5 reasons why Pakistan and Israel are practically twins

Since time immemorial, or at least 1948, Muslims have pinned all their woes upon the Israelis – Pakistan, no different. Because somehow a regional, political animosity between two people who we realistically share nothing in common with beyond a religion with one, has become a rallying point for us to gather at.

But at the heart of it, we’re really far more similar to our SEF (Sworn Enemy Forever), than we realise. And so, we give you 5 reasons why Pakistan and Israel could pass for twins at their high school reunion.

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# 5 – Attention seekers

Despite the fact that in the grand scheme of things neither are particularly important (patch of Levantine land; north-western frontier of a subcontinent) they seem to be THE stumbling blocks to peace in their region and the ISI-Mossad are behind everything and credit the other for anything the other didn’t do.

Both Pakistan and Israel need to grow up. By the looks of it, Michael Jackson’s Peter Pan syndrome was nothing as compared to these two. One’s stubborn and the other’s a rogue – which is which doesn’t matter because either way both of them hog the limelight. Pakistan does not seem to get out of the news or the headlines and Israel is much the same. Both countries can choose to be quiet, dull and boring but you see what you don’t know is that behind their attention seeking, is a charitable cause – by constantly misbehaving, their controversial behaviour means that they constantly provide business to international media outlets therefore feeding as many mouths as they kill off everyday.

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# 4 – The world ain’t tiring of them anytime soon

Pakistan continues with its charitable activities by giving a lot of business to English literature and English language graduates who start off their glorious careers as “analysts” by blogging away while sitting in their bedrooms. Research of course consists of surveys conducted on Facebook. What exactly do they analyse? Well they ruminate about the “existence” and “travails” of Pakistan and how it needs to be “renewed”.

I think the level of existential angst by Pakistani literati is matched by the Jewish diaspora who have no idea what to do about journalism. But a bonus point for Pakistan is that its proven to be so dangerous for foreign journalists that it has also started an entire cottage industry of bloggers who can report daily. A fine example of a home-spun industry and pushing out the foreign competition.

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# 3 – Body swaps

The one major defining characteristic that allows one to differentiate between these two (apart from the age difference!) is that through its bad behaviour Pakistan has lost territory while Israel through bullying has gained territory. It is interesting, however, that Israel holds the “West Bank” which is Judea, Samaria and the Gallilee, the historic heart of Israel, which incidentally are the most Arab regions whereas most modern-day Israel seems to be the coast and ancient Philistine/Palestine, who were the historic enemies of the Israelites.

So Israel has had a body swap of sorts with Palestine (it is in Palestine and Palestine is in Israel) which is similar to Pakistan as well. India is named after the river Indus which actually flows in Pakistan and Pakistan was founded by people in the heart of India’s UP region. Somebody call an exorcist already!

We’ll get you out yet you bastard!!

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# 2 – Confused identities?

Given that they have swapped physical bodies, its safe to assume that they’d have some sort of an identity clash. And what a clash it is! Both nations are hyper-opportunistic but rely on an implacable ideology to justify anything making them very good businessmen and lawyers. In Israel’s case, a two nation theory like Zionism is sort of a romanticised nebulous ideology that is extermely controversial and something that no one really understands but is quite happy to argue over. Pakistan is an endless topic of conversation in most brown blogs but thought its defenders have a hard time defending it, they do try.

For “synthetic” identities both nations demonstrate incredible patriotism. Whereas Jewish history goes back 3 millennia and the Jewish national identities are fairly strong; Israeli national identity seems fairly formidable whereas Pakistan, which literally was made up in 1940, seems to have gelled very rapidly (in the Western wing at least let’s skip what happened to the “East”).

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# 1 – Role of religion

For both countries religion is a shorthand for identity; being Jewish & Israeli seem to go hand in hand and Pakistanis will bring religion into everything (I’m surprised Pakistanis haven’t yet made a website called “First Muslims”).

Israel is the Holy Land for the 3 major world religions whereas the geography of Pakistan as the Indus is the seed of South Asian identity. Incidentally being the centre of the Indus Valley Civilisation Pakistan seems very disinterested in the whole heritage and outsourced it to Indian academics.

Pakistan and Israel were both designed as refuges. Both thought they that they would rapidly “normalise” as nation states and become the toast of their respective neighbourhoods. Instead they’re toasting their own neighbourhoods! And being a minority in either country seems to be a paradox (non-Jewish in a Jewish state, non-Muslim in the world’s only state explicitly carved out for Muslims) but they survive somehow.

It’s called spunk!

Zachary Latif is an investment banker based in London who blogs at www.brownpundits.com


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4 Comments on “5 reasons why Pakistan and Israel are practically twins”

  1. Khalid
    February 26, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    Religion has been defining borders forever. Recently there have been separatist movements based on religion in Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon, China, Ireland, Eastern Europe, East Timor and many other places. Pakistan and Israel are no exceptions. And all of those regions have their own versions of “SYNTHETIC” identities. There is turmoil in many troubled parts of the world which is driven by rigid ethnic divide. Hence the attention seeking is nothing unique to these two countries.
    Its true that the world is not tired of Pakistan or Israel but then they’re not tired of Korea or Tibet either. We have heard again and again this baseless comparison betweek Pakistan and Israel, so if you want to use this “humor blog” to promote some political agenda, I would suggest that you come up with something original the next time.

  2. mohsin
    October 17, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    in short pakistan is the counter that GOD created 4 israel…u must b thinking now pakistanios bring religion into everything ..well we do coz its true look at ur facts again

    • October 17, 2011 at 10:04 am #

      Your last comment has been deleted. We don’t mind you expressing your point of view or even being critical of what you read. But we do not tolerate name calling and poor manners.

  3. July 22, 2011 at 12:53 am #

    As ever, thought provoking. Another thing that you can add is that they try to influence US politics. One by having agents funded by the Pakistani government, the other by US citizens who couldn’t care less about US interests (AIPAC).

    About #3 – it was, according to historian Ayeshal Jalal, never Jinnah’s plan that present day India should be India. It was to be Hindustan, and united with Pakistan in the federation of Pakistan. Hindustan, though, is also a derivative of “Indus”. Isn’t it a foreign name, though, given to the natives by the Persians?

    “It is important not to carry an analogy too far. The fundamental difference between the two arises in the question of land and demographics. Unlike the Pakistanis, the Israelis never had a territory on which they could claim a majority presence before the founding of Israel. Hence the obsessive compulsion with the Zionist notion of ‘transfer’, the fear of demographics, the creation of a vast refugee population of Palestinians with no state to call their own – none of these dilemmas and contradictions exist in the Pakistani case. These are not only significant, but fundamental. They alter the shape of the problem, of Israeli relations with the Palestinians, of the land issue, of culture, totally beyond any reasonable comparison with Pakistan. [ . . . ] A better comparison for Pakistan’s relations with its ethnic minorities would be the complex relationship of Israel’s Ashkenazi (Western or European) Jewish elite with its Mizrachi (Eastern or Arab) Jewish population…though again, I think considerations of history render even that comparison of limited use.'”
    – Ahmad Siddiqi, Oxford historian

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