the wisconsin plan and the iBomb

In retaliation for more kidnapped soldiers and unfettered launching of civilian-directed rockets, Israel is now dropping bombs on Beirut.

The governments of Lebanon and Palestine have become indistinguishable from the Hezbollah and Hamas militias that have as their explicit goal the elimination of the jewish people. And that’s just two borders: The governments of Syria, Iran, Iraq, and to a lesser extent, Egypt and Jordan are all straightforwardly or latently hostile to Israel, and, to one degree or another, participate in the effort to reclaim the area as an arab state and expel the jews from the region and really the earth.

Jews and arabs have been at war over this slice of land unofficially since the dawn of time and more formally for about a century. Untold numbers of thousands of deaths on both sides, and there is NO END IN SIGHT. It’s clear to me that the people pulling the strings in the countries surrounding Israel, if not the inhabitants of those countries, will not be satisfied until the region has been cleansed of hebrew-speakers, and I’m not sure the Israelis want anything less with regard to the arabs. These two groups of people genuinely hate each other and a significant segment on both sides seems happy to die to advance the destruction of the other.

I’ve had enough of teenagers dying for their fathers’ cause. If we agree there is no foreseeable conclusion, every death is by definition in vain. We get the point. There’s no end to the hatred and killing. Enough is enough.

I propose that we take all the Israeli jews and move them to Wisconsin, leaving the irrigated desert that is Israel to the arabs to do with what they please.

The Wisconsin Plan will not put an end to the hatred between arabs and jews, but it will stop the killing. You could argue that to give up Israel now would be a disgrace to all those who have died in her defense. That may be true, but the importance of that disgrace pales in comparison to the value of a single needless death prevented.

You could argue that only a diaspora jew born 35 years after the holocaust could be stupid enough to suggest that jews don’t need their own state. I don’t doubt that there could be another holocaust – even those who squint through the narrowest peephole recognize the holocausts going on right now all over the world, and it’s obvious that until women take over, the hatred, greed, and aggression that facilitates these holocausts will never go out of style. But I believe that the likelihood of this happening in Wisconsin is sufficiently small that the steady stream of teenagers dying in the name of israel is unjustified. I could be proven wrong on this account; there is no shortage of bigotry in backwoods America, and if this bigotry develops into a force of sufficient magnitude that jews are compelled to flee, I’ll admit my error. But it’s a chance I think is worth taking.

You could argue that there is something about eretz yisrael, something intrinsic to the dirt and stones that make up the buildings in Jerusalem that is vital to the jewish people and worth dying for. If you are in this group, I urge you to stay behind, when everyone else gets on the boat to Wisconsin, to carry on the fight.

It’s also worth considering what a few million jews could do for Wisconsin. Note that while Israel is being bombed from every direction, most Israelis live a modern, comfortable life. All sorts of inventions, vaccines, and expertise come of out Israel, which until not long ago was a mostly cropless sand dune. Wisconsin is the dairy center of America, and I have always felt our potential in this area is unfulfilled. I guarantee that if the Israeli population relocated, within a generation the US would take the lead in manufacturing fine cheeses and other milk products.

There’s another reason why arab and israeli boys and girls dying over a small piece of land is stupid, and that is that we are all going up in smoke. This is not apocalyptic drivel or a critique of George Bush, it is the obvious consequence of technology’s course. 25 years ago, if you wanted to make a movie, you had to have a substantial reservoir of money, time, and expertise. Today, any schlep with a digital camera and a computer can make a movie, and in fact today most movies are made by just such schleps with iMovie. A farmer with 1000 acres used to be able to produce 20 bushels of corn per harvest; today the same farmer can produce 200. Until recently, ultrasound was only available to hospital-based specialists and big companies, now any doc can own and use cheap, portable machines that make better images than their progenitors, which took up most of a room. Technology can only move in one direction, and though the idea that science can be used for good and evil is cliché, the conclusion of this line of reasoning is relegated to doves and hippies on the media fringe, when in fact it is clear and incontrovertible. The US first, now Pakistan and North Korea, soon Iran, and the reservoir of time, money, and expertise needed to make a very powerful weapon will continue to fall, until it falls to a level where any schlep can make one. The iBomb.

