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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/9226/israel-and-palestine-a-statist-war/

Israel and Palestine: A Statist War

January 13, 2009 by

Violence is of course a hallmark of the conflict. On the one hand, writes Markus Bergstrom, Islamist nationalists in Palestine carry out suicide bombings and grenade attacks against various targets in Israel, as they consider the Israeli government to be illegally occupying “Palestinian” land. On the other hand, the Israeli government bombs Palestinian areas where it claims terrorists are residing, often hitting and killing civilians instead. All these violent attacks incite counterattacks from the opposite party of the conflict, thus creating a unremitting spiral of violence.

The problem, however, isn’t which side is right, i.e., which of the two governments is entitled to control all or parts of the Israeli/Palestinian territory. The problem is the very existence of these two governments to begin with — and the fact that they lay claims to any land at all. FULL ARTICLE

{ 81 comments }

P.M.Lawrence January 14, 2009 at 12:25 am

CA writes “Kicking Jews out of the land much of which was purchased originally by Jews themselves”.

No, it was originally occupied by people who were eliminated by an earlier round of genocide by Jews. If, however, that refers to events of recent history, there’s the problem that the sellers didn’t rightfully own what they purported to sell and/or there was a cultural barrier and misunderstanding of just what was bundled up in what was being sold, much as happened to many European colonialists. Land with sitting tenants who had the right to stay was being sold that way, not free and clear with the right to evict sitting tenants (Tudoe, please note).

“Jews are fighting back through organization they themselves established for the primary purpose of protection”.

No, that was the ostensible aims of those organisations, which in actual fact were aimed at using any and all means (including terrorism) for eliminating barriers to a Zionist state, particularly the British. It is not a coincidence that Hamas’s own documents describe it in much the same terms as those Zionist terrorist organisations. So much for Tudoe’s remark that “As anyone knows, Hamas did not start out as a political group, but as a militant one, status which it has not abandoned to this day, and thus only prolonging and intensifying the suffering on its own people”. A lot of what “anyone knows” is wrong.

“Jews took took desert and swamp and created cultivated land on the territory their purchased themselves. It were these specific actions that Arabs disliked – after all, all that time, they were standing on the side and snickering about stupid Jews trying to turn desert into farmland.”

Actually, that doesn’t work – unless you divert water resources towards it, which they did. It was the damage to the (sustainable) Arab presence that caused the first friction.

“Only, in case of Israel, Jews were able to fight back rather than sit and watch their homes being burns [sic] and their daughters raped and slaughtered”.

Unfortunately, they did it by adopting those means themselves. It is no accident that it has been said that “Israel always gets its retaliation in first” (this also applies to Tudoe’s remark that “That state successfully defended its people on the many occasions when it was attacked by its neighbors”).

Billwald is mistaken about the partition of India. The British role in that was analogous to that of the used car salesman who found that one car had no working reverse, so he arranged for it to be parked so that it wouldn’t have to reverse on the way out of the lot and the problems would come up later once it was off his hands. Britain simply arranged for premature independence forced on them by the drain of war and US pressure to be someone else’s problem.

Diogenes is quite wrong about the last two of his assertion that “the USA, Britain and other European countries, ashamed of their failure to do a damn thing about Hitler’s mass-murder of Jews, driven by guilty consciences, decided to establish a Jewish State as a form of compensation”. There was no shame at all and still isn’t, any more than they feel shame about slavery in the USA.

Ben W writes “On the one side you have a democratically elected government of terrorists who have a totalitarian regime that has bankrupt their people, and on the other side you have a government that has made countless land concessions for peace, has by far the highest standards of living and the most tolerance of any nation in the Middle East and has a people that believe in justice and the rule of law”, but he hasn’t told us which he thinks is which (personally, I don’t think either description fits either side, although the former is quite close for both sides, perhaps more so for Israel – with its recent hyperinflation – than for Hamas which hasn’t caused most of its subjects’ economic problems).

P.M.Lawrence January 14, 2009 at 12:34 am

Gooddebate thinks that “the Jews built Jerusalem”.

No, actually, they got that the same way as a lot of other things, by capturing it and exterminating or subjugating its previous inhabitants (the Jebusites). They even renamed it Jerusalem from Jebus-salem to consolidate that.

Rebel Ally January 14, 2009 at 12:37 am

This is great article! It really addresses some issues of anarcho-capitalism that was stuck in the back of my mind until now.

My favorite point was that insurgents and militias can overcome large standing armies. I did not think that would be consistently possible, but the author cites many good examples. It provides a stronger case for the stateless order.

It explains why a tiny country like Iraq can bring the gigantic Imperial States of America down to its knees economically (I have many reasons to believe that this depression was largely contributed by the Iraq and Afghan wars, otherwise the FED would have a partially less excuse to print so much fiat money)

The U.S. support of Israel is simply tragic.There will be much more violence and death in that country for years to come just for that reason alone.

How many rebel muslims and jews will it take to destroy their respective governments of Palestine and Israel? Maybe less than we think…

Dan January 14, 2009 at 2:09 am

[This comment responds to the article as well as the horde of hasbaraniks and other reality-inverters in the comments section.]

Since at least the 1930s, Zionists have never let up in their state-sponsored ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine. To fail mentioning this founding and ongoing aspect of the state of Israel is to do no better for the cause of liberty than a card-carrying statist. Furthermore, the author (apparently in an attempt to be objective or not hurt any feelings) uses the terminology of statist media and politicians — employing the term terrorists for the Palestinian individuals fighting the Israeli state. All the while, that same state (despite its rich history of unimaginable terrorism against individuals and groups) is never a terrorist entity?

Recall what Rothbard wrote about the sick double standard of states never being terrorists; was he wrong?

The state of Israel was made possible, firstly, by the terroristic conquering of the land of Palestine, and secondly, by the oh-so beloved (by statists) UN’s monopoly on the use of force to make it “official.” This MUST be considered in the current context, if for no other reason, then because it has continued to now.

Also, before the Zionists began terrorizing and “settling” the land, it wasn’t only Palestinain Arabs (and Christians, which, btw, the author also omitted) who objected: most Jews who lived in Palestine before the Zionists came en masse vehemently opposed the creation of the state (the plans for which, btw, were conceived decades before the Holocaust occurred).

You do not have to be a socialist or an Islamist or “pro-Palestinian” to appreciate that Zionists were the first to use “terrorism” in this “conflict.” And the state of Israel is the most prolific practitioner of the tactic (against individuals). You do not have to be a “libwack” or anti-Jewish (notice I don’t use the very incorrect term anti-Semite) to protest, clearly, that murdering Palestinians and bulldozing their homes and building new ones in which only “the chosen ones” can live is racist (i.e., collectivist; a.k.a., anti-libertarian) and insane.

