OUR CHALLENGE - 1974
Rabbi Meir Kahane
THE CHOSEN LAND
The Conclusion - Continued from part 2 of last week (Excerpts)
There has never been an instance of two peoples, both sizable and both fully believing that the land is theirs, which have managed to permanently coexist in the same land. Whether in Northern Ireland, India, Quebec, Yugoslavia, Cyprus, or even Belgium, grave differences in nationality, race, religion, or language have created iron curtains between the groups involved. How much more so in the case of the Jews and Arabs of Israel, where all the above differences exist against a background of hate and war.
The revolutionary Left, liberals of all kinds, and anti-Semites in general will seize upon the “plight” of the Arabs to raise an international hue and cry, to organize worldwide protests and support on behalf of the Arabs. Their efforts will hurt, to an as yet unknown degree, financial support for Israel, both from foreign governments as well as private supporters – including Jews.
These axioms that I have outlined make up a scenario. What emerges is an unpleasant realization that Israel faces terrible crises that threatens her as no other crisis in the past. I have not even touched upon the growing intermarriage rate between Jews and Arabs, a phenomenon that may not bother “liberals” but that spells doom for Jews just as surely as the pogroms that take their physical lives.
What is the solution? Certainly not to ignore the problem. Certainly not to persuade ourselves that it does not exist or that it is not as bad as some people make it out to be or that it will get better or that it will eventually disappear of its own accord. Not, by illusions or patently impossible brotherhood hopes will this problem be solved.
Illusions will not save the Israelis; good, hard common sense will. Certainly every effort must be made to increase the Jewish population of Israel through a crisis approach to immigration and strenuous efforts to raise the Jewish birth rate. But as least equally as important is the need to find some way to reduce the Arab minority. And here we refer both to the Arabs who are Israeli citizens as well as the inhabitants of the liberated
The best partial solution, the most humane in the long run, and the safest for Jews is an effort to separate the Arab minority from the Jewish majority by a planned and well-funded emigration of Arabs from Israel. I speak here of the idea for an urgent creation of an “Emigration Fund for Peace” and I immediately point out that I refer only to a voluntary one, through the free choice and determination of individual Arabs.
Naturally, the extremist, the proud nationalist will not leave, but many, many other thousands will. If it can be pointed out to the Arabs that Jewish majority rule will never be displaced and that they are being offered an opportunity that, most likely, will never be theirs again – to begin new lives in the West – the chances are excellent that they will leave. What population transfers created for Greeks and Turks, Indians and Pakistanis, and Sudetan Germans, can be repeated here.
The most important obstacle is, of course, the small but vocal group of rootless and frustrated neo-intellectuals who will be the first to attack the plan and smear it with all kinds of labels. Yet it is up to those who love the Jewish people and state and hope to save them both from a disastrous crisis, to ignore the false prophets of false and ignorant “liberalism” and to make this plan a reality. Integration is not always the answer, although it is not always not the answer. In this case, an attempt to integrate the Arabs of Israel can be successful only at the price of a unique Jewish state, and without the willingness to pay that price it is an exercise in dangerous futility. Let us then ignore those who are “overly righteous.” Let us speak of the need for a private body of wealthy and influential Jews to establish and emigration fund with an initial capitalization of at least twenty million dollars. Such money could be raised with comparative ease if wealthy western Jewry would be quietly but firmly persuaded by the Israeli government that this fund is vital to her interests and welfare.
These same people should also begin the task of contacting governments of states that are under populated or in need of manpower to see exactly how many visas they are willing to allocate both for their own self-interest as well as for the purpose of defusing the time bomb that is the Arab population of the Land of Israel. Governments should also be discreetly asked how much they would be willing to contribute to this fund, which would do more to solve the Middle East problem than all the United Nations plans yet created.
With a fund of money, with visas, with exact charts, the Arabs – and here I stress that this plan would be offered to both the Arabs of pre-1967 Israel and those of the liberated lands – would then be approached and offered a sizable sum to emigrate to the country of their choice) within the list of states that has agreed to take them in.) A number of Arab counties might agree to take in skilled labor with capita; this would certainly be preferable to emigration to non-Arab counties.
Will many Arabs leave? I believe that, if given the monetary incentive and promise of a new life free from the eternal threat of hatred and minority status, many will. Whatever the number, Israel will benefit from even that limited emigration. Bear in mind the extraordinarily high birthrate of the Arabs of Israel and that each one who leaves takes with him many future Arabs. It is a plan that is worth trying and that promises blessings for the Jewish state. Above all it is an answer worthy of the most serious thought because of the potential disaster inherent in the lack of an answer.
