Sunday, July 1, 2007

Is Israel just a big Jewish neighborhood -- or a real county?

Is Israel just a big Jewish neighborhood -- or a real county?

I am afraid that after two thousand years of going without a country Jews no longer know what to do with one when they've got one (some might claim "got one back"). After two thousand years on the move, maybe all they can think is: "neighborhood", "neighborhood", "neighborhood".

How else to explain well fed -- liberal -- Israelis living complacently down the road from painfully poorer Arabs within Israel proper: the Arabs seeming to them more from unrelated neighborhoods than from any overall society.

Ditto for settlements in the occupied territories -- just more neighborhoods. If poor Arabs are not content to be poor somewhere else (move down the road; "How much difference can that make?"), but actually have the temerity to fight back (if often immorally -- but who invented the truck bomb?), they are always terrorists, never patriots.

The geopolitical concept of "sovereign-territory invading sovereign-territory" endlessly eludes Israelis where Palestine is concerned -- which is why the dots between Israel's American giant military/political/economic support and mad (by both definitions) Arabs blowing holes in New York City fail to connect also (Americans by and large fail to connect the dots, too -- 2 far for 20/20 vision?).

Word to Israel: You have been away for two thousand years. Two, two hundred year old technologies have "lately" altered the psychic landscape: the railroad and the telegraph, which made national borders feel both much less flexible and much more "sacred".

Back when the furthest you could extend your personal influence was how far you could ride your horse in one day (if you could afford a horse), the further reaches of your political realm might seem like the far side of the moon -- life was mostly "neighborhood". The railroad and the telegraph pulled the continental US together to the point where African slavery that was tolerated in the North in 1800 had become too close for psychic comfort by 1850.

The medium could be the message in the nineteenth century, too.

If Israelis ever get the message -- to go along with their country -- they will at last heed the need to cease, 24/7/365/40, provoking a billion-plus potential Palestinian adherents to wage violent jihad against David -- and his big friend Goliath.
If I were President of the United States I would send the Marines into Gaza to liberate that country. There being no Israeli troops there, the most important intention would be to develop the psychological concept of Gaza as a real country who can invite whomever it pleases.

I would follow that up by sending American or coalition troops into the West Bank (by Palestinian invitation) to promote the same psychic-geopolitical notion there. Israeli troops would not dare to fire on American troops -- geopolitical suicide.

Coalition troops would open the Israeli-only highway system to all (except perhaps one day a week when it would run only one-way: out), end check-points, allow Palestinians to drill water wells wherever they would, block new settlements of course and most importantly move all Israeli military without a shot being fired...

...all of which should make continued residence untenable for the great majority of Israeli settlers -- without so much as addressing a word to them.

I don't believe that Palestinians would harm a hair on Israeli settlers' heads -- at first; while waiting on a negotiated shake-out. I take the Palestinians to be the easiest people on earth to get along with -- after ever mounting Israeli abuse all they seem to ask is to be left alone. I suspect the Irish would have stormed Tel Aviv, by now, swinging broom sticks if that were all they had, if they had been subject a tenth of the same abuse (authority: I have 5 Irish grandparents counting my mother's step-mother).

My method would be to "fester" -- not "force". All would be calculated to firmly establish in Israeli psyches that the West Bank and Gaza are in fact another country -- not Israel's outback. The psychological can outweigh the physical as three is to one when opposing an illegal occupation, too.

How hard would it be for settlers to move back to Israel? How hard was it to move to the West Bank in the first place -- or would it be to move to Brooklyn? Moving would be much cheaper in the long run than maintaining as many tanks at the ready as Western NATO and the US armies combined -- on 1% of the population base -- and infinitely less costly to the Western liberal psyche.

Maybe the settlers might not have to go; not all anyway -- as long as the Palestinians held complete sovereignty and control. Seems a shame to waste all that nice real estate development that Palestinians could not afford to keep up, when both sides can profit. Perhaps the poorer Palestinians will rent the settlements back to the richer Israelis; maybe not even to the same Israelis; maybe to all comers; all the market will bear (and sell the Israelis the water resources they have been raiding, too)! Could mean a humongous amount of money for third world Palestinians to catch up on lost development with and hopefully not too much for first world Israelis to fork over (hey; this is the Middle East; you bargain) -- all hinging on the Palestinians keeping total and absolute control.

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