Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict
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Downgrade Israeli Arabs’ citizen rights

The Torah’s requirement for Jews to love strangers in the midst of Israel refers to proselytes, people who live in the Land of Israel according to the laws of the Torah, not to superficially loyal potential enemies of Israel. The oppression of aliens the Torah prohibited is that of the Hebrews in Egypt: they Jews should arbitrarily enslave them. They do not have the same rights as Jews, and building shrines to idols is explicitly prohibited.

Jews in Arab countries lived in isolation, in part because of Muslim reservations about religious aliens. In the twentieth century, most Arab governments and populations were hostile to the Jews under their jurisdiction. Israel should return the favor to Israeli Arabs, showing them passive hostility and refusing to employ them at Israeli-owned factories.

The Arabs restricted Jews’ religious and property rights for 1,300 years where they could. Jews had no basic rights in the Arab world: they could not testify against Muslims in court nor work in the bureaucracy theoretically (though that provision was not always upheld), and many Islamic jurists refused to recognize the murder of a Jew as a capital offense—unlike the murder of a Muslim. As recently as the 1990s, the rights of the small remnant of a 2,500-year old Jewish community in Syria were severely restricted, and few Jews survived in other Muslim countries.

Saudi Arabia, the flagship of fundamentalism, prohibits non-Islamic worship on its territory; Israel is entitled to do the same regarding Islamic worship in the Land of Israel, especially since Torah explicitly dictates Jews such a policy toward other religions. When Sadat retracted the Egyptian government’s legal protection of Christians to strengthen his shaky political position as leader of the Islamic league, Israel should have retracted protection of Israeli Muslims. When those born in the United Arab Emirates, even in the third generation, are not accorded citizenship if they are not from the original local tribes, there could be no objection to Israel downgrading Israeli Arabs from citizens to resident aliens in Israel. Reciprocal vengeance for recent offense is ethically acceptable and serves Israel’s practical needs.

Israelis might decide to help the Palestinians develop and become good neighbors of Israel, but that has nothing to do with Israeli-Arab citizenship. Transferring Israeli Arabs to the Palestinian territories or Jordan would help Israel as much. A peaceful neighbor is secondary to preserving Israel’s Jewish identity. A national religious identity is neither a new nor a uniquely Israeli concept. Saudi Arabia is exclusively Muslim, and such nations were common until populations became too intermingled to maintain ethnic exclusivity. Political correctness moved white Americans to assimilate blacks only a few decades ago, and many white citizens are still not color-blind. Unlike other people, the Jewish raison d’être is to be different. After two millennia of waiting and working to re-establish the Jewish state, to see it overrun by Muslims is bizarre. Israel incomprehensibly subsidizes Israeli Arabs, gives them free infrastructure, education, insurance, and family benefits.

If Israel does nothing, the Arabs’ birth rate will make them a majority in Israel, or at least the largest coherent faction in Israeli parliament, in a few dozen years. The more the Israeli Arabs breed, the harder it will be for Israel to transfer them. Israel has no guilt before her Arabs. Israel did not ship their ancestors from Africa or systematically kill them while colonizing. Israeli Arabs do not suffer discrimination but on the contrary Israel gives them tax advantages over Jews. The Arab economic input in Israel is almost zero, perhaps less, considering what the Israeli government pays to educate them, house them, and take care of them. Israeli Arabs enjoy high incomes and social guarantees compared to their Islamic brethren elsewhere. Israeli Muslims generally do not serve in the Israel Defense Forces and defend the Jewish state. Yet they constantly demand from Israel accommodation of Israel’s enemies. Israeli Arabs are not proper citizens of Israel in any normal sense, Israel has no obligation to them and can transfer them out.

Israel must rescind from Israeli Arabs preferences like exemptions from taxes and conscription and the official status of the Arabic language in Israel. If Arabs do not want to serve the Israel Defense Forces in support services or Israeli public works, they should pay higher taxes in Israel, as Jews have to Arabs for centuries.[2] Making Arabs serve in Israel Defense Forces, and engaging them in clashes with West Bank Palestinians is the best way to force the Israeli Arab youth to emigrate or betray their brethren, Israel thus causing a major intra-Arab conflict. Serving in Israel Defense Forces' infantry with light weapons and prohibited from taking weapons home, Israeli Arabs will not subvert the Israel Defense Forces

Israeli Arabs are not inherently bad or disloyal to Israel, but Israel cannot accept their political objectives of subverting the Jewish state, suppressed for the time being because economic advancement in Israel is more important for poor Arabs. Unlike American Indians who do not want sovereignty, Israeli Arabs will always have the stimulating example of their brethren living independently without Jewish yoke. Unlike American Muslims, they are contemptuous of the Israeli dominant host culture. People are irrational: Israeli Arabs will eventually develop Palestinian nationalist aspirations and trade them for the economic benefits they enjoy as loyal Israelis.

