S-E

My first gripe with ayn rand

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So this always seems to happen in the end, I think ayn rand was a very smart woman, and a great philosopher, and for about 6 months reading everything i could find on objectivisem i could not find any problems,¬† i think ''if'' there was a platonic world of forums, objectivisem would be its philosophy ūüôā. But, i knew she was a joo, and there seem to be two types of joo, Zionists who support the Israeli state, an none Zionists who may even protest it,¬† i searched YouTube for rand's thought's on Palestine and the west bank, it seems she had some views in common with the Zionists. This i a huge disappointment for me, because from my understanding of the conflict it was initiated by Zionists, violating the none aggression principle.

my understanding of the conflict is the UK along with the EU expropriated land from  Palestine to give to the ''joo's'' without compensation to the owners of the land,

it seems ridiculous that anyone would try to defend this act of theft, Off course they do, and don't do a very good job of it,

i'm open to the fact that there may be more to it, and i may be mistaken in my understanding of the conflict, but ask a Rabi what is his clam to Palestine and he will say '''The Torah says so'' ask rand and she says they are savages who initiated conflict. which to my current understanding is untrue,

If anyone has an understanding of this topic id be very interested to hear your take,

just don't bother with any religious arguments like ''the joo's had a hard time'' or the joo's lived there 4,000 years ago, or my book says its ok.   none of thees are acceptable by my standard as rational, and i really don't know why people still use them.

 

and last but not least the disclaimer....

I like the joo's,  i think they seem as a culture to be very intelligent, i respect that. i just don't understand the Israeli thing.

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Cut to the chase. Does it concern you, equally, that America took land from Mexico, by treaty and by military force? Or of hundreds of more global instances of land ownership-change in history? The creation of an independent state, Israel, was ratified ~de jure~ by the international court (League of Nations/UN) at the time. How many other (let's call them) "land grabs" which became nations do you know of that were internationally recognised and legal? Except it wasn't grabbed, the land in question and massive territories around it, was under the British Mandate at that time, and theres' to dispose of (after the sprawling Ottoman Empire was beaten in WW1). Directly, then, it was officially ceded by Britain to the Jews, not without controversy or struggle, even then.

Everyone is guiltily re-visiting the historical "conquer, colonise and settle" narrative, in recent decades. One notices that only the civilised westerners wallow in that self-indulgence. Israel happens to be about the most recent of those (perceived) "colonising/settling" nations and  - plus other nastier reasons not usually explicitly made - is carrying all the burden for Western guilt, appeasement and apologism. ie. its self-sacrifice. (Plus, a powerful campaign by Islamists to discredit Israel's existence has been on the go for a long time. Useful idiots suck it up)

The word is "Jew".

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1 hour ago, S-E said:

So this always seems to happen in the end, I think ayn rand was a very smart woman, and a great philosopher, and for about 6 months reading everything i could find on objectivisem i could not find any problems,¬† i think ''if'' there was a platonic world of forums, objectivisem would be its philosophy ūüôā. But, i knew she was a joo, and there seem to be two types of joo, Zionists who support the Israeli state, an none Zionists who may even protest it,¬† i searched YouTube for rand's thought's on Palestine and the west bank, it seems she had some views in common with the Zionists. This i a huge disappointment for me, because from my understanding of the conflict it was initiated by Zionists, violating the none aggression principle.

my understanding of the conflict is the UK along with the EU expropriated land from  Palestine to give to the ''joo's'' without compensation to the owners of the land,

it seems ridiculous that anyone would try to defend this act of theft, Off course they do, and don't do a very good job of it,

i'm open to the fact that there may be more to it, and i may be mistaken in my understanding of the conflict, but ask a Rabi what is his clam to Palestine and he will say '''The Torah says so'' ask rand and she says they are savages who initiated conflict. which to my current understanding is untrue,

If anyone has an understanding of this topic id be very interested to hear your take,

just don't bother with any religious arguments like ''the joo's had a hard time'' or the joo's lived there 4,000 years ago, or my book says its ok.   none of thees are acceptable by my standard as rational, and i really don't know why people still use them.

 

and last but not least the disclaimer....

I like the joo's,  i think they seem as a culture to be very intelligent, i respect that. i just don't understand the Israeli thing.

Before we can really talk about these things there's the issue of your bringing anti-Semitism to  this forum.

--Brant

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Before we can go any further i must clarify i have no issue with any morally sane man, woman, or ethnic/religious group, including the jews,

you labeled me as anti-semantic, so i searched it on Wikipedia.

Antisemitism (also spelled anti-Semitism or anti-semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews.[1][2][3] A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism.[4][5] It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.[6]

Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized pogroms by mobs, state police, or even military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Although the term did not come into common usage until the 19th century, it is now also applied to historic anti-Jewish incidents.

 

This dose not describe me as a man, or the nature of my post at all, you are mistaken. in fact i don't know why you mentioned.

 

I bring up the Palestine conflict only because it concerns Any rand,

i am not unfairly picking on the Jewish people, i am not picking on them at all, i am questioning  the foundation and foreign policy of the Israeli government, from a purely intellectual prospective.

i abhor all crime, it just so happens that the particular government i turn my eye to today is the Israeli one.

 

the fact that crimes are perpetrated every day in every country, is no resin to excuse crime. and should not exclude them from debit, and dose  not make the man pointing out the crimes of a particular ''Government'' a racist against the people supposedly represented by that government.

 

would you rather i start on the US government and there supposed crimes? ok i'll start an other thread  for that....... happy?

 

So to end off....

Are none of you going to refute my understanding of the events that lead to the conflict? am i correct in my historical understanding of the lead up to today?

I actually hoped i was wrong and some one would inform me that there was no crime committed, that the original people were paid for there land, or there was some lawful explanation for this.

i will continue to research into this topic more,

But this, This is Very disappointing.......

 

and re the joo comments, i'm sorry if this offended anyone, i suppose it could have been taken the wrong way. this was not intended to be a derogatory term, i thought it  was a funny way to avoid the whole ''anti-Semite complications''. i recognize my mistake, and i Honorable apologize to any whom it may have offended. now pleas don't bring it up again, i have apologized/corrected, and no more can be squeezes out of it.

 

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

Cut to the chase. Does it concern you, equally, that America took land from Mexico, by treaty and by military force? Or of hundreds of more global instances of land ownership-change in history? The creation of an independent state was ratified ~de jure~ by the international court (League of Nations/UN) at the time. How many other (let's call them) "land grabs" which became nations do you know of that were internationally recognised and legal? Except it wasn't grabbed, the land in question and massive territories around it, was under the British Mandate at that time, and theres' to dispose of (after the sprawling Ottoman Empire was beaten in WW1). Directly, then, it was officially ceded by Britain to the Jews, not without controversy or struggle.

Everyone is guiltily re-visiting the historical "conquer, colonise and settle" narrative, in recent decades. One notices that only the civilised westerners wallow in that self-indulgence. Israel happens to be about the most recent of those (perceived) "colonising/settling" nations and  - plus other nastier reasons not usually explicitly made - is carrying all the burden for Western guilt, appeasement and apologism. ie. its self-sacrifice. (Plus, a powerful campaign by Islamists to discredit Israel's existence has been on the go for a long time. Useful idiots suck it up)

The word is "Jew".

 

I  see where your coming from, and i don't like it to look as tho i'm one of those whining social Justus warriors, i don't think that Israel, should be handed back to the ''last owners'' nether do i Aline myself with the movement of people in the US who think people who were born and raised in America have no right to the land because acquired dubiously in the past. those people who want to ''give back'' the land are being impractical, and also would have to recommit the crime of land grabbing to reach there end, plus i realize there real agenda confessed or otherwise is to do away with private property, i do not support that,

i am talking in abstractions here, in practical reality politicians and governments will do what they have always done, and i do not recognize that as a reflection an any group of people.

 

But i do not see any excuse for the continued land grabbing we see today,  i do not see any excuse for the  defense of such policy's  by philosophers, and i don't recognize pointing that out to be a racist action,

''Take what you want said God, and pay for it''

clearly outlines for me the moral approach, 

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Which of the following statements is more true according to your understanding of events...

 

The Palestinians initiated violence against the Israeli state..

The Israeli state initiated violence against the inhabitants of Palestine..

 

Then ask your self is expropriation of land an initiation of violence?

and was that not the beginning of the conflict?

 

I don't calm to be a historian, i'm asking question with the aim of improving my comprehension of the situation.

if you would let me know which answer you believe is true, and what evidence you have to support it, it would help me, and maybe others to understand better.

 

its my understanding that jews and aribs lived in peace until the 47 deal,

that would suggest that the conflict it not a cultural problem, it was and still is a political problem.

although now its gotten so complicated with so much hatred is hard to see any good solution..

 

there are ''greayish'' arias,

if you can show me that there were no inhabitants of the land taken, then maybe that's excusable,

but the evictions of natives to allow settlers to move in is not moral.... 

 

Stop Defending it,

condemn it.

then we can all move on. people are just looking for an excuse to label objectivists as immoral selfish etc.. don't give it to them on a plate.


 

ill say that it seems to me thru the smoke of time that UK/UN/Israeli was the aggressor in this situation,

and Yaron Brook was being misleading with his answer,

there are interviews of rand expressing similar views, but out of respect i don't really want to bring that up right now since she would be unable to defend her self,

 

but this Yaron Brook guy is here now, and i believe is casting a dark shadow on objectivisem,

he agreed that its wrong to disrespect property rights, and the expropriation of land is wrong, The End. why babel on about other topics,

Ive never heard a military  general talk of expropriating land as a method of deference or of peace making.

 

and why dose everyone get so defensive when Palestine is brought up?    it dose not reflect badly on jews, and it is not anti-semantic to condemn it,

a funny side note  is any defendant of crimes against Palestinians are the real anti-Semitics .....

Usage

From the outset the term anti-Semitism bore special racial connotations and meant specifically prejudice against Jews.[2][14] The term is confusing, for in modern usage 'Semitic' designates a language group, not a race. In this sense, the term is a misnomer, since there are many speakers of Semitic languages (e.g. Arabs, Ethiopians, and Assyrians) who are not the objects of anti-Semitic prejudices, while there are many Jews who do not speak Hebrew, a Semitic language. Though 'antisemitism' has been used to describe prejudice against people who speak other Semitic languages, the validity of such usage has been questioned.[27][28][29]

 

 

I hope my comments don't offend anyone, and i hope i don't get banned for talking this way, but i genuinely disagree with this argument, and i feel as tho i aught to defend objectivisem from this misrepresentation...  or stand corrected if i have made a mistake in my train of logic some where.

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, S-E said:

Which of the following statements is more true according to your understanding of events...

 

The Palestinians initiated violence against the Israeli state..

The Israeli state initiated violence [...]

The Black-or-White Fallacy?

 

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6 hours ago, S-E said:

So this always seems to happen in the end, I think ayn rand was a very smart woman, and a great philosopher, and for about 6 months reading everything i could find on objectivisem i could not find any problems,¬† i think ''if'' there was a platonic world of forums, objectivisem would be its philosophy ūüôā. But, i knew she was a joo, and there seem to be two types of joo, Zionists who support the Israeli state, an none Zionists who may even protest it,¬† i searched YouTube for rand's thought's on Palestine and the west bank, it seems she had some views in common with the Zionists. This i a huge disappointment for me, because from my understanding of the conflict it was initiated by Zionists, violating the none aggression principle.

my understanding of the conflict is the UK along with the EU expropriated land from  Palestine to give to the ''joo's'' without compensation to the owners of the land,

it seems ridiculous that anyone would try to defend this act of theft, Off course they do, and don't do a very good job of it,

i'm open to the fact that there may be more to it, and i may be mistaken in my understanding of the conflict, but ask a Rabi what is his clam to Palestine and he will say '''The Torah says so'' ask rand and she says they are savages who initiated conflict. which to my current understanding is untrue,

If anyone has an understanding of this topic id be very interested to hear your take,

just don't bother with any religious arguments like ''the joo's had a hard time'' or the joo's lived there 4,000 years ago, or my book says its ok.   none of thees are acceptable by my standard as rational, and i really don't know why people still use them.

 

and last but not least the disclaimer....

I like the joo's,  i think they seem as a culture to be very intelligent, i respect that. i just don't understand the Israeli thing.

Zionism was and is not an immoral concept, necessarily. Which version of morality do you cater to? I'm assuming Objectivism. If so, you know that one's supreme value is one's life, survival, 'flourishing'. No one can make, preserve and gain values for others, one, by one's mind, has to go it alone. Back 100+ years ago, signs emerged that the Jews of Europe were starting to be up against (more or less, what they are now) and a few prescient intellectuals starting to realise that in the long term they would not be able to freely assimilate in their countries, or, worse be put apart and repressed.  For their survival as a ethno-religious "tribe" they began overtures to the UK government for some land, somewhere, where Jews would gain autonomy and security - and tried to convince other Jews to join in. Their "holy land" was of course first pick (though most were Socialists), but other places were considered. (Canada, even East Africa, I believe)

(Individualism is right and moral, and Collectivism is anathema for me, but one must also realise that it's very hard for most people (who don't understand it, morally) to enact when you are treated and despised for your ethnicity, etc.- and lumped together with 'your tribe', with very little freedom and few rights. (As Europe used to be). I sometimes decry the particular 'tight' form of Jewish tribalism, or find it a bit irritating, but I can understand why it came about. I.e. Distrust of outsiders, after that small minority of them were ostracized, scorned, attacked, etc. for thousands of years - by collectivists and other religious groups.  Hang together or perish together, I summarize as the Zionist principle, that continues for the Jews today in some places and not improving, so e.g many French Jews have relocated in the last few years to Israel. English Jews, of families living there hundreds of years, are also considering this. Where they were safe once, is not guaranteed in future).

Two things sped up the Zionist aims. End of WW1 which released from Turkey all that land, including (now) Jordan and Palestine, to the British and French allies. End of WW2 which instantly emptied the camps of a few million dispossessed people with no place to call home. So what to do with them? The answer to the problem was obvious. Partition 'Palestine', then named the West Bank (of Jordan) and not yet properly a country in its own right.

Even up to WW2, it must be added, very, very few of the European Jews would accept moving to 'Palestine'. Those who had already, had bought land (from the landlords in Turkey)and permanently settled. The idea of farming and pioneering was mocked by most highly sophisticated Jews, then the War changed their attitudes.

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3 hours ago, S-E said:

Before we can go any further i must clarify i have no issue with any morally sane man, woman, or ethnic/religious group, including the jews,

you labeled me as anti-semantic, so i searched it on Wikipedia.

Antisemitism (also spelled anti-Semitism or anti-semitism) is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Jews.[1][2][3] A person who holds such positions is called an antisemite. Antisemitism is generally considered to be a form of racism.[4][5] It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.[6]

Antisemitism may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Jews to organized pogroms by mobs, state police, or even military attacks on entire Jewish communities. Although the term did not come into common usage until the 19th century, it is now also applied to historic anti-Jewish incidents.

 

This dose not describe me as a man, or the nature of my post at all, you are mistaken. in fact i don't know why you mentioned.

 

I bring up the Palestine conflict only because it concerns Any rand,

i am not unfairly picking on the Jewish people, i am not picking on them at all, i am questioning  the foundation and foreign policy of the Israeli government, from a purely intellectual prospective.

i abhor all crime, it just so happens that the particular government i turn my eye to today is the Israeli one.

 

the fact that crimes are perpetrated every day in every country, is no resin to excuse crime. and should not exclude them from debit, and dose  not make the man pointing out the crimes of a particular ''Government'' a racist against the people supposedly represented by that government.

 

would you rather i start on the US government and there supposed crimes? ok i'll start an other thread  for that....... happy?

 

So to end off....

Are none of you going to refute my understanding of the events that lead to the conflict? am i correct in my historical understanding of the lead up to today?

I actually hoped i was wrong and some one would inform me that there was no crime committed, that the original people were paid for there

 

and re the joo comments, i'm sorry if this offended anyone, i suppose it could have been taken the wrong way. this was not intended to be a derogatory term, i thought it  was a funny way to avoid the whole ''anti-Semite complications''. i recognize my mistake, and i Honorable apologize to any whom it may have offended. now pleas don't bring it up again, i have apologized/corrected, and no more can be squeezes out of it.

 

44

Okay, I see, re "joo". There is a poster who will acknowledge this himself, if he likes, who has always referred to "Joo". Except, one realizes his context, after a while. He is anything but derogatory, this, rather, refers scathingly against those who "see the Jew" to blame, behind anything and everything that happens.

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Ah, "initiation of force". Who was first? Those same early-1900's Jewish farmers who'd bought their lands and worked them peaceably were sometimes attacked by other, Arab farmers. This is well documented. Over time and with incoming numbers of Jews, and the new State coming to being, attacks and counter-attacks were a logical effect. Not always were the Israelis pure and morally 'perfect'. And then, came the wars - "initiated" by other Arab countries, in the first of those people fled their homes expecting defeat of the Jews, and didn't return. Those who returned have been Muslim-Israeli full citizens until today. So you tell me.