There is no equivalence in suffering, morality, or legality in the so-called conflict. Reality is naturally biased against the crusader-colonizers of the Zionist state. It is quite libertarian to support Palestinian individuals who come together voluntarily to resist the warfare state. It is equally libertarian to outright condemn the ever-aggressing state of Israel. In an apparent attempt to be tepid as possible, the author tragically fails in doing neither.

gooddebate January 14, 2009 at 2:09 am

Actually, I set you up. I even left a pseudo warning with my debating technique comment at the end. Why is it necessary to deride my comments when it has nothing to do with any points I made?

You are correct, the tribe of Judah was supposed to exterminate the Jebusites but didn’t. You can certainly say that they rebuilt Jerusalem, though.

My point in bringing up the biblical history was to point to an example where a non government people got tired of being everybody elses’ whipping boy and hired themselves a king, even demanded it.

The problem is human nature. Have you ever played a game called diplomacy? A really great game by the way. I like the email version where you can email the English player and negotiate with him for a couple of days before the turn happens. Here’s the truth this game teaches you about reality; it only takes one side to declare war for war to exist and it takes two sides to declare peace before peace exists. Show me how peace is possible between the Jews and Palestinians when both sides can’t declare peace, government or no government.

Another irony is that the Jewish religion describes the ultimate catastrophe for mankind but it’s the Islamic radicals who have said they want to bring it on.

Joburger January 14, 2009 at 5:56 am

Point 1. The author says “many of today’s Israelis are both well armed and well trained for combat, thanks to Israel’s stormy past.” No, it’s thanks to Israeli conscription policies – policies which I’m sure the author hates and yet he cites the fruit of it as a national virtue under a non-state solution.
Point 2. The author reckons a ‘non-state’ would see less conflict because Hamas’ gripe is with the Israeli ‘state’. This is a joke, surely. Hamas wants to get rid of Jews, by death or at the very least by pushing them far far away (like Antarctic far), and this will not end the conflict because it IS religious/ideological and not geopolitical as the author suggests.
Point 3. The author cites Somalia as some kind of beacon of freedom until foreign governments ‘destabilised it’. Somalia is tribal Hobsian squat with no wealth and a life expectancy, I would guess, of barely over 30. Ever wonder why so many Somalis live all over the world except in Somalia – because having no government hasn’t worked out so well.
Final Point. I admire the author for writing a bold and provocative article. I also admire Austrian economics, but dreams of anarchic bliss is such bankrupt thinking. It reduces the core desires of mankind to a functional ‘homo economicus’ type of existence. In actual fact this is mostly just a post-faith Western worldview that has just about zero predictive applicability to the real world. Some people believe that 70 virgins await their arrival in heaven when they blow themselves up along with a bunch of Jewish ‘pigs’, and some believe that “Palestine” is their God-given territory. These beliefs will just about always trump a desire for ‘peaceful trade’. When the Temple Mount comes up against the Shopping Mall, I know which one I back to come out tops.
What a relief that the author’s ideas will never gain traction in any serious debate about a real world.

JTarnstrom January 14, 2009 at 7:55 am

The article was very interesting to me. Since I stumbled on the Austrian school of economic thought I’ve been wondering about this idea of the stateless society and it’s place in the current debate among the “Austrians”. I also got a few pointers to articles that seems to be very enlightening. I have used the old marxist theories to interpret economics for a very long time and I have found it, as an analytical tool, a bit blunt but better than any Keynesian theories in predicitng the ups and downs of capitalism. The Austrian school provided me with sharper tools and I am hard at work reading up on as much as possible. I am just a layman trying to make sense of this world. However, it has been a mystery to me how the Austrian theories seems to be neglected in media, even now in the middle of a major crisis, and I wonder why. Perhaps this article explain why “Austrians” don’t get the attention they deserve – the stateless society makes it easy to dismiss as it seems too far removed from reality. Personally, I have serious doubts that it would work and also about the scientific foundation for claims being made about human nature. I studied social anthropology for quite a few years and I can’t remember one society that hasn’t created some sort of superstructure and structure for distribution of wealth and food. I would be glad to be proven wrong with some examples.

Many thanks to all for making this site one of the most interesting on the net.

/JTarnstrom

Michael Smith January 14, 2009 at 9:53 am

I see many assertions and claims here about the state of Israel — but I don’t see any support for those claims. “Dan” provided a link towards the end of his set of claims, but it merely goes to a video of a young man standing at a chalkboard making the same unsupported claims. So my question to the “P.M.Lawrences” and “Dans” of this group is: why do you believe these claims about Israel?

I can only evaluate the evidence available to me. And when I read a claim like this one from Dan:

Since at least the 1930s, Zionists have never let up in their state-sponsored ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine.

I have to wonder why — if the state of Israel has conducted a non-stop campaign of ethnic cleansing since the 1930s — why are there over a million Muslim Arabs living with full and equal rights to the Jews in the state of Israel today?

Or: If Israel is the way you claim it to be, why did it enter the 1993 Oslo accords that gave Yassir Arafat everything he wanted?

Or: Why did Israel even offer to return to its pre-1967 borders in exchange for a peace treaty — and why was this rejected by Arafat?

What’s more, the Arabs are overwhelmingly Muslim — and Muslims completely reject the very notions of individual rights and political freedom. They are in favor of a totalitarian dictatorship of the theocratic form. Thus, they are not in a position to demand any rights to anything for themselves — for they have repudiated the very notion of rights. Why on earth are your sympathies with people who want to establish the most egregiously evil type of dictatorship on earth?

I don’t understand why any alleged advocate of liberty or freedom would defend those who are dedicated to the destruction of these very ideals.

I don’t say that Israel is perfect or has never violated rights herself — I‘m sure she has. But there is a vast difference between the sort of society that exists in Israel today versus what I see in Iran or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia where religious police enforce the countless suffocating rules of Islam.

Here is the sort of stuff that goes on under Islamic rule: they stone to death a woman who dares to have sex outside of marriage — they castrate and then eviscerate anyone who might find a member of the same sex attractive — they decapitate anyone who dares to draw a picture of Allah — they hang until dead a woman who “disgraces” her family because she is unable to stop a gang of Muslim men from raping her — they seek out 9 year old girls for sex — they put to death anyone who wants to change his mind and cease being a Muslim — they force school girls to die in a burning building because they weren’t dressed properly for going out of doors according to Islam’s dress code — they grant the husband the right to beat his wife to enforce his rules in the house — they forbid people to listen to music or look at statues — they demand that all other religions either convert to Islam or live in a taxed state of dhimmitude under Islamic domination or be put to death.

