OUR CHALLENGE - 1974
Rabbi Meir Kahane
THE CHOSEN LAND
Part 2 continued from last week (Excerpts)
We must begin to disabuse ourselves of the illusion that the demon of Arab demography will be disposed of by getting rid of the lands that hold a million post-June 1967 Arabs. I put it to one and all that the problem of Arab numbers and an ever-growing Arab minority will not be disposed of by disposing of the territories, and that this gnawing problem exists in the form of the Arabs of that part of Israel that existed before 1967. Indeed, I hasten to add, the Arabs within what is known as “the Green Line” will pose a far more dangerous and explosive threat to Israel than those of Hebron and Gaza. What I am really saying is that the signing of a peace treaty with the Arabs, the setting up of a “Palestine” state that is free and independent, the recognition of Israel by the Arabs – all these impossible dreams, even if they were fulfilled, would still leave Israel with an Arab time bomb that could blow up the state and bring to life all the problems we thought were solved.
Let us assume that a peace will somehow be achieved and all the “outside” Arabs plus those in their own new “Palestine” state will accept Israel. What will happen is that Israel will not have been freed of an Arab nationalist problem. It will not have been freed of an Arab population problem. It will not have been freed of a large body that hates the Jewish majority and the Jewish state and seeks its destruction or at least its total overhaul and change of identity. All of these problems will remain in the form of the Israeli Arabs. Concerning these Arabs, we have begun to believe all kinds of myths.
Thus our third dangerous illusion: “The way to reach peace and understanding between Jew and Arab is to raise the Arab standard of living and create a new generation of educated Arabs. Already, Israel has succeeded in raising the living standards of its own Arabs to the point where they are the highest in the Arab world and where more and more Arabs enter high schools and universities each year. If this continues there is hope of bridging the Arab-Israel gap.”
No nationalist was ever bought by an indoor toilet and electricity in his home. And that is exactly what those who preach peace through materialism are doing. They are buying, or attempting to buy, the Arab nationalist and his love and pride in nationhood and state. Such an attempt is as immoral as it is self-defeating. What the “moderates” and the “compromisers” do not realize is that the Arab nationalist is as committed to his own people and to what he considers his own land as the Jews of Israel are to theirs. The Western colonialists who sincerely and honestly believed that they were benefiting the Asians and Africans whom they ruled, found that their arguments fell on deaf ears of native peoples who preferred poverty with independence to high living standards under foreign rule. Why should we expect the Arabs to be any different? Why should they not have the same pride that Israelis expect their children to have?
Certainly with this present generation, mostly illiterate peasants, large numbers can be “bribed.” But in the years to come, as the sons of the peasants contemptuously reject our “favors.” No, let us not deceive ourselves into believing that by raising the Arab living standards we will win his peace and friendship.
The illusions concerning education are even more incomprehensible. Has not history shown a hundred times over that it is precisely the educated intellectuals who are the most nationalistic and extreme? It is not the fellah, the Arab peasant, who is the danger to peace with Israel, but rather his son who goes to high school and from there to university. He, who ahs economic opportunities that were undreamed of by his father, will not be “grateful” to the Jew for allowing him to enter new worlds. Quite the contrary.
The university Arab sits and reads of the great nationalist movements of history, demands the same for his own people and land, acquires the knowledge, sophistication, and tools of leadership and becomes the most extreme, the most nationalist, and the most talented of the Arabs. Peace and understanding from the university Arabs? Anything but.
And despite this most elementary lesson, there are those in the government who are able to speak about and find funds for an Arab university. Money for the poverty areas of Israel, we do not have. Money to meet the communal gap, we are told, is simply nonexistent. But funds to finance a school for Arab nationalists, extremist leaders who will lead the battle for our destruction, suddenly appear. We Jews are indeed a strange people
There is another aspect of the problem that we ignore at our peril. It is not only the Arab of the lands liberated in 1967 who conceives of himself as a “Palestinian” and who believes that the Jews have stolen his homeland. The Arab who lived in pre-1967 Israel, the one who is granted Israeli citizenship and has been an Israeli citizen since 1948, the free and equal Arab citizen of the Jewish state thinks exactly the same way. And if he is a young Arab, who was born after Israel came into being and lived his whole life under Israeli sovereignty, he feels even more strongly about it.
