Friday, January 17, 2003

Could this be new hope for peace in the Middle East? According to this New York Times article, the Shinui Party is poised to become the third most powerful political party in Isreal. They are secularists, concerned about the power of the Orthodox Jews over the Isreali government.

"Hence it is to be remarked that, in seizing a state, the usurper ought to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him to inflict, and to do them all at one stroke so as not to have to repeat them daily; and thus by not unsettling men he will be able to reassure them, and win them to himself by benefits. He who does otherwise, either from timidity or evil advice, is always compelled to keep the knife in his hand; neither can he rely on his subjects, nor can they attach themselves to him, owing to their continued and repeated wrongs. For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer."

Machiavelli's The Prince, chapter VII, at this Art of War site.

"The other and better course is to send colonies to one or two places, which may be as keys to that state, for it is necessary either to do this or else to keep there a great number of cavalry and infantry. A prince does not spend much on colonies, for with little or no expense he can send them out and keep them there, and he offends a minority only of the citizens from whom he takes lands and houses to give them to the new inhabitants; and those whom he offends, remaining poor and scattered, are never able to injure him; whilst the rest being uninjured are easily kept quiet, and at the same time are anxious not to err for fear it should happen to them as it has to those who have been despoiled."

ibid, Chapter 3

Machiavelli would not attribute the problem to the fact that there are settlements so much as the fact that the Palestinians know Jews who want to expand and create new settlements are part of the government.

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