No one is going to grasp the "M.E. Problem" without understanding the inherent hatred and lust for vengeance many Arabs had then and do now, for Jews. They, most, educate their children with it.

Who wants peace, i.e. 'initiation" of peace'?

Exclusively the Israelis. Not at self-sacrificial costs to their future, though. You need to apply an objective morality, if that's your conviction, and stop morally equivocating. The one side, mystical, self-sacrificial, and expecting (somehow) the Jews to disappear or be over run and murdered, one day, (even after their time) and in the mean time not even try to live well. Which they could accomplish starting now, with a stroke of the pen. The other, predominantly rational and self-interested. 

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Zionism was and is not an immoral concept, necessarily. Which version of morality do you cater to? I'm assuming Objectivism. If so, you know that one's supreme value is one's life, survival, 'flourishing'. No one can make, preserve and gain values for others, one, by one's mind, has to go it alone. Back 100+ years ago, signs emerged that the Jews of Europe were starting to be up against (more or less, what they are now) and a few prescient intellectuals starting to realise that in the long term they would not be able to freely assimilate in their countries, or, worse be put apart and repressed.  For their survival as a ethno-religious "tribe" they began overtures to the UK government for some land, somewhere, where Jews would gain autonomy and security - and tried to convince other Jews to join in. Their "holy land" was of course first pick (though most were Socialists), but other places were considered. (Canada, even East Africa, I believe)

(Individualism is right and moral, and Collectivism is anathema for me, but one must also realise that it's very hard for most people (who don't understand it, morally) to enact when you are treated and despised for your ethnicity, etc.- and lumped together with 'your tribe', with very little freedom and few rights. (As Europe used to be). I sometimes decry the particular 'tight' form of Jewish tribalism, or find it a bit irritating, but I can understand why it came about. I.e. Distrust of outsiders, after that small minority of them were ostracized, scorned, attacked, etc. for thousands of years - by collectivists and other religious groups.  Hang together or perish together, I summarize as the Zionist principle, that continues for the Jews today in some places and not improving, so e.g many French Jews have relocated in the last few years to Israel. English Jews, of families living there hundreds of years, are also considering this. Where they were safe once, is not guaranteed in future).

Two things sped up the Zionist aims. End of WW1 which released from Turkey all that land, including (now) Jordan and Palestine, to the British and French allies. End of WW2 which instantly emptied the camps of a few million dispossessed people with no place to call home. So what to do with them? The answer to the problem was obvious. Partition 'Palestine', then named the West Bank (of Jordan) and not yet properly a country in its own right.

Even up to WW2, it must be added, very, very few of the European Jews would accept moving to 'Palestine'. Those who had already, had bought land (from the landlords in Turkey)and permanently settled. The idea of farming and pioneering was mocked by most highly sophisticated Jews, then the War changed their attitudes.

Thanks for That, quite detailed. i was wrong using the term Zionist, that was a miss identification because i see that there is no ethical issue with Jews deciding they want to have  a place to live together, and that there are many ethical means to achieve that goal. and Zionism is a word to describe a Jewish home land goal.

 

when i used the term Zionist i was intending to refer to ''people who believe in obtaining Israeli for the Jews at any cost to none Jews''  that seems to be the attitude of some of the settlers i have seen interviewed,

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SE wrote: when i used the term Zionist i was intending to refer to ''people who believe in obtaining Israeli for the Jews at any cost to none Jews''  that seems to be the attitude of some of the settlers i have seen interviewed, end quote

Using the spelling ‚Äújoo‚ÄĚ instead of ‚Äújew‚ÄĚ sounds like a neo-nazi-istic term to me and it may forever besmirch the user of that speeling. (yoke) Bad spelling, and neglecting to capitalize (I) infers an ignorant misguided youth, and I suggest the author edit their posts to avoid this, perhaps, unintentional slant.

Israel could have been created with a separation of church and state but it was not. I can understand the emotional desire to create a ‚ÄúJewish State,‚ÄĚ before and after WWII, BUT I remember news footage of some Zionist, terrorist bombings of the British occupiers, and a fictionalized reenactment of those sorts of activities at the movies. As an objectivist, I would urge but not use force to reestablish property rights illegitimately lost to religious, nationalistic intolerance in Israel. On the other hand, if you are at war with a country, you cannot legitimately or legally claim property there while the conflict is carrying on. Peter ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

I wrote and quoted years ago . . . . This is a brief history that might be of interest to those reading this thread on Israel. There are several questions that need clarification. Who has a right to live in Israel? Was Israel’s creation in 1948, just? Which single Constitution or multiple principles of governance should be used? Can two governments exist within the same territory, like a state within a nation? Who owns the private property? What would occur if a million Palestinians some who were not born in that region, immigrate to the territory called Israel?

Here is some background. From Wikipedia: Although coming under the sway of various empires and home to a variety of ethnicities, the area of ancient Israel was predominantly Jewish until the Jewish-Roman wars after which Jews became a minority in most regions, except Galilee. The area became increasingly Christian after the 3rd century and then largely Muslim from the 7th century conquest until well past the middle of the 20th century. It was a focal point of conflict between Christianity and Islam between 1096 and 1291, and from the end of the Crusades until the British conquest in 1917 was part of the Syrian province of first the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and then (from 1517) the Ottoman Empire.

In the late-19th century, persecution of Jews, particularly in Europe, led to the creation of the Zionist movement. Following the British conquest of Syria, the Balfour Declaration in World War I and the formation of the Mandate of Palestine, Aliyah Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel) increased and gave rise to Arab-Jewish tensions, and a collision of the Arab and Jewish nationalist movements. Israeli independence in 1948 was marked by massive migration of Jews from both Europe and the Muslim countries to Israel, and of Arabs from Israel leading to the extensive Arab-Israeli conflict. About 42% of the world’s Jews live in Israel today . . . .

The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to return, and a right to the property they or their forebears left or which they were forced to leave in what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories (formerly part of the British Manddate of Palestine), as part of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, a result of the 1948 Palestine war and due to the 1957 Six-Day War. Proponents of the right of return hold that it is a "sacred" right, as well as an inalienable and basic human right, whose applicability both generally and specifically to the Palestinians is protected under international law. This view holds that those who opt not to return or for whom return is not feasible, should receive compensation in lieu. Opponents of the right of return hold that there is no basis for it in international law, and that it is an unrealistic demand.

The government of Israel regards the claim as a Palestinian ambit claim, and does not view the admission of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Israel as a right, but rather as a political claim to be resolved as part of a final peace settlement. Other disputed aspects include the issue of the territorial unit to which Palestinian self-determination would attach, the context (whether primarily humanitarian or political) by which the right is being advanced, and the universality of the principles advocated or established to other (current and former) refugee situations. end quote

Neutral Zone: In the Star Trek universe, a neutral zone is a sort of "buffer zone" between the territories of two different powers; if either party enters a neutral zone, it is considered an aggressive move (usually an act of war). In the course of the various series, the Federation develops two neutral zones: One with the Klingon Empire and one with the Romulan Star Empire; the generic term "the Neutral Zone" usually refers to the Romulan Neutral Zone. Also, a neutral zone in all but name exists between the Federation and the Cardassians.

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Hopefully, these old letters, edited for brevity (I deleted some and removed extraneous material, will not bring on The Wrath of The Moderator. Some are from BB, NB and Albert Einstein. Peter  

From: Ram Tobolski To: objectivism Subject: Re: OWL: Never Again Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 14:07:37 -0700. Greg Johnson, in an attempt to show that there is no commonality of values between Israel and the USA, and that Israel is not morally better than its neighbors, issued a surprising array of false claims about Israel. I would like to comment on them, and to ask Greg to substantiate his claims.

"Do the Arabs torture and assassinate their enemies? So do the Israelis."

I can't say that there are absolutely no tortures of suspects in terrorism, but these instances are being constantly limited by Israeli law. Some use of torture has been in any country which had to deal with an intensive terrorist campaign, e.g. Britain and France. The only assassinations that are done by Israel forces are of terrorists, where the chances of bringing them to justice are slim, and where the chances of them perpetrating again acts of terror are substantial. And when terrorists are brought to justice? In Israel, unlike in the Arab countries (and unlike some American states), there are no executions. The death penalty is formally possible, but it has never been decided or executed, except once: on the Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann. How is that for an immoral state?

"Are the Arab states run by terrorists and mass murderers? So is Israel. (Shamir was a terrorist, Begin a terrorist, Barak a trained assassin, and Sharon is a butcher.)"

Shamir was perhaps a terrorist. Begin was not. Barak was a soldier and commander of an army anti-terrorist elite unit. Sharon's alleged "butchery" is his negligence (when he was the secretary of defense) in not stopping the Christian Lebanese which butchered the Palestinians at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

"Do Arab states sponsor terrorism? So does Israel."

This is not only a false, but a bizarre claim. If Israel did sponsor terrorism, it would strengthen the proximity between it and the USA, because no western country has sponsored terrorism as much as the USA... (please excuse the slight cynicism)

"Are Arab countries anti-capitalist? So is Israel."

False. Israel, like the USA, has a mixed economy and is a welfare state. It is not capitalist as much as the USA, but it is much closer to the USA and to European countries than to any of the Arab states. Israel has also a very successful economy (and not just because of the 1% GNP that the Americans give each year for security purposes), when you consider its constant security threats, its lack of natural resources and its small size (and thus small domestic market). Despites all these, Israelis have transformed, within several decades, a backward and primitive, thinly populated country into a modern, industrialized, thriving state.

"Are Arabs tribal and collectivist? So are Jews."

Speaking statistically, I'd say most Jews value their tradition, but are not interested in its being coerced on anybody. Still, democracy is very highly valued in Israel, and Israelis are excepting some religious coercion, seen as the price of democracy. Israel is (surprise!) not an Objectivist or Libertarian state, but it is, unlike any Arab state, thoroughly democratic and, at least in many ways, liberal.

"Do Muslim states base their laws on revealed religion? Some of them do. But so does Israel."

No law in Israel in based on revealed religion. Where did that assertion come from?

"Do most Jews and Arabs actively take part in these policies? No. Do most of them give their tacit consent? Absolutely."

Why tacit? In Israel almost everything is on the surface. In Israel, unlike any Arab country, there is a powerful, free press. In Israel, unlike any Arab country, there is a thorough freedom of opinion and speech, even to Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament who speak against the state. In Israel, unlike any Arab country, you can criticize the government on every issue without any danger, and this is done all the time.

Imagine the USA under a _constant_ state of war and a constant threat of terrorism. Imagine the USA much, much smaller (and comparatively weaker). Imagine the USA surrounded from three directions by hostile states, bigger than itself, and which encourage and sponsor terrorist acts against the USA. You might find it then even more similar to Israel. Or possibly much worse. Ram

From: "P.T. Galt" To: atlantis Subject: ATL: RE: I'd rather be nuked Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 22:49:31 -0700

Victor Levis wrote: As to defending Israel, civilized people should help if the people of Israel's lives are in danger.  That's what civilized people do for each other.

This makes sense unless someone thinks that no Jews are civilized people, of course. There have been and still are a few people in the world who do think like that.  Others just generalize. Are you claiming that the Israelis have a moral right to our military aid, as does every "civilized" country (however that is defined)?  This obviously conflicts with the Randian idea that an individual has the right to live for his/her own sake, neither sacrificing his/herself to others or vice versa. If this is your position, I do not agree.  I consider "civilization" to be progress toward individual autonomy as opposed to collective altruistic obligations.  The Israelis chose to take the risk of founding a Jewish State in the midst of hostile territory.  If those risks now become too great for them to bear themselves, I don't think they have a right to say "Hey!  We're civilized!  The rest of you have to come defend us now!"

I

t may be that defending Israel is in our self-interest, or not.  It is arguable that defending Israel was in our self-interest during the Cold War, when it was a pro-Western outpost surrounded by Soviet client-states. That situation no longer exists. There are some arguments that defending Israel is in our self-interest now. It is the only Western nation I know of with significant HUMINT resources in the Muslim world.  It's an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" with a valuable strategic location.  It also has much experience with combating terrorism. The fact that it is still subject to terrorist attacks offers a warning that combating terrorism won't be easy.

There are also arguments against defending Israel.  Turkey is a NATO member and about as well-located (it has its struggle with the Kurds to take into account though...).  We can, with sufficient effort and determination, develop our own HUMINT resources.  Our war against terrorism is waged in defense of American citizens from terrorist attacks.  In terms of American self-interest (apart from Christian fundamentalism), we don't give a tinker's cuss who controls certain "holy sites" or whether Jerusalem is the capital of a Jewish or Muslim state.  We can "win" our war against terrorism if we can make it more trouble than it's worth to attack us.  So long as both sides mind their own business, America can coexist with fundamentalist Islam.

Israel's struggle is something else entirely.  As the utter failure of the so-called "peace process" should have demonstrated by now, the sides are irreconcilable, the issues intractable.  Jerusalem and the Temple Mount can be the Capital and Holy City of a Jewish State, or a Muslim State.  It cannot be both.  Jewish settlements can either be preserved or torn down. Simply looking at a map makes it obvious that Israel cannot give the West Bank ("Judea and Samaria" in Israeli parlance) over to a Palestinian state. Nor can the Palestinians accept Israeli occupation forever.  For the Islamic fundamentalists outside of Israel, the struggle for Muslim control of the Levant is a holy war in which no compromise is possible.  Unless both sides abandon their religious and ethnocentric beliefs and adopt a secular, individualistic philosophy, theirs is--as far as I can tell--a fight to the death.

Thus, if America commits itself to the defense of Israel, it commits itself to a permanent, intractable struggle until Islamic fundamentalism is extinguished from the Earth or Israel is destroyed.  Therefore, I think on balance, it is in our self-interest as Americans for the U.S. government to cease coercive foreign aid to Israel and publicly separate our battle from theirs.  Pro-Israeli organizations should still be free to support Israel voluntarily, but it should be clear that such is not the policy of the U.S. government supposedly representing the will of "all of us."

The Israelis chose to build their nation where it is in spite of Arab hostility.  The primary responsibility for facing the consequences of that choice is theirs.  I say this even though I consider Israel to be a more "civilized" nation than the Palestinian Authority (though the latter is perhaps the most blatantly honest name for a government in the world, LOL). Nonetheless, I don't think that provides them a claim on the lives of others, a moral obligation of those others to spend blood and treasure on Israel's behalf.

If it can be shown that it's in our rational self-interest to join the Israelis in their permanent war, that's another matter.  But merely claiming that "that's what civilized people do" and implying that everyone who does not want to fight for Israel is an anti-Semite, Holocaust Denier, or Nazi is not sufficient.  I should point out here that I do not agree that Jews "enrich themselves" by pro-Jewish discrimination or with some of the other "generalizations" made, though I don't think it follows (non-sequitor) that someone who agrees with them is a Holocaust denier or considers Jews to be uncivilized barbarians.

You've made some good arguments IMO for your preference of Israel over the Palestinians, but agreement stops with the apparent claim that they have a moral right to my blood and treasure. P.T. Galt

From: Rafael Eilon To: objectivism Subject: Re: OWL: Never Again Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2001 17:08:07 -0700 (PDT)

In response to Greg Johnson: I am an Israeli. I have lived here all my life, fought in wars, helped put down riots, etc. I know what the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about, and therefore I cannot keep silent in the face of Greg Johnson's gross misrepresentation of it.

Terrorism has never been practiced or supported or advocated by Israel or by any Israeli officials; terrorism against the British authorities of pre-1948 Palestine had been a brief episode. It is a thing of the distant past. But Palestinians incite terrorism, support terrorism, engage in terrorism, every day, to this day. Johnson misses the difference. He also misses the difference between a professional soldier and "a trained assassin", and the difference between a commander who, under extremely difficult circumstances, failed to foresee a massacre, and "a butcher".

Johnson obviously has a purpose in putting up this slanted description; and it is obviously the purpose of isolationism, also advocated by other posters. But morally equating the Israelis with their enemies is really going too far. The Israelis came here in peace, and brought unprecedented development and relative prosperity, as well as a basically secular, civilized principle of government, to a land that had been mostly desert and swamps. Arab terrorism accompanied their efforts from the earliest, pre-Israel, start.

Israel fights every day against the same kind of terrorism that knocked down the Twin Towers. It faces the same hatred that the USA faces: the envious hatred of people educated under an uncivilized regime. This alone is reason enough that USA and Israel should be allied. But it is not only the same _kind_ of terrorism, it is often _the same_: the same people, the same infrastructure, the same bases, the same sources, the same ideology. Whatever conclusions Johnson is after, he should first get his facts right.

