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What Ukraine can learn from Israel It is a model for abandoned countries in an unforgiving world

Help isn't coming (Pierre Crom/Getty Images)


January 31, 2022   5 mins

Almost eight years ago I watched a Ukrainian teenager lob a can of Mojito Royce Ice into a ditch and had the first stirrings of what the future might hold. It was May 2014, and I had travelled to the outskirts of Kyiv to report for Politico on a training camp teaching Ukrainians how to resist occupying forces in the event of a possible Russian invasion.

They weren’t very good. The poor kid had to pretend his can of Mojito was a hand grenade because they didn’t have any real ones. Tanya, a 38-year-old graphic designer who was also there “training”, told me they were there to learn “the basics” so they wouldn’t be killed in the first minute of a war. “Maybe with what we’ve learned we might last one or two days,” she speculated.

Frankly, I thought she was being optimistic. But what struck me most was what she said to me later: “We want to build something like the Swiss or Israeli army—a people’s army,” she concluded. “That’s the long-term goal.”

It was startling for me as a Brit to hear someone from a country battling a far larger enemy, which was, moreover, occupying it with military force, hold Israel up as a model. Back in London, New York and Brussels, ensconced within the uterine comforts of human rights dogma and the language of supranational institutions, Israel was something that almost all right-thinking people considered anathema.

But, as I discovered, it wasn’t just Tanya who felt differently. Friends in Kyiv and in the occupied East told me that the Russian invasion had made them understand who exactly they were: citizens of a state who, despite supportive talk from allies, would always have to fight alone against Russia, a far larger enemy perpetually menacing their border. Now when they looked at Israelis, they felt kinship with these people who would always have to fight alone against the Arab world.

Even then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko seemed to see Israel as the model. Later that year, he declared: “Just like Israel, Ukraine has the right to defend her territory — and it will do so, with all the courage of her heart and dedication of her soul.”

Once again, Ukraine is menaced by Russia, which recently stuck a decent chunk of its army on the border. And not just men and guns: all the supporting infrastructure for an invasion is being deployed. Recently, they even moved in blood supplies. As one analyst has observed, “if it’s a bluff, then hands [sic] off to the Russians for making sure they get every tiny detail right”.

Once again, the supportive talk flows. In fact, the UK and US have been almost unprecedentedly forceful. Earlier this month, the UK Foreign Office announced that it had “information that the Russian government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine”. It even named politicians inside the country that the Kremlin still had links with.

I don’t remember the British government saying anything as blunt as this in 2014-15, when there was an actual war going on. It’s also now flying arms to Ukraine. Last Thursday, US President Joe Biden had a call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky during which Biden told him that a Russian invasion could happen as soon as February, when the ground in the East freezes over and Russian track vehicles can move. Biden apparently got so worked up that Zelensky had to ask him to “calm down the messaging”.

But while Biden may get emotional down the phone, he won’t send Americans to fight Russians on behalf of Ukrainians. And it’s not like we’re going to send a substantial British force. Kyiv is not in Nato, and it has no allies it can call upon here. It’s on its own, which is, of course, nothing new. For years, Ukraine desperately needed javelin anti-tank guided missile systems to defend from Russian attack in the East; the Obama administration refused. Kyiv had to wait several years until Trump finally agreed to help. Who knows how many deaths could have been prevented had the systems been delivered earlier.

During 1948 War of Independence, the Israelis desperately needed arms; the world said no (and indeed doled out lectures on international law). So they went out and illegally bought a load of Czech arms. They refused to take lectures when facing the literal extinction of the nascent Jewish state. I’m not saying Ukraine should start scouting the black market, but the broader principle should be internalised.

And widely. These sentiments are not just confined to Ukraine. When I reported from Greece just before the pandemic, I noticed that Israel, for so long a bogeyman for a country steeped in leftist ideology of the most reductive kind — “Free, Free Palestine!” roar the protestors who march each November in remembrance of the 1973 student uprising against the Greek Junta — had become a friend to be courted. The culmination was an April 2021 defence deal worth around £1.2 billion between the two. And why not? After all, what is Greece if not a small country perpetually menaced by Turkey, a much larger enemy on its border?

As my friend Constantine Lerounis, once an adviser to the former President of Greece, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, told me recently: “Both Greece and Israel are facing states or potential coalitions of states with far greater resources and larger military forces. When Greece looks to Israel now, it sees not a colonial oppressor but a state that has little choice but to maintain a disproportionately large military and a high state of readiness. And it understands why. The Greek-Israeli rapprochement has been in the making for some time now. What was unfathomable a decade ago is now merely common sense.”

Over the years, I’ve listened to people in Moldova and Belarus and in the Baltic States tell me more or less the same thing: Israel is a model for small countries in an increasingly unforgiving world. And it’s not just about an accretion of individual beefs between neighbours, either. Something has changed.

In 1806 the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel saw Napoleon ride onto the German city of Jena on horseback and thought he had, loosely speaking, witnessed the final manifestation of progress. Almost two centuries later, the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama picked up on this image to declare “the end of history” following the victory of liberal democracy in the Cold War.

Everyone now pretty much agrees that this idea is dead. Napoleon’s horse has bolted back out of the Jena gates. History has returned with ferocity and, as Damir Marusic Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, observes: “Ukraine learned a hard lesson in 2014 that many countries outside of the heart of the so-called liberal world order take for granted: you can only count on yourself.”

The problem is that Fukuyama-like triumphalism swept through governments and created a generation of what Marusic calls “activist policymakers steeped in a progressive vision of the world” whose best intentions and half-baked promises brought about so much pain. At the 2008 Nato summit in Bucharest, the United States’ desire to extend Membership Action Plans to Georgia and Ukraine was thwarted by the vetoes of France and Germany. To compromise, Nato offered “an explicit promise to join the bloc, but no specific timeline for membership.” Ukraine and Georgia were left to fend for themselves — with predictable results.

