Articles

How to Save Israel… and the World

A planet doesn’t explode of itself,” said drily
The Martian astronomer, gazing off into the air –
“That they were able to do it is proof that highly
Intelligent beings must have been living there.

John Hall Wheelock

The world awaits with trepidation the next confrontation between Israel and one or other of the 50-odd Muslim nations ranged against it. Iran is the major current threat.

In May 2010, an attack on a flotilla of ships alienated Turkey, the only Muslim nation with which Israel enjoyed cordial relations. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague called for ‘a durable solution’.

It may be that world events will be dominated by some great disaster, natural or man-made, so that the Israel question becomes unimportant. Diplomacy may calm Israel’s enemies; or, Israel’s neighbours may launch a simultaneous attack that will overwhelm the nation.

The worst case would be a nuclear attack launched by a Taliban-controlled Pakistan, or by Iran. Binyamin Netanyahu observed that Tel Aviv is the most threatened city in the world. “There are more missiles per square foot targeting Tel Aviv than any other city in the world.”

Israel’s actions affect the entire world. The original rationale for the operations against Saddam Hussein and the Taliban was to protect Israel and thus safeguard the Jewish Zionist lobby vote in America.

The 22-nation Arab League is vehemently anti-Israel. Were it not for America’s protection, Israel would have disappeared years ago. In some countries, Israel has been literally wiped off the map: cartographers show a blank unnamed area instead.

Some Muslim countries are less vindictive than others. Israel’s immediate neighbours are naturally the most aggressive because they have the most to fear and lose. To former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plaintive question, “What do you want?”, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Nasrallah replied, in a televised speech chillingly reminiscent of Churchill’s most famous utterance, “We want to kill you. We will kill you in the fields. We will kill you in the cities. We will fight you like you have never seen before. The disappearance of Israel is inevitable, it is divine law. The presence of Israel is temporary and cannot go on in the region.”

Iran is working towards a nuclear device. It has not forgotten Israel’s brilliantly planned 1981 attack, when American-supplied F16 and F15 fighter planes successfully destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak (‘Operation Opera’), and the equally brilliant Israeli attack on Syria at Dayr Az-Zwar in 2007.

Iran has at least 17 nuclear sites, from Arak to Yazd. One is believed to be deep underground and would be impenetrable by ordinary missiles. Other installations are well dispersed and not easily detectable by satellite.

Perhaps Iran will adopt the tactics of the Germans in WWII, when new planes and rockets were never parked in the same place two nights running. A V2 rocket unit could set up, fire a weapon that would totally destroy a thousand square yards of London, and retire in 17 minutes, making it impossible for location batteries to pinpoint their position and destroy them.

The most feared result of the current Middle East situation is a nuclear attack on Israel by a Muslim power. There is a waiting list for government gas masks in Israel, and details of shelters are widely displayed. A recent video, ‘Israel’s Last Day’ by Ronen Barany, portrayed an imagined nuclear attack on the country. It ignored knowledge that seems to have receded from the public awareness, namely that a ‘dirty bomb’ exploding near the ground would suck up tons of radioactive debris into the atmosphere and deliver it to the mercy of the winds. Months after the 1945 Nagasaki and Hiroshima attacks, people were dying from radiation sickness hundreds of miles from the explosion sites. In Wales, and elsewhere, a quarter of a century after the Chernobyl episode, sheep must still be checked for radiation before they are sent to the abattoir.

Israel has no strategy, and Washington will not provide one. They lurch from confrontation to confrontation and from battle to battle. The stark but, in bleak retrospect, comforting stalemate of the Cold War no longer exists. Soviet Russia knew that if it nuked the West it would be destroyed in return – mutual assured destruction.

Many Islamic fundamentalists, however, are willing to die. If there are Muslim suicide bombers, why not suicide nations?

No one quite knows the weight of the Jewish lobby in the USA. Of the conjectured six and a half million American Jews (more than the population of Israel itself) many will vote – but no one knows how many. Not all American Jews are Zionists, indeed many of the most vociferous anti-Zionists are American Jews such as Norman Finkelstein, and Emily Henochowicz, a young artist who lost an eye during a demonstration against Israel forces.

In England, too, there are many Jewish anti-Zionists. In 2008, several Jewish personalities, including Stephen Fry, signed an open letter, published in the Guardian newspaper and stating their opposition to celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. Fry is a signatory member of the Jews for Justice for Palestinians, a British organisation campaigning for Palestinian rights, as are Jonathan Miller, Miriam Margolyes and Zoë Wanamaker.

