Saturday, March 20, 2010

What Should Israel Do?

The estimable Claudia Rosett, tongue firmly lodged in cheek, advises Israel on how to do the impossible--get on Obama's good side and survive ('cause the way things are going at the moment, it can do one or the other but not both):

1 ) Get with the current political culture. You think being a successful modern democracy will earn you Biden's blessings and Obama's extended hand? Wake up. That democracy stuff is so '00s, as in over.

2) Think outside the box. Why bother with friendship? Consider setting up your own anti-American dictatorship in the Middle East. On the evidence, you would then be entitled to all the rights, benefits and mutual respect that come with being one of America's worst enemies.

3) If you want to build housing--for settlements or otherwise--wise up and stop behaving like productive members of the developed world. That will earn you no love at the multilateral table. In this new world order now emerging, the world loves a loser. Declare yourselves bankrupt and incompetent, whether you are or not. Apply for World Bank loans, demand United Nations emergency aid, vote with the "nonaligned" bloc (condemn yourselves, if need be--just do anything to get along) and soak up any subsidies and handouts you can leech from the sugar daddies of the international community. Who cares whether you need the help or not. Cultivate that angry, entitlement mentality. Once there's an entrenched set of global bureaucrats employed to funnel resources to your "development" projects, you'll have a permanent constituency in places like Washington, the U.N. and the European Union. They'll love your housing plans.

4) Got some nuclear bombs? Don't just keep them around for self-defense. At the very least, leverage them--take a hint from the brilliant nuclear extortion tactics of North Korea or the clout Iran already wields merely for pursuing the bomb and gloating over prospects of using it. Recall that North Korea greeted Obama's inauguration with a forbidden nuclear test four months later and followed that up by testing a barrage of short-range missiles on the Fourth of July. Yes, Kim Jong Il got U.N. sanctions for his pains. But while North Korea has been busy violating those sanctions by shipping weapons to Iran, the Obama administration has been trying to wheedle them back to the bargaining table.

5) Get a grip on your diplo-speak. Stop with the apologies and reasoned arguments, and forget about sending modulated, thoughtful representatives to present your case in Washington and at the U.N. Dig into your ranks for someone with the oratorical talents of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Equip him with some of those North Korean and Iranian lines about drowning enemies in seas of fire and obliterating any "entity" you happen to dislike.
Rosett notes that the above suggestions aren't in keeping with Israel's usual m.o., but says that desperate times call for desperate and atypical measures.

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