Johnson might answer that global solidarity does not bind the USA to do anything against its interests; that it is not an altruistic principle. To this I will reply that, in this case, the principle of global solidarity follows directly from a correct conception of global _security_. Isolationism is like watching, allegedly from a safe distance, the Hydra of terrorism grow one ugly head after another, and taking no action, on the premise that the Hydra will attack only those who had taken action against it. This is a dangerous conception of global security. If anything, the latest attacks serve to corroborate the other conception: that there is no safe distance, and that until the Hydra is completely destroyed, no place and no person are safe. Rafael Eilon

From: Rafael Eilon To: objectivism Subject: Re: OWL: Israel Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 21:44:17 -0700 (PDT) To add strength to my defense of Israel from Greg Johnson's extremely harsh criticism, I would like to address two major complaints of Johnson's which appeared in his post of September 16. Rather than leave these points as an exercise to the reader, as was my previous inclination, I now decided to address them explicitly.

The first of these two complaints concerns Israel's economic system. Israel is not really capitalistic, says Johnson, because land in Israel is mostly state-owned and reserved for Jews only. (This last is somewhat inaccurate: It is true that state-owned land in Israel is reserved, _de facto_, _almost_ exclusively for Jews; but not _de jure_, and not without exception.)

Johnson's other complaint against Israel concerns the separation of state and religion. Israel's 'Law of Return', which makes it possible for people of Jewish origin (and no others) to become Israeli citizens almost automatically, and with aid from the state, is a religious-based law, says Johnson; thus a significant part of Israel's legal system is based on religious revelation, he says.

Again, Johnson achieves his effect by dissecting details while ignoring their broader context; and he supplements this technique by another, which I would call "the slight but effective inaccuracy."

The broader context to which these two features of the Jewish State should be subordinated is that of _Zionism_, of which they are both direct consequences; and the "slight but effective" inaccuracy is in ascribing them to religious (and racist) motivations. Let me elaborate.

_The_ major activity of the Zionist movement, which made Israel possible, was to buy land in Palestine (legally, and paying in full). This land was to be the chief means for the achievement of the Zionist purpose. It thus eventually became nationally owned (mostly), because it served a national purpose: to become a homeland for the Jewish people. The "Law of Return" is, quite obviously, another means for that same purpose.

But it is an error to describe Zionism as a movement for the realization of Jewish religious dreams (as one poster put it, I am not sure whether it was Johnson himself); Zionism is predominantly a _secular_ movement, and its central purpose was, and still is, to provide a national shelter for those millions of Jews who, for centuries, throughout the world, have been the victims of hatred, persecution, and violence, terribly culminating in the Nazi holocaust. It is a national movement of self-preservation. It is essentially secular, peaceful, and civilized; but it _is_ a movement _of self-preservation_.

Zionism has always been under massive propaganda attacks (often accompanied by incitement to commit acts of terror) by its enemies, also enemies of freedom and civilization. I think Johnson (and, to a lesser extent, some other posters) bought some of that propaganda and joined in. Rafael Eilon

From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: America hasn't even -begun- the real war Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 03:38:13 EDT

Steve Reed wrote, after reading an article by an Israeli with which he profoundly disagreed: << It's become evident that anyone who disagrees with the sparkling purity of the State of Israel is to be condemned roundly by a sizable chorus on Atlantis, in terms ranging from the casual "stupid" to the heartfelt "anti-Semitic," so I know well that I'm taking the risk of being chastised by the leader of the purity squad (we know who she is) for saying this. But it -is- possible for a piece of such pleading to be absurd, even if it's made on behalf of Israel. >>

I am very much personally offended by this, Steve. I didn't write the piece; I didn't recommend it, and I don't agree with much of it. Why do insist on ascribing to me, again and again, positions I do not hold and have made clear, countless times, that I do not hold? You must have some reason for doing so, but I have no idea what it could be. Perhaps you are "hitting me back first," as my young nephew once said when he came home with a bloody nose and was asked by his mother who started the fight.

I will state my position once more, and that will be the end of it. If you choose to ignore it again, it will be on your head. I do not believe in the sparkling purity of Israel. Get that? I don't like welfare states -- which is what it is, though scarcely more than the United States. Nor do I like theocracies, which is *not* what it is, despite what has been said countless times on this list. Yes, there are certain laws upholding religion, and too much of a connection between church and state (any connection is too much), but Israeli Jews are the most irreligious people on earth. No Israeli statesman would dream of telling Israelis to pray or to trust in god after a catastrophe; he would be laughed out of office if he did so.

We have been supporting Israel for one reason only: because it is in our self-interest to do so. Do you really think we are doing it for humanitarian reasons? It is the one country in that part of the world, a part of the world that hates us and would like to see us destroyed, that predominantly shares our values, understands us, will fight for us, and has the same enemies we have and for the same reasons. Unfortunately, Bush has refused Israel's offer of help in the present emergency, in order not to "further antagonize the Moslem world."

What do I think about the war? For the umpteenth time, I shall state my position. I do not believe that we should nuke all of Islam back to the Stone Age (although it wouldn't be much of a journey for many of the Islamite countries that live in poverty, are predominantly illiterate, have not discovered the Industrial Revolution, are chained and destroyed by the true theocracies that enslave them, and have no concept of Western values.

What I do believe is that Bush is doing the right thing by going after the terrorists and the Talibans and by protecting the innocent civilians as much as is possible, even to the point of supplying them with food. But if it  were necessary for us to kill some innocents in order to destroy the terrorists, then as much as I would regret it, I would say he has no choice but to do so. The protection of America must be his first consideration. When Germany declared war on us -- while bombing British cities into rubble -- we had no choice but to go to war with Germany, and countless innocent civilians were killed. But if we had not gone to war, we and all of Europe would be in Nazi hands today -- and it is Hitler who now would be fighting terrorists.

I believe that after we finish with the Afghanistan terrorists and their protectors, we must go after Iraq. The Iraqis are storing chemical and biological weapons, and they, too, must be stopped before it is too late for us. And we must find and destroy terrorists, one cell after another, wherever we can find them.

I do not call anyone who doesn't believe in the <<total purity> of Israel anti-Semitic, any more than I would call anyone who doesn't believe in the total purity of America anti-Christian. Nor do I consider someone an anti-Semite because he doesn't believe we should continue to support Israel; I think such people are badly mistaken, but nothing more. (I feel as if I should put this whole paragraph in capital letters, so that it will finally sink into your head.)

I did not accuse David Rasmussen and Greg Johnson of being anti-Jewish because they don't want us to support Israel, or even because they are stupid enough to think that the Moslem culture is the equal of that of Israel. I accused them because they *are* anti-Semites -- as well as anti-black, anti-Eastern European, anti-everything that is not them. They have made that crystal clear. You may think I was very fast to accuse them. I wasn't. Although their actual views were not as blatant in the beginning as they later became -- I know one when I smell one. And I smelled the two of them very soon after they began posting. I am well aware that you will violently disapprove of some of the things I've said in this post, but please remember them so that you can fling accusations at me for the things I do believe, not the things I don't believe.

I will tell you what I'm afraid is going to happen.  Our war will not stop terrorism so long as there are millions of Moslems who hate us. We may frighten them into inaction for a time, but terrorism will spring up again. If it gets bad enough, this country will indeed end its support of Israel, in order to stop the hatred and the terrorism; but that won't work, of course. At that point, millions of Arabs, as they did in 1948 when the United Nations granted Israel statehood, will attack Israel -- which then may have no choice, in order not to be driven into the sea, but to use atomic weapons. Atomic weapons will be used in return, by America and by other countries who take sides in the conflict -- and then may Allah help us all. I hope this scenario is mistaken, but it worries me a great deal. Barbara

From: Steve Reed To: Atlantis Subject: ATL: Re: America hasn't even -begun- the real war Date: Tue, 09 Oct 2001 05:02:44 -0700

It appears I finally goaded Barbara Branden to speak -in her own words- and at length about the matter of Israel, beyond her distant pronouncements from behind the screen of reprinted full-length articles. What she has most obviously -not- been doing, for four weeks now, is detailing her own views at this length. Nothing was elaborated, until now, on her part ‚Äď from exactly what is virtuous about Israelis up to (still unanswered) exactly how Rand managed to be a Zionist.

All we've had are imprecations of lack of virtue or of various degrees of offensiveness, hurled at genuine collectivism -and- at positions which are nothing of the kind. If she wants to pretend that she's responded -here on this list- "umpteen times," that's her lookout. At last we have -something.-

 > [...] I don't like welfare states -- which is what [Israel] is, though scarcely more than the United States.

Socialized medicine from cradle to grave, a "civil service" combine (the Histadrut) where the fiction of jobs and the fiction of working are maintained for hundreds of thousands precisely as was done in the Soviet Union, subsidized kibbutzim, military conscription (for -both- genders!) that acts as a relief effort for unemployed youth ... that is hardly "scarcely more than the United States."

 > Nor do I like theocracies, which is *not* what it is, despite what has been said countless times on this list.

Rabbinical councils vetting laws introduced in the Knesset, Sabbath near-prohibitions on open shops, Sabbath restrictions on movement, automatic citizenship for any "returning Jew," barring of even the remote prospect of immigration or citizenship for anyone else of any (or no) religion without extensive application, no constitutional bars to religious support (no constitution, period, for that matter), membership for some parties in the parliament based on religious constituencies in all but formal fact, judicial review that cites both common-law precedent and Jewish Scriptures ... that is hardly "not a theocracy."

 > Yes, there are certain laws upholding religion, and too much of a connection between church and state (any connection is too much), but Israeli Jews are the most irreligious people on earth.

You don't support this -- I'd like to see some support, even anecdotal -- but from my own experience, the Australians, New Zealanders (have you sent this to the SOLO Forum list?), Canadians, and Japanese would all give the "most irreligious" title a severe challenge.

Yes, the most severely repressive states give the strongest encouragement to those who want to avoid their creed, in practical terms, as the Soviet bloc did with imposing both Marxism and (materialist) atheism. In the same way, the best and most vigorous black markets exist in the most economically repressive States. That doesn't mean that the conditions for free expression, in either religion or economics, are -healthy- or -optimal.- Or in any way free of predators.

Israel has the irreligious. Except for a few cosmopolitan precincts in Tel Aviv, however, they don't risk defying Sabbath and some other strictures, lest a network of reporting to the religious authorities -- scarcely less pervasive than Cuba's "Committees in Defense of the Revolution" ‚Äď turn them in to be prosecuted.

 > No Israeli statesman would dream of telling Israelis to pray or to trust in god after a catastrophe; he would be laughed out of office if he did so.

That, apparently, is their only advantage over us in this realm: they don't waste time with public and hypocritical obeisance toward (generic) religion. Has it occurred to you that a religion fastened upon the people by the force of law means that public exhortation may end up being a ‚Äďwaste of time-? In that sense, the Israeli State may be more "practical."

 > We have been supporting Israel for one reason only: because it is in our self-interest to do so.

"We" who? You still don't explain. In just direct subsidy, $150 billion of productive capital has been drained from the U.S. economy over the past half-century to support them. Most of this comes back to military contractors and farmers in this country, of course, as does nearly all State-enforced corporate welfare. Why such a convoluted subsidy to General Dynamics and Boeing, at the expense of other entrepreneurs large and small, is "in our self-interest" is never explained. If you're talking about U.S. citizens who are not in the foreign-aid endless loop of looting, you have a remarkably pinched view of "self-interest."

The Israelis' demands and browbeating out of "our" assumed societal guilt have nothing to do with it, you appear to be implying. If you haven't seen by now what has been put upon the American civic conscience for what Americans supposedly didn't do to stop the Holocaust (ignoring whether it had any practical military possibility), you never will. A museum in the heart of the U.S. capital that commemorates and decries a genocide abroad -- when the murderous abuse given to the indigenous people of -this- continent is not acknowledged by anything in that city -- speaks for itself.

It is not in anyone's self-interest to be a sacrificial money teat on the one hand, and a self-abasing apologist for nonexistent crimes of omission on the other hand. Yet both are used to frame a supposed identity of interests between the U.S. taxpayer and the Israeli government, as representative of those to whom reparation is assumed to be owed.

 > Do you really think we are doing it for humanitarian reasons?

Those who send $2 billion each year to just one conduit, the United Jewish Appeal, might think that they are. As a taxpayer, no, I don't see what "my" government is doing to milk me as being very humanitarian ...

... oh, I'm sorry, you're talking about being humanitarian to -them.- Yes, in the precise sense that Rand had an Ellsworth Toohey proclaim himself to be one, it's being done to be "humanitarians." With others' substance. ("Elsie, you're a maggot. You feed on sores." "Then I'll never starve.")

In any other sense, no, it's not. The aid is done to secure a tributary state at the edge of our military empire. That was an ancient tactic when the Romans, in distant Londinium, paid off the Scottish chieftains two millennia ago. Nothing, in any fundamental sense, has changed since then.

 > It is the one country in that part of the world, a part of the world that hates us and would like to see us destroyed, that predominantly shares our values, understands us, will fight for us, and has the same enemies we have and for the same reasons.

"Our" who? Countries don't "share values." Some individuals there may share values with some individuals here. A few less-drained entrepreneurs do exist, even to the point of having a thriving computer industry of sorts.

Anything beyond this, Barbara, deals in illegitimate collectives. "Parts of the world" don't "hate." Entire swaths of millions of religionists, the Meir Kahanes of all continents notwithstanding, don't "hate." Individuals hate, individuals act, individuals seize aircraft, individuals stop them.

You should talk of governments, if that's what you mean, to anchor this. Some other government apparati support the one that professes to act in "our name." Even Israel's government has scarcely been as supportive of "ours" as has the Saudis', with their being terrified of not having hired mercenaries (the U.S. Army) at hand to protect them.

Beyond this, your last graf above is so filled with collectives of all sorts, undifferentiated groupings under (implicit) government banners to profess harmonies of values, that it's not worth tearing apart further. And I wonder how much you learned from Rand on this topic. ... Actually, given how much credence Rand gave to agglomerated ideas of "national interest" in her later nonfiction, especially in "The Ayn Rand Letter," I'm not surprised at your following her use of such collectives. She proclaimed that Israel was one proper bearer of "actual U.S. national interests" (her phrase). She never explained this. Neither have you.

> Unfortunately, Bush has refused Israel's offer of help in the present emergency, in order not to "further antagonize the Moslem world."

Bush has larger pieces of the Empire to keep in line, including Pakistan, which is an openly nuclear-armed government (unlike Israel, which won't admit it, lest U.S. law make the aid dry up). What Sharon is fulminating about is the relative lack of attention, like a spoiled child. With the current half-focus of military operations, Israel is a liability, not an asset. If this madness is to be taken up the Khyber Pass, at least the pragmatic British may be of help in ending it more quickly, not the self-righteous (and overblown, per the Entebbe legend) help of the Israelis.

You profess a sphere of "our self-interest" and ignore -realpolitik- as having a role. Again, I'm not surprised. The Israeli claim upon "us" is not even based on military necessity. It's based, again, on inculcating guilt. When an issue as formidable as oil comes along -- and that's the backdrop, both for the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea -- guilt is brushed aside.

>[...] I do not believe that we should nuke all of Islam back to the Stone Age, although it wouldn't be much of a journey for many of the Islamite [sic] countries that live in poverty, are predominantly illiterate, have not discovered the Industrial Revolution, are chained and destroyed by the true theocracies that enslave them, and have no concept of Western values.

Afghanistan is one of the few regions who thus qualify -- assuming your use of invalid collectives (countries have no "concepts," period) -- on this score. And the incendiaries we'll use, before this is finished, will be on a par with the effects of low-level nukes, as we showed those in Dresden.

As for the rest of those governments, the demons of poverty, illiteracy, economic underdevelopment, and religious law are not the issue ... for those who are above them, that is. The elites of all these countries are coddled by the U.S. government. They get the oil revenues. They get the protective cocoons of weaponry. They get the computers -- even the Taliban leadership.

What is being torn apart by a war such as this, in which you exulted at its beginning yesterday, is any network of capitalists that might support an escape from these demons for the broader populations. Those fragile efforts might as well have been nuked, because they're going to falter, as they always do in wartime. You dismiss this as being of no importance. I don't think you ever got the lesson from Cobden and Bright: "If goods don't cross borders, armies will."

Instead, you write off what could be done with that part of the world, in much the same manner as Jack Wheeler (and the various Meir Kahanes who want religious war). Nothing individualist about such contempt.

 > What I do believe is that Bush is doing the right thing by going after the terrorists and the Talibans and by protecting the innocent civilians as much as is possible, even to the point of supplying them with food.

You don't watch the news. As always and unto eternity for Empire, he is not even trying to protect the innocent. The bombing this evening has already descended to targeting civilian facilities and general infrastructure, precisely as was done to Belgrade. The airdropped packages are propaganda and nothing else, for all the good that they will do beyond the day on which a few of them are actually opened.

I will not proceed to tear apart your pleading for having intervened in World War II. For as with the rest of my parents' generation, you grew up under the mythology and give every sign of being beyond convincing otherwise. As for the inevitability of our "having to go to war with Germany," I discussed that in detail several weeks ago.

 > [...] I believe that after we finish with the Afghanistan terrorists and their protectors, we must go after Iraq.

