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Rand on the Middle East

•, Murray N. Rothbard

Asked what the American people and the government should do about the Middle East war. Rand answered unhesitatingly: "Give every help possible to Israel." Not American soldiers, she conceded; but military weapons. We need not stress here the assault on liberty involved when the U.S. government taxes Americans in order to send arms abroad; surely, this is as statist and immoral, though not to the same degree, as sending American soldiers to the Middle East. As for the American people, Miss Rand sounds for all the world like the United Jewish Appeal: "Give everything you can" (Give till it hurts?). Reaffirming her supposed and longtime opposition to altruism. Rand added that "this is the first time I have contributed" to public causes, but now apparently we have a vital exception.

Why? What is the overriding cause for which we must set aside libertarian principle, isolationist principle, and opposition to altruism; why is Israel's "emergency" to be a claim on our hearts and pockets? Given Miss Rand's militant atheism, it surely could not be the necessity for the reestablishment of the Temple, or the fulfillment of the old prayer, "next year in Jerusalem"; given her professed individualism, it surely could not be (one hopes) the Zionist call to blood, race, and soil. So what is it? Russia is of course dragged in, but even Miss Rand concedes that the Russian Threat is not the real issue here.

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