Note to Israel (and the U.S.) From an Anguished Jewish American: Decentralize

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The issues
that cause me anguish have been the continuing conflicts between
Israeli Jews and Arabs, the threats of Israel or the U.S. initiating
a preemptive strike on Iran or Iran attacking Israel, and the Israeli
government's controversial building
of new Jewish housing in East Jerusalem. It is difficult to find
objective sources of information on the Arab-Israeli conflicts
and the territories,
which have been homelands to Jews and Arabs for centuries. Further,
accusations of anti-Semitism or of being a u201Cthreat
to security
u201D have been thrown at anyone who criticizes
Israel or exposes
corrupt Israeli officials, but I, an anguished Jewish American,
attempt to analyze these issues objectively from afar.

In addition
to the U.S. government's expansionist policies abroad, the Israeli
State's ownership of lands and its compulsory
and monopolistic
control over peoples' lives has been contributing
to the Middle-East's woes
for many years. People become corrupt when they are given the power
of State, the power of compulsion over others and a monopoly over
territorial
protection
. The current conflicts
occur because territories are governed by the compulsory State apparatus
of the Israeli government, although the Palestinian Authority and
Hamas are also compulsory territorial monopolists. The idea of an
entire nation to be known as a u201CJewish Stateu201D has been a drawback
as well, along with dependence on the State's central planners as
u201Cprotectorsu201D of the Jewish people. Centralized governments do nothing
but intrude into the lives of populations and provoke
hostility
. The way to peace for Israel is through decentralization.

Some people
fear that the East Jerusalem construction projects will harm the
neighborhood's Arab population and further harm relations between
the Israelis
and the Palestinians
. But who is the government, or the State,
to be building homes for people, or decide
which people can live in which neighborhoods? If the property in
East Jerusalem were privatized, it would then be the owner(s) of
the property who would decide what gets built and who lives there.

Private ownership
of local property in each specific area gives the people who live
there control over their neighborhoods, and control over their own
lives, and thus would make them more likely to take responsibility
for their lives and less likely to act aggressively against neighboring
territories. For example, if the Israeli government didn't interfere
with the Gazans' and others' right to use their
own natural resources
, the Gazans could use the resources to
support their daily living, or for exporting as a means of income.

A question
that is perhaps taboo is whether there should even be a u201CJewish
State
.u201D Or an u201CIslamic State,u201D or a u201CChristian Stateu201D or any
territory devoted to people based on a religion. Some have argued
that the Jewish people needed a homeland to protect them from persecution.
During the mid-20th Century, because of U.S. state-imposed immigration
quotas (and other reasons), many Jews were prevented
from entering the United States, and many fled to Israel as a u201CJewish
homeland.u201D American u201Cimmigration quotasu201D were state-imposed policies
which violated the rights of Americans to freedom of association
and contract, the right of families and property owners to accept
Jewish immigrants without the State's intrusions. Instead, a state-imposed
u201Cforced
integration
u201D brought many European Jews to Israel in the 1930s
and u201840s, eventually turning what had been an Arab majority into
a Jewish majority in Israel.

What many
people don't realize is that persecutions have mainly been committed
by States, or by people acting as agents of State. Throughout the
later 19th Century and 20th Century, Jews had been fleeing Poland,
Russia and Germany because of the u201CPogromsu201D
of the Russian Empire and from the German- and Nazi-initiated Holocaust.

More recently,
former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's forcing Israelis out
of Gaza and parts of the West Bank in 2005, the u201CDisengagement
Plan
,u201D disrupted the lives of everyone in that territory, Jews
and Arabs. It was no different from an u201CApartheid
Plan
.u201D The state has no such moral authority, and has no moral
claim on any land, just as it has no moral authority over any one
individual's life, and the State has no more right or moral authority
to engage in u201Coccupationu201D of certain territories than do private
individuals have to trespass on others' lands. But we should not
blame the actions of the Israeli government on the Israeli people,
who are not responsible for the actions of their government just
as the Palestinian people are not responsible for the violent actions
of Hamas.