And this means ... what? Demolishing the government? Occupation? Rebuilding in the "nation-making" mode? The shortcut of nukes, as Peikoff wants next door in Iran? What do you want done?

>The Iraqis are storing chemical and biological weapons, and they, too, must be stopped before it is too late for us.

Apparently you do mean demolishing the government, with a ground invasion and an occupation, since nothing short of that is going to approach being able to accomplish this aim. You'll probably get your wish. I don't see Bush being able to hold off the war hawks forever.

 > And we must find and destroy terrorists, one cell after another, wherever we can find them.

Perpetual war. No boundaries and no exit. No consideration of alternatives (take a look at "marque and reprisal," where the Constitution allows for mercenaries and bounty hunters). And no real surprise.

 > I do not call anyone who doesn't believe in the "total purity" of Israel anti-Semitic, any more than I would call anyone who doesn't believe in the total purity of America anti-Christian. [...]

I'd find it easier to believe you if you didn't invoke collectives earlier, but be that as it may, I'll take you at your word. You didn't keep the lines very bright earlier, though, with Johnson and Rasmussen, who mixed items of valid historiography (such as how the Israelis have relied on U.S. power to support their own ambitions and conquest) with a racialist opposition to immigration. If I couldn't keep straight who you were calling anti-Semites, and why, the fault was not on my head. I hope the future will be clearer.

 > [...] I accused them because they *are* anti-Semites -- as well as anti-black, anti-Eastern European, anti-everything that is not them.

This last phrase is absurd. They are not nihilists. Your justified rage about racialism has choked off sense. Such a locution as this belongs with Peter Schwartz's rantings about libertarians, not foaming in -your- mouth.

 > [...] I will tell you what I'm afraid is going to happen. Our war will not stop terrorism so long as there are millions of Moslems who hate us.

Well, then, do you want to nuke Mecca, or threaten it, along with Wheeler, or do you not?

 > [...] If it gets bad enough, this country will indeed end its support of Israel, in order to stop the hatred and the terrorism; but that won't work, of course.

Stopping the prodding toward terrorism is only a potential side effect. It is much more likely to stop because Americans are going to see the burden this places upon them, and decide that the blood cost of Empire is not worth the illusion of cheap oil imports. (Which won't last much longer, if the war drags on.) I don't see anyone, on any point of the political map, assuming that hatred of -Israel- on religious or other grounds will stop if "our" government pulls away. What is likely to stop is hatred of Americans, for having a government that has sought and abetted Empire. And that is all that the government that acts in our name is -entitled- to consider.

 > At that point, millions of Arabs, as they did in 1948 when the United Nations granted Israel statehood, [...]

That organization did no such thing, which is indicative of your grasp of history. The new Israeli government proclaimed its existence entirely apart from the U.N.-brokered Palestine partition, and renouncing negotiations in bad faith. Harry Truman, a few hours later, also discarded any pretense at international process, when he recognized their efforts on behalf of the U.S. government -- akin, now, to supporting the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. ... But I digress.

 > [...] will attack Israel -- which then may have no choice, in order not to be driven into the sea, but to use atomic weapons.

As if that would stop such attackers. They never have "no choice." The U.S. government was far from having "no choice" about using such destructive tools on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And as for the Israeli State's opponents, their proclamations of wanting genocide are a far cry indeed from ‚Äďbeing able to carry it out.- I see historical parallels. Saladin was not so stupid, in the 1200s, as to crush the economic existence of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem when he took it over from the Crusaders, after nearly a century. Even if only out of sheer greed, rather than any magnanimity (which he, unlike the Saud family, say, did possess), he let most of the "infidels" stay to produce for, and under, his own regime. And this after their grandfathers had spilled buckets of Moslems' blood.

If the successors to Saladin, in dismantling (potentially) the remnants of a Jewish State, are closer to bin Ladin's nihilists, more fears would be justified. Yet they aren't close in -power,- for such an enterprise, to the far larger States surrounding Israel, which would not be that stupid. The only ones who are likely to be "driven into the sea," as I see it, are the functionaries of the Israeli government ... if any haven't escaped elsewhere.

Yet I'm not that convinced that Israel couldn't stand on its own, without a military alliance backstopping it as part of "our" Empire. Even with all of this statism on their part, I am not at all willing to dismiss their fortitude and their productivity. Nor am I forgetting about the -private- support that is given to that country, both State and individuals living there, half or more each year of the amount that is extorted from American taxpayers.

In short, to conclude what is already a far too long post with a bit of irony, I have more confidence in those people than, apparently, you do. * SteveReed

"You owe more devotion to the people around you than you do to some mystical spook in the sky. If there is a god, She has no need of being worshipped, and if She is good, no need to have her creations reject each other, and if She is secure and truly powerful, no need to encourage conversion and conquest." -- Jennifer Diane Reitz

From: "R. Christian Ross" To: atlantis Subject: ATL: An Interesting Side Note from Einstein Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 03:54:57 +0000

I had intended to only post Einstein's perspective on Zionism (second quote) but also found this great little gem on "Jewish Ideals".  I suspect (and hope!) Einstein's words will inspire a much wider audience that simply those belonging to the Jewish faith. Christian

From "Ideas and Opinions" by Albert Einstein 1954 & 1982

"Jewish Ideals" 1934 The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the desire for personal independence--these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.

Those who are raging today against the ideals of reason and individual liberty and are trying to establish a spiritless state-slavery by brute force rightly see in us their irreconcilable foes.  History has given us a difficult row to hoe; but not so long as we remain devoted servants of truth, justice, and liberty, we shall continue not merely to survive as the oldest living peoples, but by creative work to bring forth fruits which contribute to the ennoblement of the human race, as heretofore.

From "Our Debt to Zionism" 1938 "...Just one more personal word on the question of partition.  I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state.  Apart from practical consideration, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest.  I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain--especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state.  We no longer Jews of the Maccabee period. A return to a nation in a political sense of the word would be the equivalent to turning away from the spiritualization of our community which we owe to the genius of our prophets.  If external necessity should after all compel us to assume this burden, let us bear it with tact and patience.

One more word on the present psychological attitude of the world at large, upon which our Jewish destiny also depends.  Anti-Semitism has always been the cheapest means employed by selfish minorities for deceiving the people. A tyranny based on such deception and maintained by terror must inevitably perish from the poison it generates within itself.  For the pressure of accumulated injustice strengthens those moral forces in man which lead to a liberation and purification of public life. May our own community through its suffering and its work contribute toward the release of those liberating forces."

From: Nathaniel Branden Reply-To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Israel history Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 21:38:51 -0700 SOME SALIENT HISTORICAL FACTS

Nationhood and Jerusalem: · Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of  Islam.

· Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.

· Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.

· For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.

· Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.

· King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.

· This "third holiest site in Islam" is ignored by modern Muslims, other than those living around Jerusalem. Muslims are required to make a religious pilgrimage (the Hajj) to Mecca and Medina during their lifetime. There is no obligation to visit Jerusalem and few do so. Israeli Muslims not living in Jerusalem make no special effort to go there to pray even though they may do so at any time.

· While Jews do not generally revere places, the Temple Mount is the only remains of the only holy temples ever to be built in their capital, Jerusalem. Jews come from all over the world to pray at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. Even the Pope and the Dalai Lama have prayed there in recognition of its symbolism.

· Jews the world over pray facing Jerusalem. If they live in Jerusalem, they face the Temple Mount. Muslims pray facing Mecca (in Saudi Arabia). If they live in Jerusalem, they turn their backs on the Temple Mount (El Aksa mosque) to turn towards Mecca.

Arab and Jewish Refugees · In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution, seizing of land and property, and pogroms.

 

· The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.

· Arab refugees were intentionally not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.

The Arab - Israeli Conflict. The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation, representing one tenth of one percent of all Arab lands.

· The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost all of them. Israel defended itself each time and won. The lands occupied after the Six Day War in 1967 were not occupied out of imperialistic goals, rather to produce defensible borders for the next attacks. Prior to 1967, Syrians shot freely at Kibbutz farmers living and working below the Golan Heights. And, the hilltops in Judea & Samaria (The West Bank) were used by the invading Jordanian armies to fire on populated areas in Israel.  Israel was easily able to return all conquered lands to Egypt because of the natural defense provided by the vastness of the Sinai desert separating the two countries.

· The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with weapons for their police force (these same weapons are currently being used against Israeli soldiers and citizens).

· Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. The Israeli government has never destroyed a single mosque in its territory, including those that have been long abandoned. · While under Jordanian rule, there was no call for a liberation of Jerusalem, no call for East Jerusalem to be given to Palestinians, and no call for the return of lands in Jordan that were originally proposed to be part of Palestine in the original partition plan.

· Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.

The U.N. Record on Israel and the Arabs: · Of the 175 Security Council resolutions on all topics passed before 1990, 97 (55%) were directed against Israel.

· Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions on all topics voted on before 1990, 429 (62%) were directed against Israel.

· The U.N. passes resolutions directed against Israel before any investigation of facts takes place.

· The U.N was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians between 1948 and 1967.

· The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, using the headstones for road pavers and toilets.

· The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

 

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13 minutes ago, Peter said:

SE wrote: when i used the term Zionist i was intending to refer to ''people who believe in obtaining Israeli for the Jews at any cost to none Jews''  that seems to be the attitude of some of the settlers i have seen interviewed, end quote

 

 

Using the spelling ‚Äújoo‚ÄĚ instead of ‚Äújew‚ÄĚ sounds like a neo-nazi-istic term to me and it may forever besmirchÔĽŅÔĽŅÔĽŅ the user of that speeling. (yoke) Bad spelling, and neglecting to capitalize (I) infers an ignorant misguided youth, and I suggest the author edit their posts to avoid this, perhaps, unintentional slant.

 

 

Israel could have been created with a separation of church and state but it was not. I can understand the emotional desire to create a ‚ÄúJewish State,‚ÄĚ before and after WWII, BUT I remember news footage of some Zionist, terrorist bombings of the British occupiers, and a fictionalized reenactment of those sorts of activities at the movies. As an objectivist, I would urge but not use force to reestablish property rights illegitimately lost to religious, nationalistic intolerance in Israel. On the other hand, if you are at war with a country, you cannot legitimately or legally claim property there while the conflict is carrying on. Peter ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

 

 

I wrote and quoted years ago . . . . This is a brief history that might be of interest to those reading this thread on Israel. There are several questions that need clarification. Who has a right to live in Israel? Was Israel’s creation in 1948, just? Which single Constitution or multiple principles of governance should be used? Can two governments exist within the same territory, like a state within a nation? Who owns the private property? What would occur if a million Palestinians some who were not born in that region, immigrate to the territory called Israel?

 

 

Here is some background. From Wikipedia: Although coming under the sway of various empires and home to a variety of ethnicities, the area of ancient Israel was predominantly Jewish until the Jewish-Roman wars after which Jews became a minority in most regions, except Galilee. The area became increasingly Christian after the 3rd century and then largely Muslim from the 7th century conquest until well past the middle of the 20th century. It was a focal point of conflict between Christianity and Islam between 1096 and 1291, and from the end of the Crusades until the British conquest in 1917 was part of the Syrian province of first the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and then (from 1517) the Ottoman Empire.

 

 

In the late-19th century, persecution of Jews, particularly in Europe, led to the creation of the Zionist movement. Following the British conquest of Syria, the Balfour Declaration in World War I and the formation of the Mandate of Palestine, Aliyah Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel) increased and gave rise to Arab-Jewish tensions, and a collision of the Arab and Jewish nationalist movements. Israeli independence in 1948 was marked by massive migration of Jews from both Europe and the Muslim countries to Israel, and of Arabs from Israel leading to the extensive Arab-Israeli conflict. About 42% of the world’s Jews live in Israel today . . . .

 

 

The Palestinian right of return is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees and their descendants, have a right to return, and a right to the property they or their forebears left or which they were forced to leave in what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories (formerly part of the British Manddate of Palestine), as part of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, a result of the 1948 Palestine war and due to the 1957 Six-Day War. Proponents of the right of return hold that it is a "sacred" right, as well as an inalienable and basic human right, whose applicability both generally and specifically to the Palestinians is protected under international law. This view holds that those who opt not to return or for whom return is not feasible, should receive compensation in lieu. Opponents of the right of return hold that there is no basis for it in international law, and that it is an unrealistic demand.

 

 

The government of Israel regards the claim as a Palestinian ambit claim, and does not view the admission of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Israel as a right, but rather as a political claim to be resolved as part of a final peace settlement. Other disputed aspects include the issue of the territorial unit to which Palestinian self-determination would attach, the context (whether primarily humanitarian or political) by which the right is being advanced, and the universality of the principles advocated or established to other (current and former) refugee situations. end quote

 

 

Neutral Zone: In the Star Trek universe, a neutral zone is a sort of "buffer zone" between the territories of two different powers; if either party enters a neutral zone, it is considered an aggressive move (usually an act of war). In the course of the various series, the Federation develops two neutral zones: One with the Klingon Empire and one with the Romulan Star Empire; the generic term "the Neutral Zone" usually refers to the Romulan Neutral Zone. Also, a neutral zone in all but name exists between the Federation and the Cardassians.

I think we can all agree that when powers try to force change upon people it results in disaster most of the time, and in this case there was a lot of suffering caused by i would suggest the UK and UN's intervention, if there had of been a natural migration from a grass roots level, and the Jewish people gradually bought up the land they wanted as Israeli there would probably have been no conflict, if the aribs prevented them by method of racist taxes or other such legislation  that would be an act of aggression on there part, and could have been dealt with in some manner.

i have already expressed that i am sorry for referring to the Jews with a term other than Jew, Jewish People, etc,

if you think that reflects badly on me, well i regret that. but seriously,  i did not meant anything  racist by it.

and to clarify, i am not a Nazi. do you know any Natzi's? I don't, last thing i checked they were a kind of extinct spices, except in some far corners of Europe where they seam to do more motorcycle riding and beer drinking than ''Whatever Nazis used to do'' and the term now is just used an a kind of Ad hominem smear.

National, and Socialist, are two words i quite dislike, so you your estimation of me is  wrong there.

 

 

As for using the lower case letter i, funny story, i am a piety poor speller,  but i am aware that most people used capital i when referring to them selves, but why? no one i ask knows, they just say that's the way its done.

I'm trying to discover the origins of capitalization and its effect/meaning, it seems like a big topic, do you know why you used capital i?

i mean the word ''capital'' kind of seems like its indicating something, but i don't know what. ''capital I''  ''capitalize your name'' ''capital of a country''  why use the word capital, why would ''Big letters'' not work, or better still all lower case, near doubling the symbols in a language is not done for no reason, and i have not heard a good resin yet.

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I have a huge amount of letters on Israel but I will make this my last batch dumped on OL.. I remember Greg Johnson and I seem to remember he said he was not a racist but from the net he is now an avowed white nationalist. Kirez Korgan was the owner of the old atlantis web site. I think it was moderated by the current owner of Wikipedia after that. Peter

Greg Johnson White Nationalist. Greg Johnson is an American white nationalist. He is known for his role as editor-in-chief of the white nationalist imprint Counter Currents Publishing, which has been called "one of the pillars of alt-right publishing". As a result of Counter Currents' popularity, Johnson has become a high-profile international white nationalist, and is regularly invited to give talks in Europe. Through the imprint, he has published over 40 books, several of which he wrote himself. He is based in Seattle, Washington.

Some more old letters.

From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Israel History Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 12:36:41 EDT. David Rasmussen wrote: (and I can hardly believe my eyes) <<  Since the Israelis started the 1967 [war] , at least the military fighting, the territory they seized by force, the Sinai peninsula, West Bank, Gaza and the Golen Heights, were rightly the targets of a  > just war of reconquest by the Arab armies in 1973. >>

Fact: Arabs began the fighting, attacking Israel on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for observant Jews. Israel conquered some Arab territory, which gave them a greater security, in a war in which they defeated their attackers in six days.

Fact: In the history of man, Israel probably is the only country ever to have been required to return territory that they seized in wartime after having been attacked.

David, I sure there are some elementary history books that might help you. If you wish to attack Israel for every sin on earth, most particularly for sins it did not commit, you really should be more devious about it. You have become ridiculous. Is it possible that you actually don't know how clearly your motives show?

Do you never wonder why the people on Atlantis predominantly realize that you are a racist?

Barbara

From: "R. Christian Ross" To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: Israel History (more FACTS) Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 17:32:57 +0000

While the Johnson's "Modern Times" is not elementary...it may still help clear one's mind of ignorant racist fallacies (provided, of course, one desires to do so). Christian

_____________________________________________________________________

From Modern Times by Paul Johnson

"...[on 16 May 1967] Cairo Radio announced: 'This is our chance, Arabs, to deal Israel a mortal blow of annihilation.'  Nasser, 27 May: 'Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel.'  President Aref of Iraq, 31

May: 'Our goal is clear; to wipe Israel off the map.' Ahmend Shukairy, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] , 1 June: 'The Jews of Palestine will have to leave...Any of the Old Jewish Palestine population who survive may stay, but it is my impression that none of them will survive.'