I’m not alarmed by this; there’s not much to be done about it. And I’m not a nihilist, the world is ours for now, let’s do a good job with it. But let’s recognize that arabs and israelis killing each other is not going to change any outcome, so fuck Israel. Israel is not too important not to die for, jews(and arabs) are too important to die for Israel.

7 thoughts on “the wisconsin plan and the iBomb

  1. Nadia

    Puhleaze, Israel is the only nuclear superpower in the region (for now) and is effectively the bully by default. It is not exactly defenseless, and it is actually the instigator in many, if not the vast majority of, cases. While Israel is supposedly targeting HA bases and areas (and by areas I mean places populated by chiite muslim civilians such as the southern Beirut suburb called Dahye), it is also targeting infrastructure that has nothing to do with HA. This is 1999 and 1996 all over again, and I was in Beirut when they struck bridges and the electrical company in 1999. The aim was to kill the economy. Anyway, all of that can be rebuilt, but I hope the civilian death toll will be kept to a minimum.

    As for Wisconsin, I thought a lot of jewish people are lactose-intolerant? o_O

    Anyway, the only solution for the entire region is for countries to secularize and become true democracies (or should I say “more democratic”, since there really isn’t a true democracy anywhere). That includes Israel shedding its religious character, and a one-state solution merging the Israeli and Palestinian territories. (That’s the ideal solution, I’m not claiming it’s feasible =D)

    Oh well, so much for a massive inter-ethnic orgy solving the mideast crisis.

  2. reuben

    Nadia I am not interested in who is more responsible for the violence. The premise I’m trying to establish is that there is enough hatred between the two sides that the killing will continue in perpetuity, and I therefore conclude we should give up on peace, cut our losses, and walk away.

    The major trouble with The Wisconsin Plan, it occurs to me, is why do the Israelis get dibs on Milwaukee? Why not victims in Palestine, or Sri Lanka, or Sudan? I could come up with a few (prima facie valid) reasons, but they’re all disingenuous. Israelis aren’t more deserving of safety and prosperity than anyone else, I just feel more connected to them.

  3. reuben

    I just got this in an email labeled as a speech delivered by Ehud Olmert. A little bit of research reveals that he didn’t say it, Ben Caspit did, but I think it well reveals the way israelis feel. I would be very interested in a document that corresponds to the arab position.

    ***

    Ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world. I, the Prime Minister of Israel, am speaking to you from Jerusalem in the face of the terrible pictures from Kfar Kana. Any human heart, wherever it is, must sicken and recoil at the sight of such pictures. There are no words of comfort that can mitigate the enormity of this tragedy. Still, I am looking you straight in the eye and telling you that the State of Israel will continue its military campaign in Lebanon.

    The Israel Defense Forces will continue to attack targets from which missiles and Katyusha rockets are fired at hospitals, old age homes and kindergartens in Israel. I have instructed the security forces and the IDF to continue to hunt for the Katyusha stockpiles and launch sites from which these savages are bombarding the State of Israel.

    We will not hesitate, we will not apologize and we will not back off. If they continue to launch missiles into Israel from Kfar Kana, we will continue to bomb Kfar Kana. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Here, there and everywhere. The children of Kfar Kana could now be sleeping peacefully in their homes, unmolested, had the agents of the devil not taken over their land and turned the lives of our children into hell.

    Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time you understood: the Jewish state will no longer be trampled upon. We will no longer allow anyone to exploit population centers in order to bomb our citizens. No one will be able to hide anymore behind women and children in order to kill our women and children. This anarchy is over. You can condemn us, you can boycott us, you can stop visiting us and, if necessary, we will stop visiting you.

    Today I am serving as the voice of six million bombarded Israeli citizens who serve as the voice of six million murdered Jews who were melted down to dust and ashes by savages in Europe. In both cases, those responsible for these evil acts were, and are, barbarians devoid of all humanity, who set themselves one simple goal: to wipe the Jewish race off the face of the earth, as Adolph Hitler said, or to wipe the State of Israel off the map, as Mahmoud Ahmedinjad proclaims.

