May 15, 2008
History disproves myth that founding Zionists were naive
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Whoever thinks that our arguments [for Jewish immigration] are immoral, I would beg him to address the following question: If this [Jewish immigration] is immoral, what should the Jewish people do?.... Our planet is no longer blessed with uninhabited islands. Take any oasis in any desert, it is already taken by the native who inhabits that place from time immemorial and rejects the coming of new settlers that will become a majority, or just come in great numbers.
In short -- if there is a homeless nation in the world, its very yearning for a homeland is immoral.
The homeless must forever remain homeless; all the land in the universe has already been dividedâ??that's it. These are the conclusions of 'morality'.... This sort of morality has a place among cannibals, not in the civilized world. The land belongs not to those who have too much land, but to those who have none. If we appropriate one parcel of land from the owners of mega-estates and give it to an exiled nation -- it is a just deed.
In this historical week of Israel's 60th birthday, it is most fitting that we remind ourselves of the principles of reciprocity and mutual respect on which the state of Israel was founded.
May those principles light our path today, and may Israel's adversaries be blessed with a faint semblance of these principles.
Judea Pearl is a professor at UCLA and president of the Daniel Pearl Foundation (www.danielpearl.org) named after his son. He and his wife, Ruth, are editors of "I am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl" (Jewish Light, 2004), winner of the National Jewish Book Award. This week, Pearl is debating the Israel-Arab issue with Palestinian-born George Bisharat, on LA Times Dustup.
Judea Pearl is the 2008 winner of Benjamin Franklin Medal in Computers and Cognitive Science, a special award of Philadelphia's Franklin Institute