The Right to Deny the Right of Return
For a state that is accused of “ethnic cleansing”, Israel is pretty multi-ethnic and multi-religious, with Jews, Circassians from the Caucasus, Arabs of three religions—Muslims, Christians and Druzes—and Bedouins of African origin, who are still regarded by the other Bedouins in the country, Muslims ostensibly free of the “Western vice of racism”, as inferior, as slaves even though they have been freedmen for so long. The “Jewish ethnostate”, if its detractors’ libels against it were true, would not have those people as citizens. But the truth, of course, is that only those Arabs fled the country in 1947–9 who listened to the orders of their leaders to do so, just as Nasrallah called the Arab residents of the north of Israel to do in the recent Lebanon War.
Those who refused to listen to their leaders’ call to flee are citizens of Israel to this day—them and their descendants. Some of them have seats in the Israeli parliament, which they abuse, however, by visiting states that are at war with Israel (and the reason Israel does not react as any normal state would is the fear of reprisals from the world’s OrwellMedia, which demands the Jewish state be holier than the Pope). However much their spokesmen complain of being “second-class citizens” (which said media laps up thirstily), their standard of living is far higher than that of their brothers in any other Arab state, and they enjoy benefits that those brothers can only dream of, such as free speech. Indeed, those who fled in 1947–9 to Egyptian or Jordanian rule were not cared for; the governments placed them in refugee camps, under purposeful neglect, in order to showcase “the oppression of Zionism” to the world. For Muslims, proving political points and reaping propaganda dividends has always taken precedence over the welfare of the individual. They would rather contaminate a land for centuries with unconventional weaponry than let it stay fertile and inhabited by non-Muslims, while the non-Muslims everywhere, who love life, would consent to give up some (or much) land for the sake of living a day more; truly the two women of Solomon’s Sentence.
The refugee camps were kept for political leverage, and so is the Right of Return. The cynicism of the Egyptian and Jordanian government in perpetuating the plight of the refugees was bad enough, but the refugees themselves now, instead of pressuring their hosts for equal rights and living conditions, are pushing for the Right of Return to the lands from which they fled. That is, they say the descendants of the village Bir’im should all be allowed to come back to that exact place, even though a kibbutz (Bar’am) is situated there now. Even if the application of the Right of Return does not mean displacing all the Jews currently in those places, but living alongside them instead, the consequence would be displacement nonetheless. At this point, the left-leaning reader will no doubt regard this warning against demographic displacement as proof of the “core racism of the Zionist ideology”. Which is good, because all that I have written up to this point was a prologue to the explanation why being against the Right of Return is not racism, and why not only Zionism, but also the whole non-Muslim world, is justified in further denials of such demands.
Imagine a North European country grappling with the issue of immigration, and two anti-immigration politicians voicing their views on that. The first anti-immigration politician says the immigration of blacks to the country should be stopped, and the second anti-immigration politician says the immigration of Muslims to the country should be stopped. Which of them is a racist? The Leftist multiculturalists would say, “Both”. I say, “Only the first”, and my reason goes beyond the obvious ground that Islam is not a race. My reason is that the former politician opposes the immigration of people, whereas the latter opposes the immigration of a political system.
If a black Christian from Ghana immigrates to that North European country and learns its language and gets a job there and raises children, whether with a woman from his country of origin or through marriage of a native woman, upon the values of the host country, he is as good a citizen as a native is, a positive contributor to his host country like everyone else, an inseparable part of its fabric. Whoever opposes such an immigrant cannot have any reason other than that he does not look the same as the natives—that is, not blond and blue-eyed. And that is unarguably racism, no way to spin that.
In contrast, there are those who immigrate to that country but do not learn its language, live off its welfare system and take all steps against adapting the values of their host country, and against their children doing the same. Unwillingness to assimilate is not the problem in and of itself; after all, my forefathers for two millennia did just that. But the Jews of the Diaspora never tried to contradict, let alone change, the systems of their host countries (contrary to the anti-Semites’ accusations to that effect), while the Muslim immigrants do (in broad daylight, by which the Left is blinded). The Muslim communities in Europe are already a law unto themselves, apart from the law of their host countries, and as their demographic clout gets greater, their law will be the law for their hosts as well. Thus, the politician who opposes their immigration opposes not a foreign skin color but an alien political system antithetical to his own. The first politician wants the proverbial fishbowl to contain only goldfish, while the second does not mind there being other fish except for piranhas, since those do not play well with the others.
