From the pogroms to the Holocaust to the ongoing attacks by Arabs, Palestinians, and Muslims today, Jewish people have been oppressed, persecuted, and murdered for being Jewish. Whether regarded as members of a race, a religion, or a culture, Jews have been subject to a kind and degree of vitriol and violence unmatched by any other group in history. Yet, despite the relentless assaults against them, Jews have managed to survive and even to thrive.
One of the ways in which Jews have persisted against all odds is by establishing and maintaining the state of Israel, which was founded in 1948, three years after the Holocaust. Whatever the other justifications for its founding, Israel was to be a home and a safe haven for Jews: a nation in which they could live, think, produce, and prosper.
And Israel became just that.
The Virtue of Israel
The Israelis converted deserts and swamps into centers for science, technology, engineering, and agriculture. They created desalination and water purification systems, pharmaceutical plants, biomedical devices and therapies, and myriad other life-serving values. In so doing, the Israelis raised the standard of living not only for themselves, but also for virtually everyone on the planet. From flash drives to pill cameras to bacteria-resistant textiles to cherry tomatoes, Israelis have rained life-serving values on the world.1
How have Israelis done this? Most fundamentally, they’ve done it by means of reason—by observing reality, conceptualizing their observations, hypothesizing, experimenting, and employing the principles of logic. And what has made their exercise of reason possible? Israelis have been able to think rationally and act accordingly because they have established and maintained a government and a legal system dedicated substantially to the protection of individual rights.
Although Israel is not perfect in this respect (no country today is), its government protects its citizens’ and residents’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Israel is a parliamentary republic with elected officials; an independent judiciary; freedom of conscience and speech; and equality before the law for all people, regardless of race, religion, philosophy, gender, or sexual orientation. In these respects, relative to other countries in the Middle East, Israel is a beacon of reason, freedom, and civility.
And Israel’s respect for individual rights is no accident. . . .
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1. For an indication of the extent to which Israel has produced such values, see “Israel: Growth, Prosperity and Success,” Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, http://www.cija.ca/resource/israel-the-basics/israel-growth-prosperity-and-success/.
2 “Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://bit.ly/RiaD18.
3. Quoted in Efraim Karsh, Fabricating Israeli History: The “New Historians,” 2nd ed. (London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd., 2000), p. 67.
4. For inductive validations of these principles, see Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness (New York: Signet, 1962); or my book, Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It (Richmond: Glen Allen Press, 2002).
5. For one account of why Arabs and Muslims typically despise Jews more than they despise other non-Muslims, see “Why Muslims Hate Jews to the Bones,” Islam Watch, http://www.islam-watch.org/home/79-mirza/859-why-muslims-hate-jews-to-the-bones.html.
6. See “Israeli War of Independence,” Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/1948_War.html.
7. Quoted in Yitschak Ben Gad, Politics, Lies and Videotape: 3,000 Questions and Answers on the Mideast Crisis (New York: Spi Books, 1991), p. 247.
8. Quoted in Gad, Politics, Lies and Videotape, p. 236.
9. See “Palestine National Charter” of 1964, https://web.archive.org/web/20101130144018/http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/pid/12363.
10. Quoted in Gad, Politics, Lies and Videotape, p. 251.
11. Quoted in “The Six-Day War: Background & Overview,” Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/67_War.html.
12. “1967: Egypt and Jordan Unite Against Israel,” BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/30/newsid_2493000/2493177.stm.
13. More than a decade later Israel annexed East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, in 1980 and 1981, respectively.
14. “The Khartoum Resolutions,” Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/three_noes.html.
15. Quoted in Gad, Politics, Lies and Videotape, p. 190.
16. See “Timeline of the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Israeli–Palestinian_conflict.
17. Quoted in Leonard J. Davis, Myths and Facts 1989: A Concise Record of the Arab–Israeli Conflict, edited by Eric Rozenman and Jeff Rubin (Washington, DC: Near East Report, 1989), p. 277.
18. Quoted in Gad, Politics, Lies and Videotape, p. 229.
19. See Warwick Knowles, Jordan Since 1989: A Study in Political Economy (New York: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2005), pp. 118–19.
20. Quoted in “The Father of Modern Terrorism; The True Legacy of Yasser Arafat,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies, http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/the-father-of-modern-terrorism-the-true-legacy-of-yasser-arafat/.
21. Quoted in Arieh Stav, “‘Palestine will rise upon the ruins of the state of Israel’: Yitzhak Rabin,” in Israel and a Palestinian State: A Zero Sum Game?, edited by Arieh Stav (Tel Aviv: Zmora-Bitan, 2001), p. 20.
22. Quoted in Gabrielle Rifkind and Giandomenico Picco, The Fog of Peace: The Human Face of Conflict Resolution (New York: I. B. Taurus & Co. Ltd., 2014), p. 46.
23. Quoted in Caroline Glick, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East (New York: Crown Forum, 2014), p. 78.
24. Fatah (or Fateh) Constitution, Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations, http://www.alzaytouna.net/en/resources/documents/palestinian-documents/97061-fateh-constitution.html.
25. See the video and transcript at Palestinian Media Watch, http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=15714.
26. “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement” (aka Hamas), Lillian Goldman Law Library, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp.
27. See “Rocket Attacks on Israel From Gaza,” https://www.idfblog.com/facts-figures/rocket-attacks-toward-israel/; “Renewal of Rocket Attacks on Israel,” https://www.idfblog.com/blog/2015/06/24/renewal-of-rocket-attacks-on-israel/; “Everything You Need to Know About Hamas’ Underground City of Terror,” https://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/07/31/everything-need-know-hamas-underground-city-terror/; “Hamas TV Children’s Show Encourages Killing of Jews,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57Q8K5TmivM; “Hamas Sermon from the Gaza Strip: Our Doctrine Entails Exterminating the Jews,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7WAoczRV_k.
28. Dennis Prager, “The Middle East Problem,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EDW88CBo-8.
29. For a detailed discussion of how acceptance of faith as a means of knowledge aids jihadists at the most fundamental, epistemological level, see my article “Islamic Jihad and Western Faith” (TOS Spring 2015).
30. All of these essays are included in Rand’s book The Virtue of Selfishness. For an essentialized presentation of Rand’s theory of rights and its grounding in perceptual reality, see my article “Ayn Rand’s Theory of Rights: The Moral Foundation of a Free Society” (TOS Fall 2011).
31. Ayn Rand, “The Nature of Government,” in The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 126.
32. There cannot be a right to forcibly replace an existing rights-respecting, rights-protecting state. Its right to remain derives from the fact that it protects and does not violate rights. In cases of imperfect adherence to the principle of rights, degrees make a difference.
33. See “Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_Palestinian_territories; and “A Question of Security: Violence against Palestinian Women and Girls,” https://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/opt1106/.
34. Caroline Glick, The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace in the Middle East (New York: Crown Forum, 2014), p. 120.
35. Glick, The Israeli Solution, p. xv.
36. Glick, The Israeli Solution, p. xvii.
37. Glick, The Israeli Solution, P. xvii.
38. For another informative discussion of the virtues of the one-state solution, see Eugene Kontorovich’s lecture, “Who is Afraid of the One-State Solution?”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CylGZGAg4Fg.
39. Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual (New York: Signet, 1963), p. 120.