Friday, June 15, 2012

The blue-green faultline weakens Taiwan

Pan-green legislators continue to occupy the floor of the Legislative Yuan yesterday
Given the nature of the Chinese threat, political parties in Taiwan should focus their energies on external risks rather than against each other 

Taiwan is one of very few countries about which it can be said that it faces a threat to its survival. Given this, decisionmakers should ensure that resources and energy are properly channeled to meet any challenge head-on.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Israel’s situation is analogous to Taiwan’s: Both are threatened by an external enemy bent on denying them the right to exist and which have shown determination to use force to achieve that end. Granted, the analogy only goes this far, as the dynamics of power in the two conflicts differ markedly. In Taiwan’s case, it is the weaker party in the struggle, while Israel in its struggle has the upper hand militarily and is an occupying force, which generates a whole new set of grievances. 

That being said, the threat facing Israel is no less serious and its gravity has served as a rallying force for its people. There are undeniably serious differences of opinion inside Israel about how to deal with the challenges created by the Palestinians’ right to self-determination or attacks against Israelis by groups like Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Israel’s democratic way of life has helped bring those differences into contrast. However, all Israelis, from those who support the use of force to resolve the conflict to those who regard the occupation as the main cause of the conflict, agree on the need to do what is necessary to ensure the survival of their nation. 

This is an example that Taiwanese appear unwilling to follow. 

My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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