Friday, May 05, 2006

Living in the Last Century

Just what do Israel's settlers think they are accomplishing these days? Krauthammer writes:

For 2,000 years, Jews found protection in dispersion -- protection not for individual communities which were routinely persecuted and massacred, but protection for the Jewish people as a whole. Decimated here, they could survive there. They could be persecuted in Spain and find refuge in Constantinople. They could be massacred in the Rhineland during the Crusades or in the Ukraine during the Khmelnytsky Insurrection of 1648-49, and yet survive in the rest of Europe.

Hitler put an end to that illusion. He demonstrated that modern anti-Semitism married to modern technology -- railroads, disciplined bureaucracies, gas chambers that kill with industrial efficiency -- could take a scattered people and ``concentrate'' them for complete annihilation.

The establishment of Israel was a Jewish declaration to a world that had allowed the Holocaust to happen -- after Hitler had made his intentions perfectly clear -- that the Jews would henceforth resort to self-protection and self-reliance. And so they have, building a Jewish army, the first in 2,000 years, that prevailed in three great wars of survival (1948-49, 1967 and 1973).

But, in a cruel historical irony, doing so required concentration -- putting all the eggs back in one basket, a tiny territory hard by the Mediterranean, eight miles wide at its waist. A tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work.

His successors now reside in Tehran. The world has paid ample attention to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed. Less attention has been paid to Iranian leaders' pronouncements on exactly how Israel would be destroyed ``by a single storm,'' as Ahmadinejad has promised.

Yes. An excellent point. One I made back in the fall when commenting on the withdrawal of settlers from Gaza:

On a related matter, with settlers pulled out of Gaza, shouldn't the settlers reconsider their mission? When their own state seemed the only way to preserve the safety of Jews after the Holocaust, it made sense to have a state that could protect Jews if nobody else would. But when the threat of nuclear weapons held by Islamofascist nutballs looms over Israel, is massing in one small state the safest thing to do? Settlers providing buffer zones against Arab armies makes no sense now. Israel is conventionally superior to any conceivable combination of invaders.

Really, the settlers might want to consider scattering across the globe in communites that can rebuild Israel just in case jihadis get a few nukes into Israel.

The mission of the settler movement is so blindlingly obsolete that it is amazing that it is still an emotional issue in Israel. Socialist agricultural communes dotting the West Bank to provide depth to Israel in case of attack from across the Jordan River? How very mid-twentieth century.

The settlers are fighting the last Holocaust. They need to worry about the next one.