Meanwhile, the EU was delighted to “welcome” the  “European choice” of Moldova and several other countries in Europe’s East without making any commitment to EU accession. The door was not open, but neither was it shut. The Kremlin, though, now knew the US and Nato would never fight for these countries. The results are painfully inevitable.

Here in the West, the world of Brussels and the UN dominated the post-war settlement. We could afford the luxury of finger-wagging at Israelis for having to use old-fashioned means to repel old-fashioned threats; we sneered at their atavism.

But out on the edges of Europe, and across the former USSR, geopolitics and history is returning; indeed, they probably never left. No one is coming to save Ukrainians or Georgians. Their only chance is self-reliance; and they have neither the time nor luxury to grandstand. Now the world of Moscow and Ankara and Beijing is rising — and the only way many countries can effectively respond is to adopt the principles and behaviour of a world that runs not through Brussels but Jerusalem.


David Patrikarakos is UnHerd‘s foreign correspondent. His latest book is War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century. (Hachette)

dpatrikarakos

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Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

“Now when they looked at Israelis, they felt kinship with these people who would always have to fight alone against the Arab world.”

Lets not forget a couple things – one is HUGE remittances from the Jews outside Israel, and the tech ability – and naturally too – The USA is a committed Ally and is generous with Covert aid and material and money.

I know it is wrong to think – but somewhat I appreciate the Soviet Ex-Block, and Russia, not joining NATO, and so the West fully, and so becoming totally captured by our Liberal/Lefty degeneracy.

Them getting open borders, unsuitable mass migration, CRT, Gender dis-morphia, BLM, taught to despise their culture, history, people, nations, and themselves – that is the real gift the West offers the citizens of those lands. We tried to force it on the Afghanies for 20 years, and they did not want it. I imagine Ex-Soviet countries would take it, if it came with the goods and services and money the fat Westerners have – but trading their soul for a debauched Las Vegas is not all it is cracked up to be either.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Whilst EU membership has been useful for the ex-Soviet countries to lift themselves and establish economic growth, it now looks like, in the absence of the U.K. to stop it, that the EU is very actively trying to impose its cultural values on the Slav countries.
I was wondering if they’d establish a Slav bloc within the EU to resist this, but now that France and Germany have shown such disdain for their national security, in their pathetic efforts regarding Ukraine, I wonder if it would be better for them to leave the EU, en masse, and form their own trading bloc that includes military resources. Since national security, not trade, is the first priority of any sovereign country. Thus providing enough resources to stop Russia and Putin in the long term, and provide help to other countries like Ukraine and Georgia which can’t be blocked by a pseudo-pacifist like Germany.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Stewart
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

A good idea Ian. Why should these countries join in with increasingly corrupt western countries? Countries like Poland, Hungary and Romania remember clearly the oppression of Russia in their countries and are well placed together with others like them to understand the real danger of Russia who spent most of the last century oppressing smaller countries. Such a cruel country when you look at the history.

John Harrison
John Harrison
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

I seem to recall that, before WW2, the borders of Poland were quite a long way (on both sides) to the East of where they are now. A lot of people who were born in Poland would now find themselves in Ukraine.
Mind you, the borders of Poland have been extremely flexible over the centuries – sometime reduced to the Duchy of Warsaw.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago
Reply to  John Harrison

All a bit too simplistic.. like with the British empire (into the last century as well!) yes there was oppression but also a lot of support or so yoy keep telling us! I love the way the words “corrupt” and “Poland” are written by you so close together albeing with a full stop in between!
And is Britain now celebrating the removal of political corruption after Brexit? I’m sorry but I’m laughing out loud into my defective PPE!
To really learn from Israel they need to find a minority within Ukraine and persecute them! Luckily they exist: ethnic Russians! If they steal their land, bomb their hospitals, turture and murder their children and bulldoze their homes Israel itself might even support Ukraine? They make plenty of weapons and even have nuclear weapons!
They also have the support of the US who will happily I’m sure want Ukrainians to field test American weapons as doing do on Native American reservations mightn’t be well received and black and Mexican Americans would need to be corralled together to target them! And surely sophisticated weaponry is better tested on a powerful enemy like Russia than on Palestinian makeshift rockets and stones? Yes, I can see a great future for Ukrainians. Maybe they can show Ukraines hail from a lost semitic tribe? Then they’d be assured of American and probably British support as well.
When Russia moved too close to the USA (Cuba in 1962 was it) the US threatened nuclear war! But when the situation is reversed with NATO getting too close to Russia ‘sure that’s totally different’ as my ex wife used to say!
Now let’s compare which is the real aggressor in the world today? And let’s decide who really defeated the Nazis while a m8nor WW2 was fought in the West.
As usual: a complete lack of balance..

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Hence the Visegrad bloc (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia) who belong to the EU but refuse its social changes and refugee quotas.

Last edited 2 years ago by D Glover
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Good for them.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

..which is why they all end up in England! Duh?

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Very well said indeed, these social consequences of “Westernisation” are what Putin fears…the only thing he fears; and we should fear them also, because they will ravage each and every nation in which they take root.
We are being for the most part, willingly led into a nightmare world by degenerates without principles or values.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

The set aim of LGBT was to destroy the family as we know it. They have been partially successful in this and continue to lobby government to secretly achieve this aim.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Please, do point specifically to a specific measure by which these lobby groups did any such thing. The vast majority of the public support divorce, but even where it is difficult or bannned, you cannot prevent couples separating if at least one of them wants to enough.

By the way Israel is a pretty socially liberal society, so what these musings have to do with the subject, I have no idea. You of course are entirely entitled to live a ‘traditional’ lifestyle, as do Israel’s Orthodox communities.

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Feel free to peruse the Black Lives Matter website.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

A bit like BJ answering questions in the house on Partygate: Yes, Mr Speaker speaking of all the wonderful progress we Tories have made…

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

If you oppose divorce, contraception and gay rights, have the honesty to say so openly. If THIS is the programme anti-woke campaigners want to fight on, they’ll do it without much support from European or even US populations, who have absolutely no wish to return to the 1950s.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Yes, Yes, and Yes. By the way, back in the 1950’s MY country was the strongest it had ever been. But, feel free to carry on with your divorce, rubbers, and same sex mantra. Do whatever you need to do in your mind to convince yourself you are right….or that you matter.

