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What Israel Isn’t Learning From Rhodesia


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There once was a nation called Rhodesia. Located in southern Africa, Rhodesia was a nation with a European minority that ruled over black Africans. Rhodesian government and society were badly flawed and racist. But black Rhodesians had a better standard of living than blacks anywhere else in Africa; black Africans smuggled themselves into Rhodesia for good jobs and a more comfortable life.

World opinion hated Rhodesia. It was a very isolated country, subject to boycotts, exclusion from international organizations, and constant condemnation by the politically correct international media.

A technologically advanced and sophisticated country, Rhodesia could easily destroy any of its neighbors and suppress local insurrections. Salisbury and Bulawayo, Rhodesia’s major cities, were modern and industrialized and the base for an economy that was widely believed to be strengthened, rather than hindered, by sanctions.

Somewhere along the line, though, Rhodesia lost the will to fight. The country simply self-annihilated. In 1979 the government allowed violent black nationalist parties into the mainstream of the political process in an ill-advised power sharing program. White flight began and a Marxist dictator by the name of Robert Mugabe took solid control of the country. Rhodesia’s only ally, South Africa, abandoned its support (indeed, many white Rhodesians fled to South Africa).

The safety of the whites who remained in Rhodesia became a continuous problem. Murder, rape and confiscation of assets were common. Most of those whites are now gone. The once-dynamic city of Salisbury, renamed Harare, is a dysfunctional Third World city. Rhodesia itself is renamed Zimbabwe and its once thriving economy is a shambles with a worthless currency, brutal repressive state machinery, and a population that hates and fears its government.

Sadly, Israel is enthusiastically signing up to be the next Rhodesia.

Like Rhodesia, it is beset by weaker guerrilla armies intent on its destruction and supported by foreign powers. Like Rhodesia, it is subject to boycotts and isolation in many quarters. Like Rhodesia, its leaders are ready to make drastic compromises, under foreign pressure, that clearly jeopardize the country’s existence and character.

Like Rhodesia, Israel has the capacity to annihilate its enemies in a day or two but is too cowered by inhibitions. Israel’s nuclear power, its widely respected air force, and its high technology make it no less than the third or fourth strongest military power on earth.

And like Rhodesia, it no longer wishes to exist.

Unlike Rhodesia, which excluded blacks from its political processes, Israel has always had Arab citizens who vote, hold office and participate actively in the mainstream of the economy and society. It is in no sense a racist society.

It is besieged, however, by enemies who clearly want the entire Jewish population of the country dead and who have massacred Jewish men, women and babies with glee.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been busy convincing Israeli Prime Minister Olmert to withdraw from Israel’s vital territories of Judea and Samaria, and even much of Jerusalem. Not only would this leave Israel subject to even more deadly rocket attacks, it would mean the loss of historically and religiously significant locales and the separation of Israel from much of its biblical heritage, further weakening the country psychologically.

The brain drain has long since started, with Israelis flocking to California, Massachusetts and New York to avoid living under the terrorist threats that policies of weakness have created.

If there is any question about Olmert’s lack of competence, note what has happened since Israel abandoned Gaza. Daily rocket attacks on adjacent cities have created near ghost towns. Rather than block utilities and bomb Israel’s enemies into submission, Olmert is a perpetual capitulationist.

Israel’s disease of empathy for its genocidal adversaries and its pandering to terrorists who see every goodwill gesture as weakness is leading to its rapid destruction.

History is filled with the legacies of countries such as Rhodesia that lacked the vision and resolve to prevent the awful consequences of living under the guns of its adversaries.

Israel, founded after the Jews experienced the worst possible consequences of being a minority in Europe, is going further than Rhodesia ever did in ensuring its own demise. It is actively supporting one terrorist faction against the other, in hopes that it will win a friend. This has steadily proven illusory, counterproductive, and dangerous.

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There once was a nation called Rhodesia. Located in southern Africa, Rhodesia was a nation with a European minority that ruled over black Africans. Rhodesian government and society were badly flawed and racist. But black Rhodesians had a better standard of living than blacks anywhere else in Africa; black Africans smuggled themselves into Rhodesia for good jobs and a more comfortable life.

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