Thus it is seen that not all opposition to demographic change is racism. Back to Israel and the Right of Return: Israel’s case is like that of other non-Muslim states, and then more. Cry as the modern anti-Semites might about the “inherent racism of a state for a Jews” (the only ethnostate about which such a statement is made), it is they who are the root cause of the state of Israel, the ones who sparked the movement that led to it—Zionism. For what did Pinsker (zt"l) need but the Tsarist-sponsored anti-Semitism of his age, or what did Herzl (zt"l) need but the sentiments of Viennese mayor Karl Lueger or the Dreyfus Affair, in order to be convinced that the only healthy future for the Jews was to be self-governing? Whatever the points of division between religious and secular Zionism, they are both agreed that self-governance of the Jewish people in their own state is a sine qua non of Zionism. Have all the Jews currently living in Israel under a government that can enact discriminatory laws against them, and the Jews are once again in exile, even though they are physically in the Land of Israel. For other nations, exile is just the physical state of being away from the homeland; for Jews, exile is the existential state of being subject to the whims of non-Jews, even when physically in the Land of Israel.
None of this means that there is no room for non-Jews in the Jewish state, of course. But it does mean that it is of utmost important for Zionism to do any steps to prevent the return of the political situation wherein anti-Jewish laws could be enacted against Jews. The Right of Return, if applied, would bring to exactly that in an instant. The demographic overpowerment of the Jews in Israel by the returning Muslims would wipe out the spiritual achievement of Zionism—the lack of the possibility of anti-Jewish discrimination—overnight (G-d forbid). And then it would not matter an iota that Jews are still physically inhabitants of their land.
No doubt an anti-Zionist reader would, at this point, still regard all these opinions as racist. What would he suggest? That the Jewish state accept the Right of Return, but only after forming an inviolable constitution against enacting anti-Jewish laws? As a long-time reader of anti-Zionist sites, I know only too well that that would be regard as racism too. There’s no pleasing the world (except by rolling over and dying). No, the Right of Return cannot be accepted. Even among the Israeli Left, very many people recognize this fact, the fact that the acceptance of the Right to Return would spell the end of the Zionist project (G-d forbid).
But the other side has made it clear that it will not concede the Right of Return (except for very few of them, whose lives would be in danger were they to voice it in any other way than obliquely). They have insisted for decades that the concession of the entirety of the West Bank and Gaza will do no good—for a “just and lasting peace”, they say, the refugees must be allowed to return, to the areas within the [currently] internationally recognized borders of Israel. Israeli Jews, even on the Left, know that that would lead to nothing but a “Palestine from the river to the sea” (G-d forbid), a “just peace” in the sense that that is the “Palestinians’” idea of justice, and an “everlasting peace” in the sense that the “Palestinians” would have won the war against Zionism (G-d forbid). Therefore, for all except the most lunatic Israeli Leftists (Uri Avneri and his type), there is the sad admission here that there is no diplomatic solution to this long war. Because the Muslims do not want to compromise, and the Jews cannot afford to compromise.
With a heavy heart I say this truth: this coming World War will spell the end of the moral pontifications of people at ease, to be replaced by confrontation of brutal realities, demanding brutal choices, accusations of “racism” be damned. Europe can still cry a bleeding heart in favor of the humanity of multiculturalism, but in the future she will have to deport the carriers within her of an alien political ideology or die the death of subsumption into the Caliphate; and Israel will have to make the anti-Zionists everywhere understand that the Jewish right of self-governance, after 2,000 years of lack thereof, is non-negotiable. The future will not be nice, but such are the wages of continued tolerance toward those who do not deserve it. Those who cannot control themselves at the sight of a few cartoons or at the sound of some centuries-old words should not expect our patience to be infinite.