the right to try to run the blockade?  Actually, yes they do; Confederate blockade runners and American convoys ran the blockades established by Lincoln and Hitler respectively.  Sometimes they made it; sometimes not.

But by attempting to run a publicly-declared naval blockade, the activists put themselves into an entirely different category.  No longer unarmed neutrals, they declared themselves to be combatants.

Lincoln's ironclads had the right to try to sink Confederate blockade-runners; the U-boats had the right to torpedo British supply vessels.  In precisely the same fashion, under the laws of war, Israel had the right to stop the blockade runners by whatever means they felt best.

Why is anyone surprised when Israel sends its military to deal with declared combatants?  What nation wouldn't?

The problem for Israel is not that they enforced their blockade; that's kind of the point of a blockade.  No, Israel's problem is far worse: they don't take themselves seriously enough.

Under the rules of war, if you capture a blockade-runner, you are entitled to possess the vessel and impound its cargo.  What did Israel do?  It let the vessel go, and tried to deliver the cargo anyway, to their sworn enemy!

What sort of a blockade is it where the blockading power helps blockade runners complete their deliveries?  And what sort of a starving, desperately-under-siege place is Gaza where Hamas refused to accept the delivery of aid?

Israel has attempted to deliver humanitarian aid from an international flotilla to Gaza, but Hamas -- which controls the territory -- has refused to accept the cargo, the Israel Defense Forces said Wednesday.

Palestinian sources confirmed that trucks that arrived from Israel at the Rafah terminal at the Israel-Gaza border were barred from delivering the aid[emphasis added]

The reality is, Gaza is not in a humanitarian crisis other than that created by the murderous terrorists of Hamas.  Photographs of Gazan markets published by Arab sources show there to be plenty of food, clothes, candy, shoes, basically all the necessities of life ready and available; no starvation here!  Regarding the medical "crisis", suffice to say that Gaza has a lower infant-mortality rate than Turkey, the nation that sent the activists' ships.

Don't Apologize For Killing Killers, Boast Of It!

What about the nine "peace activists" brutally murdered by the Israeli special forces when they took over their ship?

Wrong question.  As we've already seen, Israel had every legal right simply to torpedo the boat and send them all to Davy Jones' locker.  Instead, the IDF went "above and beyond" in trying to safely capture it.  Apparently, the "special forces" didn't even carry assault weapons with them, just paintguns and small sidearms; they'd made the mistake of reading the world's newspapers and expected to find a bunch of hippies sitting in a circle singing "Kum-Ba-Ya."

Oops!  Here's what those pot-smoking, peace-sign-making love-in-ers had to say about their plans:

...Turkish newspapers reported that three of the four Turks killed in the onslaught had declared their readiness to become martyrs.

"I am going to be a martyr. I dreamed about it," Ali Haider Banjinin, 39, from Kurdistan, told his family before leaving to join the flotilla, according to one report.

The brother-in-law of retired engineer Ibrahim Bilgen, 61, told another paper that "martyrdom suited him very much. Allah gave him a death he desired."

A third Turkish casualty, Ali Akbar Yertilmis, a father of four from Ankara, had "dreamt of becoming a martyr", a friend was quoted as saying.  [emphasis added]

Going basically unarmed into this bunch of hoodlums, the resulting fiasco was foreordained.  Video proof demonstrates:

Activists are seen attacking the soldiers with a stun grenade, a box of plates, and water hoses as the soldiers attempt to board the ship. the activists are also waving around metal rods and chains later used to attack the soldiers with. The IDF soldiers were armed with paint ball guns (used for riot dispersal) and pistols which they were ordered to use only as a last resort.

Far from committing a war crime, Israel did the world a favor by sending barbarians to meet their false prophet Muhammad in hell - the more so since, not being in uniform and hiding among true noncombatants, they were the very definition of illegal-combatant war criminals.