Gunner Myrtle
Gunner Myrtle
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

I don’t think there are very many citizens who actively desire the downfall of the west. I think people get complacent during good times and assume they can keep all the things they like while discarding the rest. In Canada progressives actively oppose all our resource industries – fishing, forestry, hydroelectric, etc., our Prime Minister is trying to destroy the oil industry- but no one seems to worry where the jobs or the tax base will come from. Progressives are all in on the censorship of others – but it seems beyond their comprehension that they will be next. Canadians seem unfazed by the fact that we probably couldn’t stop the Indonesian navy from sailing up St Lawrence River without US help – let alone the Russian or Chinese. Universities seem to believe their lavish public funding will continue even as they abandon their core mission and principles and sneer at the taxpayers who fund them. There is just this general feeling that the good times will keep rolling and our democratic institutions will function no matter what we do. However human society doesn’t bend to the light – it bends to the darkness. We may be in for a rude and possibly irreversible shock.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Gunner Myrtle

Brilliant comment. I don’t want to see the West crumble and fall like the S U, we need to keep our democracy healthy and that means action against those who would systematically remove our freedoms, indoctrinate our children and present harmful ideologies as fact.
In the last couple of decades we seem to have been gripped by a form of madness which will surely destroy us all…..starting with most of the people who comment on boards like this :0(

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
2 years ago
Reply to  Gunner Myrtle

As to your last sentence: it’s already underway.

Michael O'Donnell
Michael O'Donnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

Are you including Putin?

Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

When the people are sheep, they attract a government of wolves.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago
Reply to  Alex Tickell

I agree but feel rhe degenates are in the West as well!

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The USA is a committed Ally
Now, perhaps – but not in 1948, when the Israelis (as they had just named themselves) were invaded by all their neighbours simultaneously (plus Iraq); the USA responded to UK pressure and energetically blocked attempts to get planes and other heavy arms (which the Israelis had essentially none of, while the Arabs were well supplied with them) to Israel. And in 1967, nobody lifted a finger when Nasser kicked out the UN peace-keepers from the Sinai – the better to invade Israel through it – and blocked the Straits of Tiran; with the Jordanians poised 10 or so miles from the Mediterranean, and splitting Israel in two.
The Israelis probably think of the US like the old joke about bankers: some who lends one an umbrella when the sun is shining (and one doesn’t need it) and wants it back when it rains.
Noel

Rosalind Schogger
Rosalind Schogger
2 years ago
Reply to  Noel Chiappa

For over 3000 years these people were known as Ś‘Ś Ś™ Ś™Ś©ŚšŚŚœ ‘the Children of Israel ‘. Hence the name used in the modern State of Israel, Israelites.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
2 years ago

Right, but the vote in the Council on May 12th, 1948 was between ‘Israel’ and ‘Zion’; they picked the former. So when the Arab states invaded on May 15th, the Israelis had just named themselves that.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
2 years ago

They were known by everyone else and most of their own as Jews. The country was and is Palestine. Did Russia become Germania when the Nazis invaded in the 1940s? Did Ireland become Englandia when they invaded in 1169? Did England become Normandia in 1066?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Indeed not.

Rosalind Schogger
Rosalind Schogger
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

“HUGE remittances from the Jews outside Israel” – yes, for scientific research and voluntary aid for water projects and people with special needs etc – but not for war machinery. Where on earth did you get that from?

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
2 years ago

but not for war machinery
Well, Golda Meir raised US$50 million on her famous trip to the US in January, 1948. Similar sums were raised for Dimona (per “The Samson Option”).
I don’t know about recently.ï»ż

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago

I’m not sure I quite understand the analogy. While Israel stands alone against it’s far numerous Arab enemies, Israel also has the technological upper hand with vastly superior military power. In the case of Ukraine, Ukraine may stand alone, but it has next to do military and certainly not a technologically sophisticated one that can effectively block a Russian incursion. The fact is that if the Russians want to, they can blitzkrieg their way through Ukraine in a couple of days.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

It is a rather strange analogy as you say, as Israel is much stronger than its neighbours (individually) and its them that have annexed large parts of the West Bank

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Well I would argue that the West Bank belongs to Israel but that’s another matter.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

We’ll leave that argument there I think, it’s a matter we’ll never agree on

Rosalind Schogger
Rosalind Schogger
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Time to learn history, Billy – not to listen to the liberal lefties and find out what REALLY happened, from the 1920’s up to now. This journalist wasn’t alive in 1948 or 1967 or 1973. His use of a word like “anachronistic”, when speaking of Israel, shows his uneducated bias.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago

History is a very nuanced subject, with often many different views, actions and moving parts. I’d wager your opinion is probably as one sided as the authors

David Uzzaman
David Uzzaman
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Israel wasn’t a superior military power in May 1948. It’s built it’s capacity over time. Ukraine couldn’t win a full scale war against Russia at this time but they may be able to make it too costly to be worthwhile.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

Exactly.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

Good point. The Javelin anti tank missile is portable and concealable and can knock out T72, 80 and probably T90 tanks. The Javelin replaces the need for anti tank guns. In 1973 in the Yom Kippur war, the Egyptian Sagar missiles did enormous damage to Israeli tanks in the Negev. Boer Commandos ability to moves across grasslands and hit British soldiers with their Mausers and remain unseen made them successful.
If Russia is to invade when rivers frozen, then Ukrainians need to develop methods to destroy the ice.
A military force comprising fit soldiers, who move across the land without revealing themselves and have sniping skills to hit the enemy at 600m or more combined with javelins and mortars could do a lot of damage.
How many Russian tanks, especially T 90s would have to be destroyed for Putin to lose credibility with the Russian People? Putin’s weakness is that he is promising the Russian people victory without pain and loss of life. Goering made the mistake when he promised to Hitler to destroy the RAF and attacked London on September 15th 1940. The German pilots found there were more RAF fighters than ever before which created demoralisation..
A photograph comprising tens of burning Russian tanks, especially T90s would show the Russian people that any victory will be painful. If Russia moved out of the Donbas region the area they need to control increases greatly which makes them more vulnerable to hit and run tactics. Dowding realised that when the Lutwaffe decided to attack London, they had a made a strategic blunder because it overstretched them and brought them in range of 12 Group. Wellington played a similar game against
The crucial question(s) is “What action(s)causes Putin to over stretch himself which leads to his irreversible decline?” The bridge too far.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

