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Support for Israel

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As someone coming from Israel I can only say this: Israel is an extremely complex case. Any attempt to say that Israel is a good or bad place will be over-simplification.

Israeli culture is mostly secular. 70% of people would define themselves non-religious. Most prominent politicians are non-religious and people would not vote for a religious prime minister. However, politically the wall between church and state was never built, and because of the multi-party system small religious parties actually command more influence than they should. Some laws make it harder to grow and sell pork, for example, or for businesses to stay open on Jewish holidays. Most Israelis oppose this "religious opression" (the term is often used in Israeli politics).

Israel is very much socialistic, as a remnant of its founding. However, the actual population is quite torn on this issue, and I believe more than 50% of Israelis would like to see more privatization, and lower taxes. Unions are still strong, but Netanyahu as a Minister of Finance had been brave in fighting those bullies, who oppose privatization and stand in the way of progress.

In terms of trends, it is very hard to predict. But my estimate is that Israel will get freer and freer economically, and the barrier between church and state will start being built. Some say that Israeli society will become more and more religious. I'm not sure that's the case, but that is one possible scenario.

One thing I find myself missing after leaving Israel is the straightforwardness. Most people are usually brutally honest there, and it is hard to adjust to the restraints and lack of candor in a "polite society".

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*** Mod's note: Merged with earlier topic. - sN ***

Are there any quotes made by Rand on Israel? I've herd the Objectivist leadership talk about it but i've yet to here anything from the lady herself.

Edited by softwareNerd
Merged notice

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In The Ayn Rand Letter (1975) she wrote:

“The first intended victim of the new isolationism will probably be Israel—if the ‘antiwar’ efforts of the new isolationists succeed. (Israel and Taiwan are the two countries that need and deserve U.S. help—not in the name of international altruism, but by reason of actual U.S. national interests in the Mediterranean and the Pacific.)"

In a 1979 interview with Donahue a member of the audience asked her for her opinion on foreign policy and the middle east, including Israel:

Are there any quotes made by Rand on Israel? I've herd the Objectivist leadership talk about it but i've yet to here anything from the lady herself.

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Are there any quotes made by Rand on Israel? I've herd the Objectivist leadership talk about it but i've yet to here anything from the lady herself.

See the recent publication "The Ayn Rand Answers: Best of her Q&A" pages 96-97

After the 1973 Boston, Ford Hall Forum lecture "Censorship: Local and Express" Ayn Rand was asked:

What should the United States do about the 1973 Arab-Israeli War?

Give all help possible to Israel. Consider what is at stake. It is not the moral duty of any country to send men to die helping another country. The help Israel needs is technology and military weapons--and they need them desperately. Why should we help Israel? Israel is fighting not just the Arabs but Soviet Russia, who is sending the Arabs armaments. Russia is after control of the Mediterranean and oil.

Further, why are the Arabs against Israel? (This is the main reason I support Israel.) The Arabs are the one of the least developed cultures. They are still practically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are. Israel is a mixed economy inclined toward socialism. But when it comes to the power of the mind --the development of industry in that wasted desert continent-- versus savages who don't want to use their minds, then if one cares about the future of civilization, don't wait for the government to do something. Give whatever you can. This is the first time I've contributed to a public cause: helping Israel in an emergency.

In 1977 Boston, Ford Hall Forum lecture "Global Balkanization" Ayn Rand was asked:

Does Israel engage in tribalism?

Yes, to a large extent, because it is a socialist country, and it's a country based on a state religion. The idea that a particular race is a special culture is of course tribalism.
Edited by phibetakappa

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See the recent publication "The Ayn Rand Answers: Best of her Q&A" pages 96-97

After the 1973 Boston, Ford Hall Forum lecture "Censorship: Local and Express" Ayn Rand was asked:

What should the United States do about the 1973 Arab-Israeli War?

In 1977 Boston, Ford Hall Forum lecture "Global Balkanization" Ayn Rand was asked:

Does Israel engage in tribalism?