An Israeli state is first a community of neighbors sharing basic values and ready to support each other, an impossible state of affairs between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. Israeli police and payoffs to Arabs could quash some of the discontent and factionalism, but Israel will never be a U.S.-style melting pot. Israeli Jews do not want to assimilate the Arabs. Many of the Jews in Israel could live better elsewhere and are there by choice for the strong sense of Jewish national identity that outweighs economic disadvantages of Israel. A large Arab population threatens the Jewish identity of Israel. The legacy of Arab hostility to Israelis would linger for decades after any Arab-Israeli peace settlement. Israel with Arabs is as odd as Yugoslavia, and an Arab population explosion in Israel will eventually force the question.

Israel must make the relocation of Israeli Arabs from Israel as stress-free as practically possible. Israel must give Arabs plenty of time to sell their real estate, with the Israeli government as the last-resort fair buyer. Israel might procure residence permits and citizenship for Israeli Arabs in other countries, primarily in Asia and Latin America. Israel might offer some subsidies and loan guarantees. Israel should fully disburse the Arabs’ pension savings with Israeli agencies. Israel might even subsidize Israeli Arabs children’s education in the new countries to compensate for the free education in Israel. Israeli Arabs who resettle on the West Bank—if Israel concedes to a Palestinian state—should get perpetual leases of large tracts of agricultural land Israelis own there; that property is impractical for Israelis in independent Palestine anyway. To soften the transfer, Israel could refuse citizenship only to future Israeli Arab children.

Short of transferring the Israeli Arabs out, Israel should withdraw their political franchise. Following the Torah’s lead—of cursing idolaters to the fourth generation—Israel should enfranchise Israeli Arabs only after four generations of demonstrated loyalty to Israel and revoke the franchise the minute Arab loyalty to Israel comes into question. Since a rebellious relative could likely be found in every family, Arab traditional dependence on extended family arrangements would teach them to police each other and stifle disloyal activity of whatever kind. If not, whole families would be transferred from Israel. Such collective responsibility makes sense, both because poor Arabs generally adhere to family decisions and because dissidents usually incite their families against Israel and rely on them for assistance.

Israeli Arabs could be given dhimmi status with all the rights of resident aliens: participation in local but not Israeli national elections, a generous approach on the part of Israel compared to the policy of most Arab states which exclude non-Arabs from citizenship or property ownership, even if they live in the country for generations. Israeli Arabs would have almost the full spectrum of rights and be able to own or lease land in Israel. Even such rights endanger Israel, because Islamic countries could finance Israeli Arabs to lease the land in Jerusalem, reversing the method the Jews employed to create Israel. Non-Jews must be prohibited from beneficial lease of politically sensitive land in Israel. Governments use the doctrine of immanent domain to buy real estate of public interest. Israel might buy all the real estate belonging to Israeli Arabs at a fair price.

Since Israeli Arabs want to stay in Israel only for the economic advantages, an economic boycott by Israelis is worth considering. Most Israeli Arabs work as farmers or hired by Israeli Jews. If Jews refused Israeli Arab produce or labor, they would have to move from Israel. Such an Israeli policy is no different from common "buy local" patriotic consumer programs. The Israeli Arab birthrate means their percentage of Israeli voters will increase, a process exacerbated by the influx of other non-Jewish immigrants in Israel. Any Israeli generous policy with aliens undermines the homogenous character of Israel as the Jewish state. Some argue that even with a large proportion of non-Jews, Israel would be different from Jewish Diaspora settlements in one important respect: the Jews own the country and write the laws based on Jewish ethics. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Democracy gives the country to all its citizens, not just Jews, and as there are non-Jews in the Israeli parliament, Jews do not write the laws in Israel. Israeli Jews may have a majority, but that is only a quantitative difference. Jews influence legislation in many countries. In the fragmented Israeli parliament, a small but coherent group of Arabs has disproportional influence on Israeli politics. Israeli Jewish politicians form majorities with the ultra-orthodox parties to avoid collaborating with the Arabs, but as the Israeli demography shifts, that will not always be possible.

