Pyrrhus was the Greek king of Epirus. In 281 BC he invaded Italy with 25,000 men and 20 elephants. His was the most powerful army in the world at the time. But his victories against Rome were so costly that he had to totally withdraw from Italy. His now famous remark, “Another such victory and I shall be ruined” eventually gave name to the term ‘Pyrrhic victory’ for a victory obtained at too great a cost.
It is worthwhile to consider whether Ariel Sharon is a modern day Pyrrhus. In 2002, Ariel Sharon invaded the West Bank and Gaza with 21,000 men and 20 Apache helicopters. He now has the most powerful army in the region. His invasion into the refugee camps and villages across the West Bank and Gaza shall certainly result in his own “Pyrrhic victory.”
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Yasser Arafat’s Media Advisor
Without a doubt, Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian territories has become costly on EVERY front. The Intifada and armed resistance is devastating Israel in every way. Besides the loss of life, the one existential problem for Israel, demography, is the unspoken cost to the state. Due to differing birth rates amongst the ethnic populations, all demographic studies estimate that the Palestinian population will exceed the Jewish population by the year 2020. Adding to the disparate birthrates, Israel, self- defined as a “Jewish state” is a shrinking country. In order to maintain a demographic majority, Israel must rely on immigration of Jews throughout the world.
Is it surprising that there are few takers on the road to the Zionist Paradise? To exacerbate its existential dilemma, the country is beginning to de-Zionize. Zionists are LEAVING in droves, returning to the safe haven of Brooklyn, Miami or from wherever they immigrated. In the last year alone, over 3% of its Jewish population has fled.
On the Israeli economic front, the “miracle in the desert” is near bankruptcy. Its military sales have declined. Its tourism industry has been eradicated. Its currency has lost over 11% of its value in one year. Its technology industry has been devastated by the worldwide technology slump. Its stock market continues to slide into negative territory. The recent military invasion is costing Israel more than 1% of its entire GDP. Unemployment is almost 11%, the highest in its 54-year history. And its number one export market, the Occupied territories, has been shut down. Israel’s economy has been turned into a third world agrarian economy, with Europe recently threatening to ban all economic trade with her.
So what kind of victory can Sharon and company claim when its very economic viability is threatened? And even militarily, can Israel achieve security while devastating civilian population centers? The mounting war crimes are the SOURCE of suicide bombings. They are created out of desperation, injustice and a feeling that no other way to confront the inhumanity exists.
Oh yes, and what happened to Pyrrhus? He returned to Epirus, invaded Macedonia and made an unsuccessful attack on Sparta where he was killed.