Sunday, July 27, 2014

Broderfolk i krig

Igjen er det krig mellom israelere og palestinere. Men når noen snakker om rasistiske overgrep fra jødenes side er de fullstendig på viddene. Jøder og palestinere er broderfolk, genetisk ligger de like nært hverandre som nordmenn og dansker. Utvilsomt flyter det mye jødisk blod i palestinernes årer, kanskje er palestinerne til og med mer rendyrkede jøder enn israelerne selv, genetisk sett?

Palestinsk kvinne og hennes datter. Kanskje er de bedre genetiske representanter for urjøden enn dagens israelere?

Så vi har her å gjøre med en kulturkrig og en kamp om begrensede ressurser på et lite landområde, som stort sett er ørken. Men tenk om disse to broderfolkene kunne funnet ut av det med hverandre, kanskje til og med i en felles stat.

Jøder og palestinere er av de genetisk mest like folkeslagene i hele Midtøsten, vi har å gjøre med to broderfolk. Illustrasjonen er fra boka Det biologiske mennesket, s. 234



Så følger et utdrag fra John Michael Greer, hvor han ser på Israels muligheter for overlevelse i et historisk persepktiv. Teksten er hentet fra essayet "In the Twilight of Empires":
To explain that answer, I’d like to tell a story.  Once upon a time—isn’t that how stories are supposed to begin?—there was a group of people who believed that their god had promised them a particular corner of the Middle East, and decided to take him up on the offer. It so happened that conditions just then were propitious for their project.  The cultural politics of the major Western powers of the time favored it, and not merely in an abstract sense:  money and weapons could be had for the attempt, and a great deal more could be made available if the project succeeded in establishing a foothold.

Even more crucial was the state of the Middle East at that time.  The history of that region has a regular rhythm of systole and diastole that can be traced back very nearly to the earliest clay-tablet records: periods of centralization, in which a single major Middle Eastern power dominates as large a fraction of the world as the current transport technology will allow, alternate with periods of disintegration, in which the region fragments and turns into a chessboard on which powers from outside the region play their own power games.  At the time we’re discussing, the Middle East was in one of its diastole phases, fractured into small quarrelling states, and the sudden seizure of a strategically important part of the region drew only a local and ineffective response.

So a new state came into being, surrounded by hostile neighbors, and a great deal of the shrill self-justifying rhetoric already described came from both sides of the new frontiers. Several of the major Western powers supported the new state with significant financial and military aid; of at least equal importance, members of the religious community responsible for creating the new state, who remained back in those same Western nations, engaged in vigorous fundraising efforts to support the new state, and equally vigorous political efforts to get existing governmental support maintained or increased. The resources thus made available to the new state gave it a substantial military edge against its hostile neighbors, and its existence became enough of a fait accompli that some of its neighbors backed away from a wholly confrontational stance.

Still, the state’s survival depended on three things. The first, and by far the most crucial, was the ongoing flow of support from the Western powers to pay for a military establishment far larger than the economic and natural resources of the territory in question would permit. The second was the continued fragmentation and relative weakness of the surrounding states. The third was the maintenance of internal peace within the state and of collective assent to a clear sense of priorities, so that it could respond with its full force to threats from outside instead of squandering its limited resources on civil strife or popular projects that contributed nothing to its survival.

In the long run, none of these three conditions could be met indefinitely. Shifts in cultural politics and, more importantly, in the economic stability of the Western powers of the time turned the large subsidies supporting the state into a political liability that eventually lost out in the struggle for available wealth. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the power struggles between competing statelets began to give way to a new era of centralization. Finally, the internal cohesion of the state broke down in power struggles between different factions, and too many resources had been committed to politically necessary but practically useless projects such as the support of large religious communities that did nothing but pray and study the scriptures. The arrogant certainty that the state could always overcome its enemies and that the Western powers owed it the subsidies that paid for its survival put bitter icing on an already overbaked cake, and all but guaranteed the final disaster.
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