General Question

rojo's avatar

Had the British decided not to partition Palestine and a Jewish state not been established in the middle east, what would the world be like today?

Asked by rojo (24176points) October 31st, 2017

As asked.

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17 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar

Interesting question. I know Iran wants to find out…

I suppose the region would be even more unstable. Assuming that all other historical events took place, it would probably be a ”-stan” of some sort. It would likely be pulled into the Syrian conflict, as only Israeli military has really kept it out so far.

I feel like all those middle eastern countries are about the same, in terms of multi ethnic society, that has multiple issues with civil rights, and religious intolerance that would keep the country from ever reaching it’s full potential and thriving. The government would (as Israel does) do what’s best for the ruling party’s tribe’s/ethnicity’s interest, and brutally oppress all the minorities, leading to constant civil unrest, and most likely American troops (unwanted) there trying to spread democracy and “freedom.”

Israel is, IMO, merely a Jewish version of the other highly volatile areas in the region. They have better treatment of their women, but are just as intolerant of other ethnic groups, and will quickly take advantage of other, weaker groups/nations. Their reprehensible oppression of the Palestinians, and their practice of essentially genocide in some cases, puts them in company they would probably be offended by. They are largely in existence because of US support, and a ruthless military that frequently (like the US military) crosses the lines of “acceptable” warfare. They desperately cling to an ancient,religion based culture, that is not sustainable. Time changes culture through anthropological means. Fighting such changes, is a stubborn and ultimately futile/counterproductive strategy.

To me, they are very similar to those whom they would claim moral superiority over in the region. I see no reason that their country would be different from others in the region, if not backed/inspired by western powers.

Likely, Iran, or some other country/group would have nearly wiped the Jews off the face of the Earth by now. The many diverse groups of Muslims , would still be fighting over whatever scraps of land they (Jews)previously inhabited. All trying to establish their own caliphate, to practice their specific version of Islam. No peace in sight. No hope of coexistence.

In summation, I think they (Israel) bring a small amount of stability, in that they are easier/more likely to work with the west, than most other countries in the Middle East. And powers, like the US, can more easily understand their culture. But the stability comes at a great human rights cost.

JLeslie's avatar

There would probably be a few million more Jews in Europe right now. More Jews in America too. I truly believe many of the countries that voted yes to create Israel, voted so Jews would leave their own countries, or to help countries that wanted to get rid of their Jews.

I’ve never thought of a question like this, I always think what would have happened if the Palestinians had been happy a democratic state was created for them near or where they live. I compare it to the Mexicans who lived on the US side of the border when the US gained all that territory in Texas.

Does the partition matter? I’m not sure. In America we didn’t have a partition, but we still mistreated a minority population. We got lucky that they went a rather civil route for equality, but there are certainly violent events to point to in history.

I think without the partition, and Israel being a religious state, it’s a really difficult situation. Secular government is to me the ultimate necessity for the possibility equality.

If there was no partition there probably would be even more violence. Or, maybe the people would eventually have come together and the Palestinians would have felt an identity with their country if they were citizens of Israel. There are Palestinian-Israelis.

Then I think about how my FIL refers to his wife as a Mexican, not as a Catholic, when talking about his family. His Jewish-Mexican family being Jewish. I know my FIL identifies strongly with Mexico, but in the vernacular is this separation of Jews and other Mexicans. This is a problem in my opinion, and this is Jews doing it to themselves, and I think probably the Palestinians would be doing the same whether there was a partition or not. I think it’s mostly a reaction to being treated less than equal.

flutherother's avatar

The country borders established across the Middle East in the last century have not been a great success. They were created by western powers with limited input from the people living in the region. The state of Israel is a particularly bad example as it hasn’t even respected its own boundaries and it lets Jews from anywhere in the world immigrate but refuses right of return to Palestinians who lived there for centuries. A policy certain to create resentment.

@MrGrimm888 I wouldn’t define stability as “likely to work with the west”. That approach has maybe been the problem from the start.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Too many external events that had nothing to do with Jews / Palestine / Israel to make an educated guess.