Having bent over backwards to be even more humane and generous than international law requires, for what possible reason is Israel acting all ashamed and guilty?  Somehow, the nation of Israel has fallen into the trap of believing all the bad press about themselves that the world's media liars and anti-Semites have been spewing.  How quickly they have forgotten!

Did the Jews of 1935 believe Hitler's tirades about the evils of world Jewry?  Did the Jews in the concentration camp internalize the evil accusations of the blood-libel forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion?  Of course not!  Why does modern Israel make this silly, and possibly fatal, mistake?

When you are a tiny, friendless little country surrounded by millions of barbarian liars screaming for your blood, there is only a limited number of mistakes you can make before they'll get their wish and you'll meet your Maker.  Israel needs an immediate return to the "take-no-prisoners" confidence its own founders had, making no apologies or excuses for fighting the war declared by their enemy, and taking every opportunity to clearly identify just who the criminal barbarians are and exactly why the entire civilized world - not just Israel - needs to see them dead.

And as for the next shipload of "peace activists" who defy Israel's legal blockade?  Torpedo 'em.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments
This is the very best perspective on the issue of the Israeli blockade of Gaza I've ever come across--better even than the official Israeli government take.
The moral, of course, is, no matter what the Israelis do, it will be condemned by a seriously blinded world. Since she's being hanged for being a sheep, Israel may as well be a wolf and do whatever has to be done to protect Israel.
Incidentally, is there a way to have this article sent to the likes of feckless columnist, Patrick Buchanan?
June 10, 2010 11:17 AM
I concur with Pete. Very good overview. Duly forwarded to family members.
June 10, 2010 11:20 AM
Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, had Israel torpedoed the vessel it would have only given the activists exactly what they wanted. Do you think the outrage being directed at Israel now would have been LESS if they had done so? Even if they had explained their position as you have above?

No, it would have been a very foolish move on their part, and would be in the future as well.

June 10, 2010 2:01 PM

I have to disagree. As the author pointed out, Israel is hated by their enemies no matter WHAT they do. Had they torpedoed the vessel, they vitriol might have heightened, yes. But to what end? It's getting to the point that Israel can do nothing to defend themselves without the rest of the world wagging their head. In fact, the opposite may have happened. The rest of the world may have RESPECTED Israel a bit more when they saw how serious they were.

What was the result of the famous Israeli "go in shooting" tactic against hijacked airliners? Everyone has completely left their airplanes alone.

Charles Krauthammer had a masterful article on the subject a few days ago:


Read what he writes about the three types of defense Israel has used and where they are now.
June 10, 2010 2:06 PM
You're right that the outrage would have been the same. But the results would have been different: the Arab world, at the very least, respects strength. Hamas isn't willing to acknowledge Israel's right to exist because they believe that, eventually, the rest of the world will let Israel be steamrollered. Use enough force to persuade the fundamentalists that Israel cannot be defeated that way, and perhaps peace might become possible.

June 10, 2010 2:16 PM
lfon, do you consider the USA to be an enemy of Israel?

Do you seriously think there would have been LESS outrage in the USA over this incident if Israel had simply torpedoed the convoy?

The convoy was clearly intended to provoke something that would be perceived as an over-reaction on the part of the Israelis. They WANTED a strong reaction. As the article points out, several of them WANTED to be martyred. A torpedo would have given them exactly what they had wanted.

Petrarch, the article you link to suggests that the best the Palestinians can do is to bare their throats and submit to mass deportation by Israel (assuming some nation would be willing to accept millions of beggars). Am I correct?
June 10, 2010 3:21 PM

There would have been a lot more outrage on PAPER, but also a lot more respect by their enemies.

It's far better to have loud enemies that don't want to fight you, then quiet enemies that think you're a pushover.

