Gilder argues that the root cause of the Middle East conflict is not land or religion but essentially psychological, arising from resentment of success. Anti-Zionism is driven by the same phenomena that have always promoted antisemitism: ignorance of economics and envy. This emotion manifests in the hatred of traders, entrepreneurs, bankers and other wealth creators that exists wherever a minority economically distinguishes itself. One of many examples is the Chinese community in Southeast Asia. Helmut Schoeck's Envy: A Theory of Social Behaviour
provides an in-depth analysis. Ordinary people do not normally harbor this resentment; the intelligentsia does and often manages to spread it to society at large through the notions that poverty results from 'exploitation,' that resources are limited and that therefore the wealth of some is the cause of others' poverty.
That's why Israel divides the world. Its opponents
in the West, concentrated at the UN, transnational bodies and the humanities departments of academia, are those who consider capitalism as a zero-sum game in which success is attained at the expense of the poor & the environment. On the other side are those who admire success and recognize that everyone benefits by the accomplishments of achievers. Antisemitism
is similarly a zero-sum delusion. Collectivists and their apologists envy Jews since they're unable to emulate them; they therefore attempt to destroy that which accentuates their own failure. The author shows how Jewish entrepreneurs and scientists like Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Heinrich Hertz, John von Neumann and Richard Feynman helped to bring about the IT-revolution that provides the matrix of our modern prosperity.
Gilder profiles contemporary Israeli scientists and entrepreneurs, especially those in physics and information technology. They are the minds behind Israel's gifts to the world, some of which are highlighted in the book Israel in the World: Changing Lives Through Innovation
by Helen and Douglas Davis. Israel in fact leads the world in per-capita innovation as proved by a 2008 Deloitte & Touche survey indicating that the Jewish State outperformed all but the United States in software, telecoms, microchips, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and clean energy. The country's growth since the 1990s is primarily due to (a) immigration of freedom-loving people from the former Soviet Union (b) immigration from the USA of people with business acumen and entrepreneurial skills (c) economic reforms that reduced taxes, regulations and state ownership, for which Benjamin Netanyahu deserves much credit. The author holds the current prime minister in high esteem, viewing him as the right leader for our times.
After the 6-day war of 1967 Israelis started settling in the Territories, establishing an infrastructure of education, electricity, water & medical care. During Israeli rule, the economy in these areas surged by about 25% annually; growth surpassed that of Israel itself which was still shackled
by statist thought. Palestinian life expectancy increased significantly as did their numbers, while the median income tripled. All of this came to a halt when the West and the United Nations
forced the return of Arafat and his terrorists. The Palestinian Authority became the globe's prime per capita consumer of foreign aid as billions of dollars were squandered on maintaining a culture of corruption, blame, victimhood and dependency.
The reader is reminded that peace necessitates the imposition of penalties on aggression. Those who justify terrorism against a democracy that respects the rule of law and then condemn the inevitable retaliatory defense are supporters of barbarism and tyranny
. There's a link between European antisemitism and Palestinianism as document by Chuck Morse and others. Haj Amin al-Husseini
, the grand mufti of Jerusalem, was an ally of the Nazis and a participant in the Shoah/Holocaust. Unsurprisingly, Arafat was an ardent promoter of Mein Kampf. In addition, antisemitic stereotypes disgrace the Arab media whilst the Iranian proxies Hamas and Hezbollah openly proclaim their genocidal goals.
Gilder has identified the core issue and its consequences, revealing why Israel separates the free-market USA from statist Western Europe, individualists from collectivists and those who oppose high taxes from those in favor of big government. This line of demarcation broadly corresponds with the ideological divide between statism and classical liberalism. In psychological terms the book illuminates two opposing world-views, two incompatible mentalities
-- the mind which considers resources as finite & limited, versus the mind that engages reality in an endless creative process
. Meticulously researched and well-written, The Israel Test is a work of outstanding discernment and clarity.