I am an objectivist to the core and nearly worship Rand fundamentally. However I have a HUGE problem with her on this one.

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I am an objectivist to the core and nearly worship Rand fundamentally. However I have a HUGE problem with her on this one.

Care to elaborate and explain why you disagree with Miss Rand?

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There isn't much of an objective reason to support Israel. I agree that they share some of the qualities that make the United States great, but they also have their fair share of huge weaknesses. Like the US, their government engages in various forms of whim-based censorship. They have a non-voluntary military. They have engaged in many questionable war tactics and have treated life cheaply. Like Ayn Rand said during a Phil Donahue interview, anybody who would kill innocent women and children of their enemy is a monster. The Palestinians have engaged in such actions, but ignoring Israel's engagements in such actions would be intellectual dishonesty.

A lot of people back up Israel by claiming they are an advanced nation surrounded by savages, but one look into the daily religious practices of their citizens would uncover all sorts of savage and mystical practices. Furthermore, and more importantly, much of their technological achievements come from US entitlements/subsidies. I refuse to ignore this fact when so much of the Objectivist opinion of the Arabs stems from our past political and business involvements in the region. If it is irrational to ignore these contexts, then they must be equally present when analyzing Israel's successes in the MENA region.

Then I wonder what the true strategic reasoning would be to have Israel as such a great friend in the region. We are able to utilize pretty much any foreign nation's military resources and landing points at the whims of the commander in chief without needing to be "BFFs" with them; do we need to sacrifice so much blood and treasure defending such a questionable nation as Israel, if all we care about is our own selfish national defense purposes? It seems like an error in logic, considering what is required normally to utilize other nations' strategic locations. This question is posed ignoring the fact that our relationship with Israel is completely against a capitalist government's role of protecting individual rights, as we send Israel everything from weapons to bulldozers with We The People's money. I feel like even posing the question of whether or not these subsidies are a responsible use of government revenues is belittling the topic beyond a rational point of debate, but hey, I'm trying to understand where all of this pro-Israel zeal stems from. I can't possibly see it stemming from rational behavior, so bear with me.

I see the Israel vs. Palestine conflict as having nothing to do with the United States. The only rational position I could take is to entirely remove our presence from this conflict, as it serves no truly helpful function for US domestic or foreign policy. We could be just as friendly with Israel as we are with Turkey and still be able to utilize their navy/air bases to the same effect.

Edited by Andrew Grathwohl

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A lot of people back up Israel by claiming they are an advanced nation surrounded by savages,

Correction: Ayn Rand said they are a civilized nation surrounded by savage tribes. That is a political statement, not a racial one. Saying "savages" while referring to Arabs in general is racist. Saying savage while referring to Middle Eastern political systems is accurate.

but one look into the daily religious practices of their citizens would uncover all sorts of savage and mystical practices.

Again, Ayn Rand used the word savage to describe Israel's neighbors, on live television. It was not a racist statement. She was referring to the absence of a civilized society, in which individual rights are upheld, rather than suppressed, by the State.

She was not referring to the religious rituals of private individuals, that's simply not what the word means. Israel is a civilized society, because individual rights are mostly upheld, just as they are in the West. Palestine, Syria, Iran are savage societies, because individual rights mean nothing there.

Jordan is in the middle. And that's not because their citizens kneel differently than Syrians when they bow to Mecca, it is because they have a semi-civilized political system, and Syria doesn't.

I see the Israel vs. Palestine conflict as having nothing to do with the United States. The only rational position I could take is to entirely remove our presence from this conflict, as it serves no truly helpful function for US domestic or foreign policy. We could be just as friendly with Israel as we are with Turkey and still be able to utilize their navy/air bases to the same effect.

We could, unfortunately we're not. Turkey is a member of NATO, and if they are attacked, the US would be committed to joining that conflict on Turkey's side, by treaty.

We have no such agreement with Israel, and yet, I'm sure they would've allowed us to use their airspace during the second Gulf War. Turkey refused.