Over at IslamOnline, they have a “fatwa bank”. A fatwah is a religious ruling issued by an Islamic cleric and it has the force of law under an Islamic government — and Islam has thousands of these rules. Islam dictates what you can eat, what you can drink, who you can associate with, what times of day you must pray, what postures you must adopt in praying, what clothing you can wear, how long your beard must be, what businesses you may operate, how many times a day you must bath, precisely how you must wash each body part, who can go where and at what times of day, who may or may not drive an automobile (women are not allowed to drive), who can and who cannot seek an education, who may or may not seek a doctor when sick — and on and on and on. Under an Islamic government, every minute of your life is ruled by Islam’s edicts.

These are the sorts of horrors enforced under Islam; this is the sort of state the “Palestinians” want to establish. How can any of you think that those who propose to establish this sort of society are proper, just or moral? How can you possibly sympathize with those who want to perpetuate such evil?

Eric Dennis January 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Michael Smith posts an excellent comment. The anti-semitic left (apparently including these leftist anarchists who are the political antipode of von Mises) focus exclusively on alleged acts of terrorism perpetrated by Israel. But terrorism is merely a tactic.

The left is here capitalizing on conservatives’ own superficiality in identifying the enemy. The “War on Terror” should have been a War on Totalitarian Islam. It is not the tactic of terrorism that distinguishes Islam, it is the goal at which all of its acts — political, legal, and military — are aimed. As Michael has stated, this goal is manifest: totalitarian theocracy. Alleged acts of terrorism committed by early Zionists would have been aimed at something entirely different, namely the establishment Israel, a modern Western oasis of relative freedom in a dessert of barbaric dictatorships.

This exchange illustrates why the adoption of anarchism by Rothbard et al. is not merely a natural, technical progression from the position of laissez-faire capitalism. Anarchism does not represent an evolution of Misean thought, but what now amounts to a total repudiation of it. Could there be any clearer test of this than the choice of siding with medieval theocratic barbarians over a culture of trade and freedom?

It is wrong that this site, for all its timely economic commentary, continue under the name of von Mises when its true fount is Rothbard. Mr. Rockwell, tear down this masthead!

P.M.Lawrence January 14, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Michael Smith asks ‘…my question to the “P.M.Lawrences” and “Dans” of this group is: why do you believe these claims about Israel?’

I don’t think he bothered to read what I wrote. It’s practically all my not believing claims about Israel.

He himself is largely mistaken, e.g.:-

- “I have to wonder why — if the state of Israel has conducted a non-stop campaign of ethnic cleansing since the 1930s — why are there over a million Muslim Arabs living with full and equal rights to the Jews in the state of Israel today?” One, it hasn’t done that (in part because of external constraint); that argument could equally “prove” that the Nazis didn’t do genocide because they didn’t finish the job. Two, there are not “over a million Muslim Arabs living with full and equal rights to the Jews in the state of Israel today”, since they face chronic discrimination and disfranchisement etc. (some Arab political parties were banned just the other day).

- “If Israel is the way you claim it to be, why did it enter the 1993 Oslo accords that gave Yassir Arafat everything he wanted?” The accords didn’t do that. Even in their own terms, they were only supposed to be part of a process with more later; we don’t even have to go into whether Israel actually delivered on the accords to know that they deliberately left issues like refugees for later.

- “Why did Israel even offer to return to its pre-1967 borders in exchange for a peace treaty — and why was this rejected by Arafat?” Anyone can see that that isn’t true. What, give up much of Jerusalem? Plus, of course, there are the other issues left unaddressed.

Readers, just look at the ethical standards in his paragraph “What’s more… the most egregiously evil type of dictatorship on earth?” Simply make them ineligible for decent treatment a priori, that’s the ticket!

He even asserts “But there is a vast difference between the sort of society that exists in Israel today versus what I see in Iran or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia…”, but only describes what he sees in the latter without even considering that he should check out the former too. It’s completely one eyed.

Where in any of that is my making claims as such, rather than shooting down claims with statements with just as much support as the original claims?

Just for Eric Dennis, “Alleged acts of terrorism committed by early Zionists would have been aimed at something entirely different, namely the establishment Israel, a modern Western oasis of relative freedom in a dessert of barbaric dictatorships”.

That is plain wrong, too. They were aimed at driving the British Mandate out first. You cannot call setting up a state on the back of terrorism an improvement on a fair and even handed process leading towards responsible self government; that whole “barbaric dictatorships” thing is a false comparison.

Dan January 14, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Well put, P.M. Lawrence.

Dan January 14, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Editor,

Please allow my earlier comment to go through. I spent quite some time gathering the sources, and it is pertinent to the subject and necessary in the wake of my being labeled an anti-Semite for exposing state crimes.

Thanks.

Ben W. January 14, 2009 at 8:05 pm

P.M. Lawrence,

Awhile ago you questioned who I was referring to in terms of one state being just and relatively free and the other being totalitarian. Have you ever been to Israel? Have you ever been to the Arab lands outside of Israel? It is clear as day to see the difference, but just in case you cannot, let’s look at some of the facts (from Wikipedia, I know not a scholarly source, so if you object to it, so be it, but I think we can take it as being a relatively accurate source): “Israel is considered one of the most advanced countries in Southwest Asia in economic and industrial development. The country has been ranked highest in the region on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index[170] as well as in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.[16] It has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world (after the United States) and the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside North America.” This is factual data. Further, “Despite limited natural resources, intensive development of the agricultural and industrial sectors over the past decades has made Israel largely self-sufficient in food production, apart from grains and beef. Other major imports to Israel, totaling US$47.8 billion in 2006, include fossil fuels, raw materials, and military equipment.[2] Leading exports include fruits, vegetables, pharmaceuticals, software, chemicals, military technology, and diamonds; in 2006, Israeli exports reached US$42.86 billion.[2] Israel is a global leader in water conservation and geothermal energy,[175] and its development of cutting-edge technologies in software, communications and the life sciences have evoked comparisons with Silicon Valley.[176][177] Intel[178] and Microsoft[179] built their first overseas research and development centers in Israel, and other high-tech multi-national corporations, such as IBM, Cisco Systems, and Motorola, have opened facilities in the country.” In addition, “Israel has the highest school life expectancy in Southwest Asia, and is tied with Japan for second-highest school life expectancy on the Asian continent (after South Korea).[182] Israel similarly has the highest literacy rate in Southwest Asia, according to the United Nations.”

