Monday, May 05, 2008

Who Owns the Holy Land?

I realize that by answering this question I run the risk of being labeled "anti-semitic." But this is one of the most important questions in the world today.

I believe the war in Iraq is largely in defense of Israel. An American-conquered Iraq serves as a buffer between Israel and Iran. The pro-Israel lobby is an indisputably powerful force among "neo-conservatives" who led us into this war.

A major force for support of Israel comes from Christians who believe that the Bible teaches that the Holy Land always and forever belongs to those who call themselves Jews. Hal Lindsey, who authored the biggest-selling book -- fiction or non-fiction -- in the entire decade of the 1970's, has had a huge influence in promoting this interpretation of the Bible. It's probably safe to say that 100 million Americans accept Lindsey's view, and believe that the Jews have a right to own the Holy Land, whether or not they ever heard this idea from Lindsey, and whether they believe it passionately (fanatically), or just accept it as an example of secular common sense ("Sure, doesn't everyone know that?").

Now World Net Daily has published (May 1st) an article by Lindsey further promoting this idea. I have responded to this article here. The issues are huge, and require more study than most people give them. Two links on my response could potentially take days to digest. Please post your comments about that article on this blog.

Lindsey's article deals with the Bible, and my response is limited to Lindsey's focus, covering the time from Abraham to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Romans. But there is an entirely separate and additional issue which needs to be covered: how did the current ownership of the Holy Land take place.

Wholly apart from any Biblical promises, how do we assess the current claims of ownership of the Holy Land? One reader has sent me a link to the Jewish National Fund, which suggests that Jews simply bought up the Holy Land beginning about 100 years ago.

As a Libertarian, I am obviously going to be attracted to the idea of voluntary transactions. If non-Jewish Palestinians sold their land to Jews for a price deemed fair by the Palestinians, and the transaction was voluntary, that settles the ownership question for me. The question remains whether these parcels of real estate, once fairly acquired, are being protected by the initiation of force against others, or whether additional land is being conquered violently in order to serve as a buffer between the land that was purchased on the free market and land still held by anti-Israeli terrorists (or those deemed to be such by the Israeli government).

The utopian answer to the on-going, never-ending "Middle East Crisis" is for both sides to become Libertarians and sign the Libertarian Pledge.

Until then, the government of the United States must become Libertarian, and renounce one-sided military intervention in the Middle East. If Hal Lindsey and his followers want to send weapons to Jews in the Middle East and promote military aggression against non-Jewish Palestinians, that's one thing, but those Christians do not have the right to confiscate the property of others to fund their mercenary activities. All U.S. government aid to Israel should be cut (along with all U.S. government aid to all other nations). All U.S. government military intervention on Israel's behalf should be terminated.

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