Is Annexing the West Bank a ‘Moral Right’?

A mainstream polemic shows how far some will go to justify Israel's grip on the Palestinians—if not their outright removal.

Last week The Federalist published an opinion piece by Jason D. Hill, professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago. As I read this commentary, I had to wonder whether it was some kind of spoof. It seems to have been written to poke fun at over-the-top Zionists; and this may indeed be the case—or so one can hope.

In his essay, Hill insisted that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should faithfully keep his campaign promise to incorporate West Bank settlements. In fact, according to Hill, the Israeli leader has a “moral right to annex all of the West Bank…for a plethora of reasons.”

This “plethora of reasons” comes down basically to four. First, the Israelis were too “altruistic” in dealing with the Palestinians whom they conquered in 1967. It would been better if the Israelis had regarded the Palestinians as “enemies of the state: supporters of the Fatah (Palestinian Liberation Organization) Charter, which basically calls for the end of Jewry in the region.” Jewish conquerors should have immediately annexed the land and made “the people there [who should have been expelled] the responsibility of their original homeland: Jordan.” A Peace to End All Pea... David Fromkin Best Price: $3.99 Buy New $7.89 (as of 09:20 EDT - Details)

Second, he implies that Palestinian authority doesn’t deserve any better, in part because it fails to recognize the inherent inferiority of their people in relation to the Jewish masters of the West Bank: “Jewish exceptionalism and the exceptionalist nature of Jewish civilization require an unconditional space for the continued evolution of their civilization. What’s good for Jewish civilization is good for humanity at large. Jewish civilization is an international treasure trove that must be protected.”

Third, Israel has “every moral right to wage a ruthless and unrelenting war against Hamas and to re-settle the land if it ever so desires.” On top of that, the United States is morally obligated to pay “political and financial reparations” to Israel, supplying it with “more advanced military capabilities” so that it can maintain its “unrivaled military status in the Middle East.”

Finally, Hill solemnly arrives at his last point. The Palestinians have no moral authority “because they have never explicitly held a philosophy that can support freedom, the basic principles of individual rights, and a free market economy.” Additionally, they vote for terrorist organizations like Hamas to represent them. In short, they are a “security threat to Israel because a core feature of their identity is a commitment to destroying Israel as a Jewish state.” It is therefore immoral to accept “anti-Semitics devoted to the destruction of Israel into the domain of Jewish civilization.”

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