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January 13, 2015 / conservadox

Jimmy Carter says something non-stupid

Former President Carter, whose views on Israel generally displease me, said something that was sort of sensible recently,  He suggested that Jews are probably safer in France than In Israel.

And if you focus narrowly on safety as terrorist-induced deaths per 1000 people, I suspect* he is right: that far moreJews are killed by terrorists in Israel.  And furthermore, I would guess that most Jews (even Jews who would like to abandon France for Israel) know this.   And finally, I would guess that it doesn’t matter.

Why not?  Because as much as people crave safety, they crave dignity even more- to be in a place where you are a first-class citizen rather than a despised minority, and where if a terrorist kills you, you know the government will make killing the terrorist a high priority.  In Israel a Jew can go to shul without having to run a gauntlet of security precuations, and probably has a lower risk of lower-level indignities such as being beaten and spat upon by members of larger religions.

Oddly, it seems to me that the Palestinians (especially those within Israeli borders, and maybe even those in the West Bank**) are in a somewhat similar position to French Jews.  Just as Jews probably are more likely to be murdered in Israel than in France, I very much doubt that Palestinians suffer as much risk of death under Israeli occupation as they would in their own nation (since Arab states tend to be not so good at avoiding disastrous civil wars, and often suffer police state oppression in places that lack such civil wars).  But the Palestinians are second-class citizens who have to put up with a multitude of petty inconveniences (checkpoints, occasional police brutality etc) in exchange for this reduced risk of death.

Am I saying that the Palestinians should have a full-fledged state?  GIven the risks such a state might present to Israel, I’m not sure.  But I am saying that if I was Palestinian I’d want one, EVEN KNOWING the risks involved.

*By which I mean “i’m 90 percent sure its true but don’t feel like taking the time to dig through statistics to be 100 percent sure.”

**Gaza is different because it is essentially a state.


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