You may be right, but by far and away the biggest problem for Ukraine is that Russia will undoubtedly have total air supremacy, and what is more, it has no inhibition about causing civilian casualties.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

True but radar will pick them up which is information which can be presented to UN.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

The UN, where Russia has a permanent seat on the Security Council, and a veto.
Honestly, what is the UN going to do, after the fact, about a Russian air strike?

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

You are surely joking.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Yes rightly a wicked nation with a wicked history of oppressing other nations.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Putin’s weakness is that he is promising the Russian people victory without pain and loss of life.
Just like Arab leaders told their peoples in ’48. They were unpleasantly surprised.
Noel

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Russian mitary technology is vastly improved. In some capacities it is more advanced than the USA. They don’t have the raw manufacturing capabilty or the logistics capability of the USA. On their borders they have the upperhand. They have literally been preparing for this moment for 20 years. A war on their borders will be an easy victory even with US help. Russia isn’t going to allow the citizens of the Donbas to be slaughtered and they are not going to allow advanced missle systems in Ukraine. This is their redline. The idea that theyvare going to take over Kiev and rule it is so stupid and so ill informed it is ridiculous. Russia doesn’t want it as the orange revolution proved. The only reason it never became contentious is the leaders of the orange revolution weren’t stupid. They didn’t start attacking ethnic Russian communities and they didn’t threaten to kick Russia out of Crimea (by the way you can’t “invade” a territory you already control). The whole Ukraine media blitz on unherd here is a psyops. I assume UK intelligence run.

Colin Macdonald
Colin Macdonald
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

You really think Ukraine is poised to slaughter Russian speakers in the Donbas? Maybe if there were an actual Fascist regime in Kiev. I’m not sure how a possibly misguided attempt to join Nato or the EU is fascist. Putin’s Russia on the other hand…

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

Seriously?! Psyops? A blitz on UnHerd commentators? God help us if our ‘intelligence’ forces think our little bubble is any sort of priority. The ‘blitz’ is surely just a genuine reaction to the prospect of a war in Europe being ignored by the print media in favour of those glasses of wine in Downing Street.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Russia also have a potential enemy on their doorstep which is China. If they can just walk into other countries so can China walk into Russia.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Precisely. Russia attacking Ukraine and getting bogged down can only encourage China to take Siberia which contains vast oil, gas and metal reserves. If the Muslim countries move north while China attacks Siberia, Russia becomes the Grand Duchy of Muscovy.
If I was Chinese I would interested in how Russian tanks withstood or were destroyed by Javelins or other anti tank missiles. Anything other than a very quick victory by Russia over Ukraine will embolden China. If I was Russian, photographs of tens of T90 Tanks destroyed by Ukrainians using Javelins would worry me. How would they cope against Chinese planes/ helicopter gunships?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

NO

WW III because Russia boggs in Ukraine is not on the table.

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
2 years ago
Reply to  David Uzzaman

Nonsense. Israel has always been a US satellite state. From the beginning

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/history-and-overview-of-u-s-foreign-aid-to-israel

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

“In 1947, and again on May 14, 1948, the United States had offered de facto recognition of the Israeli Provisional Government, but during the war, the United States maintained an arms embargo against all belligerents.” https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/arab-israeli-war#:~:text=In%201947%2C%20and%20again%20on,arms%20embargo%20against%20all%20belligerents.

Rosalind Schogger
Rosalind Schogger
2 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Boylon

USSR was the first country to recognise The State of Israel.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

The US Government also has a 10-year, $38 billion aid contract with Israel that can be spent completely on acquiring American arms; unlike Ukraine.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Justin Clark

Also – where’s Hunter?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

You don’t know much about Israel’s establishment and early years – which is the nicely identified parallel with Ukraine.
For the years prior to its establishment and the first twenty years after its establishment it was surrounded by enemy states with far more military resources and funds from oil. In the sixties no one expected it to survive a well organised onslaught from multiple Arab countries, as many seem to think Ukraine couldn’t survive an onslaught from Russia. But it trounced them, and since then has established the significant military superiority that you referenced. Ukraine is hopefully on the same path.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Indeed. And, even now, Israel is more than happy to take military aid from the US but it doesn’t rely on it. Clearly having advanced fighter jet capacity and missile defence systems is something a small country can’t produce for itself. But every area whaere a small country can produce and develop its own capacity it does. It could buy US assault rifles “off the shelf”. Very cheap. It produces its own small arms. Isreal Weapon Industries IWI ensures that Israel retains the expertise and capacity to develop and produce its own small arms. This is the point that article makes. It’s a psychological one. They are not hoping for the best and waiting for the US Cavalry to ride over the hill to save them. It the cavalry turns up, then fine. Many hands make light work. But they plan for the worst. To be able to to fight,  if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

Last edited 2 years ago by Samuel Gee
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Samuel Gee

Not alone. God brought them back and will be working His purposes out.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

Or else the will of Allah will prevail. Don’t forget that the people on the other side believe just as strongly as you do.
It’s usual in war for both sides to say ‘Gott mit uns!’

Mike K
Mike K
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Belief is irrelevant. Truth is what matters.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike K

Truth? In this day and age, whose truth matters? Yours or theirs?

