me preface this with the following rather obvious denunciations
of terrorism in order to avoid charges of pacifism and anti-Americanism
now being hurled at those who dare to question the role American
foreign policy might have played in the recent attacks. Here goes.
The terrorists are 100% guilty, and they and any governments, organizations,
or individuals that aided and abetted them deserve
severe punishment. They
are really bad guys. American intervention and meddling, even if
it helped to provoke these savage people and to make such attacks
more likely, provide no excuse for the atrocities of September 11.
And since I’m discussing Israel below as well, I suppose I had better
also say that I explicitly denounce antisemitism, some of my best
friends are Jews, yada yada yada. Okay? Got that out of the way?
Are all the PC idiots — whose perverse anti-discrimination laws
helped contribute to the recent deaths of over 6,000 people — satisfied?
Probably not, but let me proceed.
The terrorists are completely responsible for their unjustifiable,
murderous actions. Nevertheless, it can still be pointed out that
American foreign policy is a significant cause of the anti-American
hatred which generates terrorism. It is implausible that we are
attacked merely because we are “democratic” and they “hate
our freedoms,” as
George Bush and others,
such as neocons and
Objectivists, imply. It
is beyond cavil that they hate us, at least in part, because we
hurt their fellow Muslims (e.g. civilians in Iraq) and aid their
hated enemy, Israel. The enemy of my friend, the friend of my enemy,
and all that.
in addition to hunting down and extirpating those responsible for
the recent attacks, we ought to re-examine our foreign policy. As
Justin Raimondo writes,
citing George Washington’s
Farewell Speech, “Our foreign
policy should consist of the following principle, one handed down
to us by the Founders: entangling alliances with none, free trade
with all. It is a foreign policy that puts America first — not Israel,
not Kosovo, not Taiwan, not ‘human rights,’ nor ‘democracy,’ but
America’s interests, narrowly conceived.” Therefore, we ought to
bring the troops home and stop sending billions of dollars a year
to prop up regimes such as Israel and Egypt. Calling some of the
troops home would, if nothing else, help save money. And if we had
a less meddlesome, more properly limited foreign policy, there might
well be less hatred of America and thus fewer terrorist attacks
on us. We might not eliminate terrorism, but even reducing its level
and frequency would save lives.
noted above, our support for Israel seems to be one reason that
so many Arabs hate us. As Norman Podhoretz
“To be sure, one of the great ‘crimes’ of America in Arab eyes remains
its support of Israel.” And Jacob Weisberg
begrudgingly admits that
for Osama Bin Laden, “the existence of Israel, and of Jews, is a
significant irritant,” and that “[o]ur abandonment of Israel might
diminish one of Bin Laden’s sources of suicidal recruits.”
Under a proper foreign policy we would not be militarily and financially
supporting regimes abroad, including Israel and others in the Middle
East. This could also be expected to reduce Arab/Muslim hatred of
obviously, it is not politically acceptable for America to completely
abandon Israel. Accordingly, I have another proposal: relocate Israel
I’m serious. Consider: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) currently
administers 264 million acres of public lands
— about one-eighth of the land in the United States. Most of these
lands are located in the western United States, including Alaska,
and include extensive grasslands, forests, high mountains, arctic
tundra, and deserts. The federal government has no business owning
millions of acres of public lands. These resources should be put
into private hands, not hoarded by government.
these insights — we should not be involved in the middle East; the
feds have no business owning public forests — with the political
reality that we cannot simply abandon Israel and allow it to be
overwhelmed by hostile Arabs, and an obvious solution presents itself:
offer to Israeli Jews a new homeland, carved out of BLM-administered
is plenty room to do it. Israel has an area of only about
5 million acres (7800 square
miles), just slightly smaller than New Jersey. Its population includes
(about the same as the number of Jews already in America). Israel’s
area is less than 2% of the public land controlled by the BLM. Perhaps
even a smaller area would suffice, say 2 or 3 million acres. Sufficient
space could no doubt be carved out of the public land in any number
of states — Alaska, Nevada, Wyoming, or Utah, for example. Or, as
suggested in the “New Israel” map above, between Nevada and Utah
Utah (yellow on the map denotes BLM-administered public land; the
red patch indicates a possible location for New Israel). Or, heck,
put New Israel up in Alaska’s 19-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge (“Anwar”), and lease the oil exploration and production rights
to them. The (New) Israelis an oil power — how’s that for turnabout!
propose, therefore, that we dedicate sufficient BLM land to form
New Israel, and grant it special status as an independent territory.
After a sufficient number of Israelis (and perhaps some American
Jews) moved there, America could recognize it as a sovereign state.
New Israel could either be a successor state to treaty and related
obligations of Israel, or it could be a new state altogether, if
some remnant of Old Israel survived. A treaty between the U.S. and
New Israel should guarantee free trade. And New Israel’s status
as an independent state would prevent New Israelis from becoming
American citizens, which is important because Israelis are socialistic,
at least by libertarian standards.
selecting a location and dedicating it to this purpose, the U.S.
government would announce that it is withdrawing all support for
Israel within, say, five to ten years (or sooner, if possible).
That would give Israelis sufficient time to relocate. We could save
$3 billion a year currently sent to Israel or, if politically necessary,
use some or all that amount for some time, to help fund the relocation
and to provide seed money to New Israeli businesses and homeowners.
(Private alternatives would of course be preferable.) Some Israelis
might move; others might stubbornly refuse the offer, valuing consanguinity
with a specific patch of dirt over their own safety. That is their
right, but I do not see that it is America’s obligation to risk
its citizens’ lives to protect this preference. Those that would
stay, would do so at their own peril. By offering them New Israel,
we would be guaranteeing to Israelis a homeland and a better life
(albeit, farther away from the Wailing Wall and Arab bombs). This
is overly generous, in my view. We would have done all that is required
of us, and more.
might be objected that this proposal is heartless and does not give
adequate weight to the importance Jews attach to the “Holy Land.”
I appreciate the argument that we should not let Israel and Jewry
perish. But the location is secondary; certainly, it is not worth
American lives to have the homeland in this place instead
of that place. Why must thousands of American lives be lost
to terrorism just because one subset of Jews have a preference for
an arbitrary longitude and latitude? The primary purpose of a Jewish
homeland was always to provide a sanctuary to Jews, not to give
them prime real estate. Let them build a new Wailing Wall in New
Israel if they want. It’s what Americans would do.
fact, Theodore Herzl, the so-called “Father of Zionism,” and the
Zionist Congress at one point considered forming a Jewish state
Argentina and Uganda (see
link4). While these plans
were of course ultimately rejected, that they were seriously considered
indicates that it is not outrageous or antisemitic to propose a
homeland in a place other than Israel (Palestine).
Uganda and Argentina were once considered possible locations for
a Jewish state, why not America? Wouldn’t everyone — Americans,
Jews, Arabs — be better off? The New Israelis would be closer to
civilization and their 6 million Jewish-American cousins; the land
would no doubt be more fertile and scenic; and New Israelis would
no longer have to put up with bombings and daily fighting. The Arabs
would be happier and maybe even hate us a little bit less. They
might even tolerate any Jews remaining in Palestine, as their smaller
numbers would pose less of a political threat.
for America, we could save several billion dollars a year by withdrawing
aid from Egypt and eventually eliminating financial aid to Israel.
We would also get to unload some of our public lands and put it
in private hands. Additionally, Americans would no doubt benefit
from a closer relationship with the Israelis, a productive, intelligent,
and resourceful group (if that is not politically incorrect to acknowledge).
And maybe not quite as many Americans would be murdered by Israel-hating