The end of Israel.
One day, it seems likely, there will be no Israel. At least, not in its present form. Ironically, the reason for this will not be hostile Arab nations, but Israel itself.
I was struck, the other day, by the foolishness of Israeli forces killing human rights activists who just wished to deliver aid, through Israel's blockade. Israel, rather comically, and absurdly, one might note, tried to blame the activists, for their own deaths, saying that the activists had attacked their commandos. That is right: commandos. The Israelis had sent commandos to board their ship - and then had the gall to be surprised when the activists objected and tried to defend their ship from the incursion.
Most people would agree that the activists acted in a perfectly natural way, to defend their ship against boarding by hostile forces. If the Israelis had meant no harm...why board, and why use commandos?
What Israel forgets, or doesn't care about it, so much, is that the whole world is watching them - and much of the world was left unimpressed by their actions. It may even be that people who had no prior sympathy for Palestine, might acquire some through watching the actions of Israel.
Israel may not care about world opinion - but it should. It is only through a network of global support, that Israel continues to survive as a nation. I am not sure that, alone and entirely unsupported, as it might one day be, that Israel could survive in the Middle East, for long.
After World War II, almost every nation had sympathy for the Jews and what they went through - but that sympathy is being gradually eroded by the Israel that surviving Jews and their descendants have built. Modern Israel is too heavy handed, too, might I say, brutal, to win new friends or to hold on, indefinitely, to the ones it has.
Should Israel continue to be heavy-handed, the "sympathy capital" of the Holocaust, will be gradually eroded, until, one day, none of it remains. Then, Israel might stand alone, in its hostile quarter of the world...but not, I think, for long.
It was right that the world should have been sympathetic to the Jews after World War II - but now, as Israel wields its power in the world, in an often heavy handed, ill-thought out manner - it is also right that it should begin to lose that sympathy. It is only natural. Indeed, I am struck by the irony that a people once bullied, and terrorized, as they were in World War II should now, in some quarters, be seen, themselves as bullies and terrorizers, of others.
Israel feels that it must be this aggressive to survive. However, their situation is exquisitely ironic - because the more aggressive they are, the more resentful will their neighbours become and the more likely it will be that they will, one day, be extinguished. The very strategy which they feel is necessary for survival, is the very strategy that is hastening the day they will be extinguished.
Only if true peace comes in the Middle East, will Israel be secure from destruction. Yet, I don't see peace being what Israel is actually pursuing. Israel is, instead, seeking a kind of power or dominance over its neighbours. In some ways, they are seeking to use fear, to control their enemies. Again, I see the irony of those who once had much to fear, themselves turning to fear, as a weapon for survival.
I do not know enough about the Middle East, to comment definitively - but I know this: Israel's own actions, lose them more friends, than it wins them power over their enemies. They are eroding their international support base. They are damaging their own image, as historical victims, deserving of support.
In a way, I would not be surprised if some elements of Israel's enemies are rejoicing at Israel's actions: for it is undermining the Israeli state more effectively than most actions those enemies have themselves been able to take.
Israel needs to practice diplomacy, not muted war: they should be striving to master the well-chosen word, over the mailed fist. Sadly, however, I think they feel more secure in military power, than in peace-seeking diplomacy.
One day, I think, Israel will come to understand that its conduct, has led to its undoing. All Israel needs to do, to ensure its own ultimate end, is to just carry on precisely as it is, now. The Israelis will do the work, that their enemies have been unable to do. Given their stubborn-ness and tendency not to listen to international opinion, I think it is almost certain, that the Israelis will be their own undoing.
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