It was the most crucial question in the American election, yet it remained largely unspoken.
It is the issue that will decide whether American values and institutions endure, yet Messrs. Bush and Kerry did not see fit to debate it.
Unfortunately, it's a debate American Jews can put off no longer although it's too late for their European, British and Canadian brethren.
To speak plainly: a gathering danger threatens the Jews of America to whom George Washington promised peace and goodwill in a 1790 address to a synagogue congregation in Newport, Rhode Island.
American Jewry has "lived up to the standard asked of them by Washington," observes philosopher David Conway in his In Defence of the Realm: the Place of Nations in Classical Liberalism. But "the stock of Abraham," which has flourished in the New World, producing uniquely entrepreneurial, creative, and philanthropic citizens, is now threatened by what it perversely promotes: mass immigration in particular immigration from Muslim countries.
The history of immigration to the U.S. is very different from the misty myths that surround it.
Before 1965, immigration occurred in manageable ebbs and flows, ensuring the new arrivals were thoroughly assimilated and integrated. Multiculturalism was unheard of.
But in 1965, with no real debate or voter participation, the U.S. Congress replaced the national-origin immigration criterion (which ensured newcomers reinforced the historical majority) with a multicultural, all-nations-are equal quota system, which effectively resulted in an emphasis on mass importation of people from the Third World. The new influx was no longer expected to acculturate to liberal democratic Judeo-Christian traditions. With family "reunification" superseding all other considerations, immigration became an economic drain as demonstrated, for example, by Harvard's George Borjas.
This new immigration policy has produced a continuous human tsunami. Every qualified immigrant holds an entry ticket for his entire extended family. Stephen Steinlight of the Center for Immigration Studies, in his Backgrounder paper, "High Noon to Midnight: Does Current Immigration Policy Doom American Jewry," courageously (for it runs counter to the views of most of his fellow American Jews) highlights the bizarre situation where entire villages from rural Mexico and on the West Bank in Israel have U.S. citizenship. Why? One member qualifies and then brings in the entire town.
Jews don't benefit in the least from open-door immigration, having long since settled in the U.S., Israel, and other First World countries. But the Jewish community has continued to generously support this unsustainable policy. Why the totemic attachment?
For American Jewry," writes Steinlight, "the debate over immigration is a classic confrontation between the heart and head, nostalgia and foresight, illusion and reality." Jews mistakenly draw parallels between today's immigrants and their forefathers. The Jewish immigrant experience, however, is better compared to that of refugees or asylum seekers.
Like Steinlight's father, my grandfather fled the Latvian town of Riga after the pogroms that followed the Bolshevik Revolution. Grandfather Jack, RIP, settled in South Africa, where Jews thrived until the recent ascendancy of the pro-PLO and pro-Islamist ANC.
Our forefathers typified the Jewish immigrant experience in that they assimilated entirely, becoming productive, loyal citizens. Unlike today's immigrants, they were not encouraged by self-serving politicians and identity-politics activists to cling to a militant distinctiveness.
In Canada, Muslims now greatly outnumber Jews. What remains of a European Jewry devastated by the Holocaust comes under daily assaults and threats, mostly from the 20-million-strong Muslim community.
American Jewry is next. Second only to another immigrant constituency, Latinos, the relatively new (roughly 30-year-old) Muslim community is the most anti-Semitic community in the U.S.
But its exponential growth through immigration has failed to alarm Jewish leaders. Listening to them, you would think that the chief dangers to Jewish continuity are marauding Mormons (their sin is converting dead Jews) or Mel Gibson, whose movie The Passion of the Christ, they predicted, would unleash "pogroms in Pittsburgh."
Allusions to the rise of a "new anti-Semitism" are unhelpful. The violent assaults on Jews and their property in Europe and Canada are almost exclusively the handiwork of an old hatred, nurtured within Islamic countries, whose religion, unlike Christianity and Judaism, has not undergone an Enlightenment.
As Steinlight writes:
"It is virtually impossible to be reared in classical Islam and not be educated to hate Jews based on a literalist reading of the Koran, where many of the Suras concerning Jews are monstrously hateful, murderous, terrifying, as well as the literature of the Sunnah. These tests also regard Jews as a spiritually fraudulent entity all the prophets and great figures of the Hebrew Bible, according to Islamic teaching, were Muslims, not Jews... With the exception of a tiny group of courageous American Muslims ... who have spoken out and condemned ... anti-Semitism, the ‘Muslim Street' in the U.S. has yet to show its disapproval of this philosophical and political agenda."
Thanks to mass immigration - and the $5 billion spent annually by the Saudi regime - Wahabi mosques that preach "one of the most extreme, violent, atavistic, anti-western forms of Islam" operate throughout Western Europe, including Britain. And they are spreading rapidly in the U.S.
To be fair, Jewish organizations are tracking this menace. But they have not yet discharged their duty by joining America's equally endangered cultural majority in the fight to forestall the lemmings' lunatic fate that is our current mass immigration policy.