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Those Poor, Persecuted Palestinians
But, oops! Who's persecuting them? As in Iraq, where Sunni and Shiite are killing each other, Palestinian on Palestinian violence has intensified. From Ayn Rand Institute, "Palestinians Better Off under Israeli Rule":

The bloody street fighting between Hamas and Fatah has intensified the lawless chaos in the Palestinian territories, while rocket attacks against Israel continue. "But the solution is not further 'unity talks' between the murderous rival factions," argues Elan Journo, junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute; "instead, the solution is a political regime that protects individual rights. The Palestinians would be better off under Israeli rule.

"The feuding Fatah and Hamas factions have perpetuated the terrorist war on Israel and unleashed their gangs of 'security forces' who tyrannize, rather than protect the life and property of, Palestinians. Gun battles between the factions are compounded by the widespread racketeering, carjacking, kidnapping. Palestinian territories are on the brink of anarchy.

"When safe enough to speak freely, some Palestinians acknowledge that they would much rather live under Israeli rule, because their lives and property are safer. Arabs living under Israeli rule have long enjoyed political rights and a standard of living unmatched by any other Middle Eastern country. For example, Arab citizens can freely air their views without fear of retribution; they can serve as members of parliament; they can seek legal redress under a rule-of-law judicial system.

"Instead of abetting terrorists and clamoring for their 'right' to establish a tyrannical regime, Palestinians who value peace and prosperity should petition for Israeli rule."

Posted by aalkon at January 27, 2007 9:43 AM


The last paragraph "Instead of abetting terrorists and clamoring for their 'right' to establish a tyrannical regime, Palestinians who value peace and prosperity should petition for Israeli rule." reminds me of the propaganda of Japanese government during occupation of Chinese Manchuria in WWII. They claimed since warlords and bandits ruled the land before Japanese occupation, Chinese are better off under Japanese rule. The same excuse is now applied to Palestinians. Political lies don't change; it's just applied to different people.

Self government, not government by foreign force, is fundamental to legality of democracy. Yes, Palestinians have trouble living peacefully and self government right now, and it may seem Israeli rule is better for them. But this is the same situation many colonized countries face after they become independent - there is no culture and social structure to function effectively as full democracy, because there was no context for that to develop. The transition period could be slow and painful, and it may seem hopless at times. Palestinians can decide whether they want to live under the rule of a government they don't identify with(Israel), or learn self-government, but this is fundamentally their choice. Denying the right of Palestinians to choose, IMO, is wrong.

Posted by: mettayogi at January 27, 2007 1:35 PM

I agree with the article. Re the comments: "self-government" is a very equivocal term here. The group is not a self. Only the individual is a self. Was it "self-government" when German Nazis ruled over Germans? And, then, was it an interference with "self-government" when foreigners (the Allies) came to liberate Germany?

The character of government is not a matter of the nationality of its officials. Slavery does not transmute into freedom by having home-grown slave-masters.

The issue is not the race or geographical source of government officials but whether or not the government respects your rights, whether your live in freedom or under tyranny.

In the same vein, "democracy" is a mis-used term. If it means "any system with voting" it lumps together tyranny and freedom.

The American system is a constitutionally limited republic, not a "democracy." There is a crucial need to distinguish systems under which the individual is free--including from being free from the majority--from systems under which the individual is not free. Political terms should not be defined in any way that obscures this basic alternative.

The Athenians, by majority vote, put Socrates to death. If three men vote to enslave two others, that is evil--and it remains evil if it's three million men voting to enslave two million others.

The fundamental question to ask about any governmental system is: does it respect the rights of the individual, or does it allow violations of those rights.

Israel respected the rights of the Palestinians. The Palestinian authority does not. It is better for anyone, Jew or Arab, to live in freedom, under the rule of Israel than under anarchy or dictatorship.

Posted by: Harry Binswanger at January 27, 2007 11:19 PM

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