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.