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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Correction: Ayn Rand said they are a civilized nation surrounded by savage tribes. That is a political statement, not a racial one. Saying "savages" while referring to Arabs in general is racist. Saying savage while referring to Middle Eastern political systems is accurate.

Again, Ayn Rand used the word savage to describe Israel's neighbors, on live television. It was not a racist statement. She was referring to the absence of a civilized society, in which individual rights are upheld, rather than suppressed, by the State.

She was not referring to the religious rituals of private individuals, that's simply not what the word means. Israel is a civilized society, because individual rights are mostly upheld, just as they are in the West. Palestine, Syria, Iran are savage societies, because individual rights mean nothing there.

I understand the distinction, but I did not mean to assert that Ayn Rand made racist remarks. I only meant to show that the Israelis, as a country, are not much different than the US, and as a people, are not much different than the Palestinians. Just because a nation upholds some individual rights in a similar vain as the US, does not mean that it is not a sacrifice (immoral) to back up that nation as we do Israel. Overall, our treatment of Israel has been altruistic, and has brought detriment to the Israelis, the Palestinians, and ourselves. Simply put, the United States is not any safer because of how we handle Israel, and therefore the peoples' individual rights are no more protected than if we weren't involved with them like we are.

We could, unfortunately we're not. Turkey is a member of NATO, and if they are attacked, the US would be committed to joining that conflict on Turkey's side, by treaty.

We have no such agreement with Israel, and yet, I'm sure they would've allowed us to use their airspace during the second Gulf War. Turkey refused.

I don't necessarily believe that we should be in NATO, either. It is in the best interest of a nation to be involved in other nations' affairs at its own rational discretion.

Edited by Andrew Grathwohl

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I'm not going to touch the Palestinian issue as in these parts there is no point. In terms of Israel and the other Arab States however American aid has kept the IDF at such a high deterrent level that peace has existed between the major states (Egypt, Syria, and Jordan) for 30 years, that has definitively been in America's interest.

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I'm not going to touch the Palestinian issue as in these parts there is no point. In terms of Israel and the other Arab States however American aid has kept the IDF at such a high deterrent level that peace has existed between the major states (Egypt, Syria, and Jordan) for 30 years, that has definitively been in America's interest.

How is that in America's interest? I think that needs an explanation.

If the stability of that region was in our best interest, then why didn't we handle it? Why give our blood and treasure to another nation, when surely we could have handled it better on our own?

Saying that our funding of the IDF is the reason for "peace" over the last 30 years among Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Israel, would be implying that their military might is only attributable to our charity. Would you be prepared to say that we bought Israel's friendship and military might, and that we created and inspired their society's protection of some individual rights? If so, then I'd question the rationality of obtaining such a friendship. It sounds like they've benefited a lot more from us than we have from them. Doesn't sound very rational to me.

Israel should survive based on its own merits. If it cannot handle its own military, domestic, and foreign policy operations well enough without our help, then it has to go through the corrections necessary to revise its strategies. The United States grew to its level of greatness without the charity of other nations, and I believe we should expect the same level of responsibility from the rest of the world. Why hold the rest of the world to a lower standard?

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Saying savage while referring to Middle Eastern political systems is accurate.

No, it's not. Using "savage" to describe the society of pre-Columbian native Americans might be accurate. A better term for Middle Eastern political systems might be antiquated, backwards, or medieval. Even so, Israel has one neighbor (Jordan) that is--if not by Western standards, certainly by Middle Eastern ones--relatively modern and progressive. The use of the term "savage" to describe modern Arab political systems is just a way of using the most derogatory word you can think of, despite the fact that it is not accurate. If you want to use "savage" to describe Middle Eastern politics, I suggest you come up with a new word to describe the actual savage societies of pre-Columbian America. In fact, the phrase "savage political system" is pretty much an oxymoron. If your society has something that can rightly be called a political system, it has--by definition--progressed beyond the definition of "savage."

