Support This Website! Shop Here!

Friday, September 01, 2006

State of Emergency

Imagine living in an area your whole life, and your father before you, and his father before him, when you suddenly began to notice new people in your neighborhood. First just a few, but then it changes. More come in, most from another country. First one stranger, then several, then dozens, the friends and relatives from the old hometown arriving in an ever-increasing flood, buying the houses and land near yours and setting up housekeeping.

The governing authorities notices the influx of newcomers and takes steps to limit the inflow of people. They pass laws, step up border enforcement and try to keep the flow to a manageable level.

It doesn’t help. Due to the problems in their home countries, more and more of the foreigners come in every day. None share your religious faith, which is the religion of the region, many are lawbreakers, some are even terrorists. These newcomers begin to insist they want to set up their own state, a new state that governs itself and doesn’t recognize the lawful authority in the area. Eventually, they succeed.

Does this story sound familiar? Of course it does. It is the story of the formation of the state of Israel.

Due to anti-Semitism in Europe, a group of secular Jews in the late 1800’s became convinced that they should establish a Jewish homeland in the Palestine area, then a part of the Ottoman Empire. Following WW I, Britain gained control of Palestine. Even though Jewish land acquisitions were perfectly legal, British authorities recognized the influx of Jews created flashpoints with the native Ottoman Arab population. They attempted to limit immigration.

This was not only unsuccessful, it was radically unsuccessful. The growing anti-Semitism in Europe coupled with the restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine created Jewish terrorist cells, bent on overthrowing British rule at all costs. These Zionists were, in fact, allied with the Nazis prior to WW II, since Hitler had his own reasons for encouraging a weakening of British control in the region. Even during the war, Germany always encouraged its Jews to emigrate to Palestine and the flag of Israel was the only one permitted to fly on the same flagpole as the German Swastika.

Eventually, the combination of increasing population, unending violence and world shame over the Holocaust did the trick: Israel became a nation.

Now, of course, at this point some readers are feeling a little cheated. You may well be thinking, “You deliberately mis-led us by your opening. You wrote so as to make us think you were describing events in North America, but you pulled a fast one. That is grotesquely unfair.”

And you would be right. I was being unfair. I deliberately wrote the opening story in order to remind you that this is how the United States annexed Texas and California.

In the early 1800’s, the area that comprises Texas and California was ruled by Mexico. Protestant Americans rode across the borders and settled Mexican territories. Despite laws that required all immigrants into Mexico to convert to Catholic Faith, many of these settlers either did not do so, or did so in name only. Worse, many of the immigrants from the United States had criminal records. They were lawbreakers.

After colonizing the area, often illegally, these immigrants successfully fomented rebellion and formed their own state, the state of Texas. Unfortunately the boundaries of the state were never clearly defined. When Texas was absorbed by the United States, the boundary disputes continued. President Polk sent troops into the disputed area to establish a military outpost. While deliberately attempting to militarize an area that was not clearly controlled by the United States, American soldiers were fired upon by Mexican soldiers.

Polk insisted that “American blood has been spilled on American soil” and thus began what would become the Mexican-American War, in which Mexico lost over half its territory. This is the war Abraham Lincoln publicly railed against (he voted for supplies for the troops, but against the war). It is the war that Henry David Thoreau went to jail over. It is the war Ulysses S. Grant was ashamed to ever have participated in.

What’s that? I’ve switched subjects again? You thought I was talking about the waves of Mexican Catholics coming into the United States? Hmmm… I wonder why?
Most conservatives are (as I am) four-score behind Israel and against the Arabs, even though the Arabs made the same complaints seventy years ago about Ashkenazi Jews that many of those same American conservatives make now about Mexican Catholics. On the other hand, most liberals vigorously support both Hispanic immigrants and the Arabs against Israel, even though the Zionists were merely an early version of the radicals amongst the Hispanic population.

Of all the popular political voices on the spectrum, Pat Buchanan is alone in being logically consistent on these points: he opposes both Hispanic immigration and support to Israel. But that is the beginning and end of his consistency. After all, how can an orthodox Catholic be opposed to pro-life, anti-homosexual Catholics immigrating into Protestant America? Why preserve a culture of death?

In my last post, I pointed out quite a few logical inconsistencies. With this post, I have given you another set. Next week, I will discuss a set of facts that are clearly inconsistent, but whose solution I simply cannot fathom. I'm hoping you will be able to help me out.

1 comment:

Jordan Potter said...

There is one distinct aspect of Zionism that is lacking in the cases of how the U.S. came to illegally seize half of Mexico. The Holy Land originally was the home of the Jews, and even though the Zionists were secularised, the memory of "Zion" helped to spur the Jewish return to their homeland. The Muslims and Christians of "Palestine" just don't have the kind of religious or quasi-religious tie to their homeland that the Jews will always have. That a volatile ingredient in the mix, and it makes the troubles in the Holy Land particularly intractable.

Personally I believe that the only real solution to the violence in the Holy Land is for the Muslims in the Middle East to be converted to Catholicism -- coupled with, or preceded or followed by, the conversion of the Jews to the Apostolic Faith. Every other proposed solution will really only be a bandaid.