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March 30, 2002

More than qualified Jim Henley, my favorite libertarian isolationist, has an outstanding post on the current situation in the Middle East, partly taking off from my exasperated dismissal of the Saudis earlier this morning.

Explaining why he favors unilateral Israeli separation from the Palestinians, he writes:

It means buying out the settlers who will be bought and abandoning the ones who won’t. It means compensating the refugees of 1948 and 1967 who will be bought and washing one’s hands of those who won’t. It has to include dismantling the network of roads and checkpoints that make “Palestinian” territory a semitic bantustan, and abjuring fortifications along the Jordan river or it isn’t really separation. It leaves the mess of Jerusalem to deal with.

But it gives the Palestinians a real state and forces them to make it go. Right now, their failures at nation-building can be blamed on the Occupation, often plausibly. Take that excuse away. And if the Palestinians militarize? People, nations have militaries. The question is what they do with them. Israel has the strongest military in the middle east. If Palestine attacks, have a real war against Palestine. (The truth is, there will have to be at least one. Peace comes when both sides are sicker of fighting than they are of not having what they want and neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians are there yet.) Set up real borders. Secure them. Negotiate with a sovereign enemy, not a captive people.

That’s one part; it’s a long post, well-argued, and worth reading in its entirety. I’m not sure I agree with every point, but I’m quite sure Henley is one of the most interesting writers in the blog world today, and easily deserves as much attention as the current set of stars. [01:11 PM]
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