Israel, China, and more

I figured that as interested in Jews and Jewish achievement (and shenanigans) as I am, I should at least learn something real about Israel, which I know little about at the detailed factual level. That part of the world has, predictably, always felt rather remote in my life, though it is in some sense the cradle of civilization. While on the bus with nothing to do, I was just last week, trolling some of my friends on Facebook with some Hebrew I copy pasted. Like, ברוך השם (Baruch HaShem), which literally means “blessed his name.” On that I’m pleased to say that I’m now sort of paying attention to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet when I visit English Wiki pages on Jewish matters with the English transliteration of Hebrew words alongside the Hebrew original. It’s kind of cute that it, like Arabic, reads right to left, a fact I had not known.

Last night, I had the pleasure of going through the history of Israel (particularly its formation) in some degree of detail. So now I know what Haganah, Irgun, Lehi, Palmach are. Interestingly, there was tension between the IDF (headed by Ben-Gurion) and the Irgun (headed by Menachim Begin), which resulted in the Altalena Affair in which a ship containing armaments of the Irgun was ordered to be sunk by Ben-Gurion on high seas by the air force. I was rather surprised there was actually this much discord among the Zionist leaders, as stereotype is of course that Jews are super cohesive. I was also somewhat surprised that the Zionists had the nerve to assassinate Western politicians like Lord Moyne and Folke Bernadotte they did not like who were mediating truces between the Israelis and the Arabs during the 1948 war. Overall, my impression of the war was that neither side had substantial military experience or ability and the war was on a relatively small scale, being in a very small region.

I was not fully aware that American support for Israel really only became substantial following the Six Day War. Around that time, France, which had provided Israel with high end military technology before, had announced an embargo there. Israel’s nuclear weapons was provided to it largely by France as well, and some say that at the time of Six Day War, Israel already had a functional nuke to use as a last resort. Almost certainly, it did in the Yom Kippur War seven years later. Details regarding Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program were revealed to the public via Mordechai Vanunu, who had worked as a technician on classified projects at the Negev Nuclear Research Center, who was eventually caught and shamed for life by Mossad agents.

From this reading, I can better appreciate Israel’s vulnerability due to its small size, in land and in population, the latter especially, that makes it impossible to sustain itself without external aid. This will hold regardless of how advanced it becomes, so even with nuclear ICBMs, they still have much to fear. I’ve seen pro-Jewish sites characterize Israel’s military and survival as a miracle. I’ve also seen that Israel is scared shit of North Korea, which could potentially transfer its nuclear and missile technology to Iran, Syria, etc. Israel’s attitude is of course that the Arab nations cannot obtain nukes at all costs, and Israel will send Mossad agents to assassinate anyone suspected to be assisting them on that, which it has already done many times.

Readers of my blog might know that I write here about that Jew in math I talk with quite a bit, who has some interesting views for sure. As an update there, I didn’t quite expect him to say to me that “Israel surviving is not that impressive.” I would somewhat agree actually given how much support Israel has gotten from the West, which does not apply at all to North Korea, whose survival I would say is much more of a miracle. Only time will tell who will last longer, and I would think that both will remain intact for quite a while.

That guy also tells me that China is very pro-Israel, which I’m not so sure about. China only developed at first secret relations with Israel in the late 70s/early 80s. China at the time was very interested in procuring some high-end Western military tech from Israel, which it did to a significant degree in the 80s, and surely, America is not terribly happy about this. This guy responds with “China” when I ask him how Israel will fare on a weakened America, and I’m not sure how serious he is on that, since I could hardly imagine China actually going to the lengths to rescue Israel under the hypothetical scenario that it is about to be run over.

The aggressive and often overtly biased political attitudes of Jews and Israelis are understandable given how precarious their situation is. They faced life or death and though their situation is much more secure now, they still do, being too small. On this, recalled to me was this physics professor at Washington University of St. Louis whose infamous essay Don’t Become a Scientist I had read and reread, who also has on his web page a collection of political pieces against Iraq and North Korea, with provocative titles such as Anyone Who Bombs Baghdad [when Saddam was in power] Gets My Vote. I haven’t seen yet any mention of Israel and its nukes in his pieces and I sure wonder why. In another one of those, Limiting the Nuclear Club—Iraq, North Korea et al., he characterized Stalin (when it was mostly his USSR that defeated Hitler) very one-sidedly as “a man and system which murdered tens of millions of people with bullets, famine, and prison camps.” On the nuclear club, he also wrote that “fortunately, most of these countries are stable democracies and therefore not aggressors; the two chief exceptions (the Former Soviet Union and China) were successfully contained for many years, and the more powerful of these is making a transition, one hopes successful and irreversible, to democracy,” which again goes to show his blatant bias and lack of rigorous thinking (that he would exhibit in physics) when it comes to politics.

