In deciding whether to fight, Israelis have to determine their likely fate if their nation is “wiped off the map”. Based on historical precedent, they’re better off fighting to the last man, woman and child.
Iran and Hizbollah are committed to destroy Israel, but to avoid that fate, Israel may have to kill hundreds of millions of Muslim men, women, and kids. So how bad would it be for Israelis if their state was absorbed into a Caliphate?
About 6.4 million people live in Israel, and of these 16% are Muslims. So the remaining 84% would be at risk under Muslim occupation – that’s about 5.4 million.
An Iranian/Syrian attack would likely start with salvos of rockets delivering nuclear, biological & chemical (NBC) warheads. They’d might use Russian equipment to jam the Israeli missile defense system, or just sheer volume to overwhelm the finite number of Israeli BMD interceptors. (For this to work , a tacit ally of Iran or Syria – Russia or even France – would have to neutralize Israel’s second strike capability).
Then, as in all previous wars, Muslim armies would invade Israel from neighboring territories.
Iranians would use small warheads on West Jerusalem and its suburbs, to avoid damage to the Muslim centers. But they’d use the biggest they had on Tel Aviv and Haifa, plus all military and industrial targets. About 700,000 people live in the 2 cities, and adding in infrastructure and military targets gets the exposed population to about 1.5 million. The death rate would depend on the weapon types – I’m assuming 50%, giving 750,000 deaths in this first strike.
Then Muslim armies would attack the shocked and disorganized IDF across the Lebanese, Syrian, and maybe Jordanian and Egyptian frontiers. I’m guessing the IDF would have started with 500,000 troops but been cut back by the NBC attack to 300,000.
Israeli culture is based on a refusal to ever again walk to gas chambers without a fight, so I’d expect these forces to fight to the end, like the kids in the Warsaw Uprising. The last army that did that was the Japanese – they shot their wounded and committed suicide to avoid capture. So I’d expect the same % of captives as the Japanese had on Iwo Jima – 5% – leaving 285,000 IDF dead. But these survivors would soon be dead too, given the Islamic practice of decapitating captives. That’s 300,000 more dead.
At the point of its defeat, 1.05 million Israelis would be dead, and (using a 4 to 1 wounded to dead ratio) every one of the 4.35 million survivors would have burns from nukes, infections, or chemical poisoning.
With its infrastructure destroyed, including medical and evac capabilities, I’d expect 25% of these survivors – say 1.05 million – to die during the first week of occupation. That brings the total to this point that’s 2.1 million dead and 3.3 million wounded.
At this point, there’d be international pressure to evacuate survivors. But with infrastructure destroyed or contaminated, that would be very difficult. And in the light of the grudging evacuation of Jews from Europe before WW2, I guess that the UK and US would take at most 200,000. That leaves 3.1 million survivors in the new Palestine.
We can guess the fate of these survivors from the last time Muslims abused a subject minority – the Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey between 1914 and 1923:
While there is no clear consensus as to how many Armenians lost their lives during what is called the Armenian genocide and what followed, there is general agreement among Western scholars…that over a million Armenians may have perished between 1914 to 1923. The recent tendency seems to be, either presenting 1.2 million as a figure or even 1.5 million…
That’s from a population of about 2 million Armenians, giving a death rate at the 1.5 million estimate of 75%.
The Turks used low tech methods for the killings – long marches, starvation, mass executions, brutal rapes, and insanitary concentration camps. The victorious Muslims would surely do the same, since they believe their own refugee camps were imposed on them by the Israelis.
Killing 75% of the 3.1 million survivors brings the total Israeli deaths to 4.4 million, and leaves 800,000 non-Arab ex-Israelis in the new Palestine.
This Palestinian society would be technologically weak, so competent Jews would be an asset. However generations of indoctrination of Arab kids to kill Jews wouldn’t vanish immediately, so I’d expect pogroms to cut the number of survivors by at least half.
Bottom line, 400,000 Jews would survive in Palestine, 200,000 overseas, and almost 5 million would be dead. Judaism might survive in the US and UK, but without its holy places.
Israel will kill off the entire neighborhood to avoid such a second holocaust.