Tuesday, August 15, 2006

 

The Implications of Israel's Failure

A BBC report from Israel yesterday quoted one wag as saying that Ehud Olmert had 'began the war like Churchill and finished it like Chamberlain'. Indeed, as Martin Jacques pointed out yesterday, Israel seem to have failed-he suggests 'lost'is not too strong a word- in its long planned war against Hezbullah. Whilst they sought a few more days to 'finish off' the pesky Shia militants, more than a month of fighting passed and the enemy emerged apparently just as strong at the end and able to boast a famous victory. Whatever else they have lost Israel has suffered a major propaganda reverse. Jacques points out that, as the US have discovered in Iraq, mere military muscle and firepower are nowhere near enough when the hearts and minds are so thoroughly opposed.

He goes on to meditate on the US-Israel faith in brute military strength and to hope this failure to quell Hezbullah will 'force a rethink among Israelis on the best means to secure their future.' The reason why they face such fierce hostility is that Israel has never tried to fit into 'the region, politically, culturally or ethnically'. It has always been part of the western world transplanted into alien territory and 'sustained by an American life support machine'.In the circumstances the Arab world has become 'embittered, divided and politically frozen' reliant on a terrorism which is always 'the weapon of the impotent, the disenfranchised and the unorganised in the face of profound grievance'.

Jacques concludes Arab states have to accept Israel's right to exist while Olmert's country 'must come to see itself as an integral part of the region' and evolve away from its-ironic this- 'sense of racial superiority' to the arabs whom they regard as 'less civilised than themselves.' Given that- as Jacques admits- the state of Israel came into being through the annexation of land that was arab and that the resultant ethnic state embodied attitudes of exclusivism and racism, the hope that this recent defeat will help Israel to view the arabs 'as equals seeking to live in peace' seems optimistic indeed. One hopes he is both correct and prescient but I suspect Mr Olmert's failure to cut it as a war leader means will not long survive to attempt any change of direction.

Comments:
What exactly is the extent of America's subsidy to Israel - in both economic and military terms?

One wonders how far the Israelis would be able to sustain this claimed 'superiority' over their Arab neighbours if they had to be genuinely independent.
 
Yes but they DON'T have to survive on their own, so you will have to keep wondering.

I on the other hand do not have to wonder about how the terrorist led Palestinian Authority would survive without subsidy. The PA would have folded after the Americans objected to buying more guns for Hamas under the guise of "humanitarian aid", had the good old EU not gave OUR money to the murderers.

Quite why you choose to put superiority in quotation marks is not immediately apparent. Israel is miliarily superior to every state in the region, by no small distance. Israel could "wipe out" any of these states in a matter of days if it so choose. I am grateful they are so responsible. Even the European based enemies of Israel would struggle to argue that Iran(or any of the other criminal states in the region) would exercise such restraint given the same opportunity.

Israel is superior - politically, militarily, economically, culturally - you name it. And it is here to stay thanks to the United States of America.
 
Don rey
Not sure how much they get but Israel is the biggest recipient of US aid so we're not talking small grants etc.
 
I wonder how much Hezbollah and Hamas gets from Ian and Syria. Unlike US aid to Israel, I suspect this information hasn't been shared with the public. Quelle surprise.
 
Before Ian Dale complains - I am not suggesting he funds Hezbollah. After the HUGE cost of standing for the H of C last year. I meant Iran of course.
 
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