As a general comment, the point of this blog is not to convince the Dr. Kuhns or Prof. Coles of the world. I wouldn't know how to do that, since these academics and many others like them are quite impervious to factual analysis; for all the thought I've given the matter over the past ten years or so, I haven't figured out what might reach them. This is a serious issue, I'm not being facetious. A fundamental aspect of rational discussion is that participants in it should have some set of arguments that would force them to change their positions. If I claim that A is true, there has to be a hypothetical set of facts that would force me to change my mind, were they to be demonstrated as reality; in that case I'd have to admit, sadly, that A is regrettably not true.
There are critics of Israel - the Economist is the best example - who don't particularly like much of what we do, yet their commitment to empiric investigation and rational thought force them, time and again, to admit that Israel's positions sometimes have merit, and its actions must sometimes be justified. We are sometimes exasperated by their basic unfriendliness, but we don't think they're antisemites, and we can respect their intellectual integrity. One reason for writing this blog, and a main reason for writing that book, Right to Exist, was to bolster people on our side of the argument in their discussions with the unfriendly-but-rational critics.
So here are some comments to Dr. Kuhn's piece, presented not to change his mind but for the use of those of you who hear his ideas all the time, if you think they're being quoted by someone amenable to discussion.
Dr. Kuhn dislikes comparisons of Israel's response to 8 years of Hamas rocketry to a hypothetical response to Mexican rocketry over the American border, because, he sets out to show, the Americans aren't as nasty to the Mexicans as the Israelis are to the Palestinians.
I admit to being surprised by Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders who allow themselves into the trap of starting the tale of Israel's crimes with the original sin of return to the land that in the meanwhile had been settled by the Palestinians, and pushing them aside. As any student of history knows, most populations in most places in the world are the descendants either of violent invaders or of the invaders and the natives after they intermarried - assuming there were any natives left with which to intermarry. The English speaking invaders tended not to leave very many locals in place, and their actions happened quite recently in historical terms. You don't need to invent hypothetical American nastiness to Mexicans when you live in a country your forefathers invaded, unbidden, quite recently.
A Frenchman who claims Jews had no right to migrate to Palestine doesn't know French or Jewish history. An American doesn't know about events from 170 years ago.
Dr. Kuhn rhetorically asks:
Think about what would happen if San Diego expelled most of its Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American and Native-American population, about 48 percent of the total, and forcibly relocated them to Tijuana?Yes, indeed tragic. Of course, in the Israel-Palestine case, it might be helpful to remember that the Palestinians were forced out after they proclaimed their full intention to commit genocide, to destroy the Jewish presence in Mandatory Palestine, and that they backup of their declarations with actions. Alas, their plans backfired, thereby saving them from the opprobrium of committing the 2nd genocide against the Jews in a single decade.
Not just immigrants, but even those who had lived in the United States for many generations. Not just the unemployed or the criminals or the America haters, but the school teachers, the small business owners, the soldiers--even the baseball players.
What if we established government and faith-based agencies to help move white people into their former homes? And what if we razed hundreds of their houses in rural areas and, with the aid of charitable donations from people in the United States and abroad, planted forests on their former towns, creating nature preserves for whites to enjoy?Nature preserves? How about housing for more than a million destitute Jews, hundreds of thousands of them Holocaust survivors, and the larger half Jews from the entire Arab World evicted with no property?
What if the United Nations kept San Diego's discarded minorities in crowded, festering camps in Tijuana for 19 years?I agree, Dr. Kuhn. The UN collusion with the Arab countries insistence on not allowing the refugess to get on with their lives is horrendous. Cruel, cynical, inhumane.
Then, the United States invaded Mexico, occupied it for 40 more years and began to build large housing developments in Tijuana, where only whites could live.
And what if the United States built a network of highways, connecting American citizens who voluntarily (and illegally) moved to Tijuana, to the United States?Israel's invasion of 1967 was self defense, you forget to mention. The settlement project is probably Israel's greatest mistake ever, but in 2000 the Prime Minster offered to disband most of it, and in retaliation the Palestinians launched a campaign of suicide murderers. In 2005 (that's 38 years), Israel unilaterally disbanded the settlements in Gaza, and this discussion is about Gaza, isn't it?
And checkpoints, not just between Mexico and the United States, but also around every neighborhood inside Tijuana? What if we required every Tijuana resident, refugee or native, to show an ID card to the US military on demand?There have been no checkpoints in Gaza since 2005. The rate of shooting Kassams has climbed steadily since 2005.
[after] 40 years of brutal military occupation, we just left Tijuana, removing all the white settlers and the soldiers.Umm, Dr. Kuhn, there's no wall around Gaza, no watch towers, all there is is a fence.
Only instead of giving them their freedom, we built a 20-foot tall electrified wall around Tijuana. Not just on the sides bordering San Diego, but on all the Mexico crossings as well.
Anyway, my time is up. It's almost Shabbat, and I've got a life to live. You get the general point.