No piece of land, much less sovereignty over it, is worth Israeli lives. Taking that approach to its logical conclusion, however, means Israeli withdrawal from the Middle East. The objective, therefore, is to maximize Israeli landholdings without significantly raising the death toll. Wars cause deaths, not only traditional pitched battles but terrorist acts. Because I’m inherently partial, I prefer measures to reduce the loss of Jewish lives, even at the expense of Arabs, but if the Arab death toll can be minimized without harming Israel, I would support it.
Arabs coexisted peacefully with small Jews communities for centuries, but now Israelis are a sufficiently strong and culturally diverse group that Arabs would not tolerate them even in an autonomous region in a federal state. Few governments in history have accepted large alien minorities as citizens without trying to assimilate, disperse, or subdue them. Nations often antagonize a weak but defiant neighbor, especially if it was once strong and aggressive. If the Israelis dismantled their state, Arabs would likely prey on them. The humiliation of losing its statehood would break the Jewish nation’s spirit and ignite anti-Semitism. The option of stateless coexistence with Arabs is now closed, and the Israelis must have a viable state, and viability expands as much as possible without increasing Arab resistance, worldwide opposition, and major loss of life.
Should the Israelis fight for the present state, surrounded by recalcitrant Arab states, or should they use the Israeli Defense Force to buy land in Africa, Latin America, or Eastern Europe? Should they negotiate administrative autonomy in, say, Australia? The Israelis do not need land per se. Agriculture is almost worthless in a modern economy, so no small area is worth fighting for. The only territory the Jews as a nation need is the Land of Israel—not for its economic significance but to achieve intangibles like religious fulfillment, national consciousness, and honor. Even in the rational world, those values seem odd only when related to Jews. People honor those who risk their lives to defend the principles they hold dear: Christianity, socialism, freedom, or sovereignty, even if that requires some killing.
Confronted with the offer of settlement in Uganda, Weizmann remarked that the British would not move their capital to Paris. The analogy startled his interlocutor: “But London is ours.”
“Jerusalem was ours when London was marshes,” Weizmann replied. Neither British help nor a United Nations resolution achieved the goal, but only Jewish force.
The possibility of democracy in Israel at present is a hopeless myth. Israel is not at peace; therefore Israel is at war, an ambiguous and expansive war. Democracy tolerates differences of opinion about national policy instead of requiring a unified national effort. Democracy, inherently weak and unfit for wartime, is for peacetime. The democracies of Ancient Greece waged only short, expansive wars unless they were forced to alliances in some utterly undemocratic way. They were also free from political ambiguity: everyone wanted booty. Totalitarian regimes demonstrated tremendous capacity for warfare in WWII: the United States struggled to overcome small, recently industrialized Japan and a Germany already ruined by the time the U.S. army intervened in Europe.
Many countries have realized the need to restrict freedoms and introduced wartime censorship, restricted freedom of association, and postponed elections, essentially suspending democratic processes. Secret arrangements with foreign governments, disinformation, and suspension of due process complete the undeclared temporary conversion to autocratic rule within a generally agreed policy framework.
 The key is defiance, persistence in being arrogantly different. Jews spark anti-Semitism, while native Americans cause no similar feelings.
 The Israelis became“normal” with a state and an army of their own.
 The United States did not have to abrogate freedoms during the WWII because no significant group favored peace with the Germans and the Japanese.