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Israel: 7 Percent Legitimate


The Libertarian Case for Israel, by Alan Futerman, Rafi Farber, and Walter Block.

As a follow-up to my review of Alison Weir's book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel, I would like to examine this essay regarding the libertarian case for Israel.

After noting the anti-Israel sentiment in the Arab world, the authors comment:

What is much more vexing is that a similar attitude is pervasive among the libertarian community (and, even, shonda, amongst, happily, a very small percentage of Jews) where Israel is often picked out as a particularly pernicious state relative to almost all others.

I had to look it up: Shonda: shame, disgrace.  It is interesting – one might consider such descriptors from a nationalist or religious viewpoint, like "what a disgrace that some Jews hold an anti-Israel position"; but why would this be true from a libertarian standpoint?  Just because a libertarian happens to be Jewish, does that preclude him from looking negatively on the creation and/or existence of the state of Israel?

The authors note that, of course, libertarians are against all states – but why do some libertarians hold a special hatred of the Israeli state?  It is "troubling" to the authors that this is so.  They point to an essay by Rothbard as perhaps being the root of this libertarian hatred, with Rothbard pointing to the Six-Day war.

Going far beyond blaming Israel for the Six Day War though, Rothbard insists that the entire State of Israel is illegitimate… What is peculiar about Rothbard's article is that he finds the State of Israel "uniquely pernicious" in that it was supposedly founded on massive land theft and expropriation from Arabs.

Well, it wasn't "supposedly" founded in such a manner – it was specifically founded in such a manner.  In this massive land theft there is nothing necessarily unique about Israel, the authors point out (although few examples are both as recent and as egregious and continue to drive war even to the present day); they neglect to point out the terrorism that was also present in the founding.

Our thesis…is that Rothbard did not go far back enough in time in analyzing legitimate land claims….

Yes; the Six Day War isn't the issue.  The year 1948 is the issue.

Much of the land currently under dispute was homesteaded by Jews before the territory was even called "Palestine," when it was in fact called "Judea".

What?  The authors look back to the time of Christ (they do not refer to the time as this; they refer to it as Roman times), and offer that somewhere up to 3 million Jews populated the land today known as Israel.

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