Founded in 2002, the JfJfP opposes Israeli policies that could be seen as threatening Palestinian rights. It opposes Israeli policies that undermine the rights of the Palestinian people, and supports the right of Israelis to live in freedom and security within Israel’s 1967 borders.

But the Zionist vote in America is not the crux of the matter. Both political parties dance to the News Corp tune, as in Great Britain. Even though the Muslim population of America already far exceeds the Jewish one, they will have no voice unless they can provide media opposition to News Corp’s New York Times, New York Post, Fox News, Wall Street Journal et al. “The pen is mightier than the sword,” and, as Napoleon observed, “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets…”.

There is a solution to the Israeli dilemma. It will not solve all the problems of the Middle East, but it would remove the most immediate threat.

In a 2011 TV interview with Jeremy Vine, Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ehud Barak said, “We would love to have Canadians as our neighbours…”. He was being whimsical, but many a true word is spoken in jest.

Over a period of perhaps two years, the entire nation of Israel could be relocated to the United States, either as the 51st state or as a sovereign country (42% of the world’s Jewish population already reside in the US, with just 39% living in Israel).

Given the legendary speed of American builders, this is a generous time span, and the work generated would go a long way towards creating jobs.

Only 21,000 square kilometres of land would be required (an area slightly smaller than New Jersey). The ideal site for this new country is the junction of the sparsely populated states of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado, where the climate is identical to that of Israel.

The United States already effectively has separate nations within its borders – over six million Native Americans living in hundreds of Indian reservations. There were originally over five hundred native tribes, grouped into more than a hundred nations, from the famous Apache, Crowfoot, Sioux, and Cheyenne, to the lesser known Zapotecs and Wankis. Only the Navajo and Ute Indian reservations might present a problem.

Let us remember that Israel has only existed for sixty years, and a majority of its citizens are immigrants. Repeating the exercise of setting up a nation in America shouldn’t be an insuperable challenge.

Few question the right of the Israelis to some territory in the area of the Holy Lands. One respects their traditional links to the land. Arab countries taking over Israeli territory should perhaps pay compensation – they can certainly afford it.

Holy sites, specifically Jerusalem, could be ‘internationalised’ and policed by the United Nations (Tom Clancy suggested this in his novel ‘The Sum of All Fear’). Jews who insisted on remaining in the new territory would have to come to terms with their Arab neighbours and hosts. With luck, international desire for peace would produce tolerance.

An Israel relocated to America would no longer have to spend 9% of its GDP on defence, and the US might be happy to continue its lavish aid. Israeli citizens would no longer be committed to military conscription of three years for men and two for women. One can hardly doubt that the new country would soon become a powerful economic entity. Freed from the need simply to survive, who knows what torrents of creativity, both commercial and artistic, might result from this talented and resourceful people?

When the Zionists first sought a homeland, they considered Uganda, Argentina and Madagascar. The Balfour Declaration steered them to Palestine. Modern Israel is ten times bigger than the original agreed territory. Neighbouring nations would like to reclaim their lost lands – e.g. Syria would quite like to have the Golan Heights.

Though accused by some of being anti-Israel, President Obama did not neglect the Jews in the formation of his government. It initially included:

Rahm Emanuel – Chief of Staff
David Axelrod – Senior Advisor to the President
Ronald Klein – Chief of Staff to the Vice President
Larry Summers – Economic Advisor to the President
Paul Volcker – Economic Advisor to the President
Tim Geithner – Treasury Secretary
Peter Orszag – Head of Budget.

One wag inquired, “Is this an administration or a minyan?” (traditional Judaic quorum)

Relocating a whole nation is, of course, a drastic measure. But it would mean survival, as distinct from inevitable death. Israel is not short of friends in Washington.

In 2012 Obama may not be as dependent on the Jewish vote as his predecessors. He has humiliated Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington, treating him, according to Israel’s right-wing newspaper Haaretz, “like a problem child, instead of guest of honour.” This may have been in retaliation for the snub delivered by Israel to vice president Joe Biden when he was trying to set up talks between Israel and Palestine. Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said, “… relations are in a state of tectonic rift in which continents are drifting apart.”

Republicans and Democrats alike may soon find themselves seeking to insure the non-alienation of the Muslims rather than that of the Jews. The average Muslim family produces five children (not hard with four wives permitted…), while Jewish families produce fewer than two. In a few years the preponderance of Muslims in the United States will be overwhelming.

Some will find the suggestion of relocating a whole nation absurd, even stupid. But such a move would guarantee the safety of Israelis and reduce threats to world peace.

Anybody got any better ideas?

