Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Israel fragile?

Jonah Goldberg over at NRO makes a strong argument on why Israel's existence should be considered fragile. To this mail:

A common statement of the Israel Hawks is that Israel's existence is fragile, like you said earlier today. However, they have air superiority, the best weapons, the most disciplined troops and the bomb. Yet, you make it sound like they'll collapse the second they don't respond in an overheated way. They beat 3 bigger Arab countries once and they still have a significant military and economic advantage over everyone else. So why the lie about their fragile existence?

he responded:

Whenever it's necessary to use force to stay alive your position is precarious. And if you have to use it constantly just to live, that's a sign your "existence" is under serious threat (the humans in the "Living Dead" movies are always well-armed, none of them feel their existence isn't fragile).

In other words, the point is that Israel must maintain a very high level of military preparedness and vigilence merely in order to survive. If they didn't have that capability they'd be gone in a week. If they let down their guard for a moment, we've seen what happens. That's a pretty thin line if you ask me. Most countries don't have the ability to fight off all of their neighbors simultaneously but that's because they don't feel the need. According to the Israel-is-strong view, Belgium's existence is more fragile than Israel's because Israel is better armed. Who in the world thinks that's the case? I can assure you that most Israelis would rather have the "fragility" of Belgium's plight than the "stability" of theirs.

Never said better.

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