Today’s article might upset some of you as I weigh in on a most controversial and emotionally raw topic.
Most of you have had your fill of the heart-wrenching or infuriating stories and footages coming out of Israel and Palestine in the past couple of days.
The thousands of missiles and rockets that landed in the southern part of Israel combined with Hamas militants crossing into Israeli-controlled territory to murder many Israeli citizens have left the world in shock and horror.
The Israeli government has responded by sending forces, both air and land, into Gaza in retaliatory attacks.
Syria has joined in by firing missiles into the Golan Heights in the north-eastern part of Israel. Other countries are signalling that they may weigh in on the conflict in support of their respective allies in this conflict.
The world is again made to divide itself by picking a side. World leaders and public figures are urging their followers to heed their call and pledge support for one side to crush the other.
But I’d stick my neck out to say refrain from listening to them. I sense there’s a self-serving agenda that’ll come at your expense.
The problem isn’t so much about being on the right side of history, but whether we’re lending power to act against our best interest.
This might seem rather abstract to you. I’ll unpack it more directly.
For many of these issues, how often do we benefit tangibly from supporting the cause?
I mean, has it led to greater productivity, more prosperity and well-being for the broader population?
In recent years, I’ve seen only the opposite! There’s less food on the table, less cash in our bank accounts and worse still, more division, destruction and despair.
The winners are at the top, paid for by us.
It doesn’t have to be this way. And there’re ways to overcome it.
Understanding the tense history of the Arab-Israeli conflict
Tensions between Israel and its neighbours have spanned decades. No doubt the latest event is one of the most intense in recent times.
It started with Israel establishing itself as a nation in 1948, aided by the Balfour declaration. The difference in ethnicity (Arab vs Jewish) and religious faith (Islam vs Judaism) further added to the friction.
Israel was able to expand its territory in 1967 in the Six Day War when its Arab neighbours’ attempts to reclaim land from Israel backfired.
As time passed, Israel established itself as a formidable nation in the Middle East. Its development has been phenomenal, attracting both admiration and envy from the world.
Most of us are aware of Israel’s technological prowess. Indeed, much of the cutting edge medical, military, scientific technologies and innovations emerge from Israel.
On top of that, Israel has significant political influence worldwide given the global Jewish community sees Israel as their homeland and unite to further its cause. Those living overseas leverage their social and political influence to achieve their goals of strengthening Israel on the world stage.
The nation’s success inflamed relations with its neighbours, leading to regular conflicts. As a result, Israel has received the most condemnation and sanctions in the United Nations General Assembly. There exists international sympathy towards Palestine because of the perception that it’s oppressed by the more prosperous and technologically advanced Israel.
Throughout the years, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) mobilised to fight Palestinians who hurl projectiles over the border fence or infiltrate into Israel to shoot or bomb civilians. Sometimes the IDF entered Palestinian territory and refugee camps to track down and kill those they accused of attacking Israelis.
Such attacks by both sides attract outrage from the international community. Circumstantially, the perception is Israel is the bully against the seemingly weaker and less endowed neighbour.
As for who is what, you be the judge.
The cost of intervention and taking sides
There’s no doubt that war is horrific. Many yearn for world peace especially in chaotic times such as now.
Let’s be clear on one thing though. Sending troops, weapons and cash to your allies won’t achieve that.
Some of you might find my suggestion heartless and treacherous, as it’s wrong to fold your arms while your ally is in need.
But let’s look at what happened to Ukraine in the past 18 months.
Regardless of where you stand in that conflict, the truth is that the western nations poured their coffers and emptied their arsenal to fight against the Russian boogieman.
According to Statista.com, the total amount spent up to July 2023 was around €150 billion (~AU$230 billion).
Only recently have the US generals and mainstream media tell their viewers that the conflict in Ukraine isn’t going well. Many who have followed other sources knew much earlier that Russia had the upper hand all along.
The issue was that Russia wasn’t fighting a conventional war to conquer Ukraine. They’d met their initial objectives in the special military operation. Their own state media reported this in 2022, which you can read here.
Propaganda or not, the truth is that this was cash poorly spent. The legacy of this aid prolonged the carnage and destruction in the country.
Meanwhile, many of the western nations are rotting inside as people contend with poorly maintained infrastructure, corporate greed and wealth inequality.
And if we’re not careful, this conflict could see us repeat the same mistake.
Looking closer into the origins of this latest conflict, I’ve identified some red flags that implicate both sides in wanting to escalate this conflict to achieve their aims.
As to what motives they are, I’d refrain from speculating for now.
It’s worth noting that Israel has the world’s most sophisticated missile defence system, the Iron Dome. If you want to see it in action, check out this clip.
Given the sophistication and its track record, how did 5,000 missiles and rockets suddenly break through?
As for the strike that Hamas initiated, there’re reports now suggesting that Iran had coordinated this attack weeks before it occurred. The timing is also interesting in that only recently the Biden administration released around US$6 billion of frozen funds to Iran as part of a deal to exchange hostages.
The point I’m making is, Israel is more than capable of holding its own while Hamas attempts to foment a proxy war.
Peace is best achieved at the negotiation table when both sides realise they’ve exhausted their resources. Countries that aid their allies to keep fighting are throwing fuel to the fire.
We’ve seen it historically in The First World War when the US reignited the conflict in 1917 by sending troops into Europe, causing lasting damage that sowed the seeds for The Second World War which broke out two decades after the first ended.
Protect yourself from history repeating itself
It’s my sincere hope that the Israel-Palestine conflict will fizzle out with their allies bringing a peaceful resolution earlier rather than later.
It might be wishful thinking.
Meanwhile, we’re all at the mercy of our leaders whose decision will decide if we pay to prolong the conflict and destruction.
Many of you are already feeling the pinch with higher living costs and a shrinking portfolio thanks to the aggressive rate rises that have led to asset prices falling.
It’s even more critical that you protect yourself from the folly of our leaders drafting our wealth (possibly us too) to fight wars that aren’t our own. We don’t even know where most of the funds go either, which makes things worse.
There’re places where you can store your wealth and preserve your purchasing power to help you weather the storm.
Historically, gold has proven itself to be a great store of value and is a preferred asset to own in times of chaos.
Why not check out my precious metals investment newsletter, The Australian Gold Report, to find out how to get started?
Even if leaders don’t learn the lessons of history, don’t let their folly turn you into their collateral damage.
And continue to pray for peace. It’s much needed.
Editor, The Daily Reckoning Australia