Every discussion I've had with you on the topic of the Middle East has proved that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You have principles--in and of itself, not at all a bad thing--that you try to apply without even a basic understanding of the situation. As such, you don't know how to apply those principles. It would be like trying to apply the "do not initiate force" principle against the Allied Navy, for showing up on the beaches of Normandy and shooting up the Germans, seemingly without provocation. It's only when you have a basic grasp of the surrounding context that you can begin to apply principles and realize that, yes, maybe the Allies had a point when they decided to attack the Germans.

You don't have that, as has been proved by the several times I have asked you the most basic, factual questions I could think of regarding the modern history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The questions I've asked have not been ones where principles or values will change the answer. They have been factual, and you have been utterly unable to answer them. In fact, when I have asked, you have, instead, gone on to criticize my "unprincipled" stance, as a way of avoiding having to reveal the fact that you didn't know the answers. Had you known the answers, you would have simply answered, and then gone on to criticize whatever weaknesses you found in my arguments. Lesson: learn something about the conflict before trying to discuss it.

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Hi Andrew. You raise a lot of points, so I'll try to break my reply down as logically as I can this late at night :warn: And sorry in advance, I nit pick like Hell :D

Why give our blood and treasure to another nation

As far as I understand it the way most US Government aid to Israel works is that America gives money to Israel who must in turn buy American goods with this money, in a sense a good chunk of the aid is just recycled back into your economy. Sorry I couldn't find a link to break it down though. As far as blood goes, very little American blood has been shed on Israel's behalf, directly. One can definitely argue that things like the Beirut bombing were caused by Israeli actions but directly the only American casualties were those sailors on the USS Liberty which is really obscure (I'm sure if I looked I could find more American soldiers have been killed by Canadian friendly fire in the time since the Liberty).

If the stability of that region was in our best interest, then why didn't we handle it?........ when surely we could have handled it better on our own?

When Zionism was ramping up in the 30's and 40's the Jews sold Israel as a colonial outpost safeguarding the 'West' in which Israel could act as a buffer and proxy for Europe and America. The Suez Crises for example allowed Israel to take the vast amount of condemnation for reopening the Suez for Western shipping, later they also knocked out the Osirak reactor in Iraq which prevented Saddam from producing nuclear weapons which he was very, very close to doing. The Israelis were the ones who had to hit Iraq, in the security interests of both Israel and America, but only Israel was held acountable in the Arab world.

I am not an expert, by any stretch, on international relations but it seems to me that had America bombed Iraq in 1981 or had France and England landed ground troops in Egypt in 1956 the consequences both with the Arabs and with the Russians would have been far higher, though I may be wrong.

One could also argue that in the Lebanon conflict in the 80's Israel, by supporting a Christian regime was acting by proxy in the interest of France.

Saying that our funding of the IDF is the reason for "peace" over the last 30 years among Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Israel, would be implying that their military might is only attributable to our charity.?

My understanding (again sorry no links) is that roughly half of the IDF's budget comes from American aid. So yes, Israel's predominance is largely the result of American charity.

Would you be prepared to say that we bought Israel's friendship and military might, and that we created and inspired their society's protection of some individual rights

Hmm, calling American-Israeli relations 'friendship' seems to be the wrong word, but I can't think of a better one. As for influencing Israel's society? Heck no, not in any real way anyway. Israel has actually regressed during its friendship with America in a lot of ways but mostly due to internal demographics and political changes. While Israel created its secular and democratic culture independantly of America (it had already been formed by Russian and Eastern European Socialists before 1948) many have criticized Israel for becoming a more patriarchal society with deeper ethnic divisions emerging.For example (again no links so I may be wrong) something like half a million secular Jews have left Israel in the last few decades, this leaves more for the crazy backwards religious kind who, like there Palestinian counterparts, have most of the babies.

And that's all I can type right now.