In view of the withdrawal of the UN, these threats, and the concentration on her borders of armies outnumbering her own by three to one, heavily armed with Soviet material, Israel launched a preventative war on 4 June, beginning with strikes against Egyptian air-power. It lasted six days and was wholly successful.  The Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian forces were routed, and in Egypt's case humiliated.  Sinai and the West Bank were occupied.  The Syrian Golan Heights, which made possible the bombardment of the Israeli settlements in Upper Galilee, were stormed.  Above all, Old Jerusalem, including the Wailing Wall, and the Holy Places, the great prize which had eluded Israel in 1948, was now brought into the new state.  Thus the war corrected a painful anomaly.  In it 4,000-year history, Jerusalem had been besieged, occupied, destroyed, and rebuilt repeatedly,  under Canaanites, Jebusites, Jews, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamelukes, Ottomans and British.  But it had never been divided, except during the years of 1948-67.  The reunification of the city under the Israelis made possible an agreed administration of the Holy Places by Muslims, Jews, and Christians, within the framework of a national capital." (666)

"On Saturday 6 October 1973, on the festival of Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, he [General Anwar Sadat--successor to Nassar] launched a co-coordinated Egyptian-Syrian attack on Israel.  The initial success was considerable.  The Israeli 'Bar-Lev line' in Sinai was pierced....Golda Meir, the Israeli Prime Minister, appealed in some panic to Washington.  Some $2.2 billion of the latest American arms was airlifted to Israel.  From 8 October the Israelis began counter-attacking.  Before a cease-fire was signed on 24 October, Israel had recovered the lost territory, advanced to within range of Damascus, established a bridgehead on the western side of the Suez Canal, and surrounded a large part of the Egyptian army.  Egypt has demonstrated an unexpected military capacity, and that was enough for Sadat; Israel has shown she could survive initial disaster." (668)

From: "DAVID RASMUSSEN" Reply- To: atlantis "Nathaniel Branden" Subject: RE: ATL: query Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 11:56:24 -0700

Nathaniel Branden speculates about my friend, Greg Johnson, "Is it still possible for anyone to doubt that Greg Johnson is a passionate anti-Semite?"

Greg can speak for himself. I, myself, reject the label "anti-Semite" for as Joe Sobran noted, the term is not used to refer to those who hate Jews, but now refers to someone who is hated by Jews.

Using more objective language, I have already freely stated that I am "anti-Jewish." That is, I have stated that I have a negative analysis of Judaism, Zionism, and Jewish culture. I consider this merely doing justice to the evidence, not exhibiting emotion, hatred or otherwise.

My reasons for being anti-Jewish are,

1) Judaism. The religion claims the deity YHWH commanded and praised the genocide of various peoples, in one case sparing the virginal women for the usual purpose.

2) The "chosen people" ideology. Claiming metaphysical-physical worth based on an accident of birth is the worst, and most odious form of collectivism.

3) Kosher. These arbitrary dietary rules are not the will of YHWH, for there are no gods, let alone the sadistic YHWH, but rather the command of Jews from previous generations. The whole purpose of the restrictions is to treat non-Jews [heathens/infidels/GENTILES] as a contamination, and make it impossible to go to their homes to eat dinner. Since sitting down to break bread is one of, and perhaps the primary, ways to get along with different people, Kosher is really a means of keeping Jews in a mental state of hostility against non-Jews, forever.

Attitudes about intermarriage, again, show the same hostility to non-Jews.

4) Zionism. This is simply sectarian warfare. The irrational partisanship, postured as dispassionate objectivity, exhibited by many Jews does them no credit. The constant, and somewhat successful, attempts to drag our nation into their sectarian war is a threat to the safety and wealth of our citizens.

5) Racism. I notion that if so-and-so mother was of such-and-such ethnicity then the child ought to ascribe to this-or-that religion is, again, collectivism. There is a total unwillingness to accept the principle that their ought to be a free market of religious ideas in which anyone should be free to ascribe to whatever theism they choose, or no theism.

Nathaniel, I am tired of the cowardly premise smuggling in your, and Barbara's, accusations of "anti-semiticism." The unstated premise is that Greg, and I, are somehow not merely wrong, but evil, for being "anti-Semitic." The latter is merely assumed. You never have the guts to argue it.

What is your evidence that Greg, or I, hold a position that is some way evil? -- DAVID RASMUSSEN

From: Ellen Lewit To: atlantis Subject: RE: ATL: query Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 16:51:41 -0400

At 11:56 AM 10/13/2001 -0700, you wrote: >Nathaniel Branden speculates about my friend, Greg Johnson, "Is it still possible for anyone to doubt that Greg Johnson is a passionate anti-Semite?"  > >Greg can speak for himself. I, myself, reject the label "anti-Semite" for as Joe Sobran noted, the term is not used to refer to those who hate Jews, but now refers to someone who is hated by Jews.

That is merely another evasion. Personally, I do not believe you are specifically anti-Semitic, you have been offensive about blacks, Latinos and others.  And where you and Greg have not been offensive you have displayed other collectivist tendencies.  I suspect you believe anti Jewish nonsense because it fits your tendency to treat individuals as primarily parts of a group rather than the other way around.

>Using more objective language, I have already freely stated that I am "anti-Jewish." That is, I have stated that I have a negative analysis of Judaism, Zionism, and Jewish culture. I consider this merely doing justice to the evidence, not exhibiting emotion, hatred or otherwise.

You are usually cool about it, that much is true. It does not stop the fact it is offensive.

 >My reasons for being anti-Jewish are,

 >1) Judaism. The religion claims the deity YHWH commanded and praised the genocide of various peoples, in one case sparing the virginal women for the usual purpose.

Did it ever occur to you that in a history of over 3000 years that attitudes, tendencies, ideas and most of all people change? What ever happened back in the time of the Bible ‚Äď especially those first books - was long ago reduced to legend.¬† Why are you taking it so literally and why are you judging the ancient Hebrews as different than any of the other groups in the area? Conquest was the game of the times.

Over the years however, the Hebrews did out grow some of the bad habits of mankind faster than some others.  The story of Abraham and Isaac for example is an allegory of the end of human sacrifice;  it continued elsewhere for quite some time. Animal sacrifice was an improvement.  We can look at the bible and its ideas, but we should judge them in context.  What else was happening at the time?

And most importantly, whatever the early Hebrews believed and did, Judiasm has changed and grown in the past 3000 years. It has changed somewhat in the past 20 years.  Then, too, the old joke is that where there are two Jews there are at least three opinions.  Jews do not all agree with one another any more than any other group of people do, most probably less, it is traditional to disagree.  ;-)

Therefore, your point is totally irrelevant.

 >2) The "chosen people" ideology. Claiming metaphysical-physical worth based on an accident of birth is the worst, and most odious form of collectivism.

The term "chosen people" refers to the idea that the Jews chose a way of life.  The legend has it happening at Mount Sinai regarding the ten commandments (and the rest of them).  Wherever it occurred, it is more that the Jews chose to live a certain way, not that they were picked for some kind of special favors.

Jews or at least some of Jews consider that they must act properly as an example for others.  Most merely feel that a certain amount of morality and benevolence are necessary to consider ones self a mench - a truly human good man. This is not too different than the old southern idea of behaving as a gentleman.

In any case, the Jews were not chosen, they chose.

 >3) Kosher. These arbitrary dietary rules are not the will of YHWH, for there are no gods, let alone the sadistic YHWH, but rather the command of Jews from previous generations. The whole purpose of the restrictions is to treat non-Jews [heathens/infidels/GENTILES] as a contamination, and make it impossible to go to their homes to eat dinner. Since sitting down to break bread is one of, and perhaps the primary, ways to get along with different people, Kosher is really a means of keeping Jews in a mental state of hostility against non-Jews, forever.

This is pure nonsense.  The dietary rules go back first to Noah when people were forbidden to eat animals that were still alive.  Then later to properly bleed the animals that are killed.

The idea of some being unclean, I do not know all the reasons for, but eating only cud chewers would keep one from eating carnivores. Scavengers were also not considered kosher - either bird or fish.

Many of the reasons may have been for sanitary reasons, but I suspect often they were for more benevolent ones. Jews are forbidden to use blood or to cook an animal in the milk of its kind.  These sound like the squeamishness of people who are trying to be kind and are not too bad an idea. I know many vegetarians who stopped eating meat for that reason.

It had nothing what ever to do with eating with others. One could always be the host or avoid eating anything not on the list.  My vegetarian friends just don't eat any animal products, they don't avoid other friends.  What nonsense.

 >Attitudes about intermarriage, again, show the same hostility to non-Jews.

Most people are attracted to people with whom they share a heritage. Simple fact.  Most groups would prefer that their ideas live on after them.  Common sense.  No group is really that hot on intermarriage. Big deal.  That said, many people convert to Judaism to be the same as their spouse, that despite the fact it is formally discouraged. Many convert out of Judaism to some other faith or to none. Most of the converts I have known of had other reasons, but it is obvious it happens.

As to clannish, who isn't?  It is a matter of degree and how primary the tendency is to one's thinking.  We all have a background, we may as well appreciate it.  But are we all intolerant of persons of different backgrounds?  Do we all judge persons primarily on the basis of their ethnic or racial characteristics?

 

>4) Zionism. This is simply sectarian warfare. The irrational partisanship postured as dispassionate objectivity, exhibited by many Jews does them no credit. The constant, and somewhat successful, attempts to drag our nation into their sectarian war is a threat to the safety and wealth of our citizens.

Zionism grew out of the observation that Jews in Europe were being mistreated and even killed.  That was before WWII.  If there had been faster action perhaps those killed by Nazis and others would have been fewer.

To uphold the right of Israel to exist is *not* necessarily Zionism.

By the way, I for one am sorry there was not set up a place for the Roma and any other group that had no where to go.  There should have been, but even Israel was difficult and nearly didn't happen.

There were and are immigration laws that limit who can come to the US and I suspect the other American countries and the cost of passage and learning to live in a new land can't be ignored.

 >5) Racism. I notion that if so-and-so mother was of such-and-such ethnicity then the child ought to ascribe to this-or-that religion is, again, collectivism. There is a total unwillingness to accept the principle that their ought to be a free market of religious ideas in which anyone should be free to ascribe to whatever theism they choose, or no theism.

Good grief.  In most Christian churches don't the parents take their kids to their own particular church?  I know several converts to Judaism.  They chose it as their own set of beliefs.  They are usually primarily religious Jews.  Any one who wants to convert to some other religion can do so.

Inheritance through the mother is not unusual and makes a good deal of sense in what was at first a polygamous culture.  Men stopped having multiple wives in the early dark ages because the women were not respected by their neighbors and were abused.

It was the simpler solution.  The Mormons took the same choice not that long ago.  If anything, the other churches have forced their ways on Mormons and the earlier Jews and coincidently Muslims.

How people choose to live in families is really no one else's affair other than to prevent physical abuse, neglect and outrageous mental abuse.

Some mental abuse is part of being human and unavoidable. ;-)

The thing that gets muddy about Jews is that over such a long time it has become as much an ethnicity as a religion.  Hence, Nathaniel, Barbara, Ayn Rand (at one time in response to anti-Semitism), Albert Einstein, myself and many others are ethnically Jewish.

We all have a background of some sort.  We may as well enjoy it. Many claim to be Jews only when we feel attacked.  Religiously those I mentioned are atheists.  And Jews do not agree on theological matters and often not even on custom and observation which is more historically uniform.

 >Nathaniel, I am tired of the cowardly premise smuggling in your, and Barbara's, accusations of "anti-Semitism." The unstated premise is that Greg, and I, are somehow not merely wrong, but evil, for being "anti-Semitic." The latter is merely assumed. You never have the guts to argue it.

You and Greg, but you especially, have amply shown how racist you are not only with respect to Jews but to others in your posts about immigration.  You are certainly wrong.  I am assuming however that your action stops with talk.  That isn't pleasant but it is less dangerous than beating or killing someone.  So, I'm not sure about evil.  You could be intelligent enough for your subconscious to protect you from discovering your errors by dreaming up the various smoke screens you put up with all your incessant details. I should not complain this post was much better and so I am able to respond.

 >What is your evidence that Greg, or I, hold a position that is some way evil?

Don't you read what you write? Evil?  I'm not sure.  Wrong and misleading?  Yes you are. It is the quality of danger in what you write that makes us respond. Some us, although we are too young to remember, know too well what such talk can lead to.  When it get beyond just suggesting an end to foreign aid and gets personal and branches out to other ethnic groups and promulgates old lies, it goes beyond absurd to something that needs to be answered and perhaps, fought against. Don't worry, the pen and words are the only weapons. We just want to keep it that way. Ellen Lewit

From: "Greg Johnson" To: "Atlantis" Subject: ATL: Re: Re: Israel History Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 03:25:02 -0400

GJ: Nathaniel Branden posted, as an "historical fact," the claim that Israel became a nation in 1,312 BC, i.e., when God allegedly gave them laws at Mt. Sinai. I mocked him for treating this bit of religious mythology as a fact. Kirez Korgan responds as follows:

KK: "The western tradition of law and legal thinking began with the jews. Just as we recognize Aristotle for his foundations, we also must recognize this period and the jews for the foundations of talmudic law and the beginnings of literacy; the first alphabet, the origin of traditions of literacy and rule of law."

GJ: To the extent that any of this is clear, it is false. There were legal codes before the Jews, e.g. the Code of Hammurabi (reigned 1795-1750 BC), which is the record of a far older legal tradition. As for the core of the

Western legal tradition: It is Roman law, not Jewish law. The Jews were certainly not the first literate people. Nor were they the inventors of the first alphabetic script.

Kirez continues: KK: "Trying to pin this on the fact that three-thousand years ago they believed in God and combined their legal argument for land-ownership with their claim to a unique monotheism, quite original at the time but really arising as a not-so-amazing innovation in the context of 'henotheism,' is pretty poor as an objection.

"Yes, it's a historical fact. It has a more sound foundation in the bedrock of western civilization than almost any other lineage."

GJ: Is it a fact? So did God really create the nation of Israel? Or is this just a piece of self-serving mythology. Somehow, I think we are talking past one another. Let us also recall the context of the assertion in question. The implication was that, since Israel came before Islam, the Jews have a right to Palestine. How does that follow at all?

KK: The modern Palestinians and the Intifada claim justification by their long-term presence in the land, which was usurped by the foundation of Israel in 1948.  The Palestinian intifada ignores the much more justified claim to longevity and presence of the Jews.

GJ: The "longevity" and presence of the Jews in Palestine is due to the fact that they invaded the land and slaughtered the original inhabitants. Am I the only one who thinks it crazy that they should be rewarded for this ancient act of barbarism with the right to invade the land once more? It would seem far more reasonable, given the past behavior of the Jews, to prevent them from ever assuming political power again. Kirez answers this query as follows:

KK: "Their "ancient act of barbarism" was in fact a success about as just as one can possibly interpret any act of statehood in that period of history."

GJ: By what warped standard of justice is genocide just?

KK: "I am shocked by how stupid this objection is."

GJ:  . . .

KK: "Why are you so unobjective on this subject, Greg? This is one of those acts of ignorance that jolts one into realizing that the speaker is under the influence of some hugely emotional influence."

GJ: I am being lectured on objectivity and accused of being under the influence of emotions by someone who went to Israel at 16 to study in yeshiva and later joined the Israel Defense Force. What breathtaking insolence. I am not the one with an emotional attachment to Israel. I do, however, admit to a strong emotional attachment to the United States, and to the more than 6,000 people who died on 9-11 because so many American Jews think of Israel first, not America, and have dragged the United States into sponsoring Israel's utterly barbarous behavior in the Middle East--with completely predictable results.

KK: "Even in the statement you are responding to, there is mentioned the act of Arab (Palestinian) attempts to establish a state. The arabs repeatedly --- far more, and with greater barbarism and bloodthirsty --- besieged the jewish state. How can you be so idiotic as to ignore this and claim that the one successful establishment of a LAW-GOVERNED state by the Jews --- a successful republic, mind you --- is comparatively unjust?"

GJ: The Zionist movement in effect declared war on the non-Jewish people of Palestine when they announced their intention to create a Jewish state, a state in which they would be relegated to the status of second class citizens--or corpses. It is the Jews who were the aggressors, not that Arabs. This renders moot all squabbles about who started the war in 1948 or 1967, etc. These were just battles in a much longer war, a war started by the Jews.

KK: "I suppose you imagine the Muslim crusade to overrun the world, successfully overtaking all of North Africa and Spain as well as the middle east... this was an act of peace, of advancing civilization under the rule of law, so to establish their moral superiority over the jews? God you're daft!"

GJ: What is the possible relevance of this tirade? I wish that, after WW II, the people of Palestine had a chance to set up a society in which they were not second class citizens. That is all. What is the relevance of events that took place more than 1,000 years ago? And frankly, whatever their faults, the Islamic empire and its successor kingdoms did not engage in wholesale genocide.