My Grandma
Sylvia was lucky enough to leave Warsaw, Poland in 1912 at age 6
with her family, settling in a very welcoming and much freer New
York City. Unfortunately, New York City is no longer that welcoming
nor free, as the politicians' taxaholism and regulatory nightmares
have driven many people and businesses out of the city. Mayor Bloomberg
reflects the mentality of politicians here and abroad for whom short-term
fixes of confiscatory taxation and centralized bureaucratic and
police control of the population is the way to solve problems. Centralized
government is the real problem in New York, which needs to decentralize
into separate, independent cities of Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, etc.
Likewise, Israel's centralized government has defeated the purpose
of allowing Jews to have a u201Csafe
haven
,u201D as the government's oppressive policies not only restrict
Israelis' freedom of commerce, freedom
of the press
, freedom of movement
and the right not
to be forced to serve the state
, but have also provoked Arab
discontent and violence against the Israelis.

Rather than
having a u201CJewish State,u201D how about having a u201Cfree state,u201D or better,
a u201Cfree countryu201D of Israel (and the United States)? Follow Switzerland's
example, where much of the u201Cpublic's businessu201D is handled at the
local (as opposed to federal) level. Hans-Hermann Hoppe has written
about the idea of decentralization
of nation-states into many independent free cities, particularly
in his book Democracy:
The God That Failed
, and his many articles
at LewRockwell.com and The Mises Institute. In The
Rise and Fall of the City
, Hoppe goes even further than
promoting the independence of individual cities, but individual
households as well:

Households
must be declared extraterritorial territory, like foreign embassies.
Free association and spatial exclusion must be recognized as not
bad but good things that facilitate peaceful cooperation between
different ethnic and racial groups.

Such a change
of decentralization, in addition to privatization and capitalization,
is exactly what Israel needs, setting an example for the people
of Iran, Iraq, and other countries (and the U.S.) to follow.

Decentralization
also reduces the possibility that Israel could initiate a war
with Iran
. I am also anguished by the Big Government neoconservatives,
whose suggestions
of bombing Iran have been based on false
propaganda
. Short-term, present-oriented thinking is a common
trait of the American neoconservatives, who have been supporting
the U.S. government's expansion into foreign lands to force transitions
from theocracy
to democracy
among the Islamic states as though that will in
some way protect Israel, despite many years
of history
to the contrary.

Unfortunately,
the neoconservatives
have a blind religious faith in the power and effectiveness of the
State. In clinging to military industrial complex socialism and
bureaucracy, the neocons support the U.S. government's interventions
and foreign entanglements with other governments, vicariously playing
the role of u201Cdo-goodersu201D in a cops-and-robbers fantasy world in
the name of protecting the U.S. and Israel. It is just as immoral
to seize private wealth from American Muslims, Christians and Atheists
for redistribution to Israel as it is immoral to seize private wealth
from American Jews for redistribution
to Muslim states such as Egypt, Jordan and Pakistan.

Like the left,
the neocons have redefined u201Cpatriotismu201D as meaning not love of
one's country but love of the State, and that is also
the prevailing attitude
in mainstream Israel. It just seems that the neocons have an inability
to engage in actual long-range planning that takes into account
possible future consequences of the policies they support, and prefer
to identify with that power of armed officialdom, force and monopoly.
If one recognizes the neocons' love of State for what it is, then
one can see that they certainly seem to have more support for the
Israeli
government
than for the Israeli people.

Just as the
American Anti-Federalists have been the winners of the ideological
and practical debate for over 200 years, if there ever were Anti-Federalists
in Israel, they'd be right, too. Given that the main causes of civil
strife have been centralized States, the real path to peace in Israel
and the Middle-East (and the U.S.) is through privatization and
decentralization.

Scott
Lazarowitz [send him mail]
is an anguished Jewish American, and a commentator and cartoonist
at Reasonandjest.com/blog.

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