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I understand the distinction, but I did not mean to assert that Ayn Rand made racist remarks. I only meant to show that the Israelis, as a country, are not much different than the US, and as a people, are not much different than the Palestinians. Just because a nation upholds some individual rights in a similar vain as the US, does not mean that it is not a sacrifice (immoral) to back up that nation as we do Israel. Overall, our treatment of Israel has been altruistic, and has brought detriment to the Israelis, the Palestinians, and ourselves. Simply put, the United States is not any safer because of how we handle Israel, and therefore the peoples' individual rights are no more protected than if we weren't involved with them like we are.

That's pure pragmatism. We should support Israel over other states, because they share our political principles. We do have interests in the Middle East, and we do need a strong military and diplomatic presence there. The only country that is also a democracy and a free nation should be our ally.

Only pragmatists would discard the knowledge that free nations can be trusted to be allies, because they don't attack, and don't betray each other, and dictatorships cannot, for the sake of some supposed short term gains in terms of safety. Which, by the way, are only based on the principle that Arab terrorists hate the Jews, so if we join them in that hatred, they'll leave us alone.

But yes, this is consistent with the rest of your political views, Andrew: you hate military action, you distrust the military in general, so the only other way to try and keep yourself safe would be compromise with the Arab fundamentalists: we give you Israel, you leave us alone for a while. That's pragmatism, and it will not work. They'll just keep coming at us, because we have Jews in America, or because we refuse to implement Shari'a in Michigan, or because we are friends with India, or Russia, or because someone in Denmark published a hilarious cartoon. They'll find a reason.

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You don't have that, as has been proved by the several times I have asked you the most basic, factual questions I could think of regarding the modern history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The questions I've asked have not been ones where principles or values will change the answer. They have been factual, and you have been utterly unable to answer them.

I never tried answering them. I refused to acknowledge your attempts to test my knowledge on anything, and I'll continue to do so. Except, this time, I had enough of even reading about it, so I'll ignore all your posts from now on.

As for the word savage, that was used by Ayn Rand to describe the Arab states, so argue with her about the meaning of the word savage. I could care less about your definition of it, she meant precisely what I said she meant by it.

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One can definitely argue that things like the Beirut bombing were caused by Israeli actions but directly the only American casualties were those sailors on the USS Liberty which is really obscure (I'm sure if I looked I could find more American soldiers have been killed by Canadian friendly fire in the time since the Liberty).
What notion of "cause" are you working with w.r.t. the Hezbollah bombing of the marine barracks in 1983? Would you also say that the Treaty of Versailles "caused" the extermination of 6 million Jews?

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I am going to reply this thread from a perspective of an Israeli objectivist soldier.

I am currently serving my mandatory military service in the Israeli Air Force.

[i apolozige for any grammar or spelling mistake.]

The reason Israel should be important to the western countries:

Along with the reason you gave, quoting Ayn Rand and the fact that Russia provide weapon and advanced systems to the Arab world [ IE: Iran, Egypt, Syria et cetera] , there is the reason that Israel is the most developed country in the area. You might say that Israel use America a lot with developing systems, but don't forget that there are too many inventors that are located in Israel. Through out the generations you could see that the Jewish brain takes high rates in the numbers of inventors, doctors, managers, producers et cetera in any industry.

The percentages of patents per person is Israel ranked in 3rd place in the world, the 2nd place in the quality of the education and universities, and first place in investments in researches and developments.

Not only that, Israel is the country with the highest percentage of engineers, academic publications, with most companies in NASDAQ outside the United States and most start-up companies outside the Silicon Valley.

You might use our developments, patents and products everyday:

-Cherry tomatoes

- ICQ

- PHP

- Disk on key

- Solar water heating

- Fire Wall

- Drip irrigation

-Epilator

- Interferon

-Much much more.

I am not going to mention all of the weapon systems we invented, because this is not going to end. You are welcome to research yourself for Israeli Inventions.

So helping Israel, means you are helping your economy, technology and your personal life.