I can guess a couple of things:

- the authoritarian Arab states that have been using the Israel-palestine conflict as an excuse to do nothing, would have been forced to modernize and become more democratic. Instead they decided to remain autocratic dictatorships, blaming Israel and the conflict (crocodile tears) for their own poor leadership.

- you can’t separate Israel/Palestine from oil politics. Pre Yom-Kippur war, oil (and oil shortages) were not used as weapons. Now they are. And the price of oil is now ten times what it was in 1973. So I think petro-politics, the wealthy arab states, and a good bit of social inequality around the world is due to the Arab world leveraging oil as a weapon.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Another reason to get off of our oil dependency from the Middle East. Did you see the 60 Minutes about Qatar last Sunday? I can’t decide if their movement towards a more western lifestyle and cooperation with the US makes me feel better or worse.

Your points about how the Middle East might have had to modernize sooner without the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians actually gives me hope for the future. I do agree the Middle East uses the conflict like an excuse or pawn in their game for control of the population in that region.

NomoreY_A's avatar

A worse place than it is today. Isreal is the only civilized nation in the Middle East. Go ahead and flame me if you want to, but what I said is true.

kritiper's avatar

The Jewish state would never have settled anywhere else since they claim the Holy Land like everybody else. But if they did settle somewhere else, there would still be those who would want to kill them, so, not much of a difference.

kritiper's avatar

Getting off our oil dependency with the Middle east wouldn’t work since the world runs on oil and everybody loves money. A pointless argument!!

janbb's avatar

^^ I think we are getting less and less dependent on the Middle East for oil as we find new ways to plunder our own continent for oil and gas. Whether this is a good thing for the planet is another question. And countries like Dubai are developing other sources of income as they realize their oil production will only take them so far.

As to the OP, I wouldn’t even know how to speculate on that.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@kritiper – most arguments are pointless because of those pesky little things called facts.

But the OP was asking a question that called for people to speculate and imagine,and throw out various theories. So your comment “pointless argument” appears to ignore the spirit and goal of the question.

As @janbb notes, petroleum is already far less effective as a weapon than it was 40 years ago. So the premise of “the world runs on oil” is weaker today than ever.

kritiper's avatar

@janbb and @elbanditoroso I think that premature. Trucks, ships, and trains still run on oil and will for a very long time.
@elbanditoroso My “pointless argument” quip was not aimed at the main question. Consider my previous (directly above this one) statement.

janbb's avatar

@kritiper The point is not that we don’t still need oil but with such technologies as tar sand and shale extraction, we are getting more oil from other sources, some of it domestically.

kritiper's avatar

@janbb I’m sorry, but that is wrong. The fuel we get from our sources (the ones you mention) do not produce the fine gasoline and Diesel fuels, and lubricants the light sweet crude of the Middle East is known for. That’s why we are shipping our crude crudes to China.

janbb's avatar

@kritiper I believe you.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@flutherother . I said ” a small amount of stability.” And for the reasons I mentioned, Israel is a more stable country. It also doesn’t require a tyrant running things to not spiral into civil war.

I cannot overstate the significance of their culture being similar to the US’s. The US has made countless mistakes in policies, and military strategy because the Middle East is full of cultures that are very alien to ours. A prime reason it would be wise to bow out of the region all together, militarily speaking.

@Nomore Y A . I won’t flame you, but you greatly oversimplified the state of Israel. They are a highly oppressive people. The multiple invasions of Palestine, or “reactions” to missile attacks over the past 15 years or so, are practically acts of genocide. The well armed, American backed Israeli military is far superior to Palestine’s, or Hammas’. Their land grabbing/settlement building would not be tolerated anywhere else. Regardless of how you view the reason for their relationship with Palestine, they are the primary reason that there isn’t a peaceful coexistence. They simply will not play fair at the negotiating table. Right now, they have their cake and are eating it too. Most of their deplorable actions are done in the name of religion. “Civilized,” or not, they act the same as any other country in the region. You should not be praising them…

JLeslie's avatar

^^What?! I’m not in favor of the settlements crossing the originally agreed upon borders, but to paint Israel as completely horrible, and the only culprit in blocking peace is ridiculous.

