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A Modest Proposal*

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*with apologies to Jonathan Swift.

As we keep reading of Israeli air strikes on Gaza day after day and night after night, it occurred to me that the Israeli objectives could be attained by much more modest means.

The proposal is, simply, that the Israeli Air Force drop one well-aimed powerful bomb on an orphanage in Gaza City. This will serve the goal of punishing the people in the Gaza strip equally well, as I am convinced the anguish will be at least as large. The stated official Israeli goal of fighting Palestinian militants will be achieved by the timely termination of the lives of many future militants. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – which also applies to the Israeli pound, since, perhaps most importantly, this modest proposal will cost the Israeli tax payer far less than the current costly military operations.

Thus far I have only expounded the clear advantages of my proposal. The reader may wonder if it does not suffer from any disadvantages. Well, yes, it does, but one that is only minor in comparison. One of the aims of the Israeli programme for punishing people for being Palestinian is to cripple the economy of Gaza. The direct economic damage of one destroyed orphanage is obviously somewhat less than that brought about by the current strafing operations. However, the ongoing economic blockade has already virtually obliterated the economy of Gaza, so in terms of achieving objectives the difference is very small.

Discussion 9 Comments

  • Paulo Rodriguez 11th Jul 2014


    I am sure this was meant as sarcasm to attract the attention to current events in Israel... but in my humble opinion, it didn't achieve the intended goal. I was simply and utterly dismayed to read the above.

    That's all I can say.

  • Fred Curran 11th Jul 2014

    It is a bit edgier than the BBC coverage, the cost analysis of missile per missile interception. Of course a random selection of images of civilian casualties would probably disturb us all a bit more than this blog.

  • Sarah Owens 11th Jul 2014

    Hmm, wonder if you might not want to hit the ol' delete button on this one, my friend. Know what you're trying to say, and it might work somewhere else, or said by someone else, but it just sort of makes things, well, worse, put like that, here, you know?

  • Gregory VanGaya 11th Jul 2014

    The whole thing is very macabre, as your 'proposal' points out. Especially the media 'coverage' and framing. Perpetual war, and perhaps a world war in the making, points me more and more to systemic change, and ignoring all the liberal critique and reform shtuff.

  • Jason 11th Jul 2014

    Neoliberalism’s religion of the cost-effective combined with the ruthless spirit of the imperial nation state. What a wonderful world.

  • Lambert Meertens 11th Jul 2014

    Of course it is satire, inspired by and equally tasteless as Swift's celebrated A Modest Proposal to which I referred. The reality of the Israeli policy, however, is much more tasteless than what I wrote.

  • Peter Lach-Newinsky 11th Jul 2014

    The depressing thing about so many leftists is that they tend not to get irony. This is also expressed in so many boring leftist demonstrations: irony and humour only from lone mavericks, otherwise it's serious uniform placards, serious uniform t-shirts, serious uniform slogans (waddawewantwhenawewantitnow). Sheeyit. Is IOPS going to be in that trad left/Trot mould? Count me out.

    So well done, Lambert, good attempt, Swift would be proud of you. If people can't see the rage, grief and compassion behind savage satire directed at the order-givers, god help us.

  • Gregory VanGaya 12th Jul 2014

    Peter I'm so with you. Unfortunately I'm a boring maverick, at least without much humor... So not much help.

  • Gregory VanGaya 14th Jul 2014

    Lambert, Swift would've been ashamed of your proposal as it proved TOO modest for the Israelis. The Israelis chose a disabled children's hospital to actually bomb a day or two later. There goes your irony... Likud couldn't have anyone to the barbarous right of them so they had to one-up you (no sense of humour).