Letting Go of Those Natural Thoughts
The world shudders to hear of the “simplistic” solution of expulsionism as a way of defeating Islamic terrorism; it does not shudder to propose the simplistic solution of feeding Israel to the wolves, of pulling a Czechoslovakia on Israel (G-d forbid), as a way of dealing with Islamic terrorism, of keeping, if only temporarily, the Muslim suicide-bomber wolf off the door, even though the Danish Cartoons Affair should have made it manifest and indisputable that the Muslims need nothing but the most trifling pretext in order to justify their rage.
I confess I had found expulsionism abhorrent myself, until I read, one day, about the 20th-century history of the Sudetenland. That was, I could say, a preview of the current Israel/“Palestine” conflict, in that the charges of “oppression of a minority and disregard of its desire for self-determination” were trotted out then as now. There were differences: the Sudeten Germans were admitted to be Germans, not worked into a nation in their own right. But the penchant of the Western powers to appease the aggressor was just as prevalent as now, and the nice meal of the Sudetenland did not sate the Nazis’ hunger—before long, Czechoslovakia really was wiped off the map.
At the end of World War II, the Allies had no time for any kind of nonsense. In addition to their uprooting of the Nazi ideology through education, which would now be decried as “cultural imperialism”, they administered a treatment for posterity for the Sudetenland problem by simply expelling all the Sudeten Germans to Germany. Had anyone hollered about the “inhumanity” of that move, they’d have laughed it off, answering, “Better this ‘inhumanity’ than the inhumanity of world war”. Irredentism was thus forestalled. But the world has long forgotten that time, and it fails to grasp the threat of irredentism coming from the Islamic ummah: in whichever non-Muslim states Muslims can be found in substantial numbers, the push toward the annexation of their place of residence to Dar Al-Islam comes to the fore. Whether it is the “Palestinians” in the Land of Israel, or the newly-emerging “Thailestinian” nation (this is from AFP, via LGF: “All three were killed in Narathiwat province in drive-by shootings blamed on southern militants who are fighting for an independent state.”), or the separatists in Kosovo, foolishly backed by both the EU and the US, or the Muslims of the Philippines, or the car-burning “youths” of Paris, or the denizens of Islamberg—how long this list goes!—the one commonality is the goal of adding lands to the Caliphate. Seen as agents of a colonial empire, they would have been expelled long ago; but the failure to even recognize what the exact threat is, as well as the treasonous guard of multiculturalism, stands in the way of the sanity of olden days.
Expulsionism is still not a very touchable topic to many. Uri Elitzur, right-wing columnist at Yediot Achronot, advocates it only as a propaganda measure, to be pitted against the “Palestinian Right of Return”. In his opinion, neither the “Palestinian Right of Return” nor Rabbi Meir Kahane’s (hy"d) proposal can ever come to pass (forgetfulness of history again—the delusion that we are living in a more civilized, refined age than our forefathers), but expulsionism should be raised as a counter to every time the “Right of Return for the refugees of 1947” is raised. If the latter is acceptable, says Elitzur, then the former should be also; if the latter does not make people shudder, although it means the end of Israel as a Jewish state (G-d forbid), then we should not shudder to voice the former.
But our straits are not getting any wider. The acceptability of demanding the “Palestinian Right of Return” has grown to such an extent that, if any Israeli prime minister should be so foolish as to pursue the Entjudung of Judea and Samaria as was done to Gaza, the inevitable barrage of Kassam rockets on Tel-Aviv (G-d forbid) would be excused by saying, “Yes, you evacuated the West Bank, but there’s still justice to be done about the Right of Return”. As for our objection that that would spell the end of the Jewish state (G-d forbid), the concensus of the world is fast turning out to be, “There is no room for ethnocratic states in our day and age”. (Except for Saudi Arabia, for Egypt, for Jordan, for Syria… and for the “Palestinian” state itself.)
The Muslims within the 1949 Armistice Line are raising their heads as well. Memorial Day of this year, fireworks were seen set out from the Arab villages on exactly the time of the siren commemorating the fallen. The following day, Independence Day, Muslims with PLO flags chased out Jewish vacationers from the Megiddo Forest. Today, the Day of the Liberation of Jerusalem, the self-inflicted Nakba—the result of violently refusing the 1947 UN Partition Plan—was marked by a confrontation at Hebrew University. They have no shame and feel no need whatever to hide their insolent ambitions, knowing that there would be no consequences from a government that has failed for five and a half months to deliver on its promise of solving the problem of the Kassam rockets on Sderot.
The Muslim ambition of destroying the Jewish State (G-d forbid), by any means possible, is for real, not just a spoken ploy; therefore Elitzur’s advice on expulsionism must be updated, to be for real and not just a spoken ploy. Notwithstanding our chronological snobbery in assuming our age to be a more refined one, reality bites hard with its show of how we are like a sheep among seventy wolves. Beyond the basic humanity of not advocating genocide nor nuclear warfare, the reality must be recognized that Israel, as is the rest of the world, is inching toward a period of survivalist choices. We would like it to be otherwise, but the reality of an enemy that raises their own children to perpetual hatred and slaughter just refuses to budge.