So in the middle of a desert, surrounded by enemies, you have a people that is educated and has a vibrant economy. On the other hand, let’s take a look at Saudi Arabia, one of the more modernized of the Arab States. First, as a basis of law, Saudi Arabia in 1992 “declared the Qur’an as the constitution of the country, governed on the basis of Islamic law.” I’m not sure if you have read the Quran, but needless to say you would probably not have the freedom to write anything you wrote on this website if you lived under this kind of regime. “The Saudi legal system prescribes capital punishment or corporal punishment, including amputations of hands and feet for certain crimes such as murder, robbery, rape, drug smuggling, homosexual activity, and adultery. The courts may impose less severe punishments, such as floggings, for less serious crimes against public morality such as drunkenness.[14] Murder, accidental death and bodily harm are open to punishment from the victim’s family. Retribution may be sought in kind or through blood money. The blood money payable for a woman’s accidental death is half as much as that for a man.[15] The main reason for this is that, according to Islamic law, men are expected to be providers for their families and therefore are expected to earn more money in their lifetimes. The blood money from a man would be expected to sustain his family, for at least a short time. Honor killings are also not punished as severely as murder. This generally stems from the fact that honor killings are within a family, and done to compensate for some dishonorable act committed.” “Saudi Arabia is also the only country in the world where women are banned from driving on public roads. Women may drive off-road and in private housing compounds – some of which extend to many square miles.[19] The ban may be lifted soon, although with certain conditions.[20]” “Saudi Arabia’s economy is petroleum-based; roughly 75% of budget revenues and 90% of export earnings come from the oil industry.” Did I mention that oil is cartelized? For someone writing on the Mises site, I would think this would raise a red flag. Perhaps you will find this more acceptable: “Today, Saudi Arabia’s nationwide public educational system comprises twenty universities, more than 24,000 schools, and a large number of colleges and other educational and training institutions. The system provides students with free education, books and health services and is open to every Saudi. Over 25 percent of the annual State budget is for education including vocational training. The Kingdom has also worked on scholarship programs to send students overseas to the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Malaysia and other nations. Currently thousands of students are being sent to higher-educations programs every year. The study of Islam remains at the core of the Saudi educational system. The Islamic aspect of the Saudi national curriculum is examined in a 2006 report by Freedom House.[45] The report found that in religious education classes (in any religious school), children are taught to deprecate other religions, in addition to other branches of Islam.” As for religious freedom, “Due to the legal framework of the country, which does not provide legal protection for freedom of religion, the public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited. Indeed, the Government enforces a strict and conservative version of Sunni Islam. Muslims who do not follow the official interpretation, can face severe repercussions at the hands of Mutawwa’in (religious police).
For this reason, Saudi culture lacks the diversity of religious expression, buildings, annual festivals and public events that is seen in countries where religious freedom is permitted.”

Remember, we are talking about Saudi Arabia here, not Iran or Syria, the really bad guys. How can any reasonable person even make a comparison between the Muslim neighbors of Israel and Israel? If you stand for freedom and justice then you should stand with Israel.

Ben W. January 14, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Apologies, the first information cited is not factual, but rather based on reports from the World Bank and World Economic forum, two legitimate sources.

Dan January 14, 2009 at 8:41 pm

[The following response is for the two gentlemen purporting to have rebutted my comment.]

Michael Smith writes:

I see many assertions and claims here about the state of Israel — but I don’t see any support for those claims. ‘Dan’ provided a link towards the end of his set of claims, but it merely . . .

He then procedes to offer absolutely zero sources for his “arguments.”

The other screen name — Eric Dennis — then writes:

The anti-semitic left (apparently including these leftist anarchists who are the political antipode of von Mises) . . .

Thus employing the old name-calling stand-by of all Israeli apologists who realize they have lost before approaching the Start line.

I shall dismantle these two screen names’ tired and long-debunked hasbara. I will use mostly Jewish and Israeli sources. These sources range the perceived political spectrum from “left” to “right.” Much of which is backed up by direct quotes from the Zionist founders of the allegedly-Jewish state.
[palestineremembered.com/Acre/Famous-Zionist-Quotes/Story694.html]

[Firstly, here is perhaps the definitive source on those house demolitions and land and resource expropriations, taken mostly from official Israeli sources, by B'Tselem: btselem.org/English/Statistics/Index.asp. And here is a small sample of video footage of said ethnic cleansing, among other daily violence against Israeli-occupied Palestianians: btselem.org/English/Video/Index.asp. These, being from mostly state sources, are conservative figures.]

We begin.

I have to wonder why — if the state of Israel has conducted a non-stop campaign of ethnic cleansing since the 1930s — why are there over a million Muslim Arabs living with full and equal rights to the Jews in the state of Israel today?

Let’s take this one phrase at a time:

[W]hy are there over a million Muslim Arabs . . .

There would be several million if the Zionists hadn’t wiped the face of Palestine of hundreds of villiages, not allowing them to return to their land, and forcing them to live under Jordanian, Egyptian, and now Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.

That can’t be chance. It’s a pattern. Apparently, various officers who took part in the operation understood that the expulsion order they received permitted them to do these deeds in order to encourage the population to take to the roads. The fact is that no one was punished for these acts of murder. Ben-Gurion silenced the matter. He covered up for the officers who did the massacres.
-Israeli historian Benny Morris. Haaretz, publish date N/A.
[haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=380986&contrassID=2]

Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. . . .

I write as someone who served loyally in the Israeli army in the mid-1960s and who has never questioned the legitimacy of the state of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. What I utterly reject is the Zionist colonial project beyond the Green Line. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the June 1967 war had very little to do with security and everything to do with territorial expansionism. The aim was to establish Greater Israel through permanent political, economic and military control over the Palestinian territories. And the result has been one of the most prolonged and brutal military occupations of modern times.”
-Israeli historian Avi Shlaim. Guardian UK, January 7, 2009
[guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine]

In 1948, the area that became Israel was inhabited by 900,000 Palestinian Arabs. After the war of 1948 and the establishment of the State of Israel, some 770,000-780,000 (86%) of this population was displaced from their homes and expelled from Israel, to become refugees in neighboring Arab states. In addition, tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs were displaced from their homes to other locations within the borders of Israel, becoming refugees within the State of Israel. Those Arabs who remained within the borders of Israel found that virtually overnight they had become a minority in a Jewish State.”
-General Monthly Bulletin of Current Statistics XII: Government of Palestine, Department of Statistics, 1947. Cited by Janet L. Abu-Lughod, “The Demographic Transformation of Palestine,” in The Transformation of Palestine, ed. by Ibrahim Abu-Lughod: Northwestern University Press, 1971.
[ifamericansknew.org/cur_sit/pal_israelis.html]

[T]he whole Israeli 1948 mythology is based on our war against the invading Arab armies, less so against the Palestinians, who were the weaker side in that confrontation, because it didn’t serve the myth of the creation of the state and of the nation.”
-Israeli historian and former FM, Shlomo Ben Ami. Shlomo Ben Ami v. Norman Finkelstein. Democracy Now! February 14, 2006.
[democracynow.org/2006/2/14/fmr_israeli_foreign_minister_shlomo_ben]

. . . living with full and equal rights to the Jews in the state of Israel today?

