solutions, by beth goodtree

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    Solutions
    by Beth Goodtree
    Aug. 06, '03 / 8 Av 5763

    Sometimes it takes an outsider to see a simple answer to a problem. As an American and a Jew, Israel’s problems have always been my worries too, yet I do not live them, which gives me the benefit of perspective. It seems to me that some of Israel’s more pressing problems may be solved rather simply, if only someone would make a few unpopular decisions.

    The first solution actually addresses two of Israel’s most pressing dilemmas: the double-digit unemployment rate and terrorism. Israel has been having almost daily attempted genocide bombings. Most of these attempts are coming from non-Israelis who must first get into Israel proper. Meanwhile, Israel also has skyrocketing unemployment. She also has an abundance of foreign workers, some living in Israel, some commuting from the disputed territories. Starting to see a connection here?

    Part of a great old saying goes: "If I am not for myself, then who will be... and if not now, when?" It strikes me as absurd, a shondeh even, that as long as Israeli citizens are unemployed, Israel is allowing non-citizens to take the jobs away from Israelis and the bread from out of the mouths of Israeli families. A policy should be immediately instituted whereby all businesses (with a few exceptions on a case-by-case basis) must let go of foreign workers in favor of hiring Israelis, until the economic crisis is over and there is no unemployment for Israelis. A side effect of such a policy would also be that would-be Palestinian genocide bombers would not have an excuse, such as work, to enter Israel. Besides, since the Palestinians want a country of their own so much, let them prove they can be self-sufficient and not dependent upon Israel for their jobs.

    The next solution actually addresses a number of Israel’s problems. Firstly, if Israel were sitting on the greatest oil reserve in the world, and the Arabs had nothing but sand to sell, they’d all still be living in tents with their camels, Israel would have been given more land for her country and every nation would be courting her favor. So much of Israel’s underlying problems, and even anti-Semitism, stem from an addiction to oil; it is way past time we addressed the issue. It’s time to wean the baby.

    Just as America had its Manhattan Project during WWII, Israel must have a similar concentration of scientific effort to get the world off of an oil economy. And this should be as much a priority as the Manhattan Project, for Israel is at war for her very existence. Israel must develop a new competitive source of energy. The world will need one soon anyway, since our oil reserves are not bottomless, and if not Israel, then who?

    Developing such an energy source will allow Israel to write her own ticket. No longer will other countries think they have the right to tell her how to run her country or not defend herself when she is being Scudded. And without oil income, the Islamists will rapidly run out of funding for their genocidal aspirations.

    The last solution is a no-brainer. But it’s hard to do. When my son was a bit younger, he was picked on by bullies. The reasons always changed, but still they would taunt him, harass him and make him into a pariah. His first inclination was to try to appease them. I warned him that such an approach wouldn’t work, but he had to try. Sure enough, once he gave them his dessert, the next week these same bullies demanded his entire lunch. And it just got worse from there. Israel is in the same position.

    I am going to tell you what I told my son. You may never get these bullies to like you, but you can make them respect you. Israel, under Sharon’s leadership and a too-often-divided Knesset, have lost the respect of the world’s bullies.

    Every day for the past few years, I see Israel knuckling under to world pressure in the vain hope that the world will like her better. It ain’t gonna happen. The only thing that has happened is that the world now not only hates Israel, it no longer respects her. It was only out of respect for Israel’s military and her leaders’ abilities to make hard and swift decisions that she hadn’t been attacked more often. Yet now, Israel is attacked almost daily, whether by Qassam rockets, bombers or snipers. And every time Israel thinks about retaliating, she consults world opinion first. She also tailors her response according to world opinion.

    Get over it. The world that hates you isn’t going to suddenly love you if only you’ll follow their wishes. And your friends, like America, can’t afford to abandon you when you fail to jump if we say ‘frog’. In the end, America will stand by Israel. It is time for Israel to take firm control of her destiny.
 
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