April 23, 2002

Mr. Sharon, put up this Wall!

Will William F. Buckley Jr. be thrown out of the conservative ranks for denouncing Ariel Sharon's scorched earth campaign? The grand old man of the American Right delivers a stinging rebuke to the War Fever crowd:

"My vote is that General Sharon's offensive is the stupidest campaign in recent memory. Defined here as a campaign that has: solved nothing, increased Israel's problems, intensified Palestinian hatred of Israel, estranged many Europeans and Americans, and fanned Islamic hostility."

I hope it's not that bad. Obviously, Israel has do something. In his prime, Sharon was a brilliant battlefield tactician. But he's an old man now, and, besides, his strategic sense was always iffy. Over the years, has any single man done more to alienate Israel's more objective well-wishers? There is a fascinating untold story about why some great Reagan Administration patriots like Caspar Weinberger hate Sharon. (I don't know the details, although I can guess.)

The only long run "solution," such as it is, would be for Israel to figure out a defensible border, tear down the settlements beyond the border, and build a Berlin Wall along that boundary to prevent all physical contact between Israelis and West Bank Palestinians. (This has worked on nearby Cyprus for a quarter of a century.) They can't blow you up if they can't get next to you. Even Andrew Sullivan agreed with that today. (Perhaps Andrew was between his testosterone injections when he wrote that?)

In contrast, trying to make peace with the Palestinians is doomed. Their hotheads are even less likely to accept Israel's right to exist than Americans today would be willing - if the War in the Pacific had turned out differently - to accept the right to exist of a "Shintoist State" that had taken control of the visually similar California coastal region. (Think about that analogy for awhile. It helped me understand the Middle East a lot better. And keep in mind that we Americans are a lot less inclined to hold grudges than Arabs are.)

But, what kind of permanent solution can devastating Palestinian cities achieve? Suicide bombing takes very little "infrastructure." The Palestinians are outbreeding the Israelis. The Palestinians will outnumber the Jews by 2020 in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The handwriting is on the wall.

The state of Israel avowedly exists for the good of a single, hereditarily-defined group (see the "basic law of Israel," the Law of Return, for the heredity-based definition of who can immigrate to Israel). I suppose this statement will be controversial, but it shouldn't be. It's the reason Israel is "the Jewish State." There are plenty of other states that exist to be the political expression of a single extremely extended family: Japan is a good example. Iceland is another. Hereditarily-defined states can work reasonably well, fostering harmony, democracy, and human rights (as Japan and Iceland do), but only as long as the state rules over its own racial group and no other large group.

Otherwise, it generally must become a racial security state, like the old Afrikaaner-run South Africa. The Israelis have better things to do with their lives than be the Palestinians' prison guards. Israelis need to return to their roots as a people that shall dwell apart. Mr. Sharon, put up this Wall!

And as Ron Unz argued today, the American Right has better things to do with its time than be a repetitious mouthpiece for the more extreme members of the Israeli Right.

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