Posted by: Dark Defender | January 3, 2009

But what is the political goal of defending yourself?

Ive been bad on updating lately, if anyone cares I apologize.  I was inspired by Megan Mcardle’s xmas gift guide and got Railroad Tycoon 3. 

Ah the time in the last week I’ve wasted on that.  If I could manage to convert screen shots to jpgs Id post a picture of the in game newspaper proclaiming “Boom times ahead- Government economists proclaim perpetual growth!!” and down the page “Today’s youth more rebellious than ever?”. 

So yeah RT cynicism was very enjoyable and helpful in putting events of the last year in prospective.  I think all members of congress should be required to play this game, cause it might make them more aware of reality, and business cycles and the fact that bad times don’t require sacrificing your national values on the altar of political expediency.  

Good times happen, bad times happen, its not the end of the world.  Get over yourselves, government types, the economy will recover with or without you, the only question is whether you pull an FDR and prolong the downturn with your do-gooding and self importance.

Anyways what I actually wanted to talk about is the conflict in Gaza.  I was watching a blogging heads ep with Drezner and Mcardle.  The main question on their (and seemingly most pundit’s) mind’s is: what the hell is Israel thinking? What can they possibly hope to achieve politically?

I find this logic strange and happenstance like that of a troll.  The most basic function of a state is to provide for the safety of its citizens.  If it is incapable of doing this it wont last long, either it will devolve into a kleptocracy which no longer tries to fullfill the funcitons of a state or it will collapse into chaos.  This is really basic, if a state cannot protect its citizens, if it cant monopolize the use of force within its own territory it isn’t a viable state.  This isn’t rocket science, this is the very basics of what a state is going back intellectually at least to Hobbes and the leviathan but in reality it goes back to the dawn of civilization and the creation of law.

To put it simply, Israel’s political goal is continued survival.  How can any government sit idly by while a neighbor fires off rockets at its citizens with impunity?  How could Israeli citizens have confidence in their government? How could Jews continue to live in the middle east knowing that they are surrounded by people who want nothing so bad as to kill them and even their own government wont defend them.  It would be the end of Israel, either the government would be overthrown by its people, it would stand idly by while the Palestinians took over Israel or Jews would simply flee to the safety of the west leaving the land and those who remain to the mercies of Hamas.

Obviously no government is going to do this, no one can accept a certain number of its citizens being killed by enemies with no response.  Israel has no choice but to respond with force, as much force as is necessary.  They have no diplomatic option, the Palestinians have proven again and again their goal is the destruction of Israel not the creation of a Palestinian state. 

So Israel is taking the only option open to them.  Sure its not playing well in Europe, ill concede it creates international image problems.  But so what? The alternative is the destruction of Israel, sure not tomorrow not the next week or even next year, but if Israel goes down a “turn the other cheek road”, there is no other destination than oblivion.

Why wont Israel just negotiate with Hamas? They just want normal families like everyone else.

Why wont Israel just negotiate with Hamas? They just want normal families like everyone else.



  1. It’s always more than a little disturbing when Europe starts moralizing about what the Jews should and should not be doing. But no one seems to think of the current events in Israel and Gaza in the context of the twentieth century, let alone in the context of Jewish history in general.

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