Thursday, February 9, 2012

どうしてイスラエルはそんなに問題な国ですか? So why is Israel such a problem?

In my last blog post, I wrote about how Israel is behind the current drive to have America start a war with Iran. A person reading that, well they would think that Israel is a dangerous country.


That is true, Israel has caused a lot of trouble. But. Before we simply conclude that Israel is a bad nation, an international troublemaker, there are some things we should consider.


As usual here, I am going to start with some history. The first Jewish state in the present land of Israel was formed about 3,100 years ago. Various Jewish kingdoms existed, the present state of Israel was taken over by Rome, and after 3 revolts against Roman dominance, the Jewish province was destroyed. Most surviving Jews scattered around the Roman Empire, only a small remnant in the present area of Israel.


What happened next is probably unique in human history. Many times, when a stronger power takes over a country, and destroy it's government, and force the surviving population to go into exile, the exiles gradually blend into the countries they escape to.


The Jewish people are uniquely different. They maintained their religion and culture, and even their language, Hebrew, continued to be studied by scholars. For 2,000 years.


Because Jewish people maintained a strong tradition of education and scholarship, after the collapse of Roman civilization, they came to dominate in business and commerce.


After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, educated people were few. Even many kings and princes of nations could not read or write. Also, a Jewish businessman in one kingdom could have an automatic business bond with a Jewish businessman in another land.


Jews did not own and operate farms, they gathered in the cities, where they were bankers and tradesmen.


So Jewish business people became essential to many kingdoms in the middle ages of Europe. However, this does not mean they were loved. Jewish people did not intermarry with non Jews, they kept to themselves. That they had their own language, own religion and culture different from the countries they lived in, made them objects of suspicion.


Often, they were forced to live in certain segregated areas of a city. This is where the present English language word "ghetto" comes from.


Often, Jewish people were attacked by their non Jewish neighbors. Many nasty rumors circulated about Jews, since they did not interact with other people and maintained a distinct identity, it was easy to hate them.


One important part of their religion was a strong belief that one day they would return to Israel and reestablish a Jewish state.


In 1896, a Jewish leader in Europe, Theodor Herzl formalized a political movement to create a Jewish state, called Zionism. Their feeling was that Jewish people would never be treated as equals by other nations unless they had their own state.


The number of Jews living in Palestine, then under Turkish rule, increased. After WWI, Britain took over administration of Palestine, and promised different things to different groups of people, including the Jews. The Jews were promised a homeland, but so were the Arabs.


At this time the majority population of Palestine was Moslem Arab, Jews were 11% of the population.


It was WWII and the Holocaust which accelerated the creation of Israel. During WWII, Nazi Germany devastated the Jewish population of areas in Europe they controlled. Some 6,000,000 were killed in death camps.


After the war, many of the survivors, with no home or country to go to, flocked to Palestine. Britain tried to stop such masses of Jews coming into Palestine, and failed.


Britain decided to give up control of the territory, and the newly formed United Nations negotiated a partition of the territory, the Jews accepted it, but the Moslem Arabs did not.


And here is the second tragedy of this story. Until now, Jewish people had been a persecuted people, without a country to call their own. In WWII, the Nazi government of Germany made strong efforts to eliminate them from the Earth.


But now, Jewish people became the aggressors, inflicting upon Moslem people the same crimes that had been done to them.


In the first Arab/Israeli war of 1949, Jewish terror groups such as the Irgun attacked Arab villages, causing the Arab people to flee. They moved into refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. They are still there.


Israel's wars:

Israel won the 1949 war, and in 1967, won a spectacular amount of territory, including the West Bank and the Sinai peninsula.


A map of Jewish expansion.


One particular Israeli advantage was that Jews lived in many countries around the world. In the United States, there were many Jewish people who worked in the media and Hollywood. They were able to influence public opinion in favor of Israel.


This led to support in military equipment and supplies. The Moslem Arab population did not have a comparable support network. The Soviet Union did support Arab nations with arms. However, American media and Hollywood had a world wide audience, and always cheered on Israel. The Arabs just could not compete in this way.


However, in 1973, Egypt launched an offensive that crippled the Israeli military, along with Syria. Israel did win the war. However, this was only because America massively resupplied Israel with weapons and ammunition. Israel was near defeat, and the Israeli Prime Minister told America that they would use nuclear weapons unless America helped. To avoid nuclear war, America did help. However, the resulting peace agreement did result in Israel giving the Sinai peninsula back to Egypt.


In this war, Arab armies showed an increasing ability to fight Israel on more equal terms.


In a 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Hezbollah guerilla fighters were able to force 500,000 Israeli's in northern Israel to evacuate by missile attack, and destroyed 52 tanks.


