"Be that as it may, what about the hundreds if not thousands of years during which Jewish communities supported their local poor as collectives. Does not the Talmud speak about this, as well as centuries of rabbinic literature? They were all basing themselves on the same biblical values that Klinghoffer is trying to identify."
Actually, it’s been pointed out that social safety nets only really work in homogeneous societies. As humans, we’re happy to help our own. The Scandinavian system worked for decades, the people not upset (mostly, I guess) at having to give up half their income to it. Then the Muslim population increased, and they started voting for right-wingers.
Criticize if you wish, but it’s human nature, and it’s best not to reject that too quickly, whether you believe in God or Darwin. See Sharansky’s latest work, for example. And the USA is certainly not homogeneous.
In addition, I can’t help shake a queasy feeling when I read any 1950’s era Orthodox rabbi (and this very much includes the Rav, anti-Communist though he was) praising the welfare state as a Jewish invention. To me it smacks too much of buying into the post-New Deal liberal "consensus" that dominated in that era, and that all "good Americans" were supposed to toe. After reading Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, I can’t take that with a grin.
"In other words, we should require that immigrants follow a basic set of social rules"
Well, here’s a simple rule: Don’t violate this country’s laws. That includes entering it illegally. When Sonny Bono was first running for Congress, he responded to questions on illegal immigration by saying, "It’s illegal, isn’t it?" Exactly right, but few say that these days.
"Homogeneous society" is a code word for white and/or asian society. As in, "Homogenous societies don’t have high rates of violent crime." That is a nice way of saying "White societies don’t have high rates of violent crime."