I have some sympathy with the Muslim Arabs who live, or used to live but fled to avoid war, in a part of the Middle East where they were once dominant in terms of numbers. These Muslim Arabs, nowadays calling themselves Palestinians, were inundated by large numbers of Jews fleeing persecution in Europe.
Some of these Jews wanted to re-establish a Jewish homeland in the Middle East while others were simply fleeing for their lives.
I think a Palestinian Muslim from the early 20th century would have thought along the following lines:
The Palestinian Side
I belong to a majority group whose majority is fast dwindling due to large scale immigration from European Jews. This means that any future decisions made about my country will not necessarily benefit me, but rather the quickly swelling group of invaders.
The incoming Jews are good at what they do and this doesn’t make me feel great about myself or my culture. They build hospitals and schools and are good at farming the land. Arabs who had once been farmers are being forced off the land by Jews buying that land from absentee Arab landlords. I hate both the absentee landlords and the incoming Jews.
We never asked these Jews to come into what I consider to be ‘my people’s country’. I admit that Jews have always lived in this land and it’s true that in several places they have been in the majority at various times throughout history. Yet taken as a whole country (which, I’ll grant you, Palestine has never been), Jews have generally made up only a small percentage of the whole population of Palestine. That is, until this new influx started at the end of the 19th century.
Though I don’t mind living alongside a handful of Jews, I certainly don’t want them to become a majority and I really don’t want them to annex part of my country for themselves so that they can rule over that part. Yet this is what is planned and it is happening because the foreign invaders, mainly the British, hold the reins of our immigration policy and it is they who are now deciding how my country should be carved up. But this shouldn’t be for them to decide. It is my country and my people should decide what happens to it.
Since it’s clear that my people and a large population of Jews can’t live together (there has been too much fighting) and since the UN has now decided that the Jews must be allowed to establish their own state within our land, I am forced into supporting attacks on Jews as the only option to win our country back. With the help of the surrounding Muslim countries we should quickly be able to drive these invaders into the sea, as our leaders have promised to do. We will kill not only the young fighting Jewish men, but also their women and children. This will strike fear into them and they will then leave of their own accord. But while this attack is going on, I and my family will leave Palestine for the time being, just until the fighting is over…
Boom, boom, boom….
Oh, we lost. The Jews and Jordanians and Egyptians have occupied part of our land. Now I can’t go home. I don’t mind Jordan and Egypt occupying part of Palestine. After all, I have never thought of Palestine as a country anyway. Yet I do mind Jews being there.
Looking around me I see that while the Jewish state goes from strength to strength and functions as a liberal democracy, all Muslim societies are dysfunctional by comparison and are not liberal democracies. This must somehow be the fault of the Jews. If we could only force them out of the Middle East all our problems would be solved.
Okay, most Muslim societies were dysfunctional even before Israel was established but there must be a reason for this. That, at least, is what we teach our children in schools and what our media tells us every day. Jews are apes and pigs. It doesn’t matter that Muslims living in Israel have more rights than Muslims living in Islamic countries. The Jews simply shouldn’t be here and they certainly shouldn’t have their own state on our land. The fact that our societies are run by barbaric theocratic imams and despots who live in luxury must be the fault of Jews and westerners, especially Americans. This can’t, this musn’t, have anything to do with our Islamic and Arabic culture and traditions.
Of course, there is another side to this story, namely that of the Jews. Had I been a European Jew in the first half of the 20th century, I would have felt the following:
The Jewish Side of the Story
I am entitled to emigrate to Palestine in an attempt to avoid being murdered in Europe. Palestine has been occupied by foreign invaders for at least the last 500 years and has never been considered a country. Since the new occupiers are permitting us to enter, then I will do so. My ancestors fled persecution in Palestine many centuries ago and now, as a result of new levels of persecution in Europe, I am fleeing back to where my ancestors once lived and were forced out of.
Though there are about 22 Muslim states in the world where a persecuted Muslim might flee to, nowhere on Earth is there a Jewish state where Jews can escape to. Surely self-determination over a small strip of sparsely populated desert land wouldn’t be too much to ask? After all, Jews have lived continuously in the region for the past 3,000 years. Admittedly, their numbers have often been small, largely because of persecution, but sometimes they have constituted, and still constitute in some cities and regions, the majority of the population. I would simply be joining them. And under the doctrine of self-determination that has seen other minority peoples break away from larger geographical or political blocs to form their own states – Pakistan, for example – why shouldn’t we do the same?
