A goodly state of war?

At the Yom HaAtzmaut barbecue last week, one of the other guests – a native Israeli – introduced himself, and after a bit of chat asked Susan and me what we thought of Israel. Before we could reply, he said something like:

“You should know, as far as I am concerned, Israel is paradise.”

There then followed a light hearted conversation about Israel as paradise, and the minor blots we might protest about.

Over Shabbat, I was discussing this amusing encounter with somebody who agreed with the description of Israel as paradise. But there was a kicker: according to this person,  Israel is in such a good state, at least partly because of the wars, because of us being constantly in a state of war (or constantly in a state that is not peace), and because of the army.

Without the wars, so the reasoning goes, people wouldn’t support the need for the army to exist, and to be so well funded.

Without a well funded army, we wouldn’t have those amazing breeding grounds for cyber warriors, and security expertise.

Without the army, we wouldn’t get all that entrepreneurial spirit, and “can do” attitude.

And so on.

It’s an interesting perspective.

If it’s right, does it mean there would be no such thing as a peace dividend?

Why do soldiers keep fighting?


“I want to make sure…that you know how I feel about it, so that if anything happens you will not upset yourself too much. There are a crowd of us who have been in tanks all the time since we came here and at different times we could all have had easy jobs on transport but not one has ever taken it. I know why I have not and I suppose the others think the same. It is because of John and Stanley and all the others who have gone, it is a trust we have left and if I stopped now and skulked around until the end I would never hold my head up again and I have a feeling you [would] be ashamed of me a bit too. It seems a long time to keep going but we must otherwise we shall be letting them all down and they will have died for nothing…I am a tank commander, I have told you before I think. I’ve been one for a while and I shall continue to be one until the end. What the end will be I don’t know, and who am I to say, but if it should be the wrong one don’t worry. I’ve played the game as it seemed to me the right way to play it. I have respected the women and given my rations to the little children because they were hungry and I’ve shot the Germans down and laughed because of John and Stanley and in any case they started it.”

Extract from a letter by Jake Wardrop, 5th RTR to his mother. Quoted in Mark Urban‘s The Tank War, the WW2 story of the 5th Royal Tank Regiment told from the perspective of its soldiers.

Never a truer word?

The Elder of Ziyon reports here (via Buzzfeed) on the ongoing and increasing toll of civilian casualties caused by USA forces. (What do you mean, you haven’t heard anything about it?) For those with a basic grounding in the issues, and the realities of war, there are no surprises. Unfortunately.

The Elder’s conclusion contains the clear, unvarnished truth about the situation, and the obscene double standards the world so smugly applies. It’s important to highlight this and share it widely:

“This is what happens in war.

But the US is not held to the same standards of investigation into each incident that Israel is.

Israel keeps track of each mortar, tank shell and missile so it can investigate the circumstances and ensure that mistakes are minimized – but the US is simply covering their mistakes up.

And no one cares, just as they don’t care about Saudi air raids in Yemen, because they only care when Jews can be blamed.

The ancient hatred remains, burning brightly in the hypocritical halls of power in Washington, Whitehall, and elsewhere. And it is an everlasting light of hate in the mass media of today.

Doctor, doctor – give me the news

I’ve got a bad case of loving you…

Let me show you a cracking spot by Brian of London over at IsraellyCool:


The saddest part? This:

If only he would pass on his revelation to the rest of his country.

And if only the BBC, the Guardian, and the rest of that shower, would listen, and see the world the way it really is.

Memo to the Western media: they hate us, and you’re not helping.