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April 14, 2015 2:51 pm

Illegal Immigrants in America and Israel

avatar by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn

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A community in the West Bank.

Here’s a question.

Why do so many American Jewish liberals sympathize with illegal immigrants to America, yet vilify those whom they consider “illegal” Israeli settlers in Judea and Samaria? If you stop and think about it, it makes no logical sense.

Foreign nationals who sneak across America’s borders are obviously breaking the law. They did not apply for permission to enter, in accordance with our country’s immigration laws. They did not wait their turn, as legal immigrants do.

Nonetheless, many Jewish liberals believe that America’s illegals should not be punished for that crime, but rather be allowed to remain in the United States and, sooner or later, granted citizenship. Advocates of legalizing the illegals say that is the humane, compassionate thing to do. After all, most of the illegals have come from underdeveloped countries, in search of a better life. They are hoping to leave behind the poverty and insecurity of their native lands. America is a land of plenty, and we should be willing to share with them, beyond already generous U.S. quotas for legal immigrants. Or so the argument goes.

But when it comes to the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem – regarded as “illegals” by much of the international community – where is their compassion? There can be no doubt that the Jewish “settlers” have a much stronger claim to enter the territories where they reside.

The Jews have moved into areas that are defined as the ancestral Jewish national homeland by the Bible, which is revered by hundreds of millions of American Christians.

From the viewpoint of history, Jerusalem has been capital of the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years. Judea and Samaria were the heartland of the Jewish kingdoms that thrived for more than 600 years in Biblical times.

From a religious viewpoint, too, the Jews have a unique and profound attachment to the areas they have re-settled in modern times. Judaism’s holiest site is the Temple Mount, located in the Old City section of Jerusalem. The second holiest site in Judaism is the Cave of the Patriarchs, in Hebron, burial site of the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs. By contrast, there is nothing in America that makes it sacred to, say, a newcomer from Mexico or Guatemala.

Our point is that, logically, those who support letting illegals stay in the United States ought to be just as supportive of Jews living in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem – or even more so.

The reason many such people do not support the Jewish “settlers” is because of the violent opposition of the Palestinian Arabs. But aren’t Palestinian bigots who don’t want Jewishneighbors just as racist and repulsive as anti-immigrant extremists in America who don’t want Latino neighbors?

Jewish liberals who reject Ku Klux Klan-type attitudes in the Midwest should reject them in the Mideast as well. Why are “Jewish illegals” somehow less deserving of their sympathies?

Moshe Phillips is president and Benyamin Korn is chairman of the Religious Zionists of Philadelphia, and both are current candidates on the Religious Zionist slate ( in the World Zionist Congress elections.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • I know we have illegal immigrants coming into the United States but “most”of them come for a better life. I love Israel, been there, but I can’t live there because I am not Jewish? Am I wrong?

  • manley kiefer

    Most illegal immigrants to the USA through the southern borders come to improve their lives and don’t shout anti-American slogans, demand that their culture be installed or threaten to kill anybody.

  • Ya’asher Koach

    Ya’asher Koach

  • anon

    The Arabs seem to have the mentality – what’s yours is ours but what’s mine is mine when it comes to residency. Muslims can and do live everywhere they want but it’s rapidly coming to the point where no non-Muslims will be able to live in Muslim countries. Not only do they live unmolested in Christian countries (and Israel) but they vigorously pursue their rights there.

  • Good for these two writers. Nobody talks about the Iudenrein state Palestinians want to have but many rush to condemn Avigdor Liberman when he talks about “land for land” “populaton for population” exchange in any future peace agreement.

  • Emmett

    In reference to the caption for the above pic in the article, who in New York refers to their geographic locality as the West Bank or West coast? After all, to all of Europe that’s what it is. Those who refer to the Eastern portions of Israel as the “West Bank” are more than a little confused, which answers the question in the article. With exception to those East of Israel & those who delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.

    • The West Bank reference is to the west bank of the River Jordan.

  • glenda urmacher

    excellent point and one never considered by most

  • As my Mother , may she rest in peace used to say in the 50’s to me, eat your dinner there are children starving in Africa !
    Good old fashioned Jewish “Guilt” we see the suffering of the world,yet we are blind to our own.
    Our capacity as Jews is without limit any limit for compassion or empathy toward what we preicieve as downtrodden, those without homes, without basic necessitys.
    We have never seen ourselves as racists, if anything we as Jews championed within this country the end of racism, marching on Selma, legal advice for the equality of Blacks to vote.
    There will always lay within all peoples one form of racism or another, Jewish Guilt… Who knows.
    We have Israel, not a “strong claim” but a proven fact Israel is a Jewish Homeland, it has been for thousands of years, and Hashem willing will always be so !