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Actually I’m very well aware of that history. But even in 1948 while the balance of military equipment may have been on the Arab side, the Israelis were superior strategically. The situation in Ukraine is quite different. It is more equivalent to 1939 with the German army marching through Belgium and France in a matter of days.
The other thing that makes things complex in Ukraine is that there is a sizable Russian population so the willingness to actually fight the Russians may not be there. For example, even in a Western city like Odessa, the majority speak only Russian (including in school) and feel themselves to be Russian.
Given that from the 18th century to the late 20th century Ukraine was part of the Russian “Empire”, it seems to me that the situation in Ukraine is more like a civil war where one party, Ukraine, decided to secede, and the other, the Russian Federation, eventually decided that this was a no go. The analogy is not exact of course, but consider what would happen if say California decided to secede from the US, or Scotland broke off with England, and England at a later date decided that they wanted Scotland back.
And finally there is one other issue: if the western alliance (i.e. NATO and the EU) had not interfered in Ukraine, and had not tried to recruit Ukraine into the EU and/or Nato, there wouldn’t even be an issue for the Russians. Seems to me that the West should leave things it doesn’t understand well alone.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

I agree with much of what you say, but only partly with the last paragraph; the EU’s intervention was clearly a bit of empire-building without foreseeing how it might be seen by Putin, but I’m not aware of any imminent acceptance of Ukraine by NATO, which is clearly just an excuse for Putin.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Not imminent acceptance into NATO, but for sure membership dangling there. The point being is that there was no need to provoke the Russian bear. The Russians are paranoid about their security, and historically they have a perfect right to be, especially if one thinks back to WWII where they sustained unimaginable losses far greater than that of the West.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

It would be the equivalent of England building up arms on the borders of Scotland to get them back into the UK which is obviously very wrong as we honour their freewill. They forget though that their Scottish king James 6th became king of England and Wales also which united the countries and made it the UK. We could have rebelled against that but accepted it and it has proved a wonderful union in my opinion.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Many of us here in the U.S. would cheer if California seceded, weapons and bloodshed unnecessary (although the avocados might be missed).

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Israel’s strategic superiority was from the necessity of mobilising the entire population in order to avoid annihilation. Rather like Ukraine.

Rosalind Schogger
Rosalind Schogger
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

“Even in 1948 while the balance of military equipment may have been on the Arab side, the Israelis were superior strategically“.

Please can you explain this, absurd statement.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago

What I mean is fairly obvious. The Israeli military leaders were strategically far more astute than their Arab counterparts, and hence they defeated their enemies despite being hugely outnumbered. In other words the Israelis used smarts to defeat militarily superior enemies who surrounded Israel from every side, while the arabs relied on brawn which got them nowhere.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

Never mind, I can see that you have received an answer.

Last edited 2 years ago by JP Martin
Kerry Davie
Kerry Davie
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

‘……even in a Western city like Odessa, the majority speak only Russian (including in school) and feel themselves to be Russian’.
The same could have been said about the 18th century anglophones in what was to become the United States of America

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

The most famous pre-independence effort to arm Israelis is the Rehovot Bullet Factory. It was concealed under a laundry on a kibutz. The factory produced bullets for Sten Guns, which were easy to buy. The problem was nobody made ammunition for Sten Guns after World War II.

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

From what little I know of Ukraine, my understanding is that they are technologically sophisticated. Their vulnerability to Russia arises because their population is smaller, they haven’t benefited to the same extent from gas and oil, they haven’t spent a large part of their GDP on weapons, and they don’t have nuclear weapons, the last because they gave them up in exchange for a written guarantee from Russia (and USA and UK) that their territory would be respected.
Oh, and they already have Russian or pro-Russian militarised enclaves within their internationally recognised borders.

Last edited 2 years ago by Colin Elliott
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

So much for the written guarantee from Russia.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Then who do they start on next?

Giles Toman
Giles Toman
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

If “The West” lent the Ukrainians a few battlefield nukes, this would give the Russians “pause for thought”

Rosalind Schogger
Rosalind Schogger
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

The problem is that although with creative thinking, Israel has and is capable of building a sophisticated and clear thinking defence force, it is surrounded by enemies, who are proxies of Iran, which has got a grip and is all the time hoping to get a bigger one, (look at Yemen) on vast swathes of the world . Not such an ideal situation.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago

Very true.

Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
2 years ago

A couple of points:
Israel was something that almost all right-thinking people considered anathema” should read “all left-people considered”. Most normal people considered Israeli precautions more than justified.
In 1948 the world was awash with left over arms from WW2, it was therefore quite easily for Israel to aquire them. I suspect it’s a bit harder now.
ï»żIn 1948 Israel stood alone with no allies, the US carefully looking the other way and the US Jewish population not yet organised in support of Israel.

David Harris
David Harris
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Yes, “right thing” should have been in ironic quotes.

Steven Campbell
Steven Campbell
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Getting those weapons was actually quite difficult. Israel had quite a time acquiring modern weapons and relied on the largesse of American Jews to fund what efforts there were.
The Israeli soldier and civilian realized that the only option to fighting was death. That is a great motivator and can make almost any weapon deadlier than the opponent if they are not equally motivated.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

I had remembered the British allowing the (officially illegal) mass importation of Weapons into Israil before the first Arab war there – there was tacit USA and UK assistance, from memory, even though they may have stated differently.

Noel Chiappa
Noel Chiappa
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

“I had remembered the British allowing the (officially illegal) mass importation of Weapons into Isra[e]l before the first Arab war there”
Ah, no. The British put just about every roadblock they could imagine in the way of the Haganah getting organized and armed. They had to bring in most of their heavy arms (airplanes, artillery, etc) after the end of the mandate.
ï»ż

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Please look up the Rehovot Bullet Factory. It was realtively easy to buy Sen Guns, Tehy were cheap. However, nobody made bullets for them anymore. The Israelis made their own bullets in a concealed, undeground factory.