–Full equal rights: news.antiwar.com/2008/12/30/as-war-sentiment-grows-israeli-arabs-increasingly-seen-as-traitors
–Full equal rights: news.antiwar.com/2009/01/13/ban-on-arab-parties-may-facilitate-coalition-govt-in-israel

You have “equal rights,” as long as you don’t inter-marry. You have equal property rights as long as you’re not a Bedouin.
[sundayherald.com/international/shinternational/display.var.2476912.0.0.php]

You’re allowed the same access to civil services and natural resources, as long as you’re not what the “Jewish state” (theocracy?) refers to as a “non-Jew.”
[blueherald.com/2009/01/racism-in-israel]

Or: If Israel is the way you claim it to be, why did it enter the 1993 Oslo accords that gave Yassir Arafat everything he wanted?

Again, let’s take this one mythical phrase at a time:

[W]hy did it enter the 1993 Oslo accords . . .”

Probably because they knew that:

During the Oslo negotiations, the Jerusalem municipality and the Ministry of Interior demolished almost 300 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem.

And that:

During the Oslo negotiations, a permanent closure was imposed on the Occupied Territories. It has little to do with security. Indeed, during the previous 26 years of occupation, including the first Intifada, there was no closure. Since 1993 Palestinians have been locked out of work, and impoverished, while Israel has imported hundreds of thousands of cheaper foreign workers. By 2002, the average Palestinian family earned only an eighth of what it had earned when the peace process began in 1993.

And that:

During the seven years of the Oslo negotiations, the Palestinian Authority achieved control of only 18% of the West Bank and 60% of Gaza – far from the idea of two states on which Oslo was based.

And that:

During the Oslo negotiations Israel began building a massive system of 480 kilometers of Israel-only “by-pass” roads, at a cost of $3 billion. The project continues to this day (May 2002), creating “facts on the ground” that make the de facto incorporation of the West Bank into Israel irreversible.

And that:

During the Oslo negotiations, the settler population doubled. Thirty new settlements were established, including entire cities such as Kiryat Sefer and Tel Zion. All this prejudiced the successful outcome of the negotiations from the start.
-ICAHD, publish date N/A. (See also: B’Tselem links, above.)
[icahd.org/eng/faq.asp?menu=9&submenu=1]

. . . that gave Yassir Arafat everything he wanted?

Well, Arafat may have wanted some of the above facts on the ground (all warfare statists need job security); but, I’d dare argue that he — and certainly Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza — did not want the ultimate result of the violent, immoral, treacherous, underhanded, and illicit scheme.
[oldmanin.blogspot.com/2006/02/jordan-valley.html]

Or: Why did Israel even offer to return to its pre-1967 borders in exchange for a peace treaty — and why was this rejected by Arafat?

This is the tired old Camp David hasbara hoax.

If I were a Palestinian, I Would Have Rejected Camp David”
-Israeli historian and former FM, Shlomo Ben Ami. Shlomo Ben Ami v. Norman Finkelstein. Democracy Now! February 14, 2006.
[democracynow.org/2006/2/14/fmr_israeli_foreign_minister_shlomo_ben]

Reports vary about what was actually offered at Camp David, but it is clear that the offer was a lot less generous than Barak has claimed. What we know is that the Palestinians were offered sovereignty over a very small part of Jerusalem, and that their capitol would have actually been in Abu Dis, a small suburb, and not in Jerusalem itself. The so-called 95% of the West Bank excluded all of the Greater Jerusalem area, which has grown considerably since 1967. Israel would also have maintained control of much of the Jordan Valley, for an indefinite security period. Thus, along with the proposed accommodations for certain key Israeli settlements, the offer was actually about 80% of the West Bank. Further, according to maps publicized by Gush Shalom and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, the areas remaining under Israeli control would have effectively split the West bank in two and would have surrounded the Palestinian areas. For this, the Palestinians were to give up all claims resulting from the mass expulsion in 1948. Having already conceded 78% of what was once Mandatory Palestine, this did not strike the Palestinians as a ?generous offer?. It is true that Barak?s offer was much more than had ever been offered the Palestinians before. But this really says more about previous offers than it does about the Camp David offer. After seven years of the Oslo Process, which saw Palestinian standards of living decline markedly and the greatest period of Israeli settlement expansion by far, it was impossible for any Palestinian leader to compromise this far. For more on Camp David and the beginning of the current uprising, follow this link.
-Jewish Voice for Peace. Publish date N/A.
[jewishvoiceforpeace.org/publish/101conflict.shtml#2]

Endless sources are availbale on the hasbaranik myth of Barak’s “generous offer”; but for your sake, I shall stop there.

The rest of your spiel is a great example of hasbara technique #3: Transfer the focus, make up straw man arguments, then attack, attack, attack. To wit:

Why on earth are your sympathies with people who want to establish the most egregiously evil type of dictatorship on earth? . . .

How can you possibly sympathize with those who want to perpetuate such evil?

Show me where I am defending Islam, Sharia law, dictatorship, etc.

Fact is, you two are the first ones to speak in terms of Jews vs. Muslims. You’re the ones condemning an entire global population based on ethnicity and religion (a natural reaction to having no leg to stand on in an honest debate). Strange thing is, the group of people you demonize and wish to violently rid the earth of makes up most of the world’s SEMITES. So, Mr. Dennis, what does that, quite ironically, make you?

Dan January 14, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Editor,

Never mind. I apparently had too many active links in my original version, so it probably got caught by Akismet. I await the author’s response to my criticism of what I see is his quite un-libertarian breakdown of the Israel-Palestine “conflict.” His anarchist solution? Well, okay. Good luck with that. But his understanding of the “conflict” lacks heavily. E.g., how can it be viewed with equivalence, or as state v. state, when in fact the internationally-imposed state has carried out a policy of preventing self-determination for the population of individuals its statehood was arbitrarily, violently, immorally, unjustly imposed upon in the first place? Don’t be afraid to call a spade what it is. Israeli dupes will always have that BS “anti-Semite” card ready to play at every turn. But, as you’ve seen in my previous comment, their state-worshiping routine is a deck of jokers. Peace and wellness.

anon January 15, 2009 at 1:08 am

Dan, all of your last sources are known to be extreme left-wing. Btselem is known to be inaccurate and to print lies. Unfortunately I do not have time to find links proving Btselem’s inaccuracies and lies. I ask all the intellectually honest readers of the Mises site to please investigate the validity of B’tselem’s claims.

anon January 15, 2009 at 1:28 am

I will post a few sites that monitor reporting on Mid-east issues:
http://www.CAMERA.org
http://www.MEMRI.org.il
http://www.IMRA.org

Michael January 15, 2009 at 6:08 am

I love this site, but I cannot understand how this article made it past the editor. Switch to decaf recently?

Oh yes, it is all so painfully simple: no state, no problem. Give me a break! The problem with colonial Islam is that it is the ULTIMATE statist collective! Pretty hard to beat a complete system that desires absolute dominance and control over the globe, but this Mr. Bergstrom still takes the time to teach us – our thanks of course – that Israelis and Palestinians behave identically:

- “kill one Palestinian or Israeli, and a dozen friends and relatives will swear to avenge the death of their loved one.”