Gunboat diplomacy works EXTREMELY well.
June 10, 2010 3:26 PM
Yes, Werebat, I do believe that mass deportation of the Palestinians to Egypt or Jordan (which, BTW, was the original reason the Brits created the nation of Jordan in the first place) would have avoided a tremendous amount of bloodshed, hardship, and general strife.

Before you condemn this view, ask yourself: what better suggestion do you or anyone else have?
June 10, 2010 6:07 PM
nice stuff.. thanx for the intellectual ammo..
wonder why Egypt never wanted Gaza back...
June 10, 2010 6:36 PM
I agree with you, Petrarch.
The first people to be removed from Judea and Samaria should have been families of suicide terrs. Don't forget, Saddam Hussein paid them $25,000, making suicide bombing a highly profitable venture.
I have a feeling this would've drastically cut back on the number of suicide attacks in the pre-wall days.
June 10, 2010 6:56 PM

I am wondering after reading the logic in this article if it might not be used to justify Israel's complete invasion, annexation, and emptying of (via deportation if possible and... other means, if necessary) the Gaza Strip and West Bank. It seems that the article asserts that Israel need not concern itself with UN rulings, international law, or other trifles when it can be argued that its survival is at stake. So the question becomes not "why doesn't Israel just torpedo the next convoy to come close to the Gaza Strip", but "Why doesn't Israel just get it over with and invade Gaza and the West Bank, rounding up and deporting the Palestinians?" As the article says, if everyone hates them already anyway, why shouldn't they just BE the heartless militarists they are made out to be?

Am I correct?

That being said... If my one concern were the welfare of Israel, I would question the wisdom of deporting the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to neighboring Jordan.

I think we can agree that a mass deportation would do nothing to improve the Palestinians' attitude toward Israel. You may argue that it doesn't matter since they all (down to the last man, woman, and child) want Israel wiped off the map anyway, which may or may not be true.

Let's just keep in mind that any hatred for Israel felt by the Palestinians isn't going to disappear because they are deported en masse (For purposes of this figuting I'll accept any argument that the Palestinian hate level for Israel would not rise because it could not rise due to each and every Palestinian already hating Israel enough to want it destroyed):

Jordan currently contains a bit over 5 million people (the last census revealed 5,100,981 citizens in the country plus an estimated 190,000 abroad and/or not included in the census).

The Gaza Strip contains about 1.5 million people, and the West Bank contains 2,461,267 people. That's roughly 4 million Palestinians we're talking about here.

For an Arab nation, Jordan has very good relations with Israel. What do you suppose might happen if Jordan's 5 million citizens were suddenly joined by 4 million Palestinians who literally COULD NOT HATE ISRAEL MORE and wanted nothing more than to see it rubbed off the face of the Earth?

This immediately after Israel were to commit an undeniable ethnic cleansing.

Justified or not, morally right or wrong, I do not think this move would be in Israel's best interests.

I fully understand why certain Christian groups in the USA and elsewhere, as well as certain Jewish groups around the world, would be dancing on the ceiling if this were to happen. But for the state of Israel, probably not a wise move.
June 10, 2010 7:05 PM
You may next point out that you also mentioned Egypt, which (like Jordan) has made it pretty clear that it doesn't WANT 4 million Palestinian beggars suddenly added to its population.

Let's pretend that Egypt could be cajoled into accepting them anyway. This would be a better solution for Israel, as Egypt has more land mass and over 70 million citizens. The 4 million Palestinian beggars would be a small minority there, maybe 6 or 7%. We'll imagine that Egypt would have the foresight and wherewithal to move the Palestinians far from its new border with Israel, where they wouldn't be able to cause riots. In fact, let's posit that Egypt forcibly disperses the Palestinians to scatter them throughout its interior (barring land within a certain distance from the new Israeli border, of course), thereby preventing much potential for organized trouble from the deportees.

Does that sound like a reasonable plan to you?
June 10, 2010 7:17 PM
Yes, Jordan is far too small at this remove to be able to absorb the extremist Palestinians, no point in fouling that particular nest.