Ian C
Ian C
2 years ago

I dont think I’ve ever read anyone refer to Fukuyama without revealing they clearly haven’t read his work. Fukuyama did not claim that things would stop happening or that America in his time was the height of civilization; he claimed that human political organization is about a struggle, intrinsic to our nature, for recognition, and that liberal democracy allows us to struggle for this better than other systems, and that, therefore, given a long enough time span, liberal democracy would spread across the globe. Ukraine is currently trying to assert itself as a liberal democracy. How is Fukuyama wrong?

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian C

The title of his book says it all. He’s an idiot, and symbolises the uneducated, hubristic environment in the US since 1) the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and 2) the emergence of China in the 1990’s and, with it, price deflation, which has now come to an end. Americans have got a couple of big wake-up calls coming. History and Inflation are back.

Last edited 2 years ago by Giles Chance
Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian C

I didn’t read it but have read excerpts. This quote from wikipedia seems clear enough and wrong):
“not just … the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: That is, the end-point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

Rosalind Schogger
Rosalind Schogger
2 years ago

Do not rely on wikipedia for your education!

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago

I don’t but I put a high probability of this quote being accurate. Wikip is a convenient and quick source. Do you dispute the accuracy of the quote? I’ll wait

Mirax Path
Mirax Path
2 years ago

The Ukrainians are a bit late to the realisation that the Israeli model is one to aspire to; Singapore had the foresight to see and follow through with this in the 1960’s.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Mirax Path

That would have been rather difficult as their country was only established in the nineties.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Well they should have started out of the gates in the 90s.

Alan Tonkyn
Alan Tonkyn
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Have just tried to edit my comment, to no avail. Thought you were referring to Singapore – but you weren’t!

Last edited 2 years ago by Alan Tonkyn
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

1965 actually.

Brian Burnell
Brian Burnell
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Actually 1965, when Singapore was expelled from Malaysia, with independence forced upon them.

Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago

“Israel was something that almost all right-thinking people considered anathema.”

Really? The bigotry in that statement is also incredibly condescending. It was the kind of unfortunate assertion that some used against people who voted for Brexit.

No, Israel has always had every right – just like every other nation – to defend itself. Moreover it is perhaps devastatingly unique in that it’s avowed enemies want more than to invade its lands, they want to utterly destroy it’s people.

Ukrainians, at least, do not have that fate hanging over their heads, but this article is absolutely right: when it comes down to it, the only country they can utterly depend on is there own.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kiat Huang
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Kiat Huang

“Ukrainians, at least, do not have that fate hanging over their heads”

Well Stalin’s ‘Destroy the Kulaks as a class’, and so the genocide of them, was in the Millions.

Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

That doesn’t mean that it _will_ happen to the Ukrainians, eh? Putin is becoming more emboldened the older and the stronger his power, gets. He makes planned hits when he can or covers up for Russian aggression, presumably not for ego, but because it asserts Russian superiority in his eyes: the Skripals, journalists and politicians who oppose him, the Crimea, MH17,…

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago

Israel has the Atomic Bomb, what more needs to be said?

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago

Ukraine had the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world, a legacy of its time in the USSR. It agreed to hand it over in 1994 in return for a guarantee of integrity.
One signatory, Russia, has proven that its signature meant nothing. The other two are the USA and UK.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Memorandum_on_Security_Assurances

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Yes indeed, what a major mistake! I gather the ‘Boers’ in Apartheid South Africa made the same error.

It’s rather like surrendering your ‘Queen’ at the start of a game of Chess.

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago

Not really an error. The South Africans knew that the game was up for white minority rule. They viewed their successors as marxists, and didn’t want to bequeath them atom bombs, and the Buccaneers to deliver them. So they disposed of them.
I wonder if any future British or French government will view the approaching Islamic future with the same cool foresight?

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  D Glover

Well we have made a good start by stuffing our Nuclear Submarines with wimmin!

Terry Davies
Terry Davies
2 years ago

Hardly stuffin….and I doubt that the female members of the crew are wimmin but women.

SULPICIA LEPIDINA
SULPICIA LEPIDINA
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Davies

“Up Periscope “ as one of the tabloids recently remarked after the last ‘submarine scandal’.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago

Didn’t Benny Hill (or was it Frankie Howerd?) do a 40’s/50’s prophetic comedic send-up of that very – unlikely at their time – scenerio?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

“Meanwhile, the EU was delighted to “welcome” the “European choice” of Moldova and several other countries in Europe’s East without making any commitment to EU accession. The door was not open, but neither was it shut. The Kremlin, though, now knew the US and Nato would never fight for these countries. The results are painfully inevitable.”

That’s an interesting way of looking at it. An alternative view might be:

The Russians realised the US, and it’s European allies, were intent on bringing their sphere of influence (military, cultural and economic) right to Russia’s borders, but would back down if challenged militarily. The results are painfully inevitable.

I suppose which interpretation you prefer decides your view of the issue.

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Or let’s try looking at it from the Ukrainian point of view: most Ukrainians would rather live in some sort of democracy than under the gangster tyranny of Putin. This is something the latter cannot live with. The results etc.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

Do you know that your statement is true. Do you know what the Russian population in Ukraine feels like with regard to Russia. I think you might be surprised at the answer.

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
2 years ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

I don’t know that, no. But isn’t the “Russian” population a minority? My statement mentioned “most”.

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan Weil

A minority for sure but a very sizable one. i.e. a very significant proportion of the population, if not the majority of the population population depending upon which area of Ukraine one is talking about.
Incidentally, it is probably worth bringing up Crimea which was not part of Ukraine until gifted to the Ukraine by Khrushchev in the 1950s. Of course at the time such a transfer was of no significance given that Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.
Another thing worth mentioning is that Ukraine and Kiev are the birthplace of Russian civilization. The Ukrainians were known as “Rus” (hence the origin of Russia and Russians) during Viking times.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

I’ve never been to Russia, or Ukraine, and would be interested to hear from anybody who has. My suspicion is that life for the man on the Moscow or Kiev omnibus isn’t hugely different to that of the man on the Clapham version.

