[Peter Brimelow writes: I've said before that VDARE.COM IS NOT A FULL-SERVICE WEBSITE! We think immigration and the National Question are today's VITAL ISSUES!! We want to FOCUS on them!!! But our syndicated columnists keep straying off the reservation. So here we let a less anti-war member of our coalition off the leash - briefly.]
There's something about the Biblical Lands that brings out the Apocalyptic in folks. Norman Podhoretz and Paul Craig Roberts see the situation in the Middle East as so dire that America should either
Personally, I believe our real problem with Saddam Hussein is one that Tony Soprano would understand perfectly. We made a deal with Saddam in 1991. He's been spitting on it publicly. If we let this minor punk get away with it, tougher operations like China will get the idea we've gone soft. So to enforce a contract, we might have to take out a contract.
However, this relatively limited problem justifies neither launching what Podhoretz calls "World War IV" nor pulling the plug on Israel.
Anyway, neither Podhoretz nor Roberts would really be happy with their plans' long-term impact on America.
Podhoretz fails to consider his plan's inevitable side effect—"imperial backwash" - and its attendant dangers for American Jews. Imposing permanent reforms upon those ancient cultures would require at least a generation (if it could be done at all). These lengthy American occupations would inevitably bring a flood of immigrants to America from our new anti-Jewish protectorates - especially if Podhoretz's anti-anti-immigration prejudices continue to dominate polite opinion.
(Fortunately, other Jewish leaders are reassessing their traditional support for mass immigration in the light of 9/11. Media mogul Mort Zuckerman, who recently slammed current policy, is chairman of the influential Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.)
Consider the cost that France is paying for once ruling Algeria. Jew-hating Algerian Muslim youths now hold the whip hand in many grimy French suburbs. The gendarmes and their political bosses worry that, if the Algerians are not permitted to run amok against the Jews, they'll riot against everybody—as the Pakistani Muslims did in Britain last year.
Is this what Podhoretz wants for America?
Nor does Podhoretz consider how American foreign policy would naturally turn against Israel once our bureaucrats were responsible for running nine separate Muslim countries. (Including Afghanistan—so far we haven't exactly shown we know how to make Madisonian constitutionalists out of the furious clansmen.)
Already, Podhoretz complains frequently about how the State Department (and the British Foreign Office before it) is too pro-Arab. Once we became the mentor of nine Muslim nations, the official urge to throw them a bone by reducing our support for Israel would multiply exponentially.
What about the Roberts plan? Personally, I believe America would, and should, take in the Israelis if their enemies succeeded in "driving them into the sea." But this isn't going to be necessary.
Still, importing 5.4 million Israeli Jews would contradict Roberts' preference – expressed also by Podhoretz - for limited government. The high-IQ Ashkenazi Jews who dominate Israel, and who would soon play a major role in American institutions, have never been enthusiasts for free markets.
Today, Israel ranks a mediocre 56th out of 123 countries on the Economic Freedom index. Back in 1980, it was a miserable 93rd out 107 countries. [See Peter Brimelow's 1987 interview with an embattled Israeli free marketer here.] For that matter, Jews here voted for Gore over Bush 80%-17%.
Further, Roberts (and Podhoretz) should worry about the effect on American attitudes of a sudden influx highly-talented Ashkenazis. The median Jewish IQ appears to be higher than of the non-Jewish white population. This shifts the whole Jewish IQ Bell Curve to the right – with dramatic results on the right, high IQ, tail. By a very rough calculation, after such a population transfer, Israeli Ashkenazis would constitute one out of every five people in America with stratospheric IQs (160 or higher).
Morever, one big reason the media are so uncaring about immigration's economic impact on their fellow Americans is that American journalists don't have to compete against immigrants, except for the occasional arrival from the Anglosphere. But, if native-born journalists started losing their jobs to hard-working, brash, English-speaking Israelis, centuries of tragic history suggest this Olympian complacency might soon give way to anti-Semitism.
But none of this is going to happen. Israel is eminently capable of defending itself - with or without American help. Israel is almost as much the regional superpower of the Mideast as the U.S. is of the Americas.
And, as more and more Israelis are realizing, their vulnerability to suicide bombers who stroll in from the West Bank is a self-imposed problem, just like our own problem with illegal aliens crossing the Mexican border... And it has a simple solution: build a wall. A wall has already prevented terrorists from entering via the Gaza Strip.
Why didn't Israel start work on a West Bank security fence before now?
Israel's Left hoped to unite Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip into one happy-clappy multiculturalist polity. They saw building a wall as a repudiation of their "Why can't we all just get along?" philosophy in favor of the immoral forces of prejudice and xenophobia. The Center thought that building a wall would undercut land-for-peace negotiations by unilaterally imposing a boundary. The Right, seeing the West Bank as part of the rightful homeland of the Jews, feared a wall would impede the settler takeover there. And business owners (as usual) wanted the cheap labor proved by the West Bank Palestinians.
After paying a terrible price in civilian deaths, the Israelis are learning that old American lesson: good fences make good neighbors. (Or, at least, non-homicidal ones, which might be as good as you can get in the Middle East.)
September 26, 2002