Well, this is going to be my most cancelable piece. Might as well go out with a bang. I don’t normally like to talk about current events, however, events in Israel and Gaza have changed my mind about that.
Once again there is violence in Israel. Israel does anything and Hamas and Co. launch their rockets. Same old song and dance. This is not going to be a piece talking about why they are fighting. The reason is simple enough. Hamas and other terrorist groups in the region wish to see an Israel devoid of any Jews; to drive them into the sea. As for the Israelis, besides a minority of hardcore Zionists, they want a safe and secure Israel.
Peace does not seem to be in the cards; Israelis as far back as their nation’s inception seem to understand this as well. They believe with good reason that there will never be peace in Palestine. That any potential Palestinian state will continue to attack and undermine the Israeli
state. It would seem that the strategy the Israelis’ has opted for is the establishment of settlements all over the West Bank and to a large extent the Golan Heights.
Nearly a tenth of Israel’s population lives in the settlements in the West Bank, totaling over 430,000 people in 132 settlements with more on the way. Arabs in the West Bank still make up the majority at 2.1-3 million. These Jewish settlers are attracted in large part by the cheap housing and subsidies that the Israeli government provides for those who go to live in these settlements.
While the settlements may be a net drain economically on the state of Israel, they do provide the Israeli’s with the ability to control vital strategic areas in the West Bank. Not only are they able to build up infrastructure to allow for military operations, but they can effectively isolate the Palestinian population as the above map shows. If the Palestinians don’t want peace then peace will be enforced.
This strategy is proven. Numerous examples exist across history wherein an invading power will move subjects into a conquered area to provide a bulwark against rebellion or just as an outright replacement. This is being done in Xianxiang with the Uighur minority in China, as well as in Tibet with Han Chinese controlling many of the best jobs and resources. The British did this in Northern Ireland by importing Protestants to weaken the Catholic Irish stronghold.
The most pertinent case seems to this author to be the English invasion and subjugation of Wales. After an initial English conquest in 1275 AD, the Welsh would attempt to throw off their English conquerors in 1285 with an organized revolt. However, this failed, and the English under Edward I would construct a multitude of castles all over the country. As has been discussed previously, castles serve both as defensive and offensive structures; enabling defenders to control a wide area. This effectively did not enable the Welsh to ever be able to conduct a massed uprising again. The military infrastructure of the English was too strong, English culture and language too pervasive, and Welshmen too poor to do anything.
The conflict in Israel is far more nuanced and complicated than most observers are willing to admit. Hamas fired rockets into Israel first and Israel responded with airstrikes and ground operations. Civilians and innocents have died on both sides. Hamas uses their people as human shields. This leaves the Palestinians effectively isolated and subjugated by Hamas and by the Israelis as a response to the violence. With no end to the violence in sight, the Israelis are taking the age-old strategy of colonization and isolation. It remains the case that if Hams and Co. lay down their arms there will be peace, but if the Israelis do; there will be a second Holocaust. This is the threat the world’s only Jewish state faces and they are responding appropriately.