Monday, June 21, 2010

An Island of Western Civilization

It’s always nice to see one of your own views expressed by somebody that lots of other people actually pay attention to. I have, in the past, expressed (even if only to my dear wife) some of the rough similarities between the modern state of Israel and the Crusader Kingdoms of the 12th and 13th centuries. Israel is, as the Crusader Kingdoms were, a relatively small island of western civilization surrounded by a sea of Middle Eastern Islam. The Crusader Kingdoms lasted a few generations before falling to the armies of Saladin. The state of Israel hasn’t been around that long yet.

Ross Douthat pointed to some of those same similarities recently in a column (“Israel and Outremer”) for the New York Times, although he prefers to use the French term Outremer. It was nice to be able to read his words and think to myself, “Yeah, I already though of that.” Now if only I could think of a way to communicate it as clearly as he does. Please note that, by most accounts, the eventual demise of the Crusader Kingdoms was not entirely unprovoked. The only provocation required of Israel, it would seem, is its existence.

No comments: