Next year in New York

A Dutchman believes he has the key to world peace:

A Dutch former cabinet minister reportedly said that world peace would be achievable if Israel’s population was forced to move to the United States. The statement was attributed to Herman Heinsbroek, who served as the Netherlands’ minister of economic affairs in 2002, in an article that appeared Thursday in the online edition of the prestigious financial monthly Quote, based on an interview with Heinsbroek.

“It was a historical error to give the Jews their own country in the middle of Islam,” he is quoted as saying. “You’ve had nothing but war ever since and you’ve had anti-Semitism resurging, too. My idea: Give the Jews their own state somewhere in the United States and 25 years to move their state over there.”

Heinsbroek is also quoted as saying that, if implemented, his solution “will finally create, perhaps, peace in the world.”

Well, it has to be admitted that half the world’s Jews do appear to prefer the East Coast of the USA to Israel anyhow. And it’s mildly amusing to anticipate the outrage this will likely inspire among the very people who are also outraged by the notion that Jews should move to Israel.

Actually, I think it would be a cataclysmic mistake for the West to pull the Jews out of Israel, even assuming that a nuclear power would be entirely amenable to the geographic relocation. If nothing else, Israel is a second front (or to be more accurate, fourth front), in the ongoing Clash of Civilizations between Islam and the West. Does Heinsbroek imagine that Islam will stop aggressively expanding into Europe, Asia, and North America simply because it is no longer distracted by a small piece of real estate in the Middle East? That’s absurd.

Even if you are a confirmed anti-semite, you cannot rationally deny that the continued existence of the State of Israel is absolutely in the interests of the West. That doesn’t mean that Israel’s interests are US interests, much less Dutch interests, but its existence is.

ADDENDUM: With the King of Saudi Arabia now reported dead at the age of 90, I tend to doubt that the Wahhabists are going to become more moderate or that tensions in the Middle East are going to cool significantly any time in the near future.