Here we have ageing popstars censoring the views of the inventor of mRNA technology, a media obsessed with parties and, in London, our legal and financial infrastructure facilitates the concealment of the worlds most corrupt fortunes. Let’s not bother with the denial of biology etc etc., the list would go on for ever.

Fortunately we have the democratic ability to change all that 
.er.

There they’re beholden to corrupt kleptocracies, which are difficult to remove,but any video of Moscow or Kiev that I see shows cars, clothes builds and shops not hugely dissimilar to those in most major cities.

Still, I’m sure hundreds of thousands of them are happy to die for the high sounding principles our leaders espouse while calculating their financial and political gains from this or that course of action.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
2 years ago

The opening sentence was particularly interesting: watching a Ukrainian teenager practice throwing hand grenades using a mojito can was a sign of what the future might hold.
This, if anything, is proof that the past is coming back to life and fits better into the statements further on down the article about the geopolitics we thought had been buried after 1989 never having gone away.
Friends of mine in Slovakia (born in the late 1970s) who grew up with Communism have told me that – around the time I was doing the egg and spoon race on my first sports day in England – they were learning how to throw hand grenades…presumably in preparation for fighting off the capitalist enemy. They were less than 10 years old at the time.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

Ukraine has a 250,000+ army. Do we suppose they will behave like the Afghan Army? Why does everyone think the 2022 Russian soldiers are hell bound to fight? They’ve been on alert for weeks in awful cold weather, their conscripts rotating out and the regulars will have little appetite for much more field rations and hard lying conditions. The logistics of this exercise are costly, 120,000 is not enough to subdue a whole country and the supply lines into hostile territory become thin and vulnerable to special forces and saboteurs. To gain what? My bet is it won’t happen. Putin would have blitzkrieged straight away and caught them/ us by surprise. He won’t risk humiliation and bodybags now. (Pauses to double check breaking news).

Kiat Huang
Kiat Huang
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

I hope you are right.

N T
N T
2 years ago

When did “NATO” become “Nato”?
I notice this a lot on Unherd.

David Harris
David Harris
2 years ago
Reply to  N T

It’s a general principle used by most publications now, that if an acronym (eg. NATO) can be said as a word then capitalise the first letter but not the rest of the initials. Personally I prefer the full capitals, but what do I know?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  David Harris

Is the difficulty pronouncing Stfu why it continues all capitalized?

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago

NATO did not pursue conflict in Ukraine in 2014 because they were already fighting in Syria (without the UK at that time) and Afghanistan.
But now….What do you do with a vast army, associated services and munition factories lying idle. You look for somewhere to employ them!

Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

I assume your final paragraph refers to Russia.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

I am not so sure nobody is coming to save the Ukrainians. There is considerable value to the West in not permitting Russia to occupy Ukraine, even if only so that Ukraine can continue to be a sort of country-sized demilitarised zone separating Russia from Europe. I realise of course that the Baltics already put NATO and Russia across the same border, so the principle isn’t absolute.

I do agree that it is unlikely that NATO will put US/European boots on the ground. But I also think that there is a great deal more military support that can be given without this, and I also cannot believe that the EU’s fatuous position of thinking pure diplomacy can possibly survive even the smallest military incursion on the part of Russia, so Germany and France will not be able to continue blocking the advanced sanctions route in this event.

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
2 years ago

This analysis is not that strong.
The countries are in such different geographical locations, and more importantly, added to that, very different geopolitical systems.
You could get away with saying say that Ukraine and Israel are similar regards their struggle for existence but here the similarities stop. Israel has long been fighting for their independence, and the Ukraine, well maybe they have not even really started and may not get off the blocks.
A really big thing that Ukraine could learn from Israel is national egoism, i.e. what is its ultimate aim
but it might be too late now? Ukraine has not really forged a strong foriegn policy , love it or hate it, Isreal has done that in spades and embedded it deeply, over decades, into its own consciousness as a State, and into the consciousness of whole world ( enemy or friend)
.again for the Ukraine it might be too late.

Last edited 2 years ago by hugh bennett
Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

So many make the error of thinking that history started the minute we graduated. If we had to sum up the history of mankind in one word, it would, arguably, be “war”.

Tim D
Tim D
2 years ago

The rise of Oligarchy indicates the weakness in our democratic political systems – corruption negates integrity and cooperation to the whole good with personal gain. A return to pre-WWI perhaps where the failing economics of rule by birth succession raided the coffers of the ruling classes and reordered the world with the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
The choice is evidenced by the seduction of the U.S. American Government to the wiles of money. Do we return to the failed Articles of Confederations where the rich veto the real and choke democracy off, or do we shore up the Middle Class to empower the Amendments and the Bill of Rights to give certain guarantees to the Individuals equal to the money?
Do we insist on a non-Constitutional Filibuster that gives power to the Super-Minority of one Senator, or do we realize it lead to our tragic Civil War?
Do we overtax the working class and flow the profit of their labors to the uber-investor class as Stalin that will surely lead to Economic collapse?
Do we fail to educate our young and care for their needs without having attaining great personal wealth. That was the model in failed Europe, and in the U.S. until Universal Education was introduced in the 1800’s.
That Ukraine is forced to take care of its own as Israel is described as doing demands only one thing as important – brute force economic and military bullying and “who’s gonna stop me?”.
George Orwell described this world in his warning novel “1984”. Truth was what the history rewriters made it, erasing the past and relabeling the Corporate Nations as good or bad on in the moments flip as stocks on the large exchanges. In a Democracy communicating reality relies on the written word, and in a babelized world of language disparities even in one’s own nation, the cultivated mistruths leads to bloodshed and starvation as the final arbiter.

James Stangl
James Stangl
2 years ago
Reply to  Tim D

Well, I for one appreciate the existence of the “non-constitutional” filibuster in the US Senate, as well as the “antiquated” Electoral College. Both guardrails against the tyranny of the majority. We’re a republic, not a mobocracy.