Other than that Israel has one of the most developed and strong military forces in the world. Supporting Israel, means you will have the Israeli support right back, when you would need it, if it's with our systems and weapons, if its with our bases, in our knowledge [we beat you in fights, when we practice with each other] or with our soldiers themselves [and as a soldier and commander in the AF I know a thing or two about the use you do with us.].

The IDF work on protecting, and give the Israelis a suitable place to live in. being rational you know that there is no way that Jewish people will stop believing in their religion and God. History teaches us that without a country, the Jewish people could be extension danger, and for the reasons I stated above, we can't let it happen, as we need the Jewish and Israeli mind.

Most Arabs that live in Israel, and have Israeli citizenship, do not put a danger for the country, although some of them give hand to terror and organizations like Hezbollah and Hammas. Actually, to your information every 3 Arabs open their own terror organization.

Someone mentioned Israel as a country that kills children and women. I would say few things as a reply:

1. Terrorist in Gaza know that the air force, or combat unites are after them. They hide in schools, hospitals and places like that. They also keep their weapons there. Let me tell you something... If a school was bombed, and it exploded so hard, that 2,000 kids has died, it's not because of the Apache's bomb, it's because of the weapon shelter under this school.

2. Read this

3. war is a war. Everyone knows the game, and the rules. People here are bombed. To be honest, my grandma's house was bombed.

I want to put another question for you: Is it fair to shut up, only because we are more developed than they are? Should we let them bomb us, and don't protect our self, because it's not moral to take other's life?

What do you think?

For the fact that only Jewish and Druze are obligated to serve: This is a Jewish country. We don't expect ANYONE that isn't Jew to protect us. We don't demand anyone that this is not their values to give for him self to this cause. Druze are serving because they find this country to be theirs as well, they are Israeli just as any other Jew.

To tell you the truth?! If a Jewish person doesn't want to serve they could get out of this service in some way.

Edited by Daniellecs

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being rational you know that there is no way that Jewish people will stop believing in their religion and God.

Why? Plenty of Jews become atheists.

History teaches us that without a country, the Jewish people could be extension danger

History teaches nothing of the sort. Jews that live in countries that respect individual rights are in no more danger than their goy neighbors.

and for the reasons I stated above, we can let it happen, as we need the Jewish and Israeli mind.

What is the "Jewish mind?" Is that different from a human mind? Who is the "we" that needs it?

For the fact that only Jewish and Druze are obligated to serve: This is a Jewish country. We don't expect ANYONE that isn't Jew to protect us. We don't demand anyone that this is not their values to give for him self to this cause. Druze are serving because they find this country to be theirs as well, they are Israeli just as any other Jew.

To tell you the truth?! If a Jewish person doesn't want to serve they could get out of this service in some way.

Are you saying that you support Israel as a jew living in a "jewish country" where only jews are special enough to be forcibly conscripted? Doesn't sound like a place where I would want to live.

Also, from what I understand, the only way to get out of conscription is if you're a follower of ultra-orthodox Judaism or you choose to permanently leave the country.

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1. Many are atheist, [i am atheist myself]. Living here, I know how many believe in god. To be honest, I am the only atheist in my family, [and I have a very large family.] I think that only 10% of the Israelis I know don't believe in god.

2. I've been to holland, England and France. In each I came across rasict behaviour, although I do not concider myself to be jewish, I just spoke Hebrew, or said that I am from Israel. I guess that if it happen to me, it could happen to annyone.

3. "we" is people that use Israeli patents. "jewish mind" - well, I guess its just a term, because there are many Jewish creators.

4. I was saying that arabs are welcome there too. The country consider itself to be Jewish, therefore we understand if an Arab wouldn't like to take part of serving here, therefore its not obligated to them. Of course if an Arab would like to give his part and serve, they are very welcome to do so.

Now, you understand me better?

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History teaches nothing of the sort. Jews that live in countries that respect individual rights are in no more danger than their goy neighbors.