The Case Against Democracy

 

 

‘Democracy’ for many is a sacred word, often uttered in reverential tones with an implicit bow of the head.

Some assume that a democratically elected government is the avowed desire of all mankind. Just as some think ‘the Law’ is laid down by God, many believe that democracy is God’s will, and that every North Korean, Afghani schoolgirl and Sub-Saharan goatherd yearns for it.

But all law is man-made, supposedly for the good of society. Democracy is a method of government selected from a choice of many possible systems by Britain, the West, and most industrialized nations.

‘One man, one vote’ is democracy’s battle cry.

How the ancient Greeks, from whom the word is taken, would have laughed at its grotesque modern misuse.

In Ancient Greece only property owning men were allowed to vote. Women, foreigners, slaves, and children of mixed parentage were not enfranchised. Only a small proportion of the population was allowed to vote – no more than 30%. The city-state of Athens may have been run by as few as 6,000 voters, and the vast majority of its 50,000 citizens and inhabitants did not have the vote.

The enfranchised group was known as the ‘demos’ – the ‘[common] people’, as defined by Pericles, the 5th century BC ruler of Athens so admired by classicist London Mayor Boris Johnson. But slavery was the system that underpinned their civilization.

Those who despise democracy are in very good company, from George Bernard Shaw (“Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve”) to Professor G.M. Trevelyan (“The advent of real democracy has cooked the goose of civilization”).

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” H.L. Mencken’s prophecy has been fulfilled more than once.

Churchill opined, “It is said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried,” but made no reference to the near-Utopias that some benevolent despotisms have achieved. Perhaps he was having a Dardanelles moment because, contradictorily, he also averred that “the greatest case against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”.

‘One man, one vote’ means that the inarticulate, innumerate and illiterate members of those dysfunctional families where three generations are unemployed and unemployable, the binge-drinking ladette, the criminal and the hoodie, have as much to say in the running of the country as the industrious professional and the entrepreneur who establishes a wealth-creating business employing many people.

The traditional working class of Britain has been partly replaced by an underclass, deliberately created by generations of politicians. Why they have created this class is perplexing, and it is embarrassing not to be able to offer a cogent rationale for such a sweeping observation. Maybe something to do with ‘divide and conquer’? Perhaps a disunited, heterogeneous, multicultural population is more easily manipulated for party political purposes than a solid body of people with common values and beliefs?

Labour encouraged the entry of three million immigrants, mainly from Third World countries. Their declared desire was to “rub the noses of the Right in multiculturalism”, and their hope that the immigrants and their undoubtedly burgeoning families (the average Muslim family has five children, as compared with the West’s 1.7) would eventually vote Labour. This is sloppy thinking. Not all immigrants bother to become citizens, and those that do don’t necessarily bother to vote.

One cannot blame the underclass or Third World immigrants. When the offered deal is simply ‘Get yourself pregnant and we’ll give you a council house, free medical treatment and an income, and you won’t have to work,’ it’s hardly surprising that there are so many takers. Nor can one blame the African single mother of six who comes to Britain to claim her Notting Hill mansion and £38,000 a year.

As W.C. Fields observed, “Never give a sucker an even break…”

As for the professional Balkan pickpockets and beggars, the UK, a society in which criminals are molly-coddled and hardly punished, is clearly the Nirvana to head for. After all, the punishment for burning six children to death, or kidnapping, torturing, raping and killing little girls is roughly as follows: confinement for most of the day in an en suite apartment, with all meals provided, access to library and computer, visitors, letters, mobile phone, and – at the vehement insistence of Prime Minister Cameron – Sky television, a service that many law-abiding citizens would like to have, but can’t afford.

However, the sickest aspect of immigration is the fact that many British employers prefer to hire foreigners. Their English is often of a higher standard than that of many natives, and their general attitude is more positive. And being bilingual can be a bonus.

The UK has almost the worst standard of education in Europe. It must be conceded that neither Labour nor the Conservatives have made any effort to correct this. The destruction of the grammar schools by the Labour party was a decisive blow. Social mobility is a threat to them. Working-class boys and girls who go to grammar schools may go on to university and start mingling with the bourgeoisie and adopt their values, thus losing Labour votes.

But when the Conservatives returned to power with former grammar-school pupils Ted Heath as prime minister and Margaret Thatcher as education minister, they did nothing to reinstate them. Their party was moving to the left, and such action would have seemed like a strident declaration of old Tory values — which might have cost them votes.

The complaint that the stupid have as many votes as the intelligent is nothing new. Crassus, the richest man in ancient Rome – who owned 800 slaves and raised the army that put down the Spartacus slave revolt – complained bitterly about the fact that he only had one vote.