    And you – just as you did not take those words seriously then, you are ignoring them again now. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaders of the world, will not happen again. Never again will we wait for bombs that never came to hit the gas chambers. Never again will we wait for salvation that never arrives. Now we have our own air force. The Jewish people are now capable of standing up to those who seek their destruction – those people will no longer be able to hide behind women and children. They will no longer be able to evade their responsibility.

    Every place from which a Katyusha is fired into the State of Israel will be a legitimate target for us to attack. This must be stated clearly and publicly, once and for all. You are welcome to judge us, to ostracize us, to boycott us and to vilify us. But to kill us? Absolutely not.

    Four months ago I was elected by hundreds of thousands of citizens to the office of Prime Minister of the government of Israel, on the basis of my plan for unilaterally withdrawing from 90 percent of the areas of Judea and Samaria, the birth place and cradle of the Jewish people; to end most of the occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to turn over a new leaf and to calm things down until conditions are ripe for attaining a permanent settlement between us.

    The Prime Minister who preceded me, Ariel Sharon, made a full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip back to the international border, and gave the Palestinians there a chance to build a new reality for themselves. The Prime Minister who preceded him, Ehud Barak, ended the lengthy Israeli presence in Lebanon and pulled the IDF back to the international border, leaving the land of the cedars to flourish, develop and establish its democracy and its economy.

    What did the State of Israel get in exchange for all of this? Did we win even one minute of quiet? Was our hand, outstretched in peace, met with a handshake of encouragement? Ehud Barak’s peace initiative at Camp David let loose on us a wave of suicide bombers who smashed and blew to pieces over 1,000 citizens, men, women and children. I don’t remember you being so enraged then. Maybe that happened because we did not allow TV close-ups of the dismembered body parts of the Israeli youngsters at the Dolphinarium? Or of the shattered lives of the people butchered while celebrating the Passover seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya? What can you do – that’s the way we are. We don’t wave body parts at the camera. We grieve quietly.

    We do not dance on the roofs at the sight of the bodies of our enemy’s children – we express genuine sorrow and regret. That is the monstrous behavior of our enemies. Now they have risen up against us. Tomorrow they will rise up against you. You are already familiar with the murderous taste of this terror. And you will taste more.

    And Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza. What did it get us? A barrage of Kassem missiles fired at peaceful settlements and the kidnapping of soldiers. Then too, I don’t recall you reacting with such alarm. And for six years, the withdrawal from Lebanon has drawn the vituperation and crimes of a dangerous, extremist Iranian agent, who took over an entire country in the name of religious fanaticism and is trying to take Israel hostage on his way to Jerusalem – and from there to Paris and London.

    An enormous terrorist infrastructure has been established by Iran on our border, threatening our citizens, growing stronger before our very eyes, awaiting the moment when the land of the Ayatollahs becomes a nuclear power in order to bring us to our knees. And make no mistake – we won’t go down alone. You, the leaders of the free and enlightened world, will go down along with us.

    So today, here and now, I am putting an end to this parade of hypocrisy. I don’t recall such a wave of reaction in the face of the 100 citizens killed every single day in Iraq. Sunnis kill Shiites who kill Sunnis, and all of them kill Americans – and the world remains silent. And I am hard pressed to recall a similar reaction when the Russians destroyed entire villages and burned down large cities in order to repress the revolt in Chechnya. And when NATO bombed Kosovo for almost three months and crushed the civilian population – then you also kept silent. What is it about us, the Jews, the minority, the persecuted, that arouses this cosmic sense of justice in you? What do we have that all the others don’t?

    In a loud clear voice, looking you straight in the eye, I stand before you openly and I will not apologize. I will not capitulate. I will not whine. This is a battle for our freedom. For our humanity. For the right to lead normal lives within our recognized, legitimate borders. It is also your battle. I pray and I believe that now you will understand that. Because if you don’t, you may regret it later, when it’s too late.

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  5. mistaya

    my only problem with the wisconsin plan is that i think it should be relocated to saskatchewan. the farming in sask is mostly grain and cattle and of the few israelis i know, many of them are lactose intolerant. notice the lack of dairy in mediterranean cuisine.

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