Saturday 22 May 2021

Who won and lost in Gaza?


22 May 2021

The Israeli Jewish birth rate overtook the Israeli Arab birth rate in 2018. Israel is becoming more and more religious and nationalist, as religious Jews have more children than secular ones. 

The Labor Party, which governed Israel for decades, won only 7 seats out of 120 at the last election, which was 3 more than it won in the previous election.

The Likud were once the extreme right (they began as the Irgun, a gang of terrorists who murdered many British servicemen and civilians) but they are now the centre.

Hamas, another gang of murderous terrorists, were defeated in the last two weeks far more completely than they expected

Netanyahu won and might thereby have saved his career. 

But Hamas won too. 

The strength of the Arabs is their anger. This has not been mollified. 

Mahmoud Abbas, the 85-year-old leader of the corrupt Fatah administration in the West Bank, who cancelled once more the Palestinian elections (presidential ones were last held in 2005 and elections for the legislature in 2006) is the loser. 

Israel has lost too - not in the court of public opinion, which does not matter, but by failing to weaken Hamas's support among Arabs.


  1. Israel is becoming more and more religious and nationalist, as religious Jews have more children than secular ones.

    A lot of people in the West think of Israel as a western country. That's one of the reasons that so many people (particularly in the Anglosphere countries) support Israel.

    But Israel isn't really a western country at all. And it's becoming less and less like a western country.

    There's also the ridiculous concept (incredibly popular with Americans and particularly the American Right) that Israel shares cultural values with the West because of our shared Judeo-Christian values.

    The problem is that Judeo-Christian values as a concept is absolute nonsense. There are Jewish values and there are Christian values. There's nothing wrong with Jewish values, but they're quite distinct from Christian values. There is some overlap of course, but there are significant differences.

    1. I agree. The expression Judeo-Christian is a tiresome American coinage usually used for things that are in fact Christian. Sir Alfred Sherman, a Jew, said this. A large proportion of Israelis are Middle Eastern Jews but sadly they no longer retain the Arab culture they possessed before 1948.

    2. Christianity is the bedrock of Western values.

    3. On the other hand Israeli Ashkenazi Jews are much more Western than Arab Christians.

    4. On the other hand Israeli Ashkenazi Jews are much more Western than Arab Christians.

      The future is Israel is going to be interesting. Secular Israelis seem to be losing the Battle of the Cradle to religious Jews. That's going to lead to a lot of tensions. And it's going to have a huge influence on Israeli politics.

      A lot of antisemites (particularly the absurd antisemites of the American far right) cannot comprehend that Israelis are not the same as American Jews. Israeli secular Jews are not the same as American secular Jews. And I suspect that the divergence in outlook between Israeli secular Jews and American secular Jews will increase.

      There's also a generational thing. Older American secular Jews are inclined to support Israel unquestioningly. Younger American secular Jews are more likely to be critical of Israel. I'm not saying they're going to become ant-Israel but their support for Israel is likely to be less unquestioning.

      There's also another interesting question - in the long term can American secular Jews maintain any real Jewish identity? The cohesiveness of Jewish identity was in the past to a large degree a response to persecution. Since younger American Jews have never experienced even mild persecution they don't have the same incentive to maintain a strong Jewish identity.

      It's interesting to look at the Irish. As long as the Irish had legitimate grievances (or believed they had legitimate grievances) against the English the Irish had a strong cohesive national identity. In the past few decades that Irish national identity seems to have collapsed.

    5. American politics (especially when Trump was in power) exemplified this civil war within the Jewish world - the religious (Trump's side) vs the secular (those impeaching him, and the press). It looks like the secular wing won the battle, for the time being.

    6. Yes they have huge influence and were at war with Trump from the outset.