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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Australia: the potential Israel of the Southern hemisphere.

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

With Victoria, or Melbourne’s, economy remaining in virtual lockdown, Australia’s Great Recession will be longer and more depressed than it need be. Our Daredevil Dan Andrew’s calling the shots, and if the daredevil’s impossible targets are achieved, the Victorian contribution to Australia’s economic recovery may just sputter into a pallid recovery by Christmas.

Or may not if the daredevil’s impossible demands on recovery remain in place.

Queensland’s near locked borders are another way to limit recovery, excepting making films and hosting the AFL Grand final. In addition the Health boss showing little or no compassion means that Queensland seems like the nasty state. Western Australia is also locked its border, with various folk whispering ‘Secession’ in bars and other exciting places to take a drink. WA will be fine for as long as it takes for our friendly Chinese near neighbours to recast its iron ore needs from Brazil and other non-Australian nations.

The main issue is what price in lost largely elderly people we are willing to accept. Yesterday one heartless (non-elderly) person pointed out that many issues caused more deaths that the covid-19 virus, eg the annual car accident list. Many sensible people agree that saving lives should not be the main criteria for Australia at this time, although few are willing to say it. Health is important, but so is a vibrant economy.

There is another, slightly different issue for sensible Australians to ponder.

My view is that Australia is fast becoming the Southern Hemisphere version of Israel, but without a proper defence policy. In trips to Israel I learned a little about how such a small nation can live surrounded by natural enemies. The two examples of nearby nations normalising relations with Israel show promising possibilities. But I am prepared to bet that Israel will maintain its tough-minded approach for many decades of tough defence planning.

In one of my trips to Israel when the business work was done I was provided with a car and a driver. After a few days talking with the driver I asked what I thought was a hard question. ‘What would happen if Israel was losing a war?’ ‘The Masada solution’ was the immediate answer. I visited Masada.

From the internet: 'Masada, 30 miles southeast of Jerusalem, was the last outpost of the zealots during the Jewish revolt against Rome that began in 66 A.D. After Roman battering rams breached the fortress’ gates, the Jews committed suicide rather than fall prisoner.

Clearly Australia needs to greatly improve its defence abilities. My opinion is that we should quickly begin to apply 5 % of GDP to create a greatly expanded defence capacity, starting with a couple of nuclear submarines. Also introduce military training for all young people, preferably for two years after school. (Each young person needs to do a few weeks fruit picking supervised by a tough corporal or sargent.)

This is another matter that few reasonable people will discuss, but unless and until we can have the ability to do great damage to even the biggest adversary, current bullying may turn into a far more important attempt to damage Australia. What many people think is our lotus-eating lifestyle may be the attacker’s defence. 'The Aussies are not maximising their economic perfomance'.

From the internet: Lotus-eaters are ‘people represented by Homer as living in a state of dreamy forgetfulness and idleness as a result of eating the fruit of the lotus plant.

Incidentally, on that visit to Israel I visited the Kibbutz Dafna. Children showed me the crashed but apparently still intact Lebanese fighter plane that was their chief plaything. A four-year-old girl took me to the bomb shelter where she went when a serious attack was underway. A bloke told me that they were attacked from Lebanon three or four times a year. He said: ‘We can get 100 adults fully armed in sixty seconds when attacked in the night’.

My contribution to Israeli culture was to throw boomerangs over the border into Lebanon. In those days I was a fine boomerang thrower and I caught those boomerangs as they returned. At the end of the visit the head man made me an offer: ‘Normally we require 6 months before offering someone a place here. We have decided we can accept you now’.

I will admit to being tempted, but my life in Lotus-land was too much fun.

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