And if it turns out that this really is too much to ask, then we Jews will either be wiped out altogether or forever forced to live on the margins of societies that have a long tradition of turning against us whenever the going gets rough in their societies.
I have no intention of stealing any land from anyone. I will simply emigrate and buy a plot of land that I can farm. Where is the crime in that? I will try to get along with my Muslim neighbours but I have heard that they are resentful of us newcomers. For this reason I will stick close to my own people for defence. I won’t attack anyone, but if I am attacked I will defend myself. And if we defend ourselves we will try to fight only against fighting men and not innocent civilians caught up in the fighting.
I have to admit that I wouldn’t want my own land – if I had one – to be swamped by a flood of migrants from an alien culture, but I really have no choice. I’m not an economic refugee but simply someone trying to save himself and his family from persecution and death. Don’t the Muslims have any fellow feeling? And my coming will make Palestine richer. I will work hard. We Jews are famous for being industrious. That is sure to benefit society as a whole and not only myself.
My own position
Okay, that’s the situation as I see it. One thing occurred to me as I looked at the argument from the point of view of a Palestinian. If it is understandable that an indigenous population has no desire to be swamped by an incoming alien people, then people sympathetic to this way of thinking will understand why most Europeans would like to stop mass immigration, especially from Muslim countries. Other incoming people have managed to integrate pretty well and contribute to society. But I believe that 50% of Muslim men and 75% of Muslim women in Britain are on welfare. This is not contributing, it is sucking the system dry. And rather than integrating, many Muslims want to change the indigenous culture by getting new laws passed that benefit only themselves. No other section of society does this. And it has been pointed out that as long as Muslims are in a minority they are very keen on minority rights but as soon as their numbers increase they lose all taste for minority rights. Just ask the Coptic Christians in Egypt or pretty much any minority living in a majority Muslim country.
It is predicted that in the year 2015 Muslims will become the majority culture in Amsterdam, and other cities in Holland are not far behind. Other European countries like Sweden and France are going the same way, albeit more slowly. Surely if someone takes the Palestinian perspective on all this and sympathizes with a people who had mass immigration foisted upon them, then they must also be able to understand why the current replacement of indigenous Europeans by Muslims is causing concern. Yet the opposite seems to be true. People who are anti-Israel often tend to be pro Muslim immigration into Europe. Why is this?
Of course, if you are against the idea of the self-determination of Jews in Israel, then you will also want to dismantle Pakistan, right? India was partitioned in the same year that Israel was established so as to give the minority Muslims of India their own state. Why is partition and self-rule okay for Indian Muslims but not okay for Palestinian Jews?
And while you are at it, you might even want to delegitimize Slovakia, or Slovenia, or Bosnia for breaking away from the larger political entities of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
Of course, your objection to Israel might not be one of self-determination but of immigration, in which case you will also want to delegitimize Canada and Australia. And by ‘delegitimize’ I don’t just mean agree that the native inhabitants of those countries were treated shabbily by the incoming colonialists. I mean that if you think that Israel has no right to exist and you would like to see it destroyed, then surely you must do the same with Australia, which was largely colonised at the same time as Palestine was experiencing its first influx of European Jews.
The same goes for Canada. You must therefore boycott all Australian and Canadian goods and demonstrate outside their embassies and you must send flotillas of activists to their shores to break any legal security arrangements they have in place.
Of course, immigration to Australia and Canada was a kind of colonialism and colonialism is bad, right? But the Jews weren’t colonising Palestine. After all, who could they colonise it for? Russia? Poland? Germany? Of course not. These Jews were escaping from these countries and were refugees, not colonialists. And after all, Jews lived in Palestine long before Arabs Muslims did. The latter were invaders from the Arabian Peninsula, bringing with them their new religion of peace at the point of a sword. They were the interlopers, not the Jews.