And now I come again to the issue of Israel and world opinion. One might come to the conclusion expulsionism is the only way to guarantee peace, but then might say, “To whatever extent world opinion is against us today, that would be next to nothing compared to how world opinion will lambaste us if we carry out that plan”. That is the fallacy of the natural, non-Jewish way of thinking about Israel.
Let me begin with the parable, but literal parable, of the Sabbath. When, long ago, the ancient Greeks learned of our mitzvah of keeping the Sabbath, they exclaimed, “What fools these people are for cutting off one-seventh of their livelihood!” That is the natural way of thinking: abstain from work on one day out of seven, lose 14.2857% of your income. But the Sabbath is the command of the same G-d who determines who will prosper and who will fall into poverty. Thus, contrary to natural expectations, and with no handy explanation as to how it works, those who keep the Sabbath prosper (for the Sabbath is the source of all the blessing of the six days of work), and those who profane the Sabbath are destined to be impoverished. El Al, the Israeli airline company, has alternately tried between keeping the Sabbath and profaning it. The result was the same every time: inching toward red ink whenever they had chosen the latter. Don’t ask me how it works; it does, and the Lord of All Creation is behind it all, as He has promised.
Now to the situation of Israel as regards world opinion. In his columns, Elitzur makes the following recurring point: Israel’s situation, not just on the ground but also in the arena of world opinion, has only gotten worse ever since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, and displays consistent deterioration with every concession Israel makes. In October 2000, following Ehud Barak’s near-suicidal offer to Arafat (long may he roast in hell, amen) and the new intifada the latter launched, not only was Israel confronted with murder and rioting in both 1967 and 1949 borders, but also the bien-pensants of the European Union proposed sanctions on Israel thereafter, and Israel was castigated as a “racist state” in the following Durban Conference against Racism in 2001, shortly before September 11. Israel’s evacuation of the Gaza Strip, instead of being regarded as a genuine step toward peace, is widely regarded by the world as a cynical ploy, either for “turning Gaza into a free-fire zone” or for “strengthening Israel’s hold on the West Bank”. For Barak’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, Israel got both a barrage of katyusha rockets and the condemnation of the world for trying to do something about it. The issue of “The Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees” is now seriously brought up in proposals far and wide, and will soon be a demand that will be forced on Israel on the negotiations table. The view of Israel as a “racist, apartheid ethnocracy” is now all but acceptable, and—contrary to Jimmy “Too Many Jews” Carter’s words in his anti-Zionist screed—is by no means limited to the 1967 territories; the talk of Arabs being “second-class citizens” within the 1949 borders is now widespread. And, of course, it is a foregone conclusion to many that the way to prevent another 9/11 lies in “brokering a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians”—doing a Czechoslovakia on Israel, in other words.
This is our situation now, after all the steps we have taken over the years, ever since 1993, to show the world that we are of peaceful intentions. Like the Sabbath-breaker who expected to add to his income by transgressing G-d’s Law, but is then surprised to see his bank account go south, we expected to gain the world’s favor, and a pause from our enemies’ teeth, by transgressing G-d’s explicit command to rid the Land of Israel of those who do not accept that it belongs to the Jews (Numbers 33:50–56), but were then surprised to see both our enemies get bolder and striking at more proximity, and world opinion turn worse than ever in vilification and demonization of us. This is not the way to go. Anyone with eyes to see reality must agree: this is clearly not the way forward.
Of course there will be screams at first when we do the right thing. But there are two points to counter them here: first, with regard to the enemy, we will be in better position, in morale and not just strategically. We will, of course, be a “cruel, evil oppressor” in their eyes, but at least we will be feared, and with such enemies as ours, who understand nothing but force, that is much better than to be regarded as weak, civilized, gentle and… ripe for destruction (G-d forbid).
The second point is the same point as with Sabbath-keeping: in a way that cannot be explained naturally, the world will, after the initial screams have subsided, react with support and admiration. Possibly the world will realize that this is the way to achieve peace everywhere, and will follow our example in all the world—Southern Thailand, Kashmir, Kosovo, Somalia, London, Paris, every location where non-Muslims are currently at a loss to deal with the “separatist”, “immigrant youth”, “Asian”, et cetera, and in non-PC-speak Islamic, menace that has turned their lives into a routine of trying to savor the calm between every two suicide bombings (G-d forbid).
It is good for us and it is good for the whole world. And most important to remember is: G-d controls it all; He who gives prosperity to the Sabbath-keeper will give the praise of world opinion, and real peace, to us when we finally let go of those cold feet in the face of “what the world will say”. May HaShem send us Mashiach Ben David speedily in our days, amen.