Israel is not a democratic state in the usual meaning of the term, like the United States, but rather a state of a single national ethos following a single religious practice—not rigorously but sufficiently to be persecuted for centuries. Some try mistakenly to liken this situation to Nazism. Israel embodies a liberal ideal: an autonomous community. Philatelist clubs accept only philatelists; a Jewish nation may accept only Jews. Corporations have almost human rights; how much should a nation have them! Israel is a state for a nation, not for individual citizens. Jews want to live in an ethnically homogenous Jewish state without anyone else.[3] A history of repressions against Jews justifies their drive for homogeneity in Israel. Ideally, homogenous states should seek vacant inhabitable land, but there is none. Arabs inhabited Israel sparsely when in the late nineteenth century Jews started to settle there. If the Arabs cannot push the Israelis back out, the only practical choice is between a pluralist Israeli society of inimical groups of Jews and Arabs or living apart, which would necessarily mean some displacement of Israeli Arabs. In Israel, the displacement of Israeli Arabs is about fifty miles, less than some people drive to work. The advantages of a peaceful living arrangement between Israeli Jews and Arabs are worth that minor inconvenience. Arabs do not want to stay in Israel from patriotic attachment but for economic reasons of benefiting from Jews. Let the Israeli Arabs build a prosperous state in the West Bank or Jordan. Israeli re-settlement of Israeli Arabs need not be violent. Emigrating Israeli Arabs should be compensated by Israel for real estate and other property. Israel could offer them abandoned Jewish settlements in the West Bank and build new infrastructure, so they would not suffer like Jewish immigrants coming to Palestine. Israeli Jews could induce Arab emigration by offering large bonuses and double the fair property value to the families moving out. Israeli Arabs who want to live in a multinational democracy or in an Islamic state or in a secular Arab country can go where they want. Israel's dislodging Israeli Arabs or Palestinians from the Palestinian territories has nothing in common with the Holocaust. Israeli Jews do not want to kill them; Israeli Arabs are free to go.

Israeli Arabs are a fifth column who support and vote for Israel’s enemies. They will either eventually have enough votes to destroy Israel’s Jewish identity, or the Jews will have to run them out of Israel. Israel might become a regular democracy of diverse ethnic groups, without the distinctive Jewishness Israel's founders sought. With the current birth rate, Israeli Arabs could become a majority and vote Israel out of existence. Hostile groups might separate and Israel be cantonized.

Restricting Arabs’ rights in Israel is only a temporary solution, since they can launch an anti-Apartheid struggle for equality to which some weak Israeli government would surely yield. After a century of enforced institutionalized oppression of blacks, white America not only legislated full citizenship for Afro-Americans but also paid reparations in welfare and affirmative-action programs. Democracy and liberalism work only in countries where all society’s constituents respect one another and share similar notions of culture, education, and work. A Jewish state cannot be an ethnically blind democracy.

Multinational states also sometimes have problems similar to Israel’s, but with non-citizen immigrants—not non-Jews. There is no essential difference between a state for its citizens, not aliens, and a state for a single ethnic group, not others. It is hard to see the difference between nationalist Israel and “citizenist” France: both discourage newcomers from becoming citizens. France grants citizenship to very few. Israel should offer citizenship only to Jews to prevent the Arab population from increasing. Even the United States, the most internationalized country in the world, has immigration quotas for various ethnic groups. Great Britain long ago abandoned the anchor-baby provision which recognized everyone born in its territory as a citizen. Modern Westerners accept ethnic diversity and increasingly reject nationalism because they mixed, but the rise of a nationalist right shows that ethnic diversity troubles some. The feeling is natural. People are more comfortable among people like themselves. Democracies depend on shared values, and antagonistic groups cannot coexist in Israeli state. Idyllic theories of ethnically egalitarian societies and political correctness persuade people to drop natural contempt of aliens and live with strangers. America will not easily assimilate Hispanic and blacks, Canada Chinese, France Muslims, and Germany Turks. The European Union objected to Turkey’s membership, and Europeans are better predisposed to Catholic Poles than to Muslim immigrants. Almost all countries exiled Jews. Israel is entitled to expel non-Jews if she chooses, especially if Israeli Arabs can relocate nearby and be compensated for the property they surrender.

A population exchange resolved Turkish-Greek tensions. Relocation would have prevented the Yugoslavian war. The U.N. in 1947 prescribed both Jewish and Arab states in Palestine, not one mixed. Israel has attracted the Jews who lived in Arab countries. Now it is the Arabs’ turn to move out of Israel. Relocating the Israeli Arabs only fifty miles would prevent the inevitable conflict that will come when Israeli Jews see their dominance in Israel threatened.

Israel was wrong to accept Arabs as citizens. That error, made under extreme duress of Arab-Israeli war, need not be perpetuated. Israel should revoke the Israeli Arabs’ citizenship and pay them off.

[2] While the exact amount of jizyah, the tax imposed oh dhimmis, is disputed, the authoritative book of Muwatta, written by Mohammed's contemporary Malik, in 17.24.46 requires 10% of the investment for itinerant traders. Assuming an average net profit rate of 20% in the pre-modern period, that corresponds to a verbal tradition of 50% income tax, besides land taxes and various humiliating obligations for Jews, like stationing Arab army horses in synagogues. Failure to pay taxes resulted in death.

[3] Many states practice national exclusivism. From 1803 into the 1960s, it was illegal in France to give children Breton names. Many fringe religious groups face government opposition in most countries. Anti-Semitic propaganda is pandemic in Muslim world. Even America, the least xenophobic of all, sets ethnic immigration quotas. Core ethnic groups want to dominate.