The only solution is Egypt. That's the proper place to put 'em, and it's big enough to have some hope of absorbing them. What's more, they already have a pretty thoroughgoing anti-Islamic-terror infrastructure well experienced in dealing with their own Muslim Brotherhood.

It would have been much better had Israel simply done that and got it over with back in the 60s. It would take a truly massive bribe to accomplish that now. But you have to ask, wouldn't it still be cheaper both in blood and treasure than the current ongoing wars? I have a hard time seeing how it wouldn't be.

As far as why Egypt never wanted Gaza back, well, the reason is pretty obvious: it's full of murderous Palestinians. The Egyptian government doesn't like Islamic terrorists that much more than the Israelis do, though they're not above using them as political pawns when the opportunity presents itself.
June 10, 2010 8:11 PM
Oh, Egypt isn't the ONLY place they could be sent, Petrarch! Sometimes a look back to History presents just the creative solution one is looking for.

If they were dispersed GLOBALLY, in very small groups, they would have a negligible effect on the population of any one nation they were sent to, with the added bonus of being so physically far removed from the hotspot that they would have almost zero chance of doing anything opposed to Israel's best interests.

Moreover, each individual "packet" of Palestinians would be much more likely to ultimately breed into the host population (with few potential mates available from their own culture), diluting its Israel-hating cultural meme into effective oblivion within a few generations. This could be sped along by separating men and women at the site of deportation. Maybe Palestinian infants who were young enough could be retained and adopted by Israeli settlers -- to be raised as Jews, or at least Jew-friendly Arabs, of course -- in order to more quickly refill the new territory (which would need proper defenses).

I encourage you to read more about what else happened to the Acadians in 1755. You might find our history full of useful ideas.
June 10, 2010 8:48 PM
Werebat, your theory is a good one, but in practice I see a few problems. For one thing, you can't spread the Palestinians all over the world without using aircraft, and the combination of Palestinians and airplanes has proven to be a bad one. The Acadians were a bit more civilized.

For another, no non-Muslim country in its right mind would ever accept even a single Palestinian Muslim; maybe the Palestinian Christians could find homes in the Western world, as quite a few of them already have done. So you're limited to the Muslim world, which should have enough room but mostly likes to keep the Palestinians locked up as a stick to beat Israel and the West with.

It would probably be easier to negotiate with one single country (Egypt) that already is finding the status quo very awkward and might be willing to try something different. For virtually ever other Muslim country, the current situation is actually extremely satisfactory: it distracts their own extremists from internal problems and the economic failures of almost all Muslim nations.
June 11, 2010 8:20 AM

Airplanes? Why use airplanes? We Acadians were packed like sardines onto sailing ships and sent off Middle Passage style!

Ships have a number of advantages for this sort of thing. They're cheaper to run, and we're talking the transport of four million people here (minus those who resist deportation), so costs matter.

If an airplane were crashed by ungrateful Palestinian deportees, it could indeed cause a disaster. If a ship full of them sank, however -- it would be more of a solution than a problem, eh? In fact a number of (old and unsafe) Acadian deportation ships sank beneath the waves with men, women, and children locked in their holds. You REALLY should read about it, the British had an excellent handle on this sort of thing and knew what they were doing. As I say, some very useful ideas.

Ships are able to float for long periods of time with minimal fuel consumption. When the British moved to dump their boatloads of Acadian deportees in Virginia, the colonial authorities refused to take them; the British solution was to park the ships in their harbor and wrangle with the authorities while the deportees died of disease in close quarters. Problem solved, either way! There's no reason the same action couldn't work today.

Your requirement that the Palestinians be deported to the "Muslim world" only is clearly not necessary. Remember that the Acadians were Catholics who were deported to overwhelmingly Protestant lands, and in those days Catholics and Protestants around the world were still viciously killing each other over their religious differences. What worked then would work now (and anyway, as much as Western nations would be unlikely to want to accept Palestinian deportees, as you point out there aren't any Islamic nations that want them either; which group would really be more likely to cave to political pressure from Israel and her good friend the USA?).