So, I don’t think you can be anti-Israel on the issue of partitioning a country unless you are also going to be anti-Pakistan and various other countries. Equally, I don’t think you can be anti-Israel for flooding the native population with Europeans Jews while at the same time not being anti-Australia or anti-Canada or anti-Muslim immigration into Europe now.
The only argument that could make Israel a unique case is a combination of both immigration and partition. Israel really might be the only nation in the world where a large number of relative newcomers has been allowed to join an existing rump population and partition a small part of a region in the interests of self-determination.
In my opinion, the unbroken Jewish presence in the region of a population stretching back over 3,000 years goes some way towards answering this objection, especially as the incoming population had originally been driven out by the Muslim Arabs. How convincing you find such an argument probably depends on what the percentages of Jewish people were in different places at different times. It is certainly not a black and white issue.
While I’m on this point, a related question floats into view: Are we now approaching a situation in Europe where mass immigration is leading to a gradual partitioning of parts of Europe? After all, Muslims tend to get their spouses from their home countries, thereby immediately doubling the number of Muslims in the host country. Once married, they also tend to have more children than native Europeans. Add to this the continued immigration from Muslim countries and you will understand why most experts predict that Muslims will soon have a demographic advantage over native Europeans. And the mayor of Amsterdam has said that once the people of Amsterdam vote for sharia law to be implemented, he will be prepared to implement it. Under a democracy it’s hard to know what else he could do, though he could at least pretend to be a little disturbed by the thought, as the rest of us are.
It isn’t always necessary to wait until a minority becomes the majority. Europeans are an ageing population while European Muslims are on average young and energetic. Such groups can influence a society way beyond its numbers.
Bearing all this in mind, I’m sure we Europeans will be able to count on the support of the anti-Israel faction to be the most vocal protesters against continued Muslim immigration into Europe and their increasing influence on European affairs. After all, what the Mulsims are doing to Europe is surely worse than what the Jews have done to Palestine. After all, the Jews were the original inhabitants of Israel but were Muslims the original inhabitants of Bradford, Luton and Amsterdam? And while the Jews have built a functioning state where once there was desert and primitive towns, the Muslims of Britain have, if anything, reduced the value of the land they have moved into.
But luckily I have a solution to all this that could avert cultural clashes in Europe and genocide in the Middle East. My modest proposal is this. I think Israelis will soon get so sick of life in the Middle East, what with being threatened by an Iran wanting to acquire nuclear weapons, and the Arab Spring Egyptians threatening to tear up the peace agreement the old Egyptians signed with Israel, and the Palestinian suicide bombers, and the rockets being fired from Gaza by Hamas and the rockets being fired from Lebanon by Hezbollah and on and on.
I would like to suggest that Europe and the Middle East do a population swap. Europe will take all Israel’s Jews and re-settle them in Europe. They can dismantle the successful state they have created over the past 65 years and bring whatever they can carry with them. They should otherwise leave Palestine as they found it. In exchange, all Muslims will return to their homelands, wherever they may be. They can even go and live in that tiny country now known as ‘Israel’ but which could be renamed ‘Palestine’ or, what is more likely, it will simply be integrated into Jordan. (Most anti-Israel activists are unaware that 80% of Palestine was given to the Arab Muslims in 1921 to create Jordan. The Palestinian Jews were left with half of the remaining 20% out of which they formed Israel, the other half coming to be known as the West Bank and Gaza. Israel thus occupies only about 11% of the area formally known as Palestine and that includes the pretty useless Negev Desert).
When the Jews arrive in Europe and the western world, we westerners would promise not to persecute the Jews or attempt to exterminate them like we did before. We have surely learned our lesson by now and realise that we didn’t know how lucky we were to have an ethnic group in our midst that willingly contributed to the overall wealth of the host society and didn’t attempt to undermine its traditional way of life.
Europeans then need no longer worry about an alien culture trying to drain it dry and destroy it from within. The nightly car burning in the suburbs of Paris would immediately cease, magazines that criticise the Religion of Peace would no longer be fire-bombed, and ex-Muslims and critics of Islam could start using their real names and identities and once again be seen in public. There is now an army of such people, many of whom have to be accompanied round-the-clock by a team of body guards, and teams of body guards don’t come cheap. Either the victims themselves, or the tax payer, has to pay for them.
