Helen Thomas has come in for an amount of criticism for her suggestion that the Jewish population of Israel should return to Germany and Poland. Setting the increasingly ineffective histrionics about anti-Semitism aside, (an accusation that has lost its potency since the professionally offended hate hustlers began slinging it at everything from Merry Christmas greetings to criticism of Wall Street felons), that criticism is well justified.
Encouraging Jewish emigration to Europe is an absurd idea for several reasons. The Europeans don’t want them, as was made eminently clear some 50 years ago. Nor do the New Ummayads, who make up a miniature and increasingly independent Umma within the creaky seculardom of the European Union. And most importantly, Israeli Jews don’t harbor any desire to return to a continent where they were banished from various kingdoms more than 30 different times over the centuries.
Now, there is no question that the Israelis hold their 22,072 square kilometers of land in the Middle East by the same right that the Palestinians held it before them, the right of conquest. Considering that the Arab claim to the land derives from Saladin’s conquest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem following the Battle of Hattin in 1187, the Palestinians are hardly in a position to claim that the victors of the Six-Day War subsequently dispossessed them. Depending upon how far one wishes to trace the travails of Jerusalem back in time, one can make a reasonable case for the area being governed by everyone from Sergio Berluscone to the current Iraqi parliament or the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church.
The problem is, therefore, intractable, given the multitude of legitimate historical claims upon land. But is the basic concept of relocation inherently bad? Not necessarily.
If Europe is out and Israel is historically problematic, it might be interesting to consider if there might be an alternative location that would be of interest to the much-beleaguered Jewish people, who would presumably like nothing more than to live in peace and prosperity. Ideally, it would be a beautiful place of similar sun, sand and sea, albeit one that is rich in natural resources rather than a literal desert. As it happens, there is just one such place which is already in the process of being rapidly abandoned by its current owners. Now, San Diego isn’t exactly the Holy City, but most Israelis are Jewish by ethnicity, not religion, anyhow. And if Joel Stein is to be believed, the Jews already run Hollywood, so why not let them run the rest of Southern California as well?
The Center for Immigration Studies estimated the illegal-immigrant population of the United States to be about 11 million people. Approximately 57 percent are Mexicans, which means there are around 6.3 million Mexicans illegally residing in the United States. And as Charles Krauthammer noted in his column titled “Those Troublesome Jews,” there are about 6 million Jews in Israel. So, looking at it from the American perspective, who would make for better neighbors, 6 million illegal Mexicans or 6 million hard-working Israelis? And one need not call upon any hoary old ethnic stereotypes to note that California is very badly in need of an infusion of financial competence, so the importation of that famous Israeli entrepreneurship and financial acumen would be extremely helpful right about now.
There is even a sufficiency of financial resources available to pay for the relocation of the Mexican and Israeli populations. Washington presently spends more than $5 billion every year to help defend Israel, plus another $2 billion that goes to Egypt as part of the Begin-Sadat deal. So, that’s at least $7 billion per year that would be freed up to deport the illegal Mexicans, buy up land in Southern California and help the Israelis relocate to San Diego. Since the present difficulties have gone on for 40 years already and look likely to continue for at least another 40, one could easily justify dedicating $280 billion to the project. Moreover, the oil-rich Arab states could be hit up for any additional money that is required in return for title to 22,072 square kilometers of prime Middle Eastern real estate, which they would be happy to pay in return for not having to continue funding the exercises in IDF target practice that are more commonly known as their militaries.
It’s a win-win-win situation. The Israelis get better land, security, lasting peace and the chance to dominate the 2020 World Surfing Championships. The Palestinians get the land they’ve been pestering the world about for the last 40 years. The Americans get 6 million smart, successful neighbors, avoid bailing out California and nip the budding Aztlan irredentist movement in the bud. And even the nominal losers, the illegal Mexicans, will probably end up being re-imported by the Israelis a few years down the road to do the work that the Arabs presently do in Israel. Everyone benefits, no one dies and the planet continues to revolve in peace and prosperity.
Naturally, this means there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of this ever taking place.