Thursday, August 12, 2010

Strangers in a Strange Land

Guess what country has decided to deport children born in that country to people from other countries? A leading politician said that "the new policy is intended to stem a flood of illegal aliens, whose children receive state-funded education and health care benefits", and to defend the national identity of the country in question. He also said, "We don't want to create an incentive for the flow of hundreds of thousands of illegal migrant workers." And note that, under the laws of that country, "the children were not automatically granted residency status" (to say nothing of citizenship).

So where is this hard-nosed place, where there is very little mercy shown toward the economically disadvantaged? Why, Israel, of course. Now, right away, someone is going to jump up and say, but that's different -- and offer up all the age-old "reasons" that Israel is unique in all of human history, and therefore deserves limitless tolerance and sacrifice (on the part of everyone else), etc. After all, didn't the leader in question, Benjamin Netanyahu, say that "there are Zionist considerations for ensuring the Jewish character of the state of Israel"?

And you know something? For once, I agree with Benny the Nat. I think _any_ nation, state, or country -- even the U.S. -- has the right to define what constitutes "identity" and any other form of legitimacy as the basis for residency and citizenship in that country. And after all, Israel is -- if any place on earth is -- "a nation of immigrants", just like us -- except that we've never felt the need to engage in any comparable defining of national identity. As far as we're concerned, if you're born on American soil, you're just as much an American as someone whose family has been here for 400 years -- which kind of makes you wonder how it makes those 400-year people feel. (Well, I am one -- or almost. And I know. It's kind of like checking into the Waldorf-Astoria, then walking around the block and finding out that the other side of the same building is a Red Roof Inn. With rates 1/10 of what you're paying.)

But here's my question. Since our foreign policy is entirely in the hands of Israel, why can't we go all the way and follow their example in this regard as well? I mean... if they can do no wrong, then what harm could it possibly do to enact the same policies on illegal aliens that they have? We could even ask their advice... maybe even get military assistance to defend our southwestern border. I mean, isn't it about time they gave something back for all of our sacrifices over the years?

No comments: