Lech L'cha: End the Occupation!

G-d was just testing Avram (Abraham) when G-d ordered him to “Lech L’cha (‘Go forth‘) to a land that I will show you.”  Unfortunately, Avram failed the test.  

He went, but when he discovered that the land was already occupied (Gen. 13:7, 15:19-21) he should have challenged G-d, just as he later did with Sodom and Gomorrah.  Surely, G-d would have redirected Avram to some virgin land (with oil).  

All occupation of another people’s land is categorically immoral, as the entire world knows.  It was true in Biblical times, and it remains true today.

I feel so strongly about this that I have drafted the following letter to President Obama:

Mr. President, 

I fully support your demand that Israel cease its illegal, immoral, and brutal Occupation. 

Moreover, since all occupation is categorically immoral, I also demand that you renounce America’s.  To set a personal example, you should start with Hawaii.  As you know, Hawaii was seized in a coup of American commercial and imperial interests and ultimately annexed in flagrant disregard of the natives’ rights.

Next, renounce our claim to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California (my illegal settlement is in the southern part of the latter state.)  Although we acquired this land by treaty at the end of our war with Mexico, your Predecessor, President Polk, initiated that war on a pretext.  Our acquisition of the Southwest was “fruit of a poisonous tree.”    

Nor should we retain the Midwest, which we stole from the Plains Indians in what can only be called “genocide.”  

Nor the states formed from the vast Louisiana Territory.  Although we purchased it from France, they were occupiers and had no right to sell it to us. 

When you think about it, Mr. President, after withdrawing from all the land America has obtained through invasion, conquest, exploitation, or “benign settlement” that displaced the native population, just about the only land that we can honestly claim is Lower Manhattan.  We bought it from the rightful owners for $24 in trinkets.  

And it is a wonderful historical irony – perhaps even a Providential one -- that Lower Manhattan is the very land upon which sits the United Nations, that bastion of righteousness and beacon of hope for all oppressed and occupied peoples!  

American courts have consistently upheld the fraudulent “property rights” of American “settlers.”  Therefore, I urge you to issue an Executive Order granting authority to the United Nations to dispose of all currently occupied American land, and ordering all Americans to withdraw to the 1664 "borders" of New Amsterdam. 

As Commander in Chief, you know better than anyone that we have a powerful army and can defend ourselves from any threat (although we failed to do so in 9/11, but that wasn't on your watch).  Anyway, 9/11 proved that the notion of security through land is an illusion.  

If you take this action, all other UN member nations – including Israel – will be inspired to likewise cede all the land that they illegally occupy, no matter how long they have claimed it or why.  

[Note: This will not affect any of the 49 nations with current Islamic majorities, who are quite rightly at the forefront of decrying Israeli occupation.  As anyone who has ever studied world history knows, no one lived anywhere on their land before the 6th century CE.  Indeed, the entire idea of Islamic "conquest" is an utter Western fabrication.  Nor will any Western European nations be affected, since all of their peoples are entirely indigenous -- and have always respected their neighbor's boundaries. No one can justy accuse them, unlike America, of hypocrisy.] 

No one will continue to "justify" their claim by pointing out that they gained the land only after being attacked, or that they must remain, however reluctantly, for self-defense. Likewise all “non-state” groups will surely law down their arms and disband. 

Our withdrawal to Lower Manhattan, Mr. President, is the key to world peace.

But even if that isn't the result, it will have been worth it.  America must be moral -- however belatedly -- whatever the consequences.  Russia will likely take back Alaska after we return it to the Inuit.  Mexico will take back the Southwest from the Navajo, Hopi, and Apache.  Spain may take back Florida. China and ISIS may come to our former occupied territory and fight for control.  Millions or billions may be murdered, enslaved, persecuted, discriminated against, and disenfranchised.  

But none of this can justify us continuing our immoral occupation – even if necessary to safeguard our very existence.  At least for a brief time, the remnants of the original owners will have their land back.     

So, Lech L'cha, Mr. President.  Go forth, as it says in the Bible that our respective religious traditions share.  But don’t fail G-d’s test, as Avram did, by continuing our immoral American occupation. 

In a thousand years, any survivors -- or, more likely, someone from another planet -- may even find the Statue of Liberty buried under the sand.   

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