KK: "Look how you buy into the ethnocentrism here!  If we leave ethnicity aside, and judge instead by the ethical standards of individualism, the jewish state was better justified than any government until the Magna Charta was written. Again, your statements are bloody idiotic."

GJ: Again, I fail to see how a state founded by a band of ethnocentric religious fanatics on the bones of the slaughtered natives is admirable by the ethical standards of individualism. Really, Kirez, your statements are so detached from reality and reason that I fear for your sanity.

There are much more plausible cases to be made for Israel, although none are ultimately convincing. Why cling to falsehoods and religious superstition?

Just wondering, Greg

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10 minutes ago, S-E said:

and to clarify, i am not a Nazi. do you know any Natzi's?

No. I just see the same 50 to 100 mostly guys on television giving the Nazi salute and they seem to migrate. So who is paying for that? We went to war with the Nazi's and anyone who considers themselves an American Nazi is a treasonous son of a bitch and should be . . . mentally sterilized. bad joke from "1984".

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There is a lot in you post peter,

when i finish reading i will reply,  I hope you believe me when i say, i'm not a racist, and i'm not a Nazi.

i'm trying to get to the truth of a very heated topic, with massive propaganda on all sides.

i have seen ''on the biased tube.com'' some horrific things, that's what makes me kind of animated about this topic.

i need to do further research.

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S-E,

I'm going to start by assuming you are sincere and not merely trying to sneak in a form of Jew-bashing under the guise of being reasonable.

I used to have some of the questions you seem to articulate. I say "seem" because I only skimmed what you wrote. And oddly enough, it was not because of the substance.

It was because you don't write decent English. I'm not a grammar Nazi, but the reason we have linguistic conventions is to be able to communicate with each other with more than grunts and pointing. Mangling the language as your default style is not being rebellious or profound. It's communicating poorly. I'm not saying that with hostility, either. You decide your style. But that means you will also decide if you want strangers to take you seriously when you communicate with them. The fact is, nobody has time to decipher what you are writing on top of trying to figure out what you are saying. There's just too much to read out there to worry about silly burdens and unnecessary obstacles to understanding. 

Your choice. My advice is to make an effort. It won't kill you and you seem intelligent enough. There is way too much to gain to pretend this is a stupid issue. Frankly, a mangled default style comes off as a vanity issue, not a substance issue. Cheap profundity posturing at best.

As to the Israel issue, if you are truly interested in this, the first thing you have to throw out is propaganda. I had a lot of talks with Barbara Branden about Israel from a very simple perspective--that two wrongs do not make a right. Like what you seem to convey, the traditional arguments did not sway me. Nor did fighting propaganda with propaganda. Nor did the arguments like the ones ARI promotes.

Finally she pointed me to a book by Alan Dershowitz, The Case for Israel. Whether one likes Dershowitz or not, he presents facts and this is a great book for getting a more rational view of the situation. If facts are what you are interested in, this book is a much better place to start than all the yelling and intimidation in the mainstream. Once you start getting facts, you begin to realize this issue is not as simple as a land grab. There have been gobs of broken contracts over the decades and that's just one problem.

So I'm not going to go into all that one more time. Do your homework, then we can talk.

I will mention one issue that is never brought up, though. Back in the day, The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was Hitler's buddy. He wanted to get on with the Final Solution in the Middle Easy and actively promoted this. When the Nazis lost WWII, one of the safest places on earth for them migrate was the Middle East. Hell, the US and England even hired these Nazi migrants post WWII to spy on Communists to help stop the spread of Communism (for one of the most appalling lapses of judgment in US and British history).

If you ever wonder why such hatred against Jews never seems to go away over in that part of the world, this is one of the reasons--all the leftover Nazis. Real Nazis and their descendants, not metaphorical ones. They integrated into the local populations and made sure their antisemitism integrated with them. It's not the only reason, but it's one of them.

Anyway, I'm going to keep an eye on this thread, not because I don't like you. I probably will once I get to know you better. :) It's because too many people have shown up in the past with propaganda and bigotry as their agenda. And many have started out reasonable-sounding. (If you look at old threads, you will even see a Muslim who used to post here a lot and I would not allow bigotry against him to flourish on OL, either.)

If you are sincere, this will come out over time and I'll just let things go as they will. If I see you are not just spouting opinions, but instead making an actual effort to educate yourself about this, I might even join in some conversations. But if the thread devolves into bigotry, I'll throw the thread into the Garbage Pile and lock it.

Michael

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Michael wrote, ‚ÄúI had a lot of talks with Barbara Branden about Israel from a very simple perspective--that two wrongs do¬†not make a right.‚ÄĚ

BB’s posts below refers to “We Jews . .. “ many times and it is a powerful letter as is the response. Look for “Why Arab/Muslim anti-Semites are worse than the Nazis, which I believe she is quoting. Peter

From: "Ralph Hertle" To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: The Case for Interventionism Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 16:54:26 -0400

Jason Walker wrote: "The simplest solution to this problem would simply be for Israel to divorce church and state, and become fully secular.  There would be no need for a separate Palestinian Muslim state, as all races and religions would be treated equally under the law."]

J

ason. You've written an excellent piece that correctly identifies the problem of state religion as well as the consequences of that problem. Interestingly, you show the logical, moral and practical link between the creation of new well-defined universal liberties regarding freedom of religion, and, probably, ideas in general, and the necessary consequence of the diminution of hostilities in Israel.

I think that the people of Israel, and many in Palestine as well, would welcome the new liberties. They would go for liberty in the realm of philosophical ideas in a big way. Israelis should take the lead and strike down the prohibitions that the state invokes on ideas in Israel, and remove the many other evil consequences at the same time. For example, the special favors that are granted to religionists would be removed, and the restrictions upon the rights of women and children, and the rights of property ownership and trade would be removed. Palestinians would love that. The special favors that are granted to the religious racists insofar as grants of land which did not belong to them as that was confiscated from the previous owners would be removed, and justice for the previous owners could be restored.

The USA needs to stop soothing and rubbing the phony racist Israeli egos and demand liberties for all Israelis. Islam would topple by cause of the example to be made and copied. Israel and Palestine could become one free state with the change of a few basic laws. Business would continue as usual ‚Äď people would simply have more liberty. The causes for civil discontent and strife would be simultaneously removed.

Capitalism means that individuals have the freedom of ideas and action that are the cause for life. Rights are the necessary cause for life. If ideas are restricted there is nothing to correctly guide the actions of individuals insofar as the pursuit of productivity, sustenance and happiness. The religionists want controls over the minds and ideas of individuals in order to control their physical actions. The problem with the religious states is that they cannot provide the ideas of their citizens which are the cause life for their individual citizens.

The proof is Afghanistan. They had no massive amounts of oil. Nor did they have the massive gifts of capital from the citizens and nation of the USA. Countries such as Iran, Iraq, UAE, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Libya and other Islamic nations would be no wealthier than Afghanistan, or at best Morocco, Syria or Jordan, without the infusions of wealth. Some nations have various natural resources that they depend upon. Egypt, for example, somehow supports 70 million people on an agriculture that depends, to a large extent, on the River Nile.

Without the special sources of wealth the Islamic nations as well as Israel would be poverty ridden. Israel, having more well defined liberties, is able to cause its individual citizens to use their intellects to be more productive in their own interests, and as a result, Israel prospers more than the Islamic nations. Religion, in general, prevents the use of the intellect, and religion is a primary cause for the poverty of nations.

I don't mean to tag your post on OWL, however, your ideas are of significant interest and merit a great deal of discussion. The brilliance of your idea is that the revision of a single provision in the Israeli Constitution or basic law that created new fundamental liberty would enable changes in lesser laws and, also, cause the more peaceful social conduct of the Israeli nation. Ralph Hertle

From: "Philip Coates" To: objectivism Subject: OWL: The Middle East--Being Careful About History Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 15:34:56 -0700

1.  Balance and full context in historical summaries:

"[snip] Let me highly recommend a 1991 essay, " 'Ancient History':  U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention" by Sheldon Richman. It can be found as Cato Policy Analysis No. 159 at: http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-159.html"

This piece has been mentioned by (at least) three posters...Chris, Rafael, and Drew. This is an extremely long piece and I began to have problems with it less than a fifth of the way through.

Richman tends to repeatedly find Israel guilty of terrorism, but has much less to say about the responsibility of the Arabs.  While there certainly were postwar Israeli terrorists and massacres (Begin and the Irgun, the Stern gang), wouldn't it be fair to distribute the blame by going back to previous initiations of force earlier in the century? Who started it is always an important question in history (even when the answer turns out to be complex).

Paul Johnson's award-winning history of the century, "Modern Times," discusses the long history of killing Jewish settlers and the polarizing of Arabs to wipe them out: "The Mufti outrivaled Hitler in his hatred for Jews.  But he did something even more destructive than killing Jewish settlers.  He organized the systematic destruction of Arab moderates.  There were many of them in 1920s Palestine.  Some of them even welcomed Jewish settlers with modern agricultural ideas, and sold land to them.... [His] assassination squads systematically murdered the leading Arab moderates." [p. 481, Harper Perennial revised edition].

Richman claims that the partition of Palestine was set up to give the Jews "better land" ...and more land... "57 percent".  But how does this square with Johnson's claim that "the Arabs rejected the UN partition scheme, which gave the Jews only 5,500 square miles, chiefly in the Negev Desert."?  The Negev is a god-forsaken place where people don't live to this day.

My problem is not that I know enough to be certain that Johnson is right and Richman is wrong, but that he should at least mention the views of many historians who hold a very different interpretation than he does if only to refute them, if he can. (Johnson wrote eight years before Richman and his book may be the most influential and respected world history of the eighties, a New York Times best book of the year.)

2.  In a footnote, Richman seems to offer a wider theoretical underpinning for his views of U.S. foreign policy:   "...a global strategy that saw the Third World as a source of raw materials and a market for finished goods, but only under the direction of pro-American, even if brutal, rulers. The analysis of the cynical motives of the political leaders was first formulated by classical liberals--that is, advocates of free-market (as opposed to state) capitalism such as Thomas Paine,....,Herbert Spencer."

This view of U.S. foreign policy sounds like a combination of the Old Right [very old, back to the eighteenth century] and the New Left [in his first sentence at the end of the essay, Richman expresses his immeasurable intellectual debt to Noam Chomsky, among others].   And this makes two logical questions come instantly to mind:

(a)  Doesn't the left's willingness to accept this analysis come from its cynicism about any possible good motives from a leading capitalist state?  And isn't the eighteenth century classical liberals view a [legitimate, but dated] evaluation of English mercantilism, as reflected in the attempt to keep the U.S. as a non-industrial source of raw materials for the Empire, a key cause of the American Revolution?

(b) But in the last two centuries mercantilism has been abandoned by America.  Far from trying to keep other countries down as sources of raw materials, we have helped rebuild them economically (the Marshall Plan in Western Europe, assisting Japan to get back on its feet in the postwar period) and have encouraged global free trade and the dropping of tariffs and WTO and NAFTA.  These are hardly Mercantile-istic measures to try to control which countries provide what materials.   And under mercantilism, you don't allow your corporations to go overseas and set up factories and help Third World areas like Southeast Asia industrialize.

(3.  I'm not ready to generalize yet, but I'm beginning to suspect that, with regard to history, while some Objectivists tend to rely too heavily on conservative sources and accept them uncritically, many libertarians (Rothbard, for example) have made exactly the opposite mistake, accepting the views of people like Chomsky and the Left too readily without independent fact checking.

When trying to do something as complex as understand the history of Palestine or U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East it's important to integrate particular episodes or occurrences to all of the knowledge you possess ... including your knowledge of political philosophy and cultural trends. --Philip Coates

From: "Michelle F. Cohen" To: objectivism Subject: OWL: On Assassinated Israeli Cabinet Minister Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 22:11:15 -0400

There has been some exchange on the Atlantis list on the assassination last week of Israeli Tourism Minister, Rehavam Zeevi. I would like to address certain points which were raised there. I would also like to enlighten the members of this list about Israeli politics.

One issue which was raised was how could someone with Zeevi's racist platform sit in the Israeli cabinet. Zeevi's platform is summarized by the idea of "Transfer." A transfer of all Palestinians from the West Bank to other Arab countries, so that they can settle there, with monetary compensation for the land they own privately. The fact that Zeevi was elected, and allowed by Israeli law to sit in the cabinet, was taken as proof that Israel was no better than the Arab countries.

I do not regard Zeevi as racist. His solution could be unrealistic, but he was motivated by security considerations, not hatred of Arabs. In view of the situation in Israel and the West Bank, the transfer could be a good solution for those Palestinians who want to have a normal life. A population transfer is not "ethnic cleansing" as claimed on Atlantis. It was done in the U.S. toward the American Indian population, which does not go to prove that the U.S. in the 19th century was no better than the Arab countries today.

Rehavam Zeevi was compared to David Duke in several posts on Atlantis. I don't think he hated Arabs. In fact, he spoke fluent Arabic. I don't believe David Duke knows any African language, or even Spanish. If there was an Israeli politician who could be labeled as racist, it was the late Meir Kahane. He also propagated the transfer of the Palestinians, but his main motive was religious. He believed that Israel should be a Jewish Theocracy, where non-Jews, including Israeli Arabs, could not be citizens, only residents. He exhibited hatred toward Arabs, which Zeevi did not. Kahane's political party was *banned* in Israel as racist. When he was assassinated in New York by an Arab, there was no outrage in Israel. I hope my comments can help clarify these issues. Michelle Fram-Cohen

From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Why Arab/Muslim anti-Semites are worse than the Nazis Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 01:47:38 EST Why Arab/Muslim anti-Semites are worse than the Nazis

<A HREF="http://www.jewishworldreview.com/">http://www.jewishworldreview.com

WITH all the attention paid to how Muslims and Arabs in America feel about the Islamic terrorists' attacks on America, it may come as somewhat of surprise to learn about another anxious group of Americans - Jews.

All Americans are worried about the America hatred among groups who do not value human life. But Jews who know their history have additional fears. We Jews have reasons to worry because a significant part of humanity has a hatred of us indistinguishable in kind and intensity from that of the Nazis.

The most cursory acquaintance with the Arab press and fundamentalist mosque discourse around the world makes it clear that millions of Arabs and Muslims loathe Jews and many want Jews dead. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of Muslims and Arabs who want the one tiny country Jews have ever called their own eliminated from the map. Protests that the Arab/Muslim hostility is directed only at Israeli occupation of that even tinier area known as the West Bank have no basis in reality. The Arab/Muslim world sought Israel's destruction before Israel occupied an inch of the West Bank.

We Jews have reasons to worry because the last time a civilization declared such hatred against Jews, what ensued was the most organized and monumental evil in history, the Holocaust. We hoped that Nazi-type hatred would never reappear. But it has. In fact, in two ways, Arab/Muslim anti-Semitism is more frightening.

First, while both Nazi and the Arab/Muslim anti-Semites have used closed societies with their controlled press to promote horrific lies about Jews, the Nazis hid their murder of Jews from the German public. They did not have confidence that enough Germans would support the murder of Jewish men, women and children. The Arab/Muslim anti-Semites, however, have no such problem. Those who kill Jews in Israel are public celebrities.

On the West Bank, a Palestinian university in Nablus has been putting on an exhibition celebrating the Palestinian suicide bombing of a family pizza restaurant in Israel. The exhibition consisted of a replica of the Sbarro's restaurant complete with Hebrew inscriptions. Inside the exhibit, replicas of human body parts and pizza slices were strewn. Pictures published on the Internet showed Palestinians waiting in line to see the exhibit. In Nazi Germany, there were no public exhibits of Einsatzgruppen (Nazi mobile Jew-killing units) or gas chambers.

The second more frightening aspect of Arab/Muslim Jew-hatred is that many of these haters do not value their own lives. Nazis did.

We Jews have reasons to worry because no libels against Jews are too awful or too incredible in much of the Arab/Muslim world. That is why the father of Mohammed Atta, suspected ringleader of the Sept. 11th attacks, could tell Newsweek that his son was kidnapped by Israelis and that it was Israelis posing as Arab Muslims who actually attacked America. He could say this because he and millions of other Muslims (not only in the Arab world) believe it, as well as the notion that no Jews died in the World Trade Center because they were alerted in advance.

Americans may recall the flap over then-First Lady Hillary Clinton listening to the wife of Yasir Arafat state that Israel was poisoning Palestinian water supplies. Like the Nazis, many Arab/Muslim societies attribute to Jews virtually all evils, including, for example, deliberately spreading AIDS in the Arab world.

We Jews have reasons to worry because the West ignores this Jew-hatred. One reason is that Third World evil is rarely taken seriously among Western elites. A second reason is the psychological and political need of Westerners to believe that Islamic societies are, with the exception of "a few extremists," tolerant societies. And the third reason is that Arab/Muslim anti-Semitism is dismissed as a temporary phenomenon that will disappear when Israelis and Palestinians make peace. But this belief inverts reality. The lack of peace between the Jewish state and its neighbors is not the cause of Arab anti-Semitism, it is the result of that anti-Semitism. Since 1948, there has been one reason for the Arab-Israeli conflict - the Arab/Muslim world rejects the concept of a Jewish (or any non-Muslim) state in its midst.