Statistics are simply not on the authors side on this one, as the site http://www.thereligionofpeace.com clearly demonstrates. Israel has behaved remarkably well and these retaliations are long overdue.

Considering the problem that the Swedes are currently having with their badly-behaved muslim immigrants, I thought that perhaps, for once, a European might actually understand that there is indeed a good guy and a bad guy in this situation.
Oh my, I have said it. I have taken a position. I apologize. NOT! Israel and Palestine are not equivalents, historically or culturally, and Israel has every right to defend itself and its territory.

There is no room on this issue for the relativism that the author displays in this article. He is merely hiding his inability to assess and correctly judge the fundamental issues of a situation behind a “dude the problem is statism” stance. That sounds like the Marxist stance that “the problem is private property”. It’s just NOT that simple.

Down here in Buenos Aires, we have the unions, socialist and communist parties (yes, with pictures of Evita everywhere, because she was such a big socialist, after all), with support from the government and likely funded by Iran via Venezuela, protesting against Israel, in the Jewish neighbourhood of Once. It’s all a very slick production to hide a very obvious and offensive anti-semitism. Any word from these people when Islamic terrorists kill Israelis? Not a peep. Any word from these people about Iran’s involvement in the bombing of two Jewish targets 13 years ago in Buenos Aires that resulted in many deaths? Nope. In fact these same people keep blaming Israel for the fact that that happened in the first place.

Actually this article reminds me of another concern of mine: Is this a common problem for some anti-statists, their inability or indeed unwillingness to assess character and judge situations? After all, Rothbard admired Che Guevarra. I can only assume he gave his opinion hastily on that one. (Perhaps Ayn Rand’s criticism of Libertarianism, funadmentally, stemmed from her observation of just such simplistic and wrong-headed thinking?)

Andrew January 15, 2009 at 8:57 am

Pro-Israel Rally For Attacking Gaza, NYC, 1-11-09

Please watch American Jew’s opinions on the war on Gaza.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FABqq_jjRRo

Joe Stoutenburg January 15, 2009 at 11:34 am

It seems that much of the debate has devolved into taking sides between the Palestinians and Israel. While it certainly may be reasonable to take a side in a dispute about which one is reasonably informed, I consider myself too far removed from the situation to fairly judge. Even when sources are provided (as some of you have done), it is a challenge to research them enough to know whether they are accurate. I admit that I have not put in the effort to verify any of your sources.

Whatever my opinion, I know that my material support is on the side of the Israelis since that is the side to which U.S. tax dollars are going. But a discussion on this fact could be for another time and would probably yield much more agreement from this crowd.

Going back to the concept of political anarchy in theory, I direct the interested reader to this essay by Robert Murphy, “But Wouldn’t Warlords Take Over?“. I quote from his article:

When dealing with the warlord objection, we need to keep our comparisons fair. It won’t do to compare society A, which is filled with evil, ignorant savages who live under anarchy, with society B, which is populated by enlightened, law-abiding citizens who live under limited government. The anarchist doesn’t deny that life might be better in society B.

I hope that this statement could be agreed upon by everyone here. What might be more controversial is what follows:

What the anarchist does claim is that, for any given population, the imposition of a coercive government will make things worse. The absence of a State is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to achieve the free society.

In general, I do believe that increases in liberty are good in any degree. However, the question must be asked whether abuses of liberty by the state would be replaced by personal crime if the state, in its current form, were suddenly abolished. Clearly, a society that favored liberty would need institutions to counter crime.

People of the Rothbardian persuassion like to pontificate on how “private security firms” would operate. As a person who has for some time been on the side of anarcho-capitalism, it has occured to me that institutions that effectively countered crime would in some ways resemble a state.

Let’s face it. What we are talking about is the legitimate use of violence. There is a spectrum of violence that runs from clear legitimate self defense to clear crimes. In the middle, there can be honest disagreements and gray areas.

I do think that Rothbardians add to economic understanding by applying the concepts of analyzing monopolies to security and law. They (we, to a large extent) err if we proclaim “abolishing the state” as a broad panacea. The real world is complex.

David K. Meller January 15, 2009 at 2:03 pm

Hats off to Mr. Markstrom for this rational, thoughfully argued, and profoundly libertarian alternative to the hopelesss and tragic waste of lives, resources, and above all, natural human goodwill in this profoudly troubled area.

I certainly hope that those people, both in the USA, and in the area, with authority to do something for peace and prosperity, pay careful heed to the wisdom contained therein.

There is no more intrinsic reason for Isrealis and Palestinians to hate each other–except for their respective brutal and psychopathic “rulers”–than for people anywhere else! Every effort to disengage from the illegitimate so-called authority and sovereignty of those states by their respective subjects–and victims–on both sides, should be welcomed!

PEACE AND FREEDOM!!
David K. Meller

Eric Dennis January 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm

P. M. Lawrence: The British-Zionist conflict was a derivative issue. The primary conflict was between Zionists and Arabs. The British, out of expediency regarding their regional economic interests, sided with the Arabs. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Conflict_with_Zionism

So no, the comparison to barbaric dictatorships (i.e. the Moslem Arabs) is not false at all. You have simply ignored my point that the kind of goal sought by Zionist militarism was utterly distinct from that sought by Totalitarian Islam, which is the critical issue.

Dan: The conflict is not fundamentally Jews vs. Arabs. The conflict is Modernity vs. Islam. Islam is not an ethnicity; it is a theocratic, totalitarian ideology, taken up voluntarily by every one of its adherents.

Michael: You are exactly right about the relevance of Ayn Rand’s critique of Rothbardian Libertarians. Having blinded themselves to the philosophic antecedents of political theory, they cannot see the moral/cultural dimensions of the conflict, lamely fixating on the political structure of a people who have voted-in an openly genocidal party (Hamas).

Michael Smith January 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Dan, your alleged “evidence” is entirely unconvincing, largely because it isn‘t evidence at all. It consists almost entirely of other people making the same claims as you — with the same level of support you‘ve offered: namely, none. The mere fact that others are making the same claims as you proves nothing, no matter how many of them you find to quote.

What’s more, a cursory examination of the quotes and links you provided reveals evidence that contradicts your claims.

For instance, in an effort to prove that Arabs don’t have the same rights as Jews in Israel, you linked to an article about two Arab political parties that have been banned from the upcoming elections — the implication being that they were banned because they’re Arabs.

But reading from sources other than your “antiwar” source reveals they were banned because they openly advocate war against Israel and refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist. See here: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3654866,00.html

The action of this banned party is roughly the equivalent of a U.S. Congressman refusing to take the oath of office, that is, refusing to pledge to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution and instead calling for war against the United States and declaring that it has no right to exist. Even in the U.S. that will get you excluded from Congress.

