Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Israel's doomed

Yes, I know that's pretty gloomy, but it's what I've felt about Israel's future for a while now. I just can't see how they are going to defeat an enemy that is playing the long game very well — making accommodation impossible, life unenjoyable and money harder to come by.

Richard Cohen says that the only course of action of the Israelis is to pull back to the 1967 borders. I don't believe that for a minute. In fact, I suspect tha pulling back to the 1967 borders will convince Israel's enemies that victory can be had in a shorter time-frame.

Yet, the current strategy, building settlements & responding in anger and desperation after each bombing, is no better. In fact, I can think of no strategy that will defeat the forces of terror that are lined up against Israel. Israel's damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.

If I were in charge of Hamas (or Islamic Jihad), this is how I would defeat Israel:

1. Keep targeting civilians so that living in Israel no longer appeals. Many, many Israelis hold or are eligible to hold EU passports - particularly in the former eastern bloc nations that are now joining the EU.

2. Ensure that all those who have immigrated to Israel regret their decisions. This will cause more outward migration.

3. Birth rates - even those these sorts of trends are often too "determinist" (I'm not sure if that's the right word or even a word), but it does seem that the percentage of Jews in Israel is certain to fall as their birth rate is much lower than the Arabs'.

The combination of these three and the economic cost of constant warfare will drive out the most productive Israelis, which will hasten the collapse of Israel's society.

I really doubt Israel will be here by the time its 100th birthday comes along in 2048.