Israel does sometimes respond in a huge way when the Palestinians are lobbing missles over, or blowing things up some other way, but they also constantly show restraint, because they could blow up everything and everyone. They often don’t respond to missles being thrown at them at all.

When they have made agreements to pull out of settlements or try to create peace, it’s the Palestinians who don’t keep up their end of the deal, and so the Israelis don’t give a shit anymore. They get more and more “conservative” on this issue. Much like Americans. When we went into Iraq, Iraq had not even killed any Americans in air strikes or suicide bombers at that time. America seems just fine to think about going into places we don’t like with military force and trying to control and steer the situation. Israel is trying to protect itself, and its borders.

The big question is, will the Palestinians come to an agreement, or will they only hold out for the destruction of Israel? If the goal isn’t peace and two states, I don’t see how it will work, unless the Palestinians give up the idea of having their own country, and then they also probably need to be willing to give up the land they inhabit now too in the Palestinian territory, and probably Israel for that matter, unless they actually want to be Israeli. Some Arabs I believe are happy to be Israeli, and are citizens. Anyway, I don’t see the Palestinians giving up the idea of their own country any time soon. Not the more extreme ones anyway. Plenty of Palestinians live in Jordan, and even in America, and other countries. They come here for freedom and safety, education, jobs, just like most immigrants.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^I said that Israel was the “primary reason” they haven’t made a deal. I’m right. I have been pretty up to date on this subject, and I can’t recall a single instance where Israel was willing to give back land they took, or stop/remove the settlements.

The Palestinians aren’t the ones firing missiles. It’s a group within Palestine. That’s never stopped Israel from holding everyone accountable for what are essentially terror attacks by Hammas.
They aren’t “protecting” their borders. Unless you mean their settlements, on stolen land. They are expanding their borders, through illegal means.

There will never be a two state solution, because the Palestinians will not negotiate until settlement building stops, and that land is returned. That is the main hold up to further diplomatic development. Israel has the “holy land.” It could easily relinquish what it has illegally gained, to have peace. But Israel has all the leverage.

There will never be a single state solution because Israel wouldn’t allow it. It would be a democracy where Israelis are outnumbered by the Palestinians. So, Israeli agendas would be second to Palestinian agendas. The Palestinians, in such a democracy, would eventually control all the power, and probably squeeze the Israelis out. Or treat them, as they have been, like second class citizens. This is a major reason for continued unrest in Iraq. There are two main ethnic groups, and they don’t see each other as equals.

“They often don’t respond to missiles being thrown at,them at all.” Also incorrect. The “Iron Dome” missile defense system has been reported to be very effective. The missiles are more of a financial inconvenience for Israel, as they have to pay for the intercept missiles. Missile attacks, that as mentioned above, are the acts of what the international community regards as a terrorist organization.
The Palestinians likely see Hammas the way Americans viewed people like Francis Marion during the revolutionary war. A commander who fought the powerful British army with guerrilla tactics, and other acts that the British surely would have perceived as “terrorist” acts today. One man’s terrorist, is another man’s freedom fighter.

Then you go on about the Israeli people in Jordan etc. Those people are not what I am taking about. I don’t hold them accountable for their country’s actions any more than I hold myself accountable for Trump’s actions.

Both countries teach their children to hate the others. Both countries are responsible for the lack of coexistence. But it is the Palestinians who are oppressed, and the Israelis who are oppressing them.

Israel will also attack places outside of their borders, in surrounding countries, in the of protection of themselves. Unprovoked bombings by Israel in Turkey, and Syria have helped further destabilize the region.

I am not “anti-Israel,” but they constant source of illegal expansionism, nationalism, human/civil rights violations, and killing of innocent civilians.

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