In addition, the Ynet news article mentions that previous bans against this party were overruled by the Israeli High Court of Justice. So, rather than proving that Arabs don‘t have the same rights as Jews in Israel, this incident shows that historically the rights of even those who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist have been protected.

Or, for another example, there is the link you gave that supposedly shows the Bedouin being denied property rights in Israel. But the “property right” the Bedouin are claiming is the right to live anywhere in the entire desert they please; essentially, they claim that because they’ve roamed over the desert in the past, they own any part of it they wish to claim. As near as I can tell, the Israeli government does not grant that sort of “property right” to anyone, Jews included. So again, this does not prove the notion that the Bedouin are being “discriminated” against.

This sort of “evidence” proves nothing.

You demanded:

Show me where I am defending Islam, Sharia law, dictatorship, etc.

You implicitly defend it when you make this statement:

It is quite libertarian to support Palestinian individuals who come together voluntarily to resist the warfare state.

The overwhelming majority of those “Palestinian individuals” are Muslims who support Sharia law and Islamic dictatorship. They are not fighting Israel because it’s a “warfare state” or because it “discriminates” against them. They’re fighting Israel because that’s what Islam commands them to do. They are fighting for the establishment of a totalitarian theocratic dictatorship.

Those “Palestinian individuals” you are so anxious to support are the deadliest, most brutal and inhuman enemies of human liberty on the planet today. If they had the power to make it happen, every aspect of your freedom would disappear under the suffocating weight of thousands of Islamic laws, rules, restrictions, behavior codes, etc. You would become a slave to Islam and to every whim of its dictatorial clerics — that is what they seek for you and everyone else. That’s who you are supporting.

If every accusation made against Israel were true, it would nonetheless be an oasis of liberty and a paradise of human freedom, production, trade and civilization compared to the hell-on-earth existence Muslims seek to impose on us all.

P.M.Lawrence January 15, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Ben W. asks me “Awhile ago you questioned who I was referring to in terms of one state being just and relatively free and the other being totalitarian. Have you ever been to Israel? Have you ever been to the Arab lands outside of Israel?”

That’s a red herring. The important thing isn’t me, it’s the facts and arguments. I won’t answer, so as not to encourage the distraction.

Then he raises a whole load of factual points that have absolutely nothing to do with whether either is a “democratically elected government of terrorists who have a totalitarian regime that has bankrupt their people” and only addresses the living standards part of “a government that has made countless land concessions for peace, has by far the highest standards of living and the most tolerance of any nation in the Middle East and has a people that believe in justice and the rule of law” – and doesn’t cover just who gets those.

He closes with “Remember, we are talking about Saudi Arabia here, not Iran or Syria, the really bad guys. How can any reasonable person even make a comparison between the Muslim neighbors of Israel and Israel? If you stand for freedom and justice then you should stand with Israel.”

This is plain nonsense. He himself raised the comparison, so it should be followed through. He has not brought out any of the “freedom and justice” things in regard to Israel at all. Both lots are bad guys, and we should stand with neither.

Michael makes the same mistake – assuming that identifying one bad guy demonstrates that the other guy is a good guy – in “Considering the problem that the Swedes are currently having with their badly-behaved muslim immigrants, I thought that perhaps, for once, a European might actually understand that there is indeed a good guy and a bad guy in this situation”, and like many others also completely overlooks the Christian Palestinians who are also on the receiving end of all this.

Eric Dennis addresses me: “The British, out of expediency regarding their regional economic interests, sided with the Arabs”.

That is plain not true. British colonial policy drew on much experience and had evolved to a stage of benevolent paternalism towards locals, with economic interests being pursued in conjunction with strategic interests, long term and not from expediency. In that part of the world there were few direct economic interests at all, merely the indirect ones of being a buffer to the Suez Canal and allowing oil transit.

His link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Conflict_with_Zionism starts after crucial dates and does not provide adequate coverage (its neutrality is also disputed).

He then claims that “…the comparison to barbaric dictatorships (i.e. the Moslem Arabs) is not false at all. You have simply ignored my point that the kind of goal sought by Zionist militarism was utterly distinct from that sought by Totalitarian Islam, which is the critical issue.”

I ignored it precisely because it is not the critical issue; I demonstrated that Zionist goals were not to be compared with what happened elsewhere, but with what British decolonisation aimed at. The alternatives were Israel or a suitably decolonised Palestine.

Then he writes that “The conflict is not fundamentally Jews vs. Arabs. The conflict is Modernity vs. Islam. Islam is not an ethnicity; it is a theocratic, totalitarian ideology, taken up voluntarily by every one of its adherents.”

That is also skipping over the awkward fact that a lot of those particular Arabs were Christians, and they were on the receiving end too. It is versus Arabs, not simply versus Islam.

Michael Smith makes a huge mistake in “For instance, in an effort to prove that Arabs don’t have the same rights as Jews in Israel, you linked to an article about two Arab political parties that have been banned from the upcoming elections — the implication being that they were banned because they’re Arabs”.

No, no such implication is involved; that is a red herring. The fact that there are reasons (right or wrong, wise or unwise) doesn’t go to the fact that this safety valve is closed.

He then draws a faulty parallel in “The action of this banned party is roughly the equivalent of a U.S. Congressman refusing to take the oath of office, that is, refusing to pledge to uphold and protect the U.S. Constitution and instead calling for war against the United States and declaring that it has no right to exist. Even in the U.S. that will get you excluded from Congress”.

It is in fact more like banning a senator from Utah for being a polygamous Mormon, even though duly elected (this has in fact happened). It’s taking a Muslim affiliation and an actual commitment to the electoral process, and saying that parties should be prejudged by the former and not the latter even though there are the courts to catch people for what they actually do. And, of course, Christians are being tarred with the same brush.

He then makes an assertion that won’t wash: “In addition, the Ynet news article mentions that previous bans against this party were overruled by the Israeli High Court of Justice. So, rather than proving that Arabs don’t have the same rights as Jews in Israel, this incident shows that historically the rights of even those who refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist have been protected.”

In his blog, Jerry Pournelle describes how Palestinians he knew repeatedly obtained court orders in their favour and repeatedly got those ignored, right up until a US diplomat attended to observe whether they were followed. It’s not whether they talk the talk that counts.

He closes with “If every accusation made against Israel were true, it would nonetheless be an oasis of liberty and a paradise of human freedom, production, trade and civilization compared to the hell-on-earth existence Muslims seek to impose on us all”.

That simply isn’t true, on either branch of the comparison. The Palestinians do get a very short end of the stick, and we do have actual historical cases of Muslims ruling over others – and it was always better than the Palestinians are getting now (I’m not saying it was good, just nowhere near as bad as that).