Historically, Jews have been in grave danger in many European countries. The various ideologies (Christianity, Islam, National Socialism, Communism, Nationalism) that caused that danger are still around, in every country, and could be revived at any time. I would say the only other country where Jews are safe, at this time, is the United States. But even that could change, if antisemitic ideologies continue spreading.

If you haven't learned that Jews tend to be persecuted, from history, then you're looking at a very different history than the rest of us. In the past 100 years, it has been perfectly rational for Jews to leave Europe and Russia, and form a new state some place else, despite the dangers of living in Israel, and it would've been irrational of them to hope that they would be safer where they were.

Are you saying that you support Israel as a jew living in a "jewish country" where only jews are special enough to be forcibly conscripted? Doesn't sound like a place where I would want to live.

It beats being Jewish and surrounded by antisemites. I'm not sure about the conscriptionbeing sucha brilliant idea, but throughout the 20th century, Jews had very few options, other than to live in Israel. And the danger of the 20th century repeating itself for Jews, even in the US, is very real.

Let me put it this way: you are surrounded by Americans who agree with forced taxation, and yet your ideal would be to not live in a place with taxation. Why are you paying your taxes? Because you look at the reality of man made evil around you, and realize that you have no other choice but to give in to force, in order to survive. In fact, you collaborate with the IRS, and you help them take half our money, and use it to support the US Welfare State.

You are living in a decidedly non-Capitalist system, paying taxes, dealing with the man made evil of taxation, and gun permits, and government-run roads, and permits to cut down a tree on your own property, not because you think it's right, but because your life and freedom are more important than pretending that you're surrounded by Objectivists who won't mind if you stop paying taxes,

The same way, except with even greater stakes, Jews are living in a world where they're surrounded by the man made evil of Arabs trying to kill them. And yet, about half a dozen of you, on this forum, want them to ignore that evil, and pretend they are living in a Capitalist paradise, where the borders should be open for the Capitalist Palestinians (who wish to live side by side with the Jews, in a free country) to get any jobs they like in Tel-Aviv, there should be no attempts made by the government to discriminate based on ideology, they should not need American help to sustain their military efforts, etc. Why? Why should Israelis ignore the millions of Arabs trying to kill them, and act as if open borders and no discrimination based on ideology and nationality are a viable option, the way it would be viable for an America of 300 million, with a culture that is rational and leaning toward the Objectivist ideal, the way Ayn Rand envisioned it?

Are you really saying that if Israel opened its borders to all comers tomorrow, refused American aid, and withdrew its military from all occupied territories, it would still be there in ten years?

[edited for clarity]

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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The question of support for Israel is nothing more than an instance of the fact that man is volitional and must choose actions, based on fact and reason, when there are alternatives. So in light of the facts of reality, what are the alternatives regarding Israel? The primary alternative is to either support Israel in its struggle to exist, or else to allow it to be swept from existence and be replaced by barbarism. I object to the socialism of Israel, to its theocratic tendencies, to the fact that they have a conscripted army. But those objections are secondary, given the primary choice -- to exist or not.

The objections to Israel (and support for Israel) are very much comparable to typical libertarian objections to the United States -- we have taxes, numerous regulations, laws prohibiting perfectly moral actions, and a frequently boneheaded foreign policy. So what are the alternatives in reality? I don't mean, what wonderful scenario can you concoct -- the US government as it is, vs. an Objectivist utopia. I also don't mean the equally hypothetical choice between the US and an Iranian-style Shite theocracy. Well, the fact of reality is that we don't face a real and sweeping alternative like "the US, versus North Korean dictatorship". The alternative that we face is less stark -- a higher percentage of socialism, versus more theocracy. The choice, which we must make, between those alternatives is very difficult because it's hard to assess the long-range consequences of one versus the other. (I have an evaluation of which is long-term the better choice, but that's not the point).

But in the case of Israel, the alternatives are so stark -- it is about the fundamental choice, existence or non-existence, and I don't see how there can be any doubt about which is the actual value.

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