  • Jack

    This is quite the blanket condemnation. The USA is the land of immigrants. These illegal immigrants, for the most part, improve the US economy. Are there any stats that says the same for the illegal immigrants in Israel?

    And exactly who are these liberal Jews that you speak of, or are you just on a fishing expedition?

  • L. Isselbacher

    The authors are way off base!

    What do you expect when a “rightwinger” speaks for a liberal. You get a “rightwinger’s” view of a liberal. Your publication needs to consult a true “liberal” for an authentic “liberal” view on an issue!

    Jewish liberals do not oppose settlements because “of the violent opposition of the Palestinians.” Jewish liberals are disheartened and troubled by the treatment of Palestinians as an underclass by Israel and view a two state solution as the only fair outcome for two separate peoples! Thus, more settlement building is seen by Jewish liberals as a serious obstacle to any potential peace agreement!

    • Jacob Factman

      Do you even know what a “Palestinian” is and why Israel’s surrounding Arab/Moslem enemies created that entity/gang referred to as the “PLO”? As for your concern for their well-being & treatment, the Israeli govt treats those illegal infiltrators & terrorists as if they were a national treasure. Most live for free thanks to the unwitting Israeli taxpayer. Unfortunately, Israel is still a third world country run by an unscrupulous elite leftist/liberal minority.

  • A then self-identified, specifically “Jewish” People was born around 600 BCE. From that time until today, across 26 centuries, there was never a year when Jews were absent from their ancestral homeland.

    Can a Jew be an illegal immigrant in Eretz Israel?

    During and after WW1, a series of declarations, resolutions and treaties gave explicit recognition to “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”

    Among those treaties was the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate which provided for the creation of “a national home for the Jewish People” from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

    In the rest of Mandate Palestine (i.e. to the east of the Jordan River) the League of Nations Palestine Mandate said that the provisions with respect to Jewish settlement do not apply. However, for Western Palestine between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the Mandate explicitly stipulated for “close settlement by Jews on the land.”

    So what does the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate have to do with Jewish Americans today? Well, for starters Jewish Americans should note that article 6 of the USA Constitution says: “all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.”

    So, are there some Jewish Americans who doubt that the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate is a treaty made under the authority of the United States? Fair Question.

    So, here’s the rock solid answer — Every single word of the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate is verbatim repeated in the main body of the 1924 Anglo-American Treaty which formally gives USA “consent” to the specific terms of the Palestine Mandate recited therein.

    And note well that the 1924 Anglo-American Treaty was duly ratified by two-thirds vote in the USA Senate. This means that the 1924 treaty is “the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

    Make no mistake — the 1924 Anglo-American Treaty still has enough legal effect to stop the governments of either the USA or UK from arguing that Jewish settlement west of the Jordan River is “illegal.”

    The USA government can not now lawfully allege against the settlement rights of the Jewish People west of the Jordan River that which it had already specifically affirmed in the 1924 Anglo-American Treaty that is supreme law of the USA.

    So, let’s show respect for the honor and dignity of the Jewish People in its ancestral homeland. For sure, there may now be a need for an agreed settlement that takes into account the self-determination rights of the newborn Palestinian People, but that is far from the whole story. West of the Jordan River there are also some Jewish self-determination rights and also the aboriginal and treaty rights of the Jewish People.

  • Yes a great point, but a logical one that liberal minds will stumble upon continually. They have an inability to reason against their concept of truth and this takes them into man made solutions that fail for lack of wisdom, available only from God. They believe in man and man alone to solve the world’s problems, hence the corrupted UN. The Bible prophecies will occur as ordained; the Devil has but a short time.

  • People who condemn the West Bank settlements simply do not understand them and have also fallen victim to the propaganda of the Israel-haters. First of all, many of the so-called “settlements” may be beyond the 1949 Green Line but they are on land that was SOLD to the Jews, such as Gush Etsion. Secondly, the settlements are a good way of protecting the area against anti-Israel incursions, etc., without having to use the military. Thirdly, these settlements and factories are productive and contribute to the economy of both the West Bank Arabs and Israel, and teach the Arabs new skills and ways of farming in this very barren part of the country (due it being in the shadow of the rainfall).

    Palestinian Garbage Truck
    Take a good look at one of the reasons Israeli planes have so much trouble finding the source of the rockets and missiles.

    For all who believe the stories and propaganda about Israel’s attacks on civilian targets.


    This is a captured Palestinian garbage truck from Gaza.
    The truck is set up to fire 9 Kasem rockets and then drive off innocently.
    The note pasted on the drivers door says In case of traffic violations, please contact The Palestinian Authority.
    The Israelis have evidence of ambulances and emergency vehicles set up the same way.
    Doesn’t it make you all “warm and fuzzy” that we just gave the Palestinians $400 million dollars from our US taxes? Just think how many more garbage trucks, emergency vehicles and rockets they can buy with $400 million dollars.