A brief comment on criticism of the plan from responsible circles, particularly within the government, criticism that condemns the plan for “offending” the Arabs and harming “friendly relations” between them and the Jews. It is difficult to comprehend a cabinet and ruling party that make such statements, which contain more than a little contradiction. One simply cannot understand those leading government officials who publicly call for the return of parts of the liberated lands on the grounds that they do not “want too many Arabs,” and then condemn others for proposing an emigration plan. Do we really think that such a plan would offend the Arabs and make relations difficult? If so, what in the world do we think an Israeli Arab feels when he hears his prime minister, finance minister, foreign minister, deputy premier and other assorted Laborites talk about the danger of too many Arabs in a Jewish state? Do we really think we make friends and influence people that way?
The difference between the advocates and the opponents of the plan is that one group plays games with the Arabs and tries to fool them while the other tells the truth. Labor wants to get rid of the Arabs by giving back Jewish land, we want to try to keep Eretz Yisroel and find some means to convince the Arabs to leave.
What of those who will not leave? They will certainly be the majority, so that under any circumstances the resources and brains of the state must be mobilized to increase the numbers of Jews and the proportion of Jews to Arabs, as well as finding some means whereby the Arabs of the territories will not opt for Israeli citizenship. Let us again repeat that there are two problems posed by the Arabs within Eretz Yisroel. One is the fact of their existence within the borders as a large, potentially dissident and seditious minority. The second is their potential political and electorate power that could threaten the Jewish hegemony of the Jewish state. Both problems could be eased by emigration, but even if large numbers choose to remain, the second problem can still be met and modified.
Those Arabs who remain within the Land of Israel, both pre-1967 and in the liberated lands, pose a politely demographic threat. The threat must be met not by returning land that is sacred and Jewish and whose return would pose a security threat of catastrophic proportions, but by other means. Certainly, nothing can be done to limit the rights of those Arabs who are already Israeli citizens, or their children. But the Arab population of the liberated lands that should and must be made part of Eretz Yisroel can be politically neutralized.
First, it should be made clear that the incorporation of the territories into Israel will not bring with it automatic citizenship and that the non-Jews there will be treated exactly as if they were non-Jews from some other area coming into Israel. That is, they must apply for citizenship that will be given to them after the regular five-year wait.
At the end of that time, the applicant must repeat his intention of becoming a citizen and swearing loyalty to the State of Israel. Notice of such intention and declaration will be printed in three Arab newspapers for two consecutive weeks. The intent here is clearly to discourage the Arab from asking for citizenship. At the same time, the government should make a definite offer to all territorial residents that those who opt for non-citizenship will be automatically freed from national taxes, as well as pushing for a mass program of birth-control education and “liberating” literature for Arab women.
In addition, every conceivable Jewish resource must go into the effort to increase Aliya. Jewish immigration, to mass proportions. There is an extraordinary difference between the small population we have today and a large Jewish state of five million Jews. One does not speak so glibly of wiping out or dismantling such a state.
The overall Arab-Israel problem will not be solved for decades. Indeed, it may never be solved. This holds true also for the Jewish-Arab problem within Israel. For those who ask, “but what will the end be?” the mature answer is that ultimately the Messiah will come and, until then, who knows? Besides, who ever said there must be a solution? Some problems have remained unsolved for centuries despite many honest efforts to solve them. What we must not do is allow our impatience and weariness to push us into a false solution that will lead to disaster. We are obligated to find as much of a real solution as possible.
The Arabs and Jews of Israel and the Middle East may never live in true peace together. Foolish idealism is not substitute for true idealism or even for any kind of reality. What is needed is a reaffirmation of the age-old faith in “the destiny of Israel which will not prove faithless” and a determined, realistic policy aimed at the most important of all Jewish goals – Jewish survival.
Let us not be frightened into guilt feelings and into a retreat from common sense, self-preservation, and our Jewish destiny by the attacks of the lovers of “peace.” Those who advocate Jewish self-preservation are just as anxious for peace as the confused and strident shouters on the Left. Their wives and children face the same threat and their Jewish gabardine is just as legitimate as the cloak of the self-proclaimed “peace-seekers.”
The difference is that the Jewish nationalist lives with reality, not illusion. He had faith in the Jewish destiny, the Almighty’s promise and the strong Jewish hand that brings the miraculous to reality. He knows that the Almighty and Jewish destiny will not desert the Jew, but he knows that success is conditioned on his own efforts at formulating and carrying out a realistic and bold Jewish policy.
In the end, we will be fortunate in that, with the most foolish and myopic of intentions, we will be unable to destroy ourselves and the Almighty will save us from the fruits of our own folly. We have reached that stage in Jewish history and destiny where it is ordained that the Jewish return to the homeland will be permanent, maximum, and glorious. No assortment of timid, fearful, and tiny politicians can undo this. What they can do, however, is cost us great amounts of tragedy in the form of human suffering and lost opportunities. They can retard the salvation and make us pay heavily. In the end however, the redemption will win out, for this is the determination of divine providence.
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