Monday, June 9, 2014

Israel Founded Before WWI?

The other night I found a timeline on my alternate-history forum you all might find very interesting. It's called "A Mound of Spring: An Early-Developing Israel in a Late-Developing World." The user whose handle is yboxman (who wrote another timeline I've blogged about before) wanted to write a 20th Century that went the way Theodore Herzl and the other early Zionists thought it would go, with a Zionist vision to match.

The development of this world's Israel, starting with a late 19th Century colony in the northern Sinai fed by a diversion of the Nile River that could've happened in our world, is really interesting. Their solution to the problem of raiding Bedouin is really clever and effective. Yboxman explores the effective of a prosperous Jewish colony on the economy of Egypt and it's interesting. He also gets into what Judaism would look like if the Holy Land is reclaimed by Jews (the soldiers of the Egyptian colony, as allies of the British) in the pre-Holocaust era. These are some really fun aspects of the scenario.

However, on the other hand, things get really dark in the former Ottoman Empire. It's basically broken up Treaty of Sevres-style (to a point--the final disposition is rather different) with a lot of ethnic cleansing of Muslims, forced conversions, and straight-up genocide, with warlords fighting over the rump Turkish state in the interior of Anatolia in something resembling A Game of Thrones. It's a horror show.

Right now we're in the immediate aftermath of WWI with Russia--strained almost to the breaking point--experiencing a lot of civil unrest. This is going to lead to a lot of Russian and Polish Jews (including a very young Ayn Rand) emigrating to the Jewish colony in the Sinai and the British protectorate of "Canaan." There's also (probably) going to be a WWII in the future, although it's going to be rather different in this timeline.

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