The British were not stupid. They knew what they were doing in 1755. They could not deport Acadians to nearby Quebec, where they had maybe as much in common with the local populace as the Palestinians do with the Egyptians. They would have simply been handing over thousands of rabidly British-hating instant conscripts to their enemies.

Can Israel really trust Egypt any more than the Brits could trust the Quebecois? Sure, Israel and Egypt aren't at war right now, but not all of Egypt wants Israel around, and altering the Egyptian population demographic such that 6-7% of the nation literally COULD NOT HATE ISRAEL MORE might tip the scales in a dangerous way (never mind the normal vagaries of Middle East politics). And if those scales ever did tip, Israel would have handed over literally millions of Palestinians available for the Egyptians to send in to fight, no doubt with the same zealous ferocity Acadian volunteers from Louisiana (many of whom remembered Le Grand Derangement as children) fought the British in the American Revolution (not because they wanted freedom for the colonies, but because they hated the British THAT MUCH).

Even if Egypt were able to keep a positive relationship with Israel, for generations, any anti-Israeli group in the world would have a pool of rabid conscripts to draw from that was conveniently located in a nation right across the border from Israel.

We can agree that mass deportation of the Palestinians is probably the only way that Israel can maintain its existence as a Jewish state in the long term (barring a two-state solution, which isn't going to happen). The other two options are an Apartheid state (which isn't viable in the long term given the political realities of the modern world) or a Democracy in which Jews are in the minority (thus crashing the idea of a "Jewish State"). For the pre-millenial Christians and many Orthodox Jews to get what they want, mass deportation of the Palestinians is a necessity. Given this, honestly, why not take a look at a successful mass deportation from history (unless you count the Acadians' contribution to what happened in 1776)?

As I said, the British knew what they were doing. They were very effective. Take a lesson. And then think about the enormity of what you are really proposing.
June 11, 2010 2:35 PM
Werebat, one of two things is GOING to happen.

Either all the Jews in Israel will be murdered, except of course for a few stragglers that happen to get lucky and escape.

Or a fair portion of the Palestinians will be killed, though probably far less since escape for them is much easier.

Or the Palestinians will be removed, obviously killing a fair few of them but much less numerically than the above endgames.

Or the conflict will go on forever, killing a much smaller percentage in any given year but a much larger total number over time, not including violence and terrorism worldwide and the occasional full-on war.

Which would you rather? Which kills the smallest total number of innocents?

Let's talk about the Acadians. Would you prefer that the British had simply massacred them all where they stood and had done with it? Would you prefer they'd left them be and had a two-centuries-long ongoing guerrilla war, most probably involving all of Canada? No, what you'd prefer is that the Brits had just disappeared - much like the Muslims and, alas, most of the West wish Israel and all Jews would just disappear. But given that both they and the conflict existed, the British actually DID know what they were doing as you sarcastically said, with some vague deference to humanity - and the proof of that is that there still ARE Acadians living and breathing. Which there aren't Carthaginians, Etruscans, or God-knows-how-many others.

"War is hell." It always has been, and always will be; I can't fix that. Like I said, compare the body counts, and propose a solution with a lower body count than mine.
June 11, 2010 4:42 PM

I am only trying to point out the best manner of implementation for this great and noble scheme of yours. History reveals another time when something very similar happened, and the deporters succeeded admirably in attaining their objective. Consider the care taken on the part of the British to ensure that no retaliation on the part of the Acadians would be possible; even going to the extreme of hiring mercenaries to hunt down and slaughter those who fled to nearby territories that not even England claimed as her own (a bounty was placed on their scalps; one of my own ancestors barely survived one of the most bloody and disturbing of these purges when he was an orphan boy).