The missiles used to attack Israel were supplied by Iran.


One of the most intractable problems involved today is the status of the territories of Gaza and the West Bank.

These territories were outside Israeli control until the 1967 war. Egypt ruled Gaza, and Jordan ruled the West Bank. In the 1967 war, Israel overran these areas. At that time the population was entirely Moslem Arab.


IN 1993, a Palestinian government was established. The area in Dark Green in the above maps are Palestinian administered areas. The other areas are administered by the Israeli government.


The serious problem here is the settlers movement.


These are Israeli's who have created towns in the West Bank, under Israeli control. The settlers number some 327,000 people. The total population of Israel is 5,865,300. 75% are Jews, 20% Moslem Arabs. But those 327,000 settlers are the most politically explosive.


In the above map, Israeli settler communities are shown in magneta. In these areas they have displaced the Arab people who lived there.


All throughout it's history, Israel has used abusive tactics to force Arab people to leave territory it controls. The Arabs who have remained in Israeli are second class citizens.


The West Bank and Gaza are not recognized as part of Israel itself, but rather as territory controlled by Israel. Negotiations for an independent Arab state of Palestine have been ongoing.


If we look at the map above of Palestinian administered territory, one can see that all Israel allows is small pockets of Arab territory, surrounded by Israeli controlled territory.


The Settlers movement want to annex the entire West Bank, and force all Arabs to leave. They are very violent, even attacking the Israeli army when the army has tired to control them.


When Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin tried to craft a solution to the West Bank problem in 1995, he was assassinated by a Right Wing Israeli. The assassin felt that to help create a state for Palestinians was a betrayal of Israel.


This is a primary source of conflict with Israel's neighbors. Many Arabs have been displaced by Israel. Surrounding Arab nations want justice for them. Israelis' say that they themselves deserve a homeland. But Israelis' turn a blind eye to the Arab people, saying they did not deserve the land, or saying that there never was a Palestine.


Many Jews say because of their historical persecution, they deserve a homeland. However the Israeli people have created a serious crime by forcing so many Arab people to leave their homes.


It is true that there never was an independent nation named Palestine. But it is also true that since Roman times, Arab people have been living in what is now Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank.


So how is this likely to work out? I think Israel is in serious danger of destruction. Israel looks strong, particularly it's military, but actually Israel's situation is quite weak.


Israel is supported by American aid. About one third of the US foreign aid budget goes to Israel.


On my blog, I have often written about the forthcoming American collapse. This is true. So with America in rapid decline, how long can they continue to supply so much aid to Israel?


The answer is it cannot continue much longer, probably only a few more years. Then what country will support Israel? Some European country? Russia? China? Japan?


The answer to that is, no country. All countries of the world will be experiencing economic difficulties in the future. Without such massive support, Israel's military will quickly cease to function. There will be no fuel, no resupply of ammunition. And Israel will find itself surrounded by hostile neighbors. Their only advantage will be nuclear weapons.


But I don't think even nuclear blackmail will help Israel survive. Iran does not have a nuclear bomb. But Pakistan has at least 60 to 120 nuclear weapons.


In this trouble of Israel threatening to attack Iran, Pakistan has announced it will support Iran.


So Israel's worst nightmare is already reality. Their arrogance and bad treatment of Palestinians has caused Israel to be threatened by Moslem nuclear weapons.


Even if war does not happen this year, and I think American pressure on Israel might be having some effect, Israel is in a bad situation. They are suffering from a brain drain of educated Israelis'. Well, that makes sense. With all this talk of war, and missile attacks, if some Israeli is educated, his wife will say they should emigrate to some safe country so the children can grow up in peace.


And the Moslem population is increasing.


The present Israeli government should make peace now, while they still have some strength. Even most Jewish people in both American and Israel want a political solution. They are tired of war. But the present government does not show any such inclination, rather they show a tendency to be more harsh on the Moslem people of the world.


I seriously think that in a few years, the situation will shift radically, and eventually the territory that is now Israel will again be ruled by Moslems. But that won't be so bad. Historically, in all the years since the Roman Empire, Moslem governments have traditionally treated Jewish people under their rule much better than Christian rulers did.


Even today, there is a Jewish population of 25,000 people living in Iran. The attitude of Iranian people towards them is one of tolerance.


What should Japan in this affair, between Israel, America, and Iran? We should do nothing. We should maintain decent relations with all nations in this affair. If one of these nations demands that we attack another country, or apply economic sanctions, we should answer; "It is not our affair. The Americans and Israelis' are our friends, the Iranians are our friends. We are saddened to see such conflict, but we will not take sides."


This should be our stance, not blind acceptance of the demands of one side or the other.


1 comment:

Orwell said...