He does not conceive of himself as part of the state: he is an Arab, not a Jew; a “Palestinian,” not an Israeli. He does not feel he owes loyalty to his government; he does not look upon it as his government. He resents and hates the Jewish majority. He is at heart a strong “Palestinian” an Arab nationalist as the West Bank Arab, and because of guilt feelings engendered by his acquiescence in Israeli citizenship, he is a potentially greater and a more dangerous one. He wants to prove his Arabism. He rejects categorically the constant assertion by various government officials that the Israeli Arab is an equal citizen of the state.
And here we come to the final illusion: “The Israeli Arab is equal to the Israeli Jew in the Jewish state.”
So long as Israel remains the Jewish state, and that is its reason for being; for being; so long as Israel is the fulfillment of the Zionist dream, a homeland for the Jewish people where they can be a majority and plan their own destiny, so long as there is a Law of Return, which grants every Jew (not Arab) automatic citizenship upon request, precisely in order to assure a Jewish majority – the Arab in Israel will never be as equal as the Jew. It will always be a Jewish state, the state of the Jew, not the Arab.
All the “liberals,” “progressives,” and leftist may grind their teeth, but if they believe in Zionism in whatever shape, and in a Jewish state, they must accept this fact. No amount of dialectics or sophistry will make it vanish. A Jewish state means that there is an inherent difference between the Jewish citizen and the Arab one.
And why not? If the purpose of moving large numbers of Jews to Israel was not for the purpose of setting up a Jewish state with a permanent Jewish majority, why leave New York City with its two million Jews, or the Soviet Union with its three million? A large Jewish minority is not the answer that Zionism proposed to the question of anti-Semitism. We have had large Jewish minorities in the past and they have availed us nothing. A large ghetto is till a ghetto, not a Jewish state. Israel was conceived a Jewish state, a Jewish majority state. It was conceived as the one home of the Jewish peoples just as every nation has its home with its majority. For this concept, there is no need to apologize. But it does present us with a fact that the “progressive” and the left always pass over in embarrassment. The fact is that the Arab in Israel may be a citizen, he may be given equal opportunity in education and employment, but he is doomed to a minority role because he is an Arab in a Jewish state. And from there flows the inescapable resentment on the part of any minority, which is compounded by the Arab’s belief that the state is really his, and that he should be the majority.
What is more, the growing rootlessness and lack of Jewish values among Israeli Jewish youth is bound to lead to a condition, similar to that in the United States and almost every western country, wherein “majority” intellectuals, driven by their lack of values to a neurotic self-hate and the need to attack the parental and state. Establishment will latch on to the “oppressed” Arab as a means to channel their own destructive impulses. Exactly as in the United State, intellectual Jewish youth will find themselves a cause, the “persecuted” Arabs, and give them (the Arabs) the thing they most lacked to make their revolt meaningful: Majority leadership. A minority can never win against a determined majority, but when that majority is divided, when its youth and intellectuals are driven by doubt, self-hate and mistrust of their own government, then the conditions are ripe for revolt, tension, and anarchy.
What we will see as the years pass is the growth of educated Arabs whose nationalism will be bitter and extreme. We will also see a corresponding growth of Arabs whose intellectual and educational achievements will not find an appropriate occupational outlet, with many hundreds unable to find the professional and political jobs their ambitions demand. We will see a society where most of the laboring jobs are Arab and the better ones Jewish. This will lead to increasing frustrations, protests, riots, and revolt. Growing numbers of young Jews will actively support these Arabs; the Israeli left, from the Moscow-puppet Rakach party to the schizophrenic Mapam, will aid them politically; and there will be created conditions similar to those in the Untied States civil rights revolt – which has only begun and which will yet see warfare in the streets.
(Conclusion next week)
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