N T
N T
2 years ago

Just one thing to add to all of the other checkboxes:
Both Israel and Taiwan have strategic contributions to the rest of the world: Israel’s cyber capabilities (think NSO, as an example) are valuable to regimes everywhere, and Taiwan has TSMC, which is invaluable to every regime, everywhere.

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago

Israel stands alone… except for the tens of billions of dollars provided to them with the help of the lobby in the U.S.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

Do you find that strange..? After what happened to the Jews over the centuries?

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Indeed, for millennia.

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago

Not at all. I wasn’t commenting on the obvious merits of it. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt do a far better job at evaluating that than I ever could.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago

Ukraine can lean self-reliance from Israel but beyond that the differences are great. What they will need to stop an invasion is a very independent, physically and software secure, communications system for the army as Putin would surely paralyse all communications in Ukraine before an invasion.

mikael.damsten
mikael.damsten
2 years ago

The Ukrainians need desperadly a military genius such as Marshal Erich von Mainstein in terms of manoeuvre warfare and/or Vilho Petter Nenonen in terms of knowledge in artillery command.

Jason Highley
Jason Highley
2 years ago

Don’t just peel the onion. Cut to the quick and open it up. What you’re looking at under this article is geopolitical realism. It’s as simple as that. Every nation-state can and will behave this way if they want to survive in a cruel world.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago

Can we agree that Fukuyama was a false prophet?
Russia, given its history, has some reason to feel surrounded: Teutonic Knights, Napoleon, Hitler. If we, in western Europe raised our eyes we would see, gathering on the horizon, the forces of religion and the forces of the anti-Enlightenment. It’s a bit like being at Rorke’s Drift as the Zulus look down.

Kathleen Stern
Kathleen Stern
2 years ago

I never sneered at Israel defending itself. I remember the Arab states attacking them in the late 1960s and how in my welsh university students were so shocked that some went to fight with the Israelies against the Arab bullies. When my husband and I did a air tour of Egypt in 1978 I was unnerved to see crashed planes beside the runway at Aswan- then amazed to learn they were the wrecks of warplanes the Israelis had attacked and that years later no one had removed! I’m still appalled at the hostility and victimisation of the country by the corrupt members of the UN nowadays.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
2 years ago

I’m not saying Ukraine should start scouting the black market, but the broader principle should be internalised.

Why not? The Ukrainian state is too corrupt to rely on, so Ukrainians should have started burying privately acquired caches of weapons & explosives quite some time ago. If Russia invades, give them a bloody insurgency that lasts until hell freezes over.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago

Let’s see what happens to heterosexual white men in the coming years.

D Ward
D Ward
2 years ago

Why are we calling Kiev “Kyiv” now?

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

Good question. Why are we calling Lwów “Lviv” now? Or should it be Lemberg?

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
2 years ago
Reply to  D Ward

Because that is the Ukrainian name for it.

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago

Logistics wins wars. For Ukraine to be like Israel, they have to train people with actual guns and real, if inert, grenades. They have to organize reserves based on vilages, with the arms in place. Given the Russian methods of “little green men” taking over government buildings, utilities and strategic transportation junctions in their occupation of the Crimea, Ukraine needs to have distributed all the weapons and ammo to autonomous local units before any Russian invasion. However, once they do this, the existence of small autonomous armed resistance groups in Ukraine becomes a defense in depth deterrent force which might cause Putin to worry much more about casualties.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

Israel is not really a good comparison. It’s more like Russia than Ukraine in this context. I wouldn’t buy too deeply into all that “war of annihilation” claptrap the Israelis peddle.

Neven Curlin
Neven Curlin
2 years ago

Does the writer of this pro-war propaganda piece also play with toy soldiers at home? Maybe he can invite Aris Roussinos and they can use firecrackers in the garden to simulate explosions?

I guess it makes sense that a cold war would be welcomed by less talented ‘journalists’.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
2 years ago

The biggest lesson that Ukraine can take from Israel is to treat your neighbours nicely.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

When their stated aim is to obliterate you as a country? Mmmmm.

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
2 years ago

Moderators: could you please attend to Mr Chance, whose animus is obvious.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
2 years ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Facts, facts, facts.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
2 years ago

Israel are good that way though. They never threaten but will fight their hearts out if attacked.

Iris C
Iris C
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

That is the same with Russia – see how they fought in WW2..
President Putin took back Crimea because it was strategically necessary for Russia to have access to the Black Sea… and there was also the threat of an antagonistic NATO extending its influence to their border. That is still the case. Totally unreasonable!
Russia protects its own but it doesn’t set out to impose its form of government on independent sovereign nations by taking sides in their civil wars..

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago
Reply to  Iris C

Syria; where the Russians are keeping Bashir al-Assad in power by bombing the rebels.
The Russian protege stays in power, but western Europe gets the refugees.

Rosalind Schogger
Rosalind Schogger
2 years ago
Reply to  Tony Conrad

If Israel is causing harm to its Arab citizens, why do they choose to live there, why do many Arabs, including the son of one of the Hamas leaders, openly speak out in support of Israel, not wishing to be part of a Palestinian state? I know this doesn’t suit your agenda, nor that of the white anglo-saxon anti-Israel Christians, whom I debate with, but this is the truth. Go and research it and hear for yourself.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
2 years ago

“Israel military officers dismissed over death of Palestinian-American at checkpoint” The title of a report in today’s Guardian newspaper

Douglas Proudfoot
Douglas Proudfoot
2 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

OK, so find me a headline where any Arab is punished for killing Jewish civilians. If you’re going to argue equivalence, you have to argue that the Arab jihad, which targets Israeli civilians intentionally, is blameless. Are you really willing to say that?

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago

They are not punished; it’s quite the opposite. The PA rewards them with around USD$300M/year in payouts through its ‘Martyrs’ Fund’. Anyhow, this has nothing to do with Ukraine. The mere mention of Israel and the obsessed go off on a tangent.