The single worst aspect of democracy, what Plato called the hamartia or fatal flaw, is the emergence of the system of Party Politics.

This has led in modern times to the emergence of politics as a profession. One doesn’t simply state one’s beliefs and offer oneself to the people. In order to become an MP and achieve a voice, one must first be accepted by a political party as a suitable candidate.

Thus there is an endless procession of university graduates who become ‘researchers’ or ‘advisors’ before being selected for seats of established party loyalty. Most of the exceptions to this are either media personalities or people who, for one reason or another, have managed to achieve a degree of celebrity.

The evil inherent in the system is that no politician assesses affairs in the light of “What is best for the country?” but rather “How will this play with the voters?” Such few members of the electorate as give politics any thought would require their government to maintain peace, prosperity and order.

But the government’s main objective is to get re-elected. The major preoccupations of the British today are immigration, education, youth unemployment, law and order, and the futile military excursions to Iraq and Afghanistan. The government prefers to discuss child care, gay marriage, dinner ladies, AV, and the reform of the House of Lords. Effectively, we have an adversarial government.

Adversarial government occurs at the local as well as the national level.

Six hundred and fifty members of parliament and nearly a thousand members of the House of Lords – the biggest upper chamber in the world – govern a population of 60 million. The entire population of the United States (over 300 million) is governed by 450 Congressmen and 100 senators.

Grotesque examples of the results of party politics spring readily to mind.

Why cannot the UK extradite its suspected Irish terrorist murderers from the USA? Because neither Democrats nor Republicans would dare risk the disapprobation of Irish-American voters. It may be that many Irish-Americans are aware that Northern Ireland remains in the UK because of the overwhelming wishes of its citizens, but some will take a different view. (Since many murderers were freed under the Good Friday Agreement anyway, no doubt some will think this small beer.)

In 1982 Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. They had no valid claim to the territory since Argentina did not exist as a country at the time the British occupied the islands. A rough historical equivalent would be the UK claiming Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Calais, since these were once English territories.

However, the invasion was a convenient distraction from the Galtieri government’s oppressive regime.

The British Conservative government had three options. Firstly, they could have threatened Argentina with military action. The killing of thousands of innocent civilians as well as servicemen in retaliation for the discomforting of three thousand Falklanders would no doubt have been seen as a disproportionate response by much of the world. (One might querulously inquire the purpose of our CASD – Continuous At Sea Deterrence – the rather pricey nuclear submarines that prowl the ocean’s depths, but that’s another discussion…)

America’s General Haig achieved nothing despite much jetting about the globe. America was forced into mealy-mouthed diffidence by its Monroe Doctrine.

Another option would have been to do nothing and accept the situation.

Bismarck declared that the Balkans were ‘not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian Grenadier’. The population of the Balkans in his time was about 30 million.

But party politics mandated that the Conservative party took the worst possible action and recaptured the Falklands. Had they not done so, the jingoist media would have slaughtered them, and they would have lost the next election. It is true that the Labour party said that they would not make the Falklands a party issue, but one doubts that this would have been resolutely upheld.

How many politicians or British people could have placed the islands on a blank map of the world will forever remain a moot point. (Those of us who enjoy Darwin’s ‘The Voyage of the Beagle’ can smugly claim to know exactly where they are…)

The population of the Falklands is under four thousand. Yet the Conservative party thought it was worth the deaths of 225 servicemen and women, and more than 700 wounded, (not to mention the deaths of about the same number of Argentineans, mainly half-trained conscripts). Both countries report that among survivors of the conflict the number of suicides equals the casualties of the war.

Tedious though the prospect of Argentinean takeover may have been, it is unlikely that the Falklanders would have been transported to mainland Argentina for slave labour.

One recalls that in World War Two’s Vichy France – the area of France allowed to continue under a puppet French government and not occupied by the Nazis – although there was hostage-taking and executions, particularly of communists, life was reasonably peaceful until, at the behest of the Nazis in February 1943, Pierre Laval imposed Service de Travail Obligatoire – forced labour. At that point thousands of men took to the hills and joined the Maquis resistance, provoking the occupation of Vichy territory by Nazi forces and many atrocities.

The worst imposition for the Falklands would have been that of the Spanish language. In Argentina there are many schools where lessons are taught in both Spanish and English – one language in the morning, the other in the afternoon. Not exactly concentration camp tactics.

Fortunately the lucky Falklanders found others willing to die for them – the aforementioned 225 British service personnel.

But the main thing was that the Conservatives won the next election. Party politics was satisfied.

