Monday, January 30, 2006

Why I am not blogging about Hamas

I don't really give a damn about the Palestinian elections. Israel is a country of 6.3 million people with no important natural resources or strategic significance. Palestine doesn't have accurate census data, but the best guess is that 2.5 million people live in the occupied territories. In the wider scheme of things, the Israel-Palestine conflict is about as important as the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, or the conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers.

Yes, the Israelis are occupying Arab land in violation of international law. Yes, the Palestinians blow up babies on busses. Yes, both sides abuse human rights. None of this is unusual in global terms. Stupid people, mainly American Christian fundamentalists and Arab Muslim fundamentalists, have taken sides in a way which makes achieving peace a lot harder. The rest of the world seems to have piled in as a way of proving how earnest they are in support for or opposition to the American foreign policy. If you look at who is running street-level campaings on foreign policy, you would think that the situation in Israel is the most important issue facing humanity.

Those who are paid to make foreign policy have to care what stupid people think about unimportant issues. I don't. I think we should butt out of Israeli and Palestinian business (subject to the normal provisions about selling arms to both sides being the act of ethical weasels but something the British Foreign Office will probably try anyway, even if you tell them not to) in the same way we butt out of other small unimportant countries' business.

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4 Comments:

  • At 8:22 am , Blogger Richard Gadsden said...

    If it weren't for the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons, I'd agree with you.

     
  • At 10:49 am , Blogger Chris Palmer said...

    You say, "mainly American Christian fundamentalists and Arab Muslim fundamentalists" are interested in Israel. However, that's not true. Israel was created by the Americans to keep the Jewish voters back home happy, and many Jews still take an active interest in the Holy land.

     
  • At 5:17 pm , Blogger Simon said...

    Israel is a democracy. This alone should be reason for us to be concerned with the future of the country.

    And as for not being of strategic significance - you are quite wrong. Not only is Israel important in the geo-politics of oil, but also a vital to the long-term hopes for democracy in the Middle East.

     
  • At 9:19 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hitler too was elected democratically.

     

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