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Friday, June 18, 2010

Putting Israel In Perspective

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International boundaries have changed for as long as there have been boundaries.  It is accepted, even if it is not liked.  Boundaries change for a variety of reasons, but the most common is war.  World Wars I and II changed the map of Europe and parts of Asia.  No one is arguing that the time has come to forget the past and restore old borders and old politics.  Yet that is the case with the countries around Israel.  Israel was attacked and repelled its attackers.  Israel occupied and annexed some land as a result of their victory in war.  The land it kept was seen by Israel as key to preventing similar future attacks.  But those countries that lost the land think they deserve it back.

What happens if Israel is attacked again and loses the war?  Will the world respond that Israel should be restored in 40 or 50 or 60 years?  Not likely.

This post from Joshuapundit provides some interesting perspective on Israel:

Israel's Crucial Security Needs In Any Peace Settlement



People who have never been to Israel have no idea how small the area is that we're talking about, how vulnerable Israel is to attack from hostile neighbors or what the facts on the ground actually look like. This video, from the Jerusalem Center gives you an excellent idea of these factors and what Israel's security needs actually are to ensure any kind of viable and lasting peace.
One more perspective:



Yes, excluding occupied territories, about 10% smaller than the small state of New Jersey.

If that is too much of a threat to 1 billion Muslims, that's not saying much for the Muslims.  Face it, World, you just don't like Jews.  They represent the part of the human spirit that just won't give in to the worst you have to offer.  Ever the small minority in a very hostile world, they continue to find a way to survive and thrive... and contribute mightily to the rest of the world.  No, they are not all from Israel.  These are:


  • Ada E. Yonath, Chemistry, 2009


  • Robert Aumannborn in Germany, Economics, 2005


  • Aaron Ciechanover, Chemistry, 2004


  • Avram Hershkoborn in Hungary, Chemistry, 2004


  • Daniel Kahneman, Economics, 2002


  • Yitzhak Rabin, Peace, 1994


  • Shimon Peresborn in then Poland, now Belarus, Peace, 1994


  • Menachem Beginborn in then Poland, now Belarus, Peace, 1978

  • Shmuel Yosef Agnonborn in then Austria-Hungary, now Ukraine, Literature, 1966


  • That's better than 1% of the total Nobel prizes awarded.  Relative to the world's population of 6 billion people, Israel should have a population of 60 million for that kind of representation.  Israel has an actual population of just a hair more than 1/10th of that... meaning they contribute about 10 times as much in significant contributions to the world than one would reasonably expect for their population.

    Iran appears to have the reverse ratio.

    I'd say the world needs Israel a lot more than it needs Iran.  Perhaps Iran would be willing to part with 8-10,000 square miles as a Palestinian homeland.  That would earn Iran a Nobel prize.

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    SEARCH BLOG: FEDERAL RESERVE for full versions... or use the Blog Archive pulldown menu.

    February 3, 2006
    Go back to 1999-2000 and see what the Fed did. They are following the same pattern for 2005-06. If it ain't broke, the Fed will fix it... and good!
    August 29, 2006 The Federal Reserve always acts on old information... and is the only cause of U.S. recessions.
    December 5, 2006 Last spring I wrote about what I saw to be a sharp downturn in the economy in the "rustbelt" states, particularly Michigan.
    March 28, 2007
    The Federal Reserve sees no need to cut interest rates in the light of adverse recent economic data, Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday.
    The Fed chairman said ”to date, the incoming data have supported the view that the current stance of policy is likely to foster sustainable economic growth and a gradual ebbing in core inflation”.

    July 21, 2007 My guess is that if there is an interest rate change, a cut is more likely than an increase. The key variables to be watching at this point are real estate prices and the inventory of unsold homes.
    August 11, 2007 I suspect that within 6 months the Federal Reserve will be forced to lower interest rates before housing becomes a black hole.
    September 11, 2007 It only means that the overall process has flaws guaranteeing it will be slow in responding to changes in the economy... and tend to over-react as a result.
    September 18, 2007 I think a 4% rate is really what is needed to turn the economy back on the right course. The rate may not get there, but more cuts will be needed with employment rates down and foreclosure rates up.
    October 25, 2007 How long will it be before I will be able to write: "The Federal Reserve lowered its lending rate to 4% in response to the collapse of the U.S. housing market and massive numbers of foreclosures that threaten the banking and mortgage sectors."
    November 28, 2007 FED VICE CHAIRMAN DONALD KOHN
    "Should the elevated turbulence persist, it would increase the possibility of further tightening in financial conditions for households and businesses," he said.

    "Uncertainties about the economic outlook are unusually high right now," he said. "These uncertainties require flexible and pragmatic policymaking -- nimble is the adjective I used a few weeks ago."
    http://www.reuters.com/

    December 11, 2007 Somehow the Fed misses the obvious.
    fed_rate_moves_425_small.gif
    [Image from: CNNMoney.com]
    December 13, 2007 [from The Christian Science Monitor]
    "The odds of a recession are now above 50 percent," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com. "We are right on the edge of a recession in part because of the Fed's reluctance to reduce interest rates more aggressively." [see my comments of September 11]
    January 7, 2008 The real problem now is that consumers can't rescue the economy and manufacturing, which is already weakening, will continue to weaken. We've gutted the forces that could avoid a downturn. The question is not whether there will be a recession, but can it be dampened sufficiently so that it is very short.
    January 11, 2008 This is death by a thousand cuts.
    January 13, 2008 [N.Y. Times]
    “The question is not whether we will have a recession, but how deep and prolonged it will be,” said David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist at Merrill Lynch. “Even if the Fed’s moves are going to work, it will not show up until the later part of 2008 or 2009.
    January 17, 2008 A few days ago, Anna Schwartz, nonagenarian economist, implicated the Federal Reserve as the cause of the present lending crisis [from the Telegraph - UK]:
    The high priestess of US monetarism - a revered figure at the Fed - says the central bank is itself the chief cause of the credit bubble, and now seems stunned as the consequences of its own actions engulf the financial system. "The new group at the Fed is not equal to the problem that faces it," she says, daring to utter a thought that fellow critics mostly utter sotto voce.
    January 22, 2008 The cut has become infected and a limb is in danger. Ben Bernanke is panicking and the Fed has its emergency triage team cutting rates... this time by 3/4%. ...

    What should the Federal Reserve do now? Step back... and don't be so anxious to raise rates at the first sign of economic improvement.
    Individuals and businesses need stability in their financial cost structures so that they can plan effectively and keep their ships afloat. Wildly fluctuating rates... regardless of what the absolute levels are... create problems. Either too much spending or too much fear. It's just not that difficult to comprehend. Why has it been so difficult for the Fed?

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    Michigan, United States
    Air Force (SAC) captain 1968-72. Retired after 35 years of business and logistical planning, including running a small business. Two sons with advanced degrees; one with a business and pre-law degree. Beautiful wife who has put up with me for 4 decades. Education: B.A. (Sociology major; minors in philosopy, English literature, and German) M.S. Operations Management (like a mixture of an MBA with logistical planning)