Non-Muslim women would no longer feel obliged to wear headscarves while passing though mainly Muslim districts of French cities so as to avoid being called a ‘whore’. We would no longer have to look at that affront to civilised men and women, a woman in a burqa, the justification for which appears to be that women are seen as sex objects by Muslim men, who have no choice but to become sexual aroused at the sight of a bare arm or leg.
In Sweden and Norway the number of rapes would plummet once all Muslim men had gone home, and women there would feel free to once again wear whatever they pleased. In Amsterdam gay men would no longer need to fear a beating if they are unlucky enough to encounter a gang of Muslims out on the prowl.
The media could finally stop censoring itself and while brave journalists could start to write their columns without fear of reprisals, the present cowardly journalists who blame Salman Rushdie and Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Charlie Hebdo et al. for provoking Muslims would no longer have any need to display their cowardice. Once the Islamic threat was gone these cowards could suddenly become lions of courage and convince us of how it was they all along who were in the vanguard of the fight against a totalitarian mindset.
The grooming of under-age girls for sex would decline in the north of England and Oxford once the ‘Asians’ had gone. Many newspaper readers and viewers of TV news must have wondered who these ‘Asians’ were that the press was always talking about. Were they Indian Hindus or Sikhs? Or perhaps Japanese Zen Buddhists or Chinese Taoists? Somehow all Asians got tarred with the same brush because the media didn’t like to say who these paedophiles were. So let me say it now. They were Muslims.
And what would Europe lose by letting its Muslim population go? One or two kebab restaurants, nothing more. Of course, Britain would still have huge problems with its own indigenous underclass, who in many ways are just as big a problem as the Muslims. But there would at least be one problem less to worry about. With the influx of Jews we would gain some very smart people, which is just what nations need as they move into an era when only smart people will be needed to fill the few remaining jobs.
The only losers in all this would be the sensible European Muslims who simply want to get on with their lives without all the politically inspired nonsense of Islam. However, because they are sensible and think like me, they would see that the only way for Europe to keep its liberal democracy and cultural traditions intact is by somehow standing up to the politicised Muslim extremists and ensuring that native Europeans stay a majority. And since both Europeans and so-called moderate Muslims have both proved incapable of standing up to extremists, sensible Muslims will agree with me that a parting of the ways is perhaps the best way of saving Europe from Islamization.
Maybe a way could be found of separating out the sensible Muslims from the political Islamists and allowing the former to stay on. However, I have yet to see a way of determining which Muslims support a secular liberal democracy and which ones believe that the teachings of the Koran and sharia law should triumph in the West. Are the ones who say they don’t want sharia being honest? And if so, will they still be against it once Europe becomes predominantly Muslim? Will they form a majority that is able to stand up to the extremists? I doubt it. Moderates are by definition quieter and more restrained. In the same way that western liberals are no match for extremist Muslims, so neither are moderate Muslims. And simply being a majority Muslim state seems enough to ensure cultural backwardness. After all, which currently Muslim-dominated country would you care to live in?
But leaving to one side Europe’s sensible Muslims, in my plan almost everyone else is a winner! Jews could relax a little and stop always waiting for rockets from Lebanon to land or for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons. And Muslims in the Middle East could celebrate a Middle East completely free of Jews. Then they could go about building a pure society run wholly along Islamic lines with no Jews around to sabotage and spoil things for them.
After such an exchange of populations, it would be one of my greatest pleasures to sit back in a comfortable chair, with a cup of tea and some toast and the 24 hours news channel on. I would then wait for the creative excuses to start multiplying as to why the Middle East remains backward scientifically, technologically, culturally, morally and in almost any other way you care to name. This backwardness would be a mystery to some who would end up blaming it on the legacy of a Jewish presence in the region, or ongoing malice on the part of America, the West and their puppet masters, the Jews.
But alas this is just a beautiful dream with no chance of becoming reality. Apart from that sensible Muslims wouldn’t be the only ones to lose out. Jews would would once again be without a homeland and would lose all they had built over the past 65 years. They would be back to the familiar situation of hoping and praying that their host countries wouldn’t turn anti-Semitic on them somewhere down the road, whether in ten, one hundred or one thousand years’ time. At some point it would be likely to happen. So, shelve the above suggestion and it’s back to the drawing board.