Monthly Archives: May 2008
Israel at 60 is an intractable historical fact. It has one of the world’s strongest armies, without peer in the Middle East, and its 200 or so nuclear warheads give it the last word in any military showdown with any of its neighbors. Palestinian militants may be able to make life in certain parts of Israel exceedingly unpleasant at times, but they are unable to reverse the Nakbah of 1948 through military means.
Israel is here to stay, and its citizens know this — which may be why they appear to more indifferent to the search for peace with the Palestinians than at any time in the past three decades.
The curious irony of history, though, is that while the Zionist movement managed to successfully create a nation state in the Middle East against considerable odds, that movement is dead — the majority of Jews quite simply don’t want to be part of a Jewish nation-state in the Middle East. And so the very purpose of Israel has come into question. Jewish immigration to Israel is at an all-time low, and that’s unlikely to change. In a world where persecution of Jews is increasingly marginal, the majority of Jews prefer to live scattered among the peoples, rather than in an ethnic enclave of our own. That’s what we’ve chosen. So where does this leave Israel?