Iron domesticity

The “Iron Dome” has been, for the last decade or so, protecting Israelis from rockets fired at them from, e.g., Gaza. It is a remarkable piece of technology, invented by Rafael Systems and improved by Israel Aerospace: a showpiece for the sheer goodness that can be achieved by the defence industry — in solving the problems it has itself created. This Iron Dome launches its own rockets to intercept the enemy’s. It can tell from the trajectory which of the “incoming” would land in a populated district, and eliminate at least nine in ten of the rest.

Hamas psychopaths have collected many tens of thousands of rockets, designed by Iran and smuggled in; but most are now constructed in Gaza itself, where they benefit from American and European “compassionate” foreign aid. This displays what the Gazans might be capable of, technically, were the culture not morally degenerate. As it is, Jew-killing is the only successful export from the enclave.

It happens I was first dawdling around Israel in the early 1970s. I have the fondest memories of my life in “Cairo House,” near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, still not very long after the “West Bank” was conquered. Peace prevailed in those days (defining “peace” as freedom from the threat of war), and I found from the many Palestinian Arabs I met a much gentler disposition than was apparent in my visits later.

Indeed, I was struck by how well the two sides — still called “Arab” and “Israeli” — got along. Both Israeli-citizen and “occupied” Arabs seemed, in high proportion, actually to admire the Jewish Israelis, and more than one told me he hoped that his children would grow up to be not only faithful Muslims, but the equal of the Jews. Economic opportunities for Arabs were much greater than they had ever been before, and the disappearance of corrupt, petty Jordanian officialdom was appreciated — by the Arabs themselves. Honesty, in business, was beginning to be possible.

How sad that the next generation — and now there have been two of them — should have been intensely politicized instead.

Israel had a colonizing task, a civilizing task, towards the people who had come under Jewish rule, and they failed in it. This was largely because, under modern political conventions, they did not accept the responsibility; yet under old-fashioned arrangements they would have had to. The Palestinian Arabs were now with them permanently; no Arab state would take them in as refugees (only Christian Lebanon let in a few), and a separate “Palestinian” state was out of the question. For Israel already had enough mortal enemies around her borders.

Making the best of things meant making them good Israelis; and this was the most reliable route to regional peace and prosperity. Instead, inspired or directed by na├»ve post-Christian idealists in the West, Israel embarked on what became an utterly unrealizable “two-state solution.” The Palestinian Arabs were put under the tutelage of bloodthirsty, moral monsters.