We Jews have reasons to worry because while much of the Muslim world ‚Äď a billion strong stretching from the Atlantic through Asia to the Pacific - hates us, Europe and Japan do not defend us. Instead they defend their business deals with Saddam Hussein and with Iran's medieval theocracy.

We Jews have reasons to worry because the Islamic terrorists who blow up Jews are not on the list of terrorist organizations our government is fighting. There are political reasons that account for omitting terror groups that target Jews, but whatever those reasons, how can a Jew not worry about this omission? If America, the most philo-Semitic country in the world, will not regard terrorists who murder Jews as worthy of fighting - even though these terrorists share sponsors and philosophy with anti-American terror groups - no nation will.

As I write this article, my 8-year-old son is playing next to me with his Nintendo. While he is painfully aware of the attacks on America, he remains blissfully unaware that a substantial percentage of humanity would like to see him dead. One day, unfortunately, he will know this. Unless the good people of the world finally learn the great lesson of anti-Semitism ‚Äď that Jew-haters hate all that is good, that they target Jews first but never Jews alone, and that Jew-haters must therefore be fought - one day he may in fact be hurt. That is why at least one Jewish father worries today.

JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He is a director of Empower America and the author of "Happiness is a Serious Problem".     >> Barbara

From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: ATL: No Subject Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 23:39:45 EST

In a message dated 11/12/01 12:12:45 AM, drasmus816@earthlink.net writes: << The Drudge Report just posted this link. In it, a sixteen year-old Palestinian</DIV> <DIV>boy reports being tortured by Israeli security forces. </DIV> <DIV> </DIV> >>

It's interesting to see who David believes to be trustworthy and who not. Of course, the Palestinians have no motive whatever to coach a child to lie -- especially when the boy, like most Palestinian children, has been brainwashed from early childhood to hate Israel and to believe that any tactics used against Israel are legitimate. I'm surprised that the boy did not say the Jews ate other children for dinner -- even though they are not kosher, which everyone knows is an absolute for Jews. Barbara

From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Barbara's Response to Russ Levatter's Open Letter Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001 13:07:31 EST

Okay, Russ, you want to know the reasons why I passionately defend Israel against the Palestinians. In fact, you already know it to a great degree. The many articles I have posted express my views and the reasons for them, and I saw no reason to state them in other words. However, you want my own words, and you shall have them. I won't go into detail about each specific point in your post, but I shall attempt to cover them in essence below. (I no longer have your post; my computer ate it, as it has been eating many posts lately. But I believe it remember it well enough for the purposes of this letter.)

1. As I have said many, many times, I have no objection to anyone giving reasonable criticisms of Israel, but many of the criticisms have been wildly exaggerated and /or unfounded. Nor do I object to those who say we should cease helping Israel financially, although I disagree with the idea that it should be done immediately; I believe that in all reason we should *gradually* begin cutting down on our financial aid until we finally give no more, in order that Israel has time to adjust to the new situation.  I believe we should do this if and only if we adopt the same policy toward the Palestinians and the other countries in that area that we now assist.

2. What I profoundly object to, and what I consider utterly irrational, is that while Atlantis has been inundated with the harshest possible criticisms of Israel, the people who are the most severe give no criticisms whatever of the Palestinians. The implicit meaning of this policy is that Israel is the villain and the Palestinians are the persecuted innocents. Had there been even a few condemnations of the Palestinians and Arafat from those people that were even roughly equivalent to the criticisms they direct at Israel and its leaders, I would  not have taken such serious exception to them. Although in that case, I would have filled in some of my knowledge of the Palestinians and their terrorists, instead of mainly posting articles because it sickened me to deal with some of these critics.

At one point, I asked Greg Johnson to give his opinion of the Palestinians. I got exactly what I expected: a few mild paragraphs admitting that many of them behaved with brutality, but never in the outraged terms and with endless posts on the subject with which he damned Israel. (I will not discuss David Rasmussen. I do not deal with blatant anti-Semites, or take them seriously. Greg, at least, tries to present reasoned arguments for his bias against Israel. I cannot say the same for David, and I refuse to forgive or deal with his hatred of Jews.)

3. Why do I consider Israel infinitely morally superior both to the Palestinians and Israel's Arab neighbors? Most of the Arab world, and especially the Palestinians, still live in a pre-Industrial Revolution world.

They know nothing of industry or trade, and they care nothing, except, for many of them, to hate those who have surpassed them. It is, of course, their ideology that is responsible for their failures and their hatred, an ideology for which I have contempt. It is Israel that has made the desert grow, that is responsible for a host of scientific, literary, medical, and cultural achievements -- of which the Arab and Muslim worlds know nothing. Israel has some of the best medical schools, scientific establishment4s, and universities in the world; the Arab world has none. Israel is a democracy; they know nothing in the Arab countries but absolute rule. The Palestinians who live in Israel have most, though not all, of the rights of Jewish Israelis; they may become citizens of Israel, they may vote, they may elect Arabs to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, they are given police protection and the other protections that Jewish Israelis have. *Nowhere* in the Arab world do they have the rights that they have in Israel. The Israelites do not accept Greg Johnson's policy of removing from their country those who do not sanction a society of rights.

4,

Why are so many Palestinians, after more than fifty years, still living in the squalor and degradation of camps? Because the Arab nations, with the exception of Jordan, have refused to accept them and to integrate them into their societies, as the Israelis have done with so many of them. And I have no doubt that if the Israelis had to live in such camps, they would not be places of squalor and degradation; they would have made them bloom as they did Israel. In the areas within its boundaries that Israel conceded to the Palestinians, one now finds the same conditions as in the camps; the Palestinians are turning civilization back to the pre-Industrial Revolution. There is constant warfare within their new borders, an utter disdain for human life, and no attempt to create anything of value.

6. The issue of torture: I have never disagreed with those who accused Israel of using torture against its enemies, and I totally condemn it --  *unless* there is no other way to halt planned terrorist attacks.  But do you really believe that the Palestinians fail to use torture, and with a ferocity unknown in Israel?

7. Israel has offered the Palestinians almost everything they demanded, including, eventually, a Palestinian State within Israel's borders. I agree that Israel did the right thing -- although I'm concerned that it may have jeopardized its own security. What was Arafat's reaction?  To reject the concessions and to begin the mini-war against Israel that has lasted for more than two years, finally accelerating into madness in the last few months. Again and again, Israel has demanded that in return for its concessions, Arafat remove from the charter of the Palestinian Authority the statement that the Palestinians intend to drive the Israelis into the sea. America also has demanded it. Arafat has refused. To this day, that clause still remains.

8. Terrorism. I wrote earlier about what I called terrorist cannibalism, that is, that terrorists cannibalize their own children, sending them in airplanes to crash into skyscrapers or with bombs strapped to their bodies which kill them when they set off the bombs.  The Israelis have no such policy; they are not cannibals. Arafat, with an air of wounded innocence, has finally agreed to arrest his terrorists. He has arrested a considerable number of them; they are taken to his prisons through the front door, and they leave through the back door -- an issue about which our administration has finally begun to complain.

9. The destruction of the innocent. It is true that Israelites have killed Palestinian children; it is also true that many of those children have been trained in warfare and may well be armed. Israel does not, as a policy, set out to destroy the innocent. In the present warfare, it is attacking Palestinian military and governmental enclaves; although, as in any war, it is impossible to avoid killing innocent people. This is indeed a tragedy, but it is inherent in the nature of war -- which is part of the reason why war is terrible. But Israel does not make a concerted attempt to destroy the innocent by means of the bodies of its children.  The Palestinian terrorists do. They bomb nightclubs where Israeli teen-agers go to dance and enjoy themselves. They bomb grocery stores where Israelis go to shop. They bomb busloads of Israelis on their way to and from work. They bomb cars in which elderly Israelis are driving. They torture and kill unarmed Israeli children whenever they find them alone and unprotected.  Exactly like bin Luden, they target precisely the innocent, in order to instill terror in the Israeli nation. And exactly like bin Luden, they will pay the price.

10. The assertion that Israel took its land by force. This is true to some extent, but it is also true that much of the land was purchased from the Arabs who inhabited it. I cannot at the moment think of a single country that was established  without the use of force, including our own. When I hear the anti-Israelites on Atlantis damn the rest of the world for establishing its boundaries by force, then I will take seriously this criticism of Israel.

I am well aware of the denunciations that are about to rain on me as a result of this letter.  Well, my friends and foes, if this be treason, make the most of it. Barbara

From: DXIMGR To: <atlantis Subject: ATL: Broken Icons, Feet of Clay... Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 17:04:59 EST

Barbara, in her attempted defense of Israeli policies, concludes with "Well, my friends and foes, if this be treason, make the most of it." Unfortunately, Barbara  hasn't written the 21st century version of the Declaration of Independence here. She has simply written another screed in defense of Israel. She has not answered detailed charges, she has not done empirical research, she has simply continued to make assertions that express her preferences but do not, at least without argument, express any sort of principles consonant with Objectivism.

Barbara has told us in the past that Rand, too, was a Zionist, as if from that claim alone we should conclude that Zionism is the correct position rather than concluding that Rand, as Barbara surely knows, was capable of emotional rationalization rather than clear thinking at times. Barbara has claimed that Palestinians torture detainees even worse than Israel does. This is news to Amnesty International and other groups that research this sort of thing. Does Barbara have even one piece of empirical research to back up this claim?

It is becoming clear that Objectivism, to Barbara, means the application of reason to facts in applying one's values to achieving one's happiness in this world...unless one is talking about Israel, in which case facts become less important than emotion, and rash claims about how an oppressed people sacrifice their children is deemed as credible as...well, as some racists see The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

Despite learning political theory at Rand's knee, Barbara seems to have difficulty distinguishing the actions of individuals from the actions of governments. Individual terrorists--driven like McVeigh, perhaps, to oppose what they see as evil--commit unspeakably evil actions. These actions when performed by individual Palestinians no more speak for the Palestinian people than McVeigh speaks for Barbara, and Arafat likely can do rather little to prevent such actions, just as Clinton could do little to prevent the Oklahoma City bombing. But Israel is a government, and governments have policies. I listed several well documented and specific policies of Israel, some developed by an official (if secret) commission headed by a member of their Supreme Court. These are policies which the government stands behind and can be held, qua government, accountable.

If Barbara listened to the radio and heard that an American named McVeigh had destroyed a government building and killed government employees, and her first thoughts were concern that her house might be bulldozed, her neighborhood destroyed, and her children killed or imprisoned by the government because the government would retaliate against Americans in her neighborhood, then she would have a glimmer of what it is like to live as a Palestinian in Israel or the controlled territories.

Barbara thinks that Israel and the Palestine authority get largely equivalent amounts of aid from the US government. This is just an example of how she demonstrates that facts, including those easily checked, are not important when it comes to defending her beliefs. It has been suggested to me off list that Barbara is, despite her devotion to Objectivism, really an intrincist at heart. She has her core set of beliefs, and they act as rules to be defended emotionally, not standards or principles to be defended rationally. Looking at facts is fine so long as they support what she already believes. This is the Ellen Moorian version of Objectivism, not the one developed by Rand.

As we grow up, we are often forced to reexamine the heroes of our youth, and we find more often than not they have feet of clay. This is tragic when it first happens in one's life, progressively less sad, certainly less unexpected, when it occurs repeatedly. Barbara is entitled to her views; she is not entitled to shroud herself in a mantle of Objectivism when supporting a state that routinely tortures people detained without being accused of any crime, holds people for years without convicting them, or even accusing them, of any felony, seldom reprimands military personnel that kill children in occupied territories, and that has been soundly condemned for decades by international civil rights groups for such actions.

Barbara claims there is a double-standard on Atlantis; she claims that Israel's actions are held to strict scrutiny while no complaint is ever raised against Palestinian rights violations. Barbara should consider the possibility that this focus is a result of the fact that people only need to be told what they don't already know. I suspect most people on this list were UNAWARE that Israel, in the 1980s, officially sanctioned torture through a government commission. I suspect many HAD NOT HEARD that Amnesty International found Israel the ONLY state with an official policy allowing torture. The national media in the United States DOESN'T ROUTINELY BROADCAST when Israeli soldiers, police, or settlers kill Palestinian schoolchildren (though they have become more objective about this recently). But I don't mean to cast Barbara in an undeserved state of ignorance. She is free to clarify she has long been well aware of these facts but remains supportive of Israel nonetheless.

It is clear that Barbara is unable to defend Israeli policy intellectually, and it is certainly clear that she prefers her myths (Israel made the desert bloom? I guess only Israel knows how to make things grow in a region known for thousands of years as the Fertile Crescent)to a non-emotional look at what Objectivist principles would imply for a theocratic socialist state.

To paraphrase a passage well known to Barbara, the words of a rabbi explaining the importance of justice: First they came for the Palestinians, but I wasn't a Palestinian, so I did nothing. Then they came for the Muslims, but I wasn't a Muslim, so I did nothing.

If they come for you, Barbara, to what universal principles will you apply? Russ

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And one last letter from Russ at the bottom, or is it Ross Levatter? It is anti Israeli and seems quite scholarly and objective. On the other hand the name Palestinian did not exist until recently.

Peter

From: DXIMGR To: atlantis Subject: ATL: Israel and the Palestinians...from one who's lived there Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 22:15:42 EDT

The following was forwarded to me by Jeff Hummel. It is a letter from a libertarian/Objectivist friend of his, Bill Kelsey. I found Bill's first-hand observations and calm historical analysis of great interest. I also include some brief introductory comments from Jeff, whom most of you know as a libertarian scholar, recently awarded a PhD in history for his work on the Civil War. RL

I've pasted in below a post from Bill Kelsey, an old libertarian friend of mine from Austin, Texas. Bill (now in his 40s) grew up in the Middle East, where his parents served as Christian missionaries; and he periodically flies relief missions there himself. For those of you who have not had time to read either of my past recommendations, David Hirst, THE GUN AND THE OLIVE BRANCH: THE ROOTS OF VIOLENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST (London: Faber & Faber, 1977), or Stephen P. Halbrook, "The Alienation of a Homeland: How Palestine Became Israel," JOURNAL OF LIBERTARIAN STUDIES, 5 (Fall 1981), 357-74, Bill provides one of the finest, short surveys of the Israeli land question that I have yet seen. It dramatically confirms, at least with respect to land, what Daniel Dorin, head of a Tel Aviv think tank, suggested half seriously around the time of the Gulf War: "After the fall of the regime in Albania, we might remain the last outpost of socialism in the world." Jeff Hummel

What we are wrestling with is the question of how long after the displacement of one community by another does the new community have a legitimate claim on a piece of territory.  The means of displacement are a factor in the discussion.  The posting by Clark Patterson in response to Dan Sullivan prompts this response from me.  I realize this can be tedious, but since the fragment of geography known as Israel and Palestine has been a flashpoint for a potential World War III and is currently the focus of what will be a long "clash of civilizations" we must continue to examine this vigorously.  A hugely disproportionate fraction of US aid - between a quarter and a half depending on how the numbers are crunched - goes to the one-tenth of one percent of the world's population that make up the State of Israel.  Like it or not, this requires our diligent attention and debate.

Blurred in Clark's response is the demarcation between private ownership of land versus state sovereignty.  The purchase or settling of real estate by an immigrant community does not normally confer upon it the right to secede and establish a nation, although this has been done by the settlers to Texas and the immigrants to Palestine.  The subject of immigration is a touchy one in America, especially now, and the libertarian immigration plank is controversial even within our movement.  Those of us who welcome immigrants are considered extreme by society at large. Imagine if the immigrants whose rights we respect went so far as to declare a secessionist Hispanic nation in Texas, or a Caribbean Creole nation in Florida, and went into armed struggle to this end, and terrorized the majority communities into leaving.

Whether or not the Israeli settlers purchased the property in dispute is only of partial relevance to the question of their right to establish state sovereignty at the expense of the indigenous inhabitants. In fact some of the land was purchased at the beginning, and some developments were in deserts and swamps, but the majority of it was eventually confiscated from some very real people who had some very real houses and farms and orchards there.  The notion that this was entirely an empty piece of desert is a piece of propaganda not believed by Israelis or even disseminated by them anymore.  It was promulgated in some crude works such as Leon Uris' book Exodus but you will not find this in any modern Israeli propaganda.  (If anyone from Israel tells you this they are taking you for a fool and saying something they do not believe themselves).  Some parts of Tel Aviv were built on uninhabited desert.  Others were not.  Ben Gurion airport covers what used to be the Palestinian town of Lydda, whose inhabitants were forcibly evicted in 1948.

