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Putting It in Perspective

Although there are many wars and much devastation and destruction happening all over the earth, the nations seem to be concerned the most with the tiny nation of Israel. A brief glimpse of the daily headlines shows many conflicts and trouble areas: "Haitian city surrounded by rebels"; "Roadside bomb kills 2 soldiers, one Iraqi", "A national disaster has been declared in Swaziland as a result of ravaging drought and the spread of HIV/Aids"; "Rwanda to free genocide killers"; "Emergency talks on Thai violence"; "309 confirmed dead in Iran train blast"; "Taliban regrouping in southern Afghanistan", "Yemeni tribes threaten war over Sauder border wall". Yet, Israel continues to be in the forefront of the concerns of the nations of the world.

Israel has tried, through numerous treaties and agreements, to make peace with its neighbors. Yet it seems that no matter what Israel does or gives up, the nations always want more. And most of these nations are not located anywhere near Israel.

In yet another effort to appease the nations of the world, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon recently put forth a plan to ethnically cleanse the Gaza Strip of all Jews. The cornerstone of that plan is Sharon's intention to uproot 17 Jewish communities in the Gaza Strip, and forcibly relocate their 7,500 Jewish residents. Most of the nations seem to think this is a good idea. However, they don't want these Jews to be relocated to Judea or Samaria (a.k.a. "the West Bank"). So now, once again, the government of Israel is trying to do all it can to appease the nations, many of whom are declared enemies of the State. And still, it's not enough.

But how does the expulsion of 7,500 Jews in Israel really measure up to a world which has almost six billion inhabitants? That ends up being .000125% of the world's entire population. How can this really make a difference (aside from all the other implications) in bringing peace to all the world? In order to understand the full magnitude of this proposed cleansing it's necessary to look at it in proportion to other areas in the world. In order to do that a few simple mathematical calculations will enable us to put it in its proper perspective.

First, let's look at England. The population of England is 59 million (all population figures are estimates). That is about ten times larger than Israel (population: 6 million). We then multiply the number of Jews to be expelled (7,500) by the proportional size of England (10) and we can see that it would be equivalent to 75,000 people being removed from their homes in England (7,500 x 10 = 75,000). That is about 1.1% of the population of London (7 million). That might not seem "too bad". But let's look at some other comparisons.

Russia (population: 144,500,000) is 24 times the size of Israel. That means that the expulsion of 7,500 Jews in Israel would be equal to the expulsion of 180,000 Russians (7,500 x 24), which is about 2.2% of the population of Moscow (8,500,000). In India (population: 1,100,000,000) it would be equivalent to the expulsion of 1,372,500 Indians, or the entire city of Vadodara. In China (1,300,000,000), it would be equivalent to the expulsion of 1,627,500 Chinese, or the entire city of Dalian. In Syria (17,600,000), it would mean the expulsion of 22,500 people. That is about the number of people murdered by Syrian president Hafez in 1972 in Hama, Syria.

It really gets interesting when we compare the expulsion of 7,500 Jews in Israel with the population in the United States, the initiator and one of the sponsors of the Road Map to Peace plan. The U.S. (population: 290,000,000) is 50 times larger than Israel. That would mean the expulsion of 7,500 Jews in Israel is equal to the expulsion of 375,000 Americans from their homes. For starters, it would mean the entire evacuation of any one of the following U.S. cities: Miami, FL; St. Louis, MO; Wichita, KS; Arlington, TX; Anaheim, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Cincinnati, OH; Toledo, OH; Tampa, FL; Buffalo, NY.

It would also mean the evacuation of the entire cities in the following combinations: Dayton, OH and Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Kansas City, KS and Chattanooga, TN; Green Bay, WI, Ann Arbor, MI, and South Bend, IN.

To get a broader picture of the impact in the U.S., the expulsion of 7,500 Jews in Israel is equal to the evacuation of the entire population of all of the following U.S. cities combined: Sarasota, FL, Greenville, NC, Daytona Beach, FL, Scranton, PA, and Charleston, SC.

Is the United States, or any other nation, ready to evacuate hundreds of thousands (even millions) of their own population to appease their enemies? Would U.S. President Bush heed the demands of al Queida to remove all the residents from the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? Or Miami, Florida? Would he have responded positively to a demand from Saddam Hussein to evacuate Buffalo, New York? Of course not. And rightly so. The residents of these cities are citizens of the United States and they have a right to expect to be protected by their government and live in peace on their own land. Why not Israel?

» Written by Lee Underwood


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