On this, I don’t see why China should be terribly friendly to Jews and Israel when Jews, with their media power and verbal gifts, have done so much to distort modern Chinese history in the West and to smear, sabotage, and peacefully evolve a political system that has worked wonders for China, very plausibly with ulterior motives. I have also seen many Jews support Taiwanese independence, including this guy I talk to. Certain American interests might want to mould the political thinking of Chinese who grow up in America like me (most of whom do not read Chinese), but honestly, I feel like I am too intelligent and politically discerning and realistic to fall for it. I value independent, impartial thinking that is reality grounded, that is cognitively empathetic of interests relations wise, which means the American exceptionalist versions of history and politics don’t work on me, and neither would any such form of exceptionalism in favor of any country or system. I don’t think Chinese who grow up in America will be terribly happy once they realize, as more of them are doing, that the American version of the history and culture of where their parents are from is fraught with glaring inaccuracies and falsehoods motivated by political bias and ill-intent, and elite Jews, who have the most prominent voice in America, can be mostly easily blamed for that. One can even go more extreme and say that the Jews are the main culprit for the shitty and grossly dishonest media in America, with their dominance of press and Hollywood in this country, which they unabashed laud as “free media.” I don’t think this facade can last forever.

Often, one, including myself, is met with the dilemma of whether or not to engage in aggressive and ethically questionable behavior that gives one an advantage, at least in the short term, that goes on record either directly or indirectly in the memories of those alienated by the action as well as oneself.  Even it brings me major gains, I know eventually I might look back and feel shame and regret on the dishonorable means I took to earn them. I like it most when I achieve something based on genuine ability and hard work, as opposed to politicking, striverish behavior, which everyone engages in to some extent. I don’t think lies or deceptive talk can be concealed forever regardless of how much power or media control one has, and in some sense, it is the truth that is the most potent. Additionally, as a Chinese, I am somewhat conscious of how my behavior in every way affects microscopically how Chinese are perceived in general. When I see so many Jews spout nonsense about history and politics, especially parts I am familiar with, it sure doesn’t give me a good view of the group in general, character wise, so as to separate from their objective achievements, especially when that group controls so much of the media where I live, though I am careful to disentangle individuals of the group with the group in general. I do believe that one is to some extent responsible for the actions of one’s group at large. The actions of a nation, of an ethnic group, especially against others, are not just the responsibility of the elites in power who made the decisions but also the ones who allowed those people to come in power. When a nation or people, as a collective, chooses some system or leader or development strategy, they should take some responsibility for the outcomes and “dictatorship” or “democracy” is not an excuse. Fundamentally, what I am describing is actual democracy, as opposed any democratic system by name or by election. If Americans want to elect “democratically” their leaders and their leaders make shitty decisions against their interests and country at large, they should take responsibility for it and blame themselves for choosing such people to elect or blame the election system that is the root of it all. On this, I recall how this guy way smarter than me technically (also of Jewish descent), on my mentioning of a guy I know whose parents were from the USSR whose grandfather could only become a theoretical physics professor in some remote university the name I remember not, was like: “his parents helped destroy the Soviet Union,” followed by that if he, who moved to Israel, were still in Russia, he would be working for MacDonalds, with reference to the economic crisis there in the 90s that was statistically far more murderous and damaging than Stalin’s purges. It was then that occurred to me again that as unpleasant and sad as it may be to accept, Soviets and Russians share collective responsibility for promoting certain wrong people to power in the Soviet era that rendered their nation less competitive and especially for their later letting oligarchs, many of them Jewish, wreck their country irrecoverably, a specific of the generality I had just described. That many of those mega civilization and wealth leechers/destroyers were Jewish tells us more that anti-Semitism is not without reason, and Jews should all take some responsibility for it. Pardon any cultural bias, but this brings to mind a famous quote attributed to Chairman Mao which is “世界上没有无缘无故的爱,也没有无缘无故的恨”,that translates to “the world has no love without reason and no hate without reason,” an obvious reality of human nature that I believe one of high moral character ought to always be cognizant of.