Mitch January 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm

This is the kind of drivel that drives people from the study of econ. It’s a pointless and endless theoretical debate that only promotes harsh words and carpal tunnel syndrome. In my humble opinion, it’s disappointing to see this article and debate on this web site. Let’s invest our time and intellectual energy into something that might actually improve the world in which we live.

Eric Dennis January 16, 2009 at 11:09 am

Mitch: The problem with the world in which we live is, proximately, the pragmatist-altruist-interventionist ideology that dominates even its best societies. And right now there is no formidable, popular alternative on the intellectual landscape, so we continue printing money, robbing taxpayers to bail out failed businesses, and breaking out kid gloves to handle genocidal foreign enemies.

Why is there no formidable, popular alternative? Because the traditional alternatives have been split among: religious conservatives who implicitly concede their opponents’ positions by pegging their own arguments to some supernatural delusion, anarchist Libertarians who parrot a few nice phrases about individual liberty while demonstrating a true ignorance of their meaning in exchanges such as this one, and genuine secular (i.e. non-delusional) advocates of reason and freedom.

This amalgamation is disadvantageous for the genuine advocates. It needs to be melted down, separated, and recast in pure form. I consider exchanges such as this one part of the melting process.

P. M. Lawrence: You’re dancing around the issue. The context here is evaluating the two sides of the current conflict. The propriety of British involvement 60 years ago is a red herring. Zionists wanted to establish the state of Israel. They bombed some British offices related to taxation and the forcible curtailment of immigration on the part of holocaust survivors.

(Incidentally: 1. It’s funny that an anarchist would have a problem with such acts, and 2. Your smokescreen about the neutrality dispute of my wikipedia source is another red herring. The dispute is about interpreting the views of one minor personality “Lord Moyne,” irrelevant to anything we’re talking about here.)

Through these and other means the Jews accomplished their goal of creating Israel, a relatively free and productive nation in a desert of tribal dictatorships whose people are tied to an openly genocidal, totalitarian ideology. The anarchist, “libertarian” response: side with the totalitarians.

michael January 16, 2009 at 5:28 pm

A number of questions the author ponders could be answered by considering how a disinterested observer would divide the infant. And as a single state solution is greatly preferable from a number of standpoints, primarily economic viability, let’s look at it.

Israelis in a majority? That one’s easy. A new constitution is in order, declaring Israel-Palestine a secular state. One where everyone enjoys human rights, religious rights and democratic rights, and officially all ethnic or sectarian discrimination is sanctioned.

The reason the Israelis will never go for this solution, of course, is that the Palestinians are by far the most prolific. They would quickly become the new majority. And in any case, once it was established that everyone, not just the Jews, enjoyed the right of return.. well, you know how that would go.

Also easy. The Knesset would be divided between a Muslim house and a Jewish house. NO law could be passed without the assent of both houses.

The problem, of course, is bad faith. There are just too many people on both sides whose only goal is the eradication of the other side. And, as is usual in human affairs, the most radical and immovable factions always set the tone.

A single state would, of course, be of the greatest benefit to Israeli and Palestinian alike. But only for those who could tolerate peace and prosperity.

P.M.Lawrence January 16, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Eric Dennis thinks I’m “dancing around the issue. The context here is evaluating the two sides of the current conflict. The propriety of British involvement 60 years ago is a red herring. Zionists wanted to establish the state of Israel. They bombed some British offices related to taxation and the forcible curtailment of immigration on the part of holocaust survivors.”

Wrong. The murder of the British sergeants is just one of many other terrorist acts they perpetrated. And it’s not about the propriety of British involvement – it’s about the propriety of Zionist actions (they redirected their anti-British efforts against the UN even after the British left, e.g. the murder of Count Bernadotte).

“Through these and other means the Jews accomplished their goal of creating Israel, a relatively free and productive nation in a desert of tribal dictatorships whose people are tied to an openly genocidal, totalitarian ideology”.

Now that is a red herring. The truth of the matter is, through these and other means the Jews accomplished their goal of creating Israel and thwarting a regular decolonisation of the sort the British had managed elsewhere, e.g. Jordan and Iraq (subsequent degeneration can be traced to US intervention over Suez that led to the failure of the Baghdad Pact and the resurgence of violent forms of statism). And those countries were places of refuge from genocide for (Christian) Armenians who had been massacred by Turks – and Kurds. There were still Jews there in the late 1950s when I was a child in Iraq (I was at school with one); it was only the Israeli connection that made them a potential enemy within that led to policies against them.

He wilfully, recklessly or negligently misrepresents things in ‘The anarchist, “libertarian” response: side with the totalitarians’. Did I not point out that they are all bad guys? I’m not siding with anyone, I’m just shooting down attempts to represent Israel the wrong way. I’d do the same if people were talking the Palestinians up as generic good guys.

Michael thinks that “A single state would, of course, be of the greatest benefit to Israeli and Palestinian alike. But only for those who could tolerate peace and prosperity.”

Actually, no. If nothing else, it just isn’t big enough for all of them – which the Arabs realised as far back as the ’20s.

Dan Alba January 21, 2009 at 1:59 am

“Michael Smith” writes:

Dan, your alleged “evidence” is entirely unconvincing, largely because it isn‘t evidence at all. It consists almost entirely of other people making the same claims as you — with the same level of support you‘ve offered: namely, none. The mere fact that others are making the same claims as you proves nothing, no matter how many of them you find to quote.

Of course. Because everybody knows that the weakest form of argumentation is using the antagonist’s own sources — in this case, official Israeli statistics (via B’Tselem, historians, et al.) and the documented words and deeds of the founding fathers of Israel and every major Zionist leader over the last 12 decades.

You’re a fraud. A hasbara attack dog and a state-worshiping joke. You were defeated before you stepped to the Start line.

And btw, your fraud about the Arab parties not recognizing Israel and making war against it is just as lame because as far as you or I know, the Israeli court was not shown any evidence of the charges put against them by racists like Avigdor “Adolf” Lieberman. You simply assumed that they were guilty upon the charges of your dearly beloved leaders. And when the court ruled in favor of the Arabs, you site it as a reason why Israel is so wonderfully a shining example of civil rights and liberty. What a joke.

Guy-André Pelouze June 2, 2010 at 5:18 pm

It’s very surprising to read all the comments about the presumed violent state of Israël. One should take in account the real life. In Lebanon, Syria and other muslims states of the area or in the Gaza strip and even in the West bank it is difficult to see any sign of freedom. This point is completely ignored by the author of the paper and it’s a pity because its importance is huge in the debate about how to deal and fix the Middle East conflict.
Second point which is not mentioned: the threat upon jews and Israël by neighbours like Iran cannot be fixed by private security systems or services… When a state builds an atomic bomb and rockets to send it on israeli people it is very disappointing to read a paper which don’t deal with this vital question.
It’s not a fair view to squeeze the problems which do not fit with your views or analysis.
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” (Aldous Huxley, 1927)

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