Saturday, February 10, 2007

Settlements that work -- 1949 Israel -- high settler to native ratio:

Settlements that work -- high settler to native ratio -- 1949 Israel:
Jews made up 86% (see chart V) of the population.

Settlements that fail -- low settler to native ratio -- long list:
South Africa: blacks outnumbered white settlers five to one (settlers allowed to remain -- after yielding power -- because they had something to offer);
Algeria: North Africans outnumbered French settlers ten to one (all gone);
Today's West Bank: Palestinians make up 86% (see chart VII) of the population.

Settlements that can work -- 1 native per square mile -- 1850 American plains:
A farming nation of 23 million people (growing 35% a decade) expanded into a million square miles roamed by a million plains Indians -- territory previously dwelt in by 20 million hunter gatherers before Spanish diseases took their overwhelming toll, a century earlier.

Settlements that cannot work -- 1000+ natives per square mile -- the West Bank:
400,000 Israelis bulldoze aside two and a half million subsistence farming Palestinians (with world's highest birth rate) who were already over-packed into 2,000 square miles.

Settlements not overly dangerous -- no natural allies:
American plains Indians had no one to back them up.

Settlements very, very dangerous -- unnaturally militant allies:
Just beyond the subjugated Palestinian homeland begins a civilization of a billion plus (!) co-religionists whose shared faith contains a template for terror -- which template has lately (1983) added a fearsome new instrument, suicide bombing -- which has been tragically experienced not only by David but by David's big brother Goliath.

Almost forty years ago, a disturbed loner whose family had been ethnically cleansed from Palestine assassinated a possible next president of the United States, Robert Kennedy for supporting Israel. Sixty years might have healed the scars of Israel's initial intrusion on world Islam. But, recent decades of piling on doubly-undoable settlements has created enough facts on the ground to motivate multiple attacks on America's greatest downtown -- what else could have?

[Check out the correlation between increasing settlements and increasing suicide bombings in former US Air Force instructor Robert Pape's book "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism" -- just received here; haven't read yet.]
Israel may have as many as 200 Hiroshima type nuclear weapons -- actually enough, if Israel had the deliver systems, to flatten most of Europe's and America's downtowns (would need to rent and rig cargo planes for the day to hit continental USA) -- just to emphasize that Israel's strategic bulwark is no fragile eggshell.

Saddam was an Armageddon kind of guy: he set fire to the Kuwaiti desert (600 oil wells), flooding the adjoining gulf with oil and was prepared to dump all his WMDs on Israel in 1992 -- to avenge the destruction of half his armed forces. If he could have bought or built nukes he might have been happy to die using them.

Israel has now serially attacked the core infrastructure of one defenseless neighbor while making Lebanon's adjoining land mass as unlivable as 1,000,000 unexploded bomblets can -- and bombed what amounted to the only infrastructure (power station) of an even more toothless next door neighbor and screwed down Gaza's financial lid so tight that many residents have been reduced to one meal a day -- in both cases to force the release of a single military abductee.

Can Israel be trusted with weapons of mass destruction? Doesn't matter; nobody can take them away from her. Israel has twice as many tank formations on short notice as today's US army -- and it takes three to one to invade. China or Russia could field three or four to one respectively but they suffer inferior equipment and training. All of NATO might be able to put together one to one.

Israel may field the world's fourth strongest army and its sixth most powerful nuclear deterrent -- she is held protectively to the breast of the world's only super power. Yet Israel refuses to negotiate peace with the Palestinians unless they, first, formally agree to Israel's right to exist -- while daily chipping away at the Palestinians' own homeland, which is guaranteed to leave them in no mood to.
Settler overload can give rise to peculiar institutions, the chief example being the West Bank's "wormhole" road network which connects settlements to Israel and to each other and which is reserved for the use of Israelis only (Palestinians lately banned from riding on them in Israelis' cars without a permit) -- making it possible to travel the length and breadth of West Bank "Israeli World" without making contact with the Palestinian dimension.

The West Bank's "wormholes" are all too reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson's odd Monticello mansion setup, where racially divided floor levels and physical gimmickry (e.g., dumbwaiters) contrived to allow free whites to live without the conscience pricking sight of enslaved blacks.

Extremist Israeli settlers are certain God granted Palestine to their people in perpetuity, but that doesn't mean God would not "allow" Palestinians the "use" of the remaining 22% of Palestine -- if vacating would cause prior residents unbearable hardship and if the fight they put up against vacating in accord with their own beliefs is likely never to end. The constraints of humanity and prudence here should outweigh the right to property. Ask your Rabbi.

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