What Would You Do? #awkward

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Dear Israel,

I’m so glad you asked. And you’ve certainly come to the right people. After all, we’ve been in the business of colonialism, genocide, ethnic cleansing and disproportionate retaliation for ten times longer than your nation has been recorded on the world map. We are, no doubts about it, the experts. So what would we do if someone fired a barrage of rockets that whizzed harmlessly over Big Ben and landed in a field several miles outside of London? Ok, I’ll bite. Some people will suggest I’m not taking this seriously. There’s Hamas launching thousands of munitions into empty desert. And there’s Israel bombing the world’s biggest, most densely populated bomb crater with everything it’s got. You’re both nuts. I may need some convincing  to take either of you seriously.

There’s a part of me that wants to take the moral high ground. But that’s a tough position to take. To be fair, we have only just got our armed forces out of Iraq and Afghanistan, the former of which we invaded just in case they had some sort of rocket with a dodgy warhead. We didn’t even wait for one to be fired. Heck, we didn’t even check that they had built one. Given that we completely trashed both countries and left countless people dead…well, I won’t take the moral high ground.

So surely there are some examples from our long and illustrious history that will give you the answer you’re looking for. Perhaps World War II? The Germans launched a ton of bombs and rockets at London and other cities, and we completely annihilated them for it. I mean, we properly smashed Germany up. Gaza City looks like paradise compared to how we left Dresden. But, to be fair, we did at least make some sort of effort to make peace before it all went tits up. We did offer them the land that they wanted. Admittedly, it wasn’t technically our land we gave them. It was Czechoslovakia. But still, the effort was there. Good intentions and all that. So this isn’t the best example you might have been hoping for.

Well, there was the Boer War. A bunch of rag tag guerillas popping out of nowhere and shooting at us! Varmits. We sorted them out pretty quick. We rounded the bloody lot of them up, every woman and child, and stuck them in this new invention of ours, the concentration camp. Before you knew it…wait, I can see this one might not go down so good. Let’s move on…

How about this old country we knocked about in the aftermath of WW2? It was called Palestine, although it doesn’t exist any more. We just strolled on in, took it over and changed its name to Transjordan. We had a fine old time till the natives got too unruly and some recently arrived terrorists turned up and started committing atrocities. We did the sensible thing and went back where we came from and let some other bunch of mugs have a go. Good luck to them, we said! I wonder how that worked out. It…what…it was you? Oops…let’s move swiftly on…

Ok, I know! Northern Ireland. Perfect example! We marched in there hundreds of years ago, divided and conquered. Planted a ton of our own people. We operated a system akin to apartheid, denied them basics such as food and let the whole situation fester for generations. Then when it kicked off, we hunted the bad guys down, shot them or locked them up and built big fat walls to keep them out. Although, I guess, when all was said and done, the situation just went from bad to worse until we sat down and talked and worked out a compromise which gave the Catholics decent representation, opportunity and a share of the wealth. So…er…you don’t want to go this route I guess.

I give up. A thousand years of bombing, torturing, baby killing, ethnic cleansing and we really can’t give you a single example where it truly worked out over the long term. In fact, Jesus, why the hell are you asking us?!? Why do you want to know what we would do? If you do find out, do the bloody opposite. Have you not looked at a world map and seen how screwed up it is wherever we went? I mean, we even actually kinda invented you….

Don’t do what we would do. Everyone hates us, Mr Israel. The EU won’t let us choose the next European president. FIFA won’t give us a World Cup and the only reason we got the Olympics a couple of years ago is because our main rival was France, who are crap. So for the love of God, or whoever it is that you’re a fan of, don’t ask what we would do.

13 Comments

    • There’s something a little bit ‘off’ about a country appealing for international approval of its bombing of hospitals and schools to start with.

      But asking us, a country that has committed atrocities that the Third Reich* would have been proud of, is beyond stupid.

      • It is, as you’ve probably noticed, impossible to have a conversation of any reasonable length about Israel without reference to the Nazis. I don’t see why I should start a trend by avoiding it. Besides, I’m as huge a believer in Godwins Law as I am in Newtons, Boyles and Pascals laws.
    • Mexico has a lot of good sense. Although I suspect that this has more to do with economic resources, or lack of it, rather than official foreign policy.

      I will add, I’m not even suggesting that Israel shouldn’t exist. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter whether one thinks the birth of Israel was unjust or not. It exists, that is a fact, and it’s not about to change,

      But the status quo isn’t good enough for either Israel or the Palestinians. No compromise, no peace. It’s not good asking the Palestinians to compromise. They haven’t got anything to compromise with.

      • I’m very pro state of Israel. I think they need to remember why they have their own state, and quit being an oppressor, and give a little. Compromise.
        I do not think Mexico’s lack of int’l charitable contribution is due to lack of resources, I think it’s policy. Expats can bitch all they want about NOB, and our inevitable demise, but we’re still here, and still forking out the $$$$$’s.

        • In as much as that I do not believe Israel should cease to exist, I guess I am pro Israel too. If a little less committed than others. But I’m rather stunned every time I hear a citizen of that country declare that the only solution is to totally wipe out the Palestinians. They are – to say the least – the minority, I know. But to hear even a single person from that land propose such a ‘final solution’ is just a bit…you know. And the rhetoric is getting more bellicose every time conflict breaks out.

          I think everyone, bar Israel, knows that any real solution lies in a reasonable and fairly implemented two state deal. With every settlement planted, that becomes harder and less likely to make happen. So I find it harder and harder to believe there is any real intention of seeking a just peace on the part of Israel.

          A viable and wealth generating Palestinian state is the only way forward. People with nothing to lose do crazy things. Or at least, even crazier things that the normal level of crazy…

  • Dear Israel,

    Why don’t you all move over here? We’ll give you Kansas. The people in Kansas are mellow and friendly and probably won’t mind too much. At least they won’t fire rockets at you. And the farmland is like 20x better than the crappy desert scrub you got now.

    Oh, wait…it’s that “promised land” thing, isn’t it.

    Forget I mentioned it.

    • Great read. And in response to this particular comment, well said. If I lived in a street where all my neighbours want me dead I get the message and would move home…far away….really quickly. That would be sensible. Sadly common sense and religion don’t often go hand in hand.

      • Black and white. Hot and cold. Full and empty. Religion and common sense.

        Although this analogy is unfair to many of my religious friends who have an abundance of common sense. But we are clearly not referring to those sort of religious folks.

  • What would Jesus do? Just kidding! Good lesson in history. Now I know where the US go it direction on handling world affairs. Great political blog.

    • Jesus would currently be busy screaming at brown skinned children on the US border who might be there in a not entirely legal manner.

      But still, we Brits have forgotten more about screwing up the world than the US has yet learned. But we did build every one some nice long railway networks.

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