The way many groups, NGOs, politicians from numerous countries, human rights spokespeople, United Nations experts or officials, journalists, editorialists, newscasters, and others who pride themselves on their high standards of respectability in standing for the truth without slant or bias, have at one time or another, especially during those brief moments between terror attacks and incidences, have condemned Israel for exerting disproportionate force in defense of her people. These terror instances include but are not limited to bombings, rockets raining on Israeli civilians, large sharply jagged rocks hurled at motorists windshields, knife attacks, mob muggings of Jews visiting holy sites such as Kever Yosef, Kever Rachel or Cave of Machpelah (Cave of the Patriarchs) as they travel through predominantly Arab neighborhoods, and numerous other types of terror attacks which often places their lives in danger. When these people condemn the force Israel often needs to apply they paint this picture of the all mighty Israel lording over the Middle East as if Israel is equivalent to the Britain, France, Germany, Iran, or sometimes Israeli power is so misrepresented that one might even compare their military abilities as equaling the United States or Russia. I have asked people at demonstrations to describe the size of Israel and give their perception of the IDF’s (Israeli Defense Force) military capabilities. The answer I have often received betray the complete ignorance and the extent of the misconceptions many people hold when they think about Israel, her size and military capabilities.
Let me list a few of the descriptions that stick out in my memory. One person described Israel as rivaling the size of Great Britain and as a rival of the combined military power of the European Union. I have heard that Israel is about half the size of Iran and with a military that is twice the size of all the Arab nations combined. With the exaggeration I have heard I can only think that if only it was true Israel would have no problems. The one oddity about these descriptions is that under the original document which was agreed between Great Britain and the League of Nations with the Zionist leadership actually called for an Israel close to the size of Great Britain as not only was all of the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea to be part of Israel but also all of what is today Jordan. Had the world actually been committed to their promises then Israel would stretch from Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea and from Syria and Lebanon to Saudi Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula. But alas, Great Britain under the guidance of Winston Churchill and others reneged on their promise and offered a new promise in the Churchill White Papers which guaranteed the Zionists that if they allowed for all the lands east of the Jordan River, that is 78% of the British Mandate lands originally promised for the Jewish State, to be ripped away and used to form a state for the Arabs of the British Mandate area and ruled by the Hashemite royal family, who the British owed a large debt and had just been supplanted from their rule over Mecca and Medina by the Saud family, then the British and the rest of the League of Nations promised that the Jewish State the Zionists dreamed of would be granted on the remaining lands west of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and these lands would never be sacrificed or divided in the future. That left the Zionists a mere 22% of the original promised lands which kind of puts to rest that the Zionists never gave up any land in a compromise to the Arabs living in the areas of the British Mandate.
But we still have the case of the wildly inflated idea of Israel’s size that way too many people hold. Perhaps if we put it in perspective that most everyone can understand simply by having a map of the United States that depicts all of the States, we can paint a more familiar picture. Just for the sake of self-analysis, look at the states and pick the one you believe is slightly smaller than Israel and the one slightly larger than Israel. An example would be possibly, though I guarantee these are not the two, Utah as slightly larger and Idaho as slightly smaller. If your choice was further south than Virginia or west than Pennsylvania you might wish to choose a different pair. Israel measures approximately 8,020 mi2, which makes New Jersey slightly larger as it measures approximately 8,720 mi2, and makes Connecticut smaller as it measures approximately 5,545 mi2. The only other states smaller than Israel are Delaware measuring around 6,450 mi2 and Rhode Island measuring around 4,000 mi2. What makes Israeli accomplishments so astonishing, especially those in agriculture, is the fact that 55% of Israel is taken up by the Negev Desert which covers approximately 4,700 mi2 leaving a mere 3,320 mi2 as arable land.
But this is only half of the story, to get a complete picture one needs to also research the size of the entire Arab Muslim world which stands opposed to Israel’s existence. For sake of making this easier, I am only going to consider the countries which are members of the Arab League, a body that has repeatedly stood unanimous in their condemnation and desire for the eradication of Israel. There are 22 countries in the Arab League and they are, Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen, Syria (currently suspended pending end of civil war and depending on who proves victorious). Rather than compare these allies against Israel to any one state of the United States, let’s compare them to the entirety of the United States. The total area of the fifty states plus Washington D. C. covers approximately 3,794,085 mi2. The total area covered by the twenty-two nations of the Arab League cover an area of approximately 5,148,050 mi2. That makes the nations of the Arab League slightly more than 1.35 times the size of the United States. That means you can fit the entire United States plus slightly more than one-third of another United States, which is more than equal to all of the continental United States east of the Mississippi River plus Texas. One more item that must be taken into consideration is that the Arab League does not include all the nations in the Middle East and neighboring areas which are antagonistic towards Israel such as Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan. When adding these countries, all of which are relatively large, especially when compared to Israel, and combining them with the Arab League nations their area easily exceeds that of twice the size of the United States. If you still are having difficulty picturing the relationships of size between Israel and the Arab and Muslim world that demands Israel’s existence to be eradicated from the map, please check the map with this article or simply search with any browser for “Muslim world vs Israel” and you will see a host of maps from which to choose.
There are some additional concerns when one views the current attitudes towards Israel and their relations with the Arab world and the Palestinians in particular. When viewing much of the rest of the world, those opposing Israel, though not physically attacking Israel, add much in the ways of funding and political support in world bodies, particularly the United Nations. There are numerous other ways and means which countries can work against Israel, such as but not limited to hosting NGOs; shielding activists along with their activities from legal repercussions by providing them sanctuaries; joining boycott, divestment and sanction movements and also providing general support of all manners of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist activities such as conferences, programs, legislations and funding of groups related or supporting BDS goals and providing monetary, spiritual and psychological support. Taking these additional matters into perspective and it becomes evident that all of Western Europe along with much of Southern Europe are among the nations opposing Israel. The notable exception almost all came from Eastern Europe and the former satellite nations of the Soviet Union including the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece and to a lesser extent Poland. Then there is the Russian Federation itself which would need to be placed against Israel along with the vast majority of the NAM (Nonaligned Movement) nations which tend to follow the Muslim nations lead on most issues. The few other nations of the world standing with Israel among which we find the United States, Canada, India, with many South American nations and to a lesser extent and not on every issue, China. The picture this paints does not exactly change the original comparison and might be seen to only make things appear worse. The other seemingly unavoidable trend has been away from Israel and towards supporting all efforts against the Jewish State. The one fortunate fact in the favor of Israel is that in many nations there are a good number, if not an outright large majority of the peoples who support Israel even against the actions of their own government’s position regarding Israel. Perhaps, in the end, that little blessing may prove the smallest of regarded items by those in the limelight center of the world stage and will become both the unmovable anchor to hold Israel fast and safe while also being the irresistible force which proves out in the end.
Beyond the Cusp