Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A grisly inventory:

The Arab-Israeli conflict is often said, not just by extremists, to be the world's most dangerous conflict – and, accordingly, Israel is judged the world's most belligerent country.
[...]
To place the Arab-Israeli fatalities in their proper context, one of the two co-authors, Gunnar Heinsohn, has compiled statistics to rank conflicts since 1950 by the number of human deaths incurred. Note how far down the list is the entry in bold type.

....
46 68,000 Sri Lanka, 1997-present
47 60,000 Zimbabwe, 1966-79; 1980-present
48 60,000 Nicaragua, 1972-91 (Marxists/natives etc,)
49 51,000 Arab-Israeli conflict 1950-present
50 50,000 North Vietnam, 1954-75 (own people)
51 50,000 Tajikistan, 1992-96 (secularists against Islamists)
52 50,000 Equatorial Guinea, 1969-79
...


Comments: (1) Despite the relative non-lethality of the Arab-Israeli conflict, its renown, notoriety, complexity, and diplomatic centrality will probably give it continued out-sized importance in the global imagination. And Israel's reputation will continue to pay the price. (2) Still, it helps to point out the 1-in-1,700 statistic as a corrective, in the hope that one day, this reality will register, permitting the Arab-Israeli conflict to subside to its rightful, lesser place in world politics.

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