Monday, December 29, 2008

Israel Has No Right To Exist


by Puck T. Smith

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I have been watching with horror as the current escalation of violence between the government of Israel and Hamas thrusts itself upon the consciousness of the world.   It has prompted me to consider the oft repeated canard about Israel's "right to exist."   Based on the principles that have come to inform my political philosophy I am forced to conclude Israel has no such "right."

Now before you brand me as antisemitic let me explain what I mean.

From my perspective no nation has a "right to exist" because nations do not have rights, they are artificial legal constructs, much like corporations.

At one time the word nation had a valid definition as a group of people who shared a common culture, language, ethnicity and history--among other things--that distinguished them in general from everyone else.   Nation sat at the top of the hierarchy of individual, family, clan and tribe.   With the advent of rapid travel, instant communication, world wide commerce and mass migration that higher level of the hierarchy has lost its meaning.

Nation now refers to a geographical territory enclosed by arbitrary boundaries, usually established by military action, ruled by a government that claims a monopoly on force within that territory.   In most people's minds that government is synonymous with the nation, so much so that a government is able to propagandize that a threat to itself, that is a threat to its monopoly on power, is a threat to the people as a whole.   As a result people have been lead to commit horrible atrocities in defense of their nation when in reality the only threat was to the power and privilege of the people who rule them.   Nations, that is the governments who claim to represent them, do not have rights, they have power, generally usurped from those unfortunate enough to be enclosed within their borders.

People have rights.   Every Israeli, every Palestinian--every person in the world--has the right to life, liberty and lawfully acquired property.   As long as those rights are not respected there will be neither justice nor peace.

The government of Israel unlawfully suppressed the liberty and expropriated the property of a vast number of individual Palestinians.   Until that is addressed those people and their progeny have a legitimate grievance.   On the other hand, Hamas, and before them the PLO, have targeted the lives of individual Israelis who did not participate in the government of Israel's crimes for no other reason than they happen to be in range.   Both governments are concerned only with preserving and expanding their power, neither is concerned with the welfare of the people under their control.   They exploit their suffering for political reasons.   If that were not true Israel would stop encouraging and subsidizing the expansion of settlements on the property of Palestinians, knowing full well it will draw reprisals, and Hamas would stop provoking the wrath of Israel onto innocent Palestinians by targeting innocent Israelis and then hiding in residential neighborhoods.

Neither the Palestinian people nor the Israeli people are to blame.   The blame lies with the amoral elites who rule them and who will stop at nothing to expand their power, privilege and control.

The state of Israel has no "right" to exist, neither does the state of Palestine.   The people who live in the land occupied by those two regimes have every right to live free of the pernicious parasites who will not be happy till the sea is filled with blood.

December 29, 2008

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Puck T. Smith is the nom de plume of a man who wishes to live his life in peace and obscurity while at the same time sharing the insights he has acquired through both suffering and joy in more than half a century of living in this world of terrible tragedy, radiant beauty and dizzying possibilities.

6 comments:

John Famularo said...

You wrote;
"The government of Israel unlawfully suppressed the liberty and expropriated the property of a vast number of individual Palestinians."

The government of Israel did not exist when "the Palestinians" lost control of "Palestine". The Egyptians. the Romans, the Ottoman Turks and since 1918 the British, French and the United Nations created the current borders of the middle East countries.

Of course Israel has no right to exist and neither does Palestine. Why not just let them fight to the finish?

If you want to interfere, then under what authority? The UN?

Of the authoritarian factions (Zionists and Islamists), I believe the Zionists are the more deserving to rule Palestine (if Palestine must be ruled by an authoritarian regime).

Puck T. Smith said...

First, thanks, you are the very first person to post a response to any of the posts on my blog. I'm glad somebody is reading it. :)

In response to your statement about when and by whom the control of Palestine was lost. I was referring to the individuals who were living in that land at the time of the creation of Israel. The people who were subject to "forcible expulsions by Jewish militias" and "destruction of Arab homes and settlements."

You are also making the same mistake I spoke of in my essay. You seem to be equating the governments of Israel and Hamas with the people under their control.

John Famularo said...

"forcible expulsions by Jewish militias" and "destruction of Arab homes and settlements."

Do you think the surrounding Islamic nations would not have done the same to Israeli settlements?

How do you know that the Palestinians were in rightful occupation of the land? Maybe it was originally Jewish land stolen by the Babylonians or the Romans or Saladin. What is the statute of limitations on stolen property?

My question is who decides who lives where and under what form of government? You? Me? Who?

Have you made restitution to all the people that were dispossessed in order for you to live where you do?

Puck T. Smith said...

"Do you think the surrounding Islamic nations would not have done the same to Israeli settlements?"

Jews had been moving back to Israel for nearly more than 50 years before the Zionist influx, many others had been living there all along peacefully coexisting with Arabs as neighbors.

They didn't encounter resistance until they started to exert political control. Who is to say what other nations would have done had that coexistence had continued as had before?

Trying justify aggression based on what someone might do is a very weak argument.

"How do you know that the Palestinians were in rightful occupation of the land? Maybe it was originally Jewish land stolen by the Babylonians or the Romans or Saladin. What is the statute of limitations on stolen property?"

I never said it wasn't a difficult question, if it weren't people wouldn't be killing each other about it.

"My question is who decides who lives where and under what form of government? You? Me? Who?"

Government, if it has any legitimacy at all, is decided by consent of the governed.

"Have you made restitution to all the people that were dispossessed in order for you to live where you do?"

That is something I'm pondering even as we speak. The situation in the Holy Land brings into stark relief the history of the United States. I will be writing about that in the future. As it stands now I'm trying to clarify my own thoughts on something I've always avoided thinking about.

momo said...

Isreal has no right to exist.
I FULLY AGREE

Ancient Mariner said...

Puck, I may well be wrong (not a first for me), but it seems that you have swallowed the propaganda of those who believe the Jews had no rights to the land that they have acquired and called Israel. The Palestinians were given the same access to land, and drove Jewish families off of land they had lived on for many years in the areas "given" to the Arabs at the same time.

We could argue this for years, but for me the bottom line is this: the Arabs, muslims, "Palestinians", etc. do not want to co-exist with the Israelis. If the muslims were to lay down their arms, the would be no more war. If the Israelis were to lay down their arms, there would be no more Israel.