I’VE BEEN AWAY for a while, and I have to get back to what I was doing, so I’ll try to keep this short.
I suppose a good many of us did a double take (which is a nice way of saying ‘spit our coffee all over the monitor’) today when we saw that Syria just wants Israel to “stop being the neighborhood bully.”
Uh, do you want to run that one by me again? Syria, with three times the population of Israel, allied with several other similar sized nations which surround Israel, having committed themselves several decades ago to wiping Israel off the map, just wants Israel to stop picking on them?
You can rest assured that Israel would like nothing better than that, if such were the case. But to say that is the case is to deny history. Oh, excuse me, I almost forgot – denying history is what the Arab nations are so good at.
So – I said I’d keep this brief, so I’ll leave out 1956, two intifadas, tens of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli civilians including children, and so on – let’s take a quick walk down neighborhood bully lane:
1948: Israel, scrawny new kid on the block, wrong color skin and everything. Squashing him like a bug and getting back to fighting amongst themselves should have been no problem for Syria and friends. That’s what they said, anyway. The Arab governments even told their own people to get out of the way so they wouldn’t get hurt in the process. (Which, one might note, is precisely the source of the current “refugee problem,” but that’s another matter.) So Syria & bully buddies roll up their sleeves, start throwing punches – and lose.
Ok, that smarted! Give them a little time to recover, and think this over. Hey – great idea! We’ll just beef up and line up all our armies and air forces and wait for the signal and – bam! Only problem was, little Israel saw it coming, ducked, and kicked the bullies clean out the alley. That was 1967.
But Syria and pals started getting good at licking their wounds, and learning to fight a little dirtier – this bully business was getting harder than they thought. Israel, having some moral and religious standards lacking elsewhere in the neighborhood, is actually caught off guard on their most important holy day of the year – we call that the Yom Kippur War. That was 1973. Israel took a wallop, punched back, and – guess what – Syria and gang lost the fight again.
They must be getting tired of this by now, one would think. Maybe they’re even a little punch drunk. That must be it. It doesn’t even qualify as chutzpah. No, it’s just foolishness for the bullies to gang up and call the victim the bully – just because the bullies are the ones who end up getting beaten up.
But isn’t that how it always is?