Dual Loyalty

Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Former Senator Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama’s nominee for US Defense Secretary, will likely get confirmed by the Senate when his appointment comes up for a vote.

Hagel has been criticized for his negative attitude toward Israel, and he has made statements about Jews that expose him to the charge of being an anti-Semite.

Perhaps his nastiest remark is that a “Jewish lobby” controls the State Department. The very absurdity of this remark suggests to the present writer that Hagel may indeed be a visceral Jew-hater.

It’s common knowledge that the Arab lobby and American oil interests have long dominated the State Department. Besides, State’s support of the PLO-Palestinian Authority makes nonsense of Hagel’s remark about the “Jewish lobby”—a remark appropriate to a knave, not a Senator of the United States.

That being the case, perhaps an insidious motive is lurking in Hagel’s canard? Perhaps his remark about the “Jewish lobby” is a not so subtle attempt to stamp American Jews with the odious charge of “dual loyalty”?

I recall another Senator who fertilized this ground some ten years ago: Ernest Hollings (D-South Carolina). Writing in the Charleston Post and Courier, Hollings accused then President George W. Bush of ousting Saddam Hussein to protect Israel. Indeed, he blamed Jewish officials and pundits, namely, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Charles Krauthammer as the culprits behind America’s involvement in the Iraqi quagmire. Once again, American Jews were accused of “dual loyalty.”

Frankly, I had to laugh at Hollings and at any Jew who reacted defensively to his anti-Semitic slander. If any U.S. Senator or former Senator is concerned about “dual loyalty” among American Jews, I suggest he first examine the phenomenon of “dual citizenship” among American immigrants, which is widespread in the United States. I wish all immigrants to this country good luck, and I hope they’ll follow the example of my parents who raised a large family of patriotic Americans: one awarded a Silver Star in the Second World War for saving several American soldiers trapped behind German lines in North Africa, and was later wounded in the European campaign.

The first thing to be noted about immigrants who become citizens of the United States is that, strictly speaking, dual loyalty violates American law! U.S. Code section 1448(a) prescribes the following oath for all naturalized citizens—suffice to mention only two clauses: “I do solemnly swear (1) to support the Constitution of the United States; (2) to renounce and abjure absolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen.”

Unfortunately, the law has simply been ignored. An untold number foreign-born Americans are also citizens of one or another hostile Islamic country. The imams of many mosques in the United States preach hatred of Jews, Christians, and Western Civilization. They preach hatred of America where they enjoy the rights of American citizenship—rights which now seems to include the right to undermine America. A country whose citizens know only of rights without corresponding duties is nothing more than an infantocracy!

But ponder this. According to the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” This clearly implies that Americans can be citizens of only one state and can vote in only one state, even if they have homes in two states.

In contrast, under existing law and practice, whereas Americans can be citizens of two countries, with residences, say, in Santo Domingo and Boston, and can thus vote in both American and Dominican elections, Americans with homes in New York and Boston cannot vote in both places!

Here let me cite the distinguished (and departed) Professor Samuel Huntington: Who are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity (2004). Dual citizenship, he writes, encourages thousands of such individuals not only to remit tens of billions of dollars to their relatives, localities, and businesses in their country of origin, but to help finance the campaigns of their homeland politicians. How’s that for “dual loyalty”?!

Huntington also informs us that many American-born Hispanics, especially Mexicans, do not identify with America or American culture but rather with the culture of their homeland. In one 1992 study, when children of immigrants in Southern California and South Florida were asked, “How do you identify, that is, what do you call yourself?”—among Mexican American children born in the United States, only 3.9 percent responded “American” compared to 28.5 percent to 50.0 percent of those born in America with parents from elsewhere in Latin America.

Hence it is not surprising that, in another study, a representative example of the American public viewed Hispanics as less patriotic than Jews, blacks, Asians, and Southern whites.

Now consider the Hispanization of Miami. Huntington points out that as early as 1980, Spanish was not just the language spoken in most homes; it was also the principle language of commerce, business, and politics. But since language is the medium of culture, no one should be surprised that Miami has become a culturally Hispanic city. Indeed, according to Huntington, by the late 1980s the Cubans in Miami had created their own banks, businesses, media, and voting blocs, which dominated the economy and politics and from which non-Hispanics were excluded. “They’re outsiders,” as one successful Hispanic put it.

What has occurred in Miami, says Huntington, is occurring in the Southwest, most significantly in Los Angeles. In 2000, 64 percent of the Hispanics in Los Angeles were of Mexican origin, and 46.5 percent of Los Angeles residents were Hispanic, while 29.7 percent were non-Hispanic. In 2003 for the first time since the 1850s, a majority of newborn children in California were Hispanic. Many identify themselves as Americans; many do not. Is it any wonder that Barack Obama has adopted a liberal position on the wave of Hispanics illegally entering the United States?

Incidentally, another Samuel Huntington, an ancestor of the one I have been citing, was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence, which Abraham Lincoln deemed the soul of the America Constitution. Dual citizenship thus had special significance for Huntington. Perhaps a copy of his book should be sent to the former Senator from Nebraska, an American war veteran who seems to have forgotten what he was once fighting for?

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