Patrick Buchanan cited Israel as a model for his call to preserve the U.S. “identity.”
“Israel fights ferociously to preserve her religious and ethnic identity,” the three-time presidential candidate and commentator writes in his book released this month, “Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart.”
“Immigration is restricted to those who are Jewish by birth or faith,” he writes. “While Jews from all over the world are urged to settle in Israel or on the West Bank, no Palestinian is permitted to return to the home of his father or grandfather. The rights of land ownership extended to Jews are not extended to non-Jews.
“Jewish history is taught in the schools. The Hebrew language has been revived. A Jewish currency, the shekel, has been created. There is talk of annexing all major Jewish settlements on the West Bank, and in exchange, giving up Israeli land contiguous to the West Bank where Arabs reside.
“Many Israelis say openly that while they wish to keep their Jewish population they would let the Arabs go. They seek an overwhelming Jewish majority in a Jewish state. Israelis understand it is not ideology that makes a nation. It is not democracy. Jews are a people. And Israel is unapologetic about preserving its ethnic and religious character.”
In fact, immigration to israel is open to non-Jews, although it is facilitated to a much greater degree for Jews, who are perceived in Israel as part of a collective nation. Much of Israel’s land, owned or controlled by the Jewish National Fund, was restricted to Jewish lessees until 2000 when Israel’s Supreme Court determined that the practice was discriminatory. The shekel is the national currency and does not otherwise have a religious identity. All of Israel’s prime ministers have absolutely rejected transferring areas populated mostly by Israeli Arabs to Palestinian control.
Buchanan has drawn American Jewish ire in the past for charging that the pro-Israel lobby has a stranglehold on foreign policy and that U.S. forces have fought wars on behalf of Israel.