And this was for a people who had never fired a shot at the British colonies! A people whose worst act against the British was to refuse to fight their enemies! Why the extreme measures? Because the British knew that if the Acadians didn't hate them with rabid fervor BEFORE they were deported, they sure would hate them AFTER. They were just protecting themselves.

How much more careful must Israel be?

You initially suggested Jordan and Egypt as possible places to dump the Palestinians, and I pointed out why both were not good choices if one cared about Israel's long-term security. The British method of dealing with the Acadians would be far more effective; and with the help of the USA, it would be possible. Do you seriously deny that the complete eradication of the Palestinian meme of hating Israel (likely the strongest meme the Palestinians would have after being deported) would be in Israel's best interests? Parking them in a neighboring nation is NOT the way to accomplish this. The British have already shown the world what IS.

Of course, it could be argued that for many Christian Zionists, Israels' long-term security isn't nearly as important as Israel's incorporation of the entirety of its Biblical lands. In fact, for some interpretations of scripture, the existence of a nearby multitude of rabidly anti-Israel people is a GOOD thing, for once all of Israel's ducks are in a row this will mean a shorter wait for Armageddon. Isn't that true?

As for the Acadians, pre-deportation they didn't hate the British. They would have preferred to have been simply left alone. They had been British subjects for half of their existence as a people; as a group, they had no desire to fight the British (or the French, who had been their rulers for the other half of their existence, on and off). They weren't called "French Neutrals" for nothing.

Of course mass deportation is less evil than mass slaughter. If that is enough for Israel, to say to future generations that "at least we didn't engage in mass slaughter", and point out how many other nations did even worse things than they did, well, maybe in their minds that will enable them to be a "light among nations".

Although Israel HAS taught one group of people something important. There are Acadians who still want their land back, but most of us point to Israel for a greater understanding of the mess that sort of folly leads to. I suppose that might count as being a light if one wanted it to badly enough.

The bottom line -- if Israel's security is the only thing that matters, and Israel shouldn't concern itself with what the world thinks of it because the world is going to hate it anyway, then there is no reason for Israel to stop at moving the Palestinians one nation over from itself. It would far better serve Israel's long-term interests to replicate the events of 1755. "War is Hell", as you say.
June 11, 2010 5:32 PM
I admit I am not an expert on the history of the Acadians. If it is true that, as you say, "pre-deportation they didn't hate the British", then what the Brits did was really dumb - but also, the analogy with Israel is utterly fallacious. The whole problem there is that the Palestinians and Israelis ALREADY hate each other and are killing each other - the Palestinians more enthusiastically, the Israelis more effectively.

The question at hand is, given the existing bloody situation, is there anything possible to be done which would make things LESS bloody and reduce the total number of deaths? It seems to me that's a worthy and honorable quest; I still haven't heard a suggestion from you which would further that goal, or an argument that that's a wrong or unworthy objective.

Regarding the views of Christians, even fundamantalist ones, I am actually quite familiar with their views, and I assure you that your opinions (and that of the mainstream liberal media) could not be more wrong. For one thing, by definition, it is IMPOSSIBLE to know when Armageddon will come, and nothing we can do will have the slightest effect in bringing it to pass one day sooner or later. So any thought that Christians want a conflagration in the Middle East so as to "force Christ's return" is the sheerest lunacy.

There is, however, a group which believes exactly that - though with the Hidden Imam playing the role of Jesus Christ. That would be Ahmadinejad's Iranian fundamentalists, whom I notice the left mostly defending. Go figure.
June 11, 2010 6:02 PM

Of course the Acadian history is more complex than what I can tell in a simple blog conversation. I can say that what the British did was not "dumb" at all -- although there are other adjectives that could well describe it. The Acadian lands were among the most fertile known in the continent, partly because of their clever engineering that allowed them to claim land from the sea via a system of dikes. The British had their own colonies to the South, and shortly after the Acadians had been expelled they repopulated the land formerly held by the Acadians with British colonials (plus a number of Acadian children young enough to be raised as British, and a few subjugated Acadian men who understood how to maintain the dikes). They stole some very fertile land and got away with it. Not "dumb", but something else.