There are four main phases that I would identify regarding the Palestinian land alienation.  The first phase would include legitimate purchases of land by the first immigrants a century ago.   Palestinians make no claim on this land.  (Nor do they make a claim on land owned by Palestinian Jews who had lived there for centuries). The second phase, starting in the 1920's, was more ambiguous and generated the first hostility towards the immigrants. According to Middle East custom and land law, if property is purchased from a landlord who has tenant farmers, the tenant farmers retain rights of tenancy.  Jewish settlers purchased such pieces of property, and acting in accordance with their own European laws, and protected by the British mandatory government, evicted and destroyed the huts of tenants who had hitherto been minding their own business. (Old film footage exists of the settlers doing this with pitchforks).  These disgruntled peasants moved to the cities to become day laborers, only to find a campaign in place by the Histradut to force Jewish employers to fire their cheap Palestinian laborers and hire the more expensive European immigrants.  The frustration of these de-landed dis-employed laborers contributed to the first communal riots and killings.  Bear in mind that the immigrants -  by now 20% of the population - were also openly declaring that the whole country was theirs and that their intention was to set up their own State.  Their own literature advocated a "transfer" of the indigenous inhabitants.  Herzl, the Zionist ideologue, had generously proposed that a few be kept in Palestine to catch snakes.

The third phase of the acquisition of property took place during the war of 1948.  Although accepted in the West as a case of the "Israelis accepting partition and the Arabs rejecting it and attacking the newborn democracy" the Haganah, Irgun, and Stern Gang were actively terrorizing Palestinian villagers into leaving well before any Arab armies entered Palestine.  The Deir Yassin massacre, which took place in what was supposed to be the international Jerusalem zone, was one such incident.  This was a village not involved in combat.  After the massacre, led by Manehim Begin, other armed Israeli factions used loudspeakers and some very insidious psychological methods to panic the majority of the Palestinian inhabitants into leaving. Every town had its own story.  Some were massacred, some were allowed to remain if they surrendered, some surrendered and were evicted, and some fled on the strength of the rumors about what was about to happen to them. Israeli propaganda will portray those who defended their homes as being terrorists deserving of eviction, while at the same time portraying those who tried to get out of the way of combat as having proven that they didn't really care for their homes and hence forfeited them.

The total number of towns and villages completely depopulated in 1948 is about four hundred and the people ethnically cleansed numbered about 750,000.  The Israelis have a governmental department called the Custodian of Absentee Property to administer the real estate.  In the case of Palestinians who were displaced from their original villages but managed to remain within the borders of pre-'67 Israel there is a bureaucratic designation of "Present Absentee." Documentation exists (from both Arabs and Israelis) on the Arabic names of the villages, the amount of land pertaining to each, when they fell, where the inhabitants went to, and what became of the village, and the name of the kibbutz that replaced it.  One of them, Ein Houd, was just too beautiful to destroy and it has been made into an artists' and writers' colony.  You can go there and sit in cafes made of old Palestinian homes and talk about human rights and property rights and Ayn Rand and what savages the Palestinians are.   While the documentation exists on paper in libraries I find it more intriguing that the traces of the destroyed villages exists in the form of the sabra cactus which they had planted as fencing.  Where bulldozers have removed houses, mosques, and cemeteries, the cactus keeps growing back.

The fourth phase of this confiscation of private real estate would be after the 1967 war to the present.   In the conquests of 1967 there was relatively less ethnic cleansing except for the Syrian Golan heights which were depopulated of their inhabitants - Bedu, Palestinian refugee, Circassian, and Syrian Christian and Moslem communities.  Druse villagers were allowed to stay along with one Alawi village.

To consolidate the conquests and "create facts" the Israeli government has encouraged and subsidized a network of settlements throughout the West Bank and Gaza.  The word "settlement" does not quite do justice to the concept of what is going on.  The most innocuous of the settlements are on "state" land which might be claimed only by shepherds for grazing rights and have no documentation.  Palestinians are forbidden to settle on this land even though it is contiguous to their own communities, but huge amounts of money are spent by the Israelis, courtesy of the US taxpayer, to bring in foreigners to this land gained by conquest.  Some settlements are set up on private land confiscated first for military uses and then turned over to "soldier-pioneers."  Others such as Shiloh are set up as "archeological projects" and still others are set up on the spots where other settlers have been murdered.  One piece of land was confiscated on the grounds that there was an irregularity in a tax payment to the Ottoman authorities 150 years ago.  In one case the Jordanian government, which controlled the West Bank from '48 to '67, had awarded a piece of unclaimed and unsettled state land to a Bedu refugee community from Beersheba in exchange for their service in the Jordanian army.  Although they had developed the property for about fifteen years, the documentation and final title deeds had not been completed when the Israelis captured the West Bank.  As there was no documentation of their right to be there these refugees had their water and land confiscated for the convenience of an Israeli settlement.   The last specific case I'll mention (out of thousands) concerns one of six houses in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.  The inhabitants of these six houses were awakened at 3 am in October of '91 and evicted by armed settlers from the Aterat Cohanim group backed by hundreds of Israeli soldiers. There had been no warning that there was a potential problem.  Each house has a story - one was a complete mistake, but because a dispute had erupted over it the judge kept both parties out.  The other houses had a variety specious excuses for the takeovers and surprise evictions.  The owner of one of them had been visiting Amman in 1967 when the Israelis captured East Jerusalem. He was prevented from returning but his brother and other members of the family continued living in the house.  Unbeknownst to them, because the title holder was absent, albeit against his will, the title was transferred to the "Custodian of Absentee Propertee."  There is a law which allows this and it was done according to the law.   After a certain number of years the Custodian has the authority to sell the property in its custody to the Jewish National Fund, which purchases property to be held in perpetuity by the Jewish people.  Once purchased by the JNF, property can never be sold to a non-Jew.  There is a law which allows this and the property was transferred according to the law, again, unbeknownst to the title holder in Amman or his relatives living in his house in Silwan.  The JNF has the authority to sell property in its possession to deserving Jewish individuals or organizations and again, according to law, sold the property to Aterat Cohanim, and again, without the knowledge of the title holder or the residents.  So one dawn in October 1991, the armed members of this group banged on the door and threw out the terrified family and their furniture and their food.   Israeli apologists will look you straight in the eye and tell you that it was all done according to law.  Americans need to know about this stuff.

What has been happening over the past thirty five years is a process in which the Israeli government takes over parcels of land in the West Bank and Gaza, puts the most abrasive immigrants on this land, confiscates more land to set up defense perimeters, bulldozes nearby Palestinian orchards, drills deep wells to provide nice lawns and swimming pools while drying up Palestinian water sources, confiscates more land to build access roads, bulldozes more trees alongside the access roads for security purposes, and occasionally shoots the protesting dispossessed.

On a personal level I am a libertarian because of my lifelong proximity to this unfortunate quarrel.  To wit:  (1)  The State does not have the right to choose my friends and enemies for me.  Although I count Israelis among my friends, the state of Israel is not my friend and my Federal government has decreed that it is.  When I served in the Armed Forces the alliance with the State of Israel took precedence over the oath to support and defend the Constitution - one of the reasons I resigned.  I also have Palestinian friends and Federal government requires me to collude in murdering them through payment of taxes.  (Whether the history I gave above is accurate or merely my hallucination becomes irrelevant here - I have lived close to this, come to my own conclusions and am entitled to them.  I do not require anyone to support them.  Supporters of Israel require me to finance their version of history).

(

2)  The libertarian movement does not believe in foreign aid.  Israel receives the bulk of it.  The effect within Israel is to undercut Israelis who would come to an understanding with the Palestinians and strengthen the hands of those who are the sociological and ideological equivalents of the Ku Klux Klan.

(3)  The libertarian movement believes in avoiding entangling alliances between the US and foreign nations.  Israel is an "ally" much as a tapeworm is ally to its host.

(4)  The libertarian movement would abolish the income tax.  If this is ever successful I would be free of subsidizing the murder of my Palestinian friends and of enabling my Israeli friends to do things which get them killed in the long run.

(5)  The libertarian movement welcomes immigrants to our shores and so do I. This is a tough sell.  The presence of a few Vietnamese fishermen in the Gulf twenty years ago cranked up the Ku Klux Klan.  A demographic change of a few percentage points makes people very nervous.  We libertarians shock Americans by welcoming immigrants who make a tiny demographic dent in our society.  Yet Palestinians are considered at fault because they had a problem with a community of 6% expanding to 30%, establishing a state for its own benefit, expelling the majority community, confiscating private property and then continuing the process for the foreseeable future.

(6) Libertarians are against the confiscation of land under the laws of eminent domain.  This is done for public works projects all over the world, but in Israel private property is confiscated from Palestinians under laws of eminent domain for the purpose of settling immigrants from Russia, the US, and many other countries.

I mentioned Deir Yassin, where the Palestinian inhabitants were massacred. Today on the grounds of Deir Yassin there is an Israeli mental institution housing Holocaust survivors who lost their minds in the  concentration camps. I believe this is symbolic of the situation in its purest manifestation. Both communities need our compassionate understanding.  Neither needs our tax dollars or our weapons. Bill Kelsey

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Here is an old letter of mine to OL. Go Israel! Peter

What would Ayn Rand‚Äôs philosophical character John Galt do? What would be rational and objective?‚ÄĚ A postulated, fictional President Ayn Rand would require the big picture before answering. So what would she do in today‚Äôs real world? The basic humanity in ‚Äúsaving the Jews from genocide‚ÄĚ is a cultural and historical necessity. I think Rand‚Äôs gut thinking would be, ‚ÄúWouldn‚Äôt you have to?‚ÄĚ She would defend Israel.

The ‚ÄúSave the Brains imperative‚ÄĚ (that Brant expressed in 2011) is on the level of global, human evolutionary action. Because of her insistence on eliminating any science from her *egalitarian volition* concept this might be a hard sell to Ayn. She said the facts of different groups IQ‚Äôs were somehow racist and stock yard collectivism. She despised eugenics as a phony theory. In line with the upcoming Atlas Society debate, I posit a scenario. There is a debate between Ayn Rand, and the top experts in evolutionary psychology. Wolf could moderate. Would she lose the debate? Six months or a year of rethinking might bring her to their scientific position but for different reasons. She would defend Israel (not because European Israelis have an average IQ of 117) but because of its strategic importance in the Mideast. And she would defend *family.* The Jews in Israel are genetically closer to her family. She may have ‚Äúfamily ties‚ÄĚ in Israel. That is harsh but it is every humans gut feeling: Save my family!

To save the Jews and Arabs of Israel who create technology, is a more personal, profit motive. Would she think it rational to save physicists, creators of computer technology and medical technologists if they are on the cutting edge of human innovation? Yes, it would be in her self-interest. Is it in our strategic interest to protect the oil pipelines from the Middle East? Of course it is. At the same time our protection of Israel would provide protection for Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries. President Ayn Rand would save Israel.

Is it in our self-interest to keep our mutual defense treaty with Israel? Who else do we have in that area who would risk their lives to rescue one of America’s downed airmen? We could count on the Saudis. Who would also, unhesitatingly provide us with their airspace? If a U.S. military jet crashed landed, who would cheer the survivors? Israel. Who would butcher or hold the survivors for ransom? Iran, Hamas in Israel and Lebanon. What would the average Palestinian do if the cell phones and cameras weren’t rolling? That is in doubt.

Who shares our objective, Western values? Israel. Ayn Rand might reasonable carp about the level of Israel‚Äôs socialism, but she would save Israel. Rand always maintained it was ‚Äúrighteous‚ÄĚ to shoot a looter, or a murderer, or to destroy a dictator. She said they were the human equivalent of *mad dogs*. The key for a country‚Äôs ‚Äúrighteous though extended use of self-defense,‚ÄĚ would be: if it is not in my country‚Äôs ‚Äúcurrent‚ÄĚ national security, what would be the cost to the United States in lives and money? Would a President Rand drone strike or incarcerate the heads of Hamas and all the Palestinian initiators of force? Probably. What do you think John Galt would do? Would Rand stand next to Francisco and John Galt on the borders of Israel with a gun in each hand, shooting the terrorists? Yes she would. Ayn Rand would defend Israel. So would I.

We should improve the ‚Äúiron dome‚ÄĚ we aided Israel to construct. It doesn‚Äôt appear to be working except with large, older rockets that invade Israeli air space. Peter Taylor

Some quotes from the speeches of Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel is the last and farthest outpost of America . . .

You don't have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live life to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace, we all desire . . . . . And I wish I could promise you, Elie, that the lessons of history have been learned. I can only urge the leaders of the world not to repeat the mistakes of the past . . . . We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves. This is why -- this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand. end quote 

Here is the complete, really, really mean monologue by Comedian Dennis Miller on Israel:

"A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need. Don't thank me.

I'm a giver. Here we go: The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years. Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention. Before the Israelis won the land in war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, and there were no "Palestinians" then, and the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians" then. As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the Palestinians," weeping for their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation."

So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death."

I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: Adjacent Jew-Haters." Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't. They could've had their own country any time in the last thirty years, especially two years ago at Camp David. But if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living. That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel.

They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course -- that's where the real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel. Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth, you know that's really saying something.

It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about the great history and culture of the Muslim Mideast. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since Algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.

Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five million Jews.

Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, everyone will be pals.

Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.

My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: Just reverse the numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting. No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.

Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that with vital operations coming up against Iraq and others, it's in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can't be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of supermodels who've just had their drugs taken away.

However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger of losing moral weight.

We've already lost some. After September 11 our president told us and the world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day) start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint.

If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan. (Hey, wait a minute, that's actually not such a bad id . . . ooh, that is, what a horrible thought, yeah, horrible.)"

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Ah it’s a slow Sunday so I shall digress and repeat myself like a parrot. See wrote: I am aware that most people used capital I when referring to themselves, but why? No one I ask knows, they just say that's the way it’s done. end quote

I misspelled your initials, capitalized some N’s and I’s, closed up the word themselves (from them selves) and added a little squiggly line to it’s (from its). ah. thats butter.

Capitalization ‚Äď income divided by rate equals value. I guess that means a capitalized ‚ÄúI‚ÄĚ has more rate of return than a lower income ‚Äúi‚ÄĚ. If you capitalize correctly then Forrest Gump might say, ‚ÄėYur smart,‚ÄĚ instead of ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre dumb.‚ÄĚ

To reiterate or is it retaliate, I agree with Michael, that good spelling makes you better understood and ‚Äúnot lacking.‚ÄĚ You should get Microsoft word which self corrects or tells ‚Äúyou you maybe wrong‚ÄĚ by underlining or highlighting words so you will see you should have written ‚Äúyou may be wrong.‚ÄĚ You provide guys like me with ammo for fun but who wants to be a dumbass? There is no profit in that. I too frequently put in too many commas and use there for their, and I was an English major. And an Army Spec 4. Peter

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Peter, Thanks! You have a trove of essential facts and opposing evaluations - some, irrational - there, by lucid writers - on this topic alone, what you've posted needs to be required reading for newcomers trotting out the same ol stuff. As though, it is new. At least we avoid having to bring forward the facts every time. Fine letter of your own, also.

The M.E. problem from the outside, boils down to:

" Islamists and many Muslims hate and attack us because we (the US, specifically) support, or verbally show support for Israel".

"Remove the support, and they'll stop".

In short, I think the "problem" is exacerbated by unprincipled, moral and physical cowards, who believe they can (temporarily, or permanently) buy their way into favor and stave off trouble by dumping a friend and ally. But, no. The Fundamentalists hate all Western freedoms, so whatever any government does 'we' are lumped together.

So-called "intellectuals" (mainly those in Europe too) are imbued with the appeasement, self-abnegating narrative. (Corbyn of the UK, a prime politician gaining power in govt. by publicizing his ties to Hamas. In Britain..!)  Naturally, since determinists are Leftists, THIS is as far as their intellectualism takes them. In effect, stating: those poor, unthinking savages can ~only~ act the predestined way of their ancestors and continue to fight to oust and eliminate Jews - for that they deserve our compassion and moral support. (You'll see how condescending and demeaning that is, coming from European leftist, self-named 'supporters' of the Palestinians).

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Peter do you believe that is a true picture you have painted of the average Arab?  I’m not going to argue with  you, I just want to clarify that you see them as a bunch of savages who are after Jewish blood.

 Are you being literal, or are you exaggerating for effect?

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S-E, Reading comprehension. Do you not get my (not Peter's) claim that the LEFTISTS are ""In effect, stating: "those poor, unthinking savages..."etc."

Do you not understand what I mean, that it's what the Euro-backers of Palestinians against Israelis are effectively saying? That is, they believe they - the Palestinians - are too backwards to think for themselves, break their habits of violence and make peace? (And are, therefore, "demeaning" of Arabs).

Your knowledge of this area is small and is evidently prejudiced. I doubt your intentions to learn more if this is your instant interpretation of what I wrote. "...savages..." removed from my clear context to suit your preconceptions about Israel.  

It is irrefutably the political Left and its media who have prolonged and encouraged continuing conflict in the region. On that, a meme of the intellectual Left is, and I have read them, "The noble savage".

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