Thomas Jefferson defined democracy as “nothing more than mob rule where 51% of the people take away the rights of the other 49”. This is an interesting observation in that it appears to assume that 100% of electorates are likely to vote. In fact, in the UK, so enamoured of the system is the enfranchised populace that only about 42% of them actually bother to vote.

Why the other 58% don’t vote is a question that baffles psephologists. Why don’t people vote? Is it because they don’t care who’s in charge?

It could be that they see little difference in the parties. Blair and Brown created a society with huge youth unemployment, massive immigration, and started two pointless wars. Clegg and Cameron came in, and all the monsters are still in place.

Perhaps voters think that the Blairs, Browns, Bushes, Clintons, Cleggs and Camerons come and go, but Rupert Murdoch is there forever, as solid as the rock of Gibraltar.
Paranoia?

Michael Portillo told Sir Harold Evans and Andrew Neil on the BBC’s ‘This Week’ TV show (December 3, 2012) that, when he was a minister, he ‘kissed the bottom of the Murdoch press’. (Neil and Evans are former employees of Murdoch, having both edited The Times.)

One can understand politicians’ allegiances since governments are largely created by the media. Napoleon thought that ‘four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets…’

Murdoch doesn’t much care what the BBCCs do about carers or dinner ladies’ salaries, AV, immigration, gay marriage, or the House of Lords, but as a Jewish Zionist, he very much cares about the security of Israel. A Taliban-controlled Pakistan and Afghanistan, funded by nuclear-bent Iran would be a major threat to Israel.

That is why he encouraged the intervention in Afghanistan.

The party that dared to announce that it was withdrawing support for such intervention would receive short shrift indeed from the Murdoch press. (Admittedly, he does not appear to have resisted the planned withdrawal. Perhaps he buys the dubious line that the Afghan government can take care of business?)

The Iraq and Afghanistan military excursions were undertaken mainly in the defence of Israel. It is arrant nonsense to describe the Afghanistan operation as a means of protecting the streets of Britain from terrorism – though many senior officers, fearful no doubt for their future promotions and pension prospects, go along with it. The 7/7 London bombers were all British-born, and none had trained in Afghanistan.

Besides, there are more than forty Muslim countries where terrorist training camps could be set up. Why hasn’t the Coalition invaded Yemen?

The catalogue of horrors wrought by Democracy is endless. Hitler was democratically elected (possibly with some finagling…), and as Lady Bracknell observed, “We all know what that led to…”

Many alternative forms of government are worse, and it must be admitted that benevolent despotism can turn sour.

However, there is a happy compromise that few have considered.

The Australian novelist Neville Shute propounded a Seven Vote System. Every adult receives one basic vote. Further votes are granted for educational or professional qualifications, and for working or studying abroad for two years (including military service). A family vote is awarded for raising two children to the age of fourteen without getting a divorce. An achievement vote is awarded to those who attain a certain level of salary; and a ‘church vote’ to anyone working for a recognized church. The seventh vote would be awarded by the Queen, like a decoration.

Some might quibble at the extra vote for educational qualifications in an age when university graduates in subjects such as ‘Abuse and Dance’, who can barely speak English, describe themselves as ‘high achievers’.
Reading this, a few pot-smoking worthies who’ve lived at the tax-payer’s expense all their lives with no intention of living any other way, may well have a fit of the vapours. Clearly, such a system would put government firmly in the hands of the serious, the responsible, the mature, the ambitious, the privileged and the conservative.

Governments elected by such a system would not augur well for a huge swathe of the population.

However, another scenario might be the creation of a new political party offering celebrity candidates – Russell Brand, Wayne Rooney, and Jonathon Ross spring to mind – that would attract an enormous voter turnout. In this case the multi-vote electorate would simply be swamped and insanity would thrive just as well as it does today.

Britain and the West in general are doomed as the Third Word encroaches. The first mosque in Britain was built in 1896. There are now more than 1600 mosques, as well as many religious meeting places. France and Germany have many more, and even Switzerland has several hundred.

One doesn’t need a 2/1 in Statistics and Dance from Scunthorpe Uni to spot a trend.

The ancient Romans, and many historians, believed that the collapse of the Roman Empire was attributable to the affluence of Rome and the general softness of its citizens. Barbarians observed the decline and took over.

Had the hour brought forth the man, and if ‘good men’ had been prepared to defend it, the Roman Empire might have survived, and the Dark Ages wouldn’t have happened.

Britain and the West today face the same challenge. But will the hour bring forth the man, or the woman – or an intelligent form of democracy?