(There is some evidence that the French crown had something similar planned for the Acadians, who the French viewed as being something other than their own people, but that is another story.)

In my family, we do not retell the stories of what happened at this point in our history to perpetuate any hatred of the British (although I would confess to a lingering antipathy towards them existing in some Acadian psyches). Rather, we remember the histories of our misfortune in order that we might prevent such from happening to others in the future. I am sure you can understand that this is with the best of intentions.

There is no way I can ever be comfortable with the casual advocation of the mass deportation of an entire group of people from land they have inhabited for generations. You may say that this is an emotional argument, and you may well be correct in that. It may indeed be that a good old fashioned ethnic cleansing would prevent more longterm suffering and hardship for both sides in this conflict than any other option we can see at this time. I have not argued against this (and I notice that you have not argued against my own assertions that the British method would ultimately be more in Israel's best interests, and in keeping with the logic of the article above). But I still think it would be wrong.

One might consider that if Hitler had been successful in eradicating the Jews completely, the Middle East crisis would never have existed. At some point, it is entirely possible that more innocents will have died to the various Israeli/neighbor conflicts than would have died in Nazi concentration camps. Will this tipping point be some sort of redemption for Hitler and his regime, or will they still be considered monsters? My thinking is the latter, and rightly so.

I understand that your argument assumes of this situation something along the lines of "just this once, and never more", but the truth is that an advocation of mass deportation as a means justified by its predicted ends is in my opinion a dangerous one, and a dangerous precedent to set. Israel is not the only nation in the world, and neither are her neighbors. If the proposed ethnic cleansing eased the way for future ethnic cleansings, that might skew your calculus a bit.

A generation ago, religious and political hostility fueled a period of great unrest in Ireland that looked to have no end in sight. The last time I checked, there were few problems in the area. What if Britain had used your logic here to ethnically cleanse Ireland, reasoning that in the long haul there would be less suffering if that method were used? It would have been a mistake, and a tragedy not just on the unfortunate displaced Irish but also on any future group whose mass deportation was made easier to justify by past arguments and actions.

As for Armageddon, you cannot tell me that the Christian Zionist support for Israel has NOTHING to do with a desire to hasten the end times interpreted from scripture. We all know that God moves in his own time, but if no one felt that God occasionally needed a little nudge, Israel would not currently exist.
June 11, 2010 8:24 PM
"What if Britain had used your logic here to ethnically cleanse Ireland, reasoning that in the long haul there would be less suffering if that method were used?"

It would have been a good idea, and I think the Irish would have liked it too: the proper approach would be to encourage the Ulstermen to move to England proper, leaving Ireland for the Irish Catholics, on the grounds that the Ulstermen had another place to go and the Irish didn't. Somewhat similar to the Israeli/Palestinian situation actually.

I'm glad it worked out the way it did, but I think we somewhat got lucky. I wouldn't have expected the fighting to just sort of end the way it has.

"As for Armageddon, you cannot tell me that the Christian Zionist support for Israel has NOTHING to do with a desire to hasten the end times interpreted from scripture."

Sure I can. I did before, and I do so again. The Christian Zionist support for Israel has primarily to do with a simple Biblical command to do so. Consult Genesis 12:2-3, Genesis 27:29, and Numbers 24:9 - if you believe the Bible to be God's literal commands, written by Himself, what He's suggesting that you do here is pretty clear. Nothing whatsoever to do with bringing on Armageddon.
June 11, 2010 11:30 PM

Couldn't have said it better.

October 8, 2012 12:29 AM

@Stefano445 - so pass it on, already!

October 8, 2012 10:13 PM
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