Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Israel the Gangster State

Someone, in one of the tussles I get into online, which are both draining and refreshing, dulling and clarifying, called Israel a "gangster state".

I can't resist contemplating the following rejoinder: to the east of Israel there's a monarchy, more traditional than gangsta per se but not even close to democratic; it's a relatively nice place we call Jordan. To the north, there is Lebanon, dominated by Hezbollah, a well-armed Shiite, Iranian backed military force, which, lately, has been too pre-occupied trying to rescue the murderous Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to devote itself to its main purpose, namely the utter annihilation of the state of Israel, but has been husbanding all sorts of weaponry for that eventuality.

Moving east, we find Egypt, the most populous state in the Arab world. After exemplifying to the utmost the unfortunately stunted aspirations of the Arab spring, Egypt has lapsed back into military dictatorship and is ruled by a take no prisoners junta that extinguishes any kind of opposition.

Shall we go north, to Iraq, a state which was irresponsibly splintered by the United States — broke, that is, but not owned — and is now yet another joint in the Shiite arm that stretches from Teheran through Bagdad onto Damascus and Beirut? Or shall we pause for a moment to underline the rabid Sunni response — ISIS — to this development?

I haven't even mentioned Iran, per se, the theocratic Shiite force to the north or Saudi Arabia, its Sunni counterpart to the south.

Given all this, Israel stands out as a "gangster state"?

And yet Israeli seizure of West Bank land is nothing but gangsterism, fortified by religious nationalism, and I completely and utterly oppose it.


  1. Write a story about famous Jewish gangsters.

  2. East is east and west is west, but otherwise, seemed pretty accurate.

    More generally, though, why even respond to name - calling? You can't, without descending in to your opponent's crap.

    Just for me, the grain of truth in the epithet as applied to Israel is that this democracy keeps re-electing the makers of the same criminal policy, basically all our adult lives now. the electorate has taken on some very gang - like behaviors. Not to mention the very widespread anti - Arab racism over there that we keep reading about.

    Best, Steve

  3. Steve, hi. As I say, sometimes the tussle does serve to clarify my own thinking. But I do wish someone had responded to this post by saying we focus on Israel, and can't but, because we fund and arm it as we do none of the other states discussed.