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Annexing the Vassal State

by on June 29, 2020

This is not a game

Israel’s plan to annex large portions of the West Bank as soon as next week reminds me of a video game. In Europa Universalis (World of Europe) stronger states get to vassalize weaker states and make them pay homage – taxes (and in a real world, manpower). After years of pleasant relations the stronger state, having vassalized the weaker state, then get to annex the weaker state, and all the land and taxes and men now belong to the strong state, and after several more years those conquered vassalized and annexed lands become part of the mother country.

There are parameters of course for good relations, and stability, which of course could lead to revolt and a separatist movement. There’s also parameters for religion – where, if you convert the heathen, they become less likely to rebel, etc. In the game, you can only annex countries of your own religion with whom you have good relations, and a royal marriage (which, in the real world, might or might not lead to good relations). (You can also annex through war). A country asked to be annexed could refuse – perhaps at the loss of stability in their own land.

This is not a game

More than seventy-two years ago the United Nations proposed partitioning historic Palestine into two states. Although the UN had no authority to create states, for years the international community has been fixated on the two-state solution.

Where the borders for two states would be is unclear. Israel has never declared a clear border; the Palestinians have never had a chance to express what borders they envision for a truncated version of their indigenous land. The Green Line – the truce lines of the end of the Seven Day War of 1967 are the theoretical borders between the two states.

This is not a game

The only manner in which the current state of affairs mimics Europa Universalis is that there is no parity between the states. There is no equal negotiating power between the the Israelis an the Palestinians. There is no equal economy.

What the game is missing is the influence of superpower states. If you dare to annex another country in the game your relations with most states diminish, and it might be a good idea to prepare for the likely result that more than one alliance will declare war on you. Israel doesn’t want to move ahead with annexation without permission from the United States, and because of the United States nobody wants to put in real effort to prevent annexation.

Every major agency working to bring peace between Palestinians and Israelis is either committed to the two-state solution or to the more general idea of “peace”. Not only was the Partition Plan a two- state solution, but it was reaffirmed after 1967 that that was the only answer, and Oslo in 1993 reiterated that. At Oslo, both the Palestinians and Israelis agreed to the two-state solution, agreeing that definites (like the control of Jerusalem) would be decided later.

Twenty-seven years after that agreement of Olso the vassalization and colonization of Palestinian land has increased, leading to a reality in which the two-state solution is impossible, and Israel might annex all or parts of Palestinian land as soon as next week.

This is not a game. The two-state solution is a pipe-dream that always ensured that Palestinian land and the Palestinian people would be vassals of Israel. (By actual definition, of course, only the Palestinian Authority might be a vassal to Israel).

When was the last time someone tried to annex you? And what was your response?

One Comment
  1. John Klein permalink

    Thank You, Bill, for the concise summation. Have you seen Unorthodox by any chance. i’d love to get your take on it.

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