The Sandbox

We worked out this analogy the other day, trying to explain the nature of both Israeli and global politics.

Remember years ago, we used to characterize the US (under Bush) as a child, making wars like a child plays with other children on the playground?

Nothing ever changes.

Global politics is like the playground. Everyone has their space. The US gets the swingset. Russia gets the slide. Japan gets the see-saw. Europe gets the monkey bars. Israel gets the sandbox. Every once in a while they decide they want to use someone else’s part of the playground. Sometimes this happens nicely – they share and trade and there is cross-playground communication and goodwill. Sometimes they fight, when they are being petulant, but for the most part everyone hangs out on their own toy and plays nice with the other children.

Except for the sandbox. The sandbox is a disaster zone. The sandbox is full of children who cannot agree on anything and constantly are throwing sand in each others’ eyes. Kids who want to build a sandcastle throw sand in the eyes of the kids who want to dig tunnels who throw sand in the eyes of kids who want to play with dump trucks who throw sand in the eyes of kids who just want to pee in the sand who throw sand in the eyes of kids who want to build a sandcastle. The rest of the playground watches occasionally, mostly tsk-tsking in dismay. Occasionally they try to make peace, but it’s not really worth it to them since they don’t want sand in their eyes.

So on and on it goes. Israeli politics and global politics, all in one neat and tidy metaphor.

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