Doug Casey on the Middle East Conflict and What Comes Next

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by Doug Casey, International Man:

International Man: The Middle East is on the precipice of the biggest regional war in generations.

What’s your take on the situation and where it’s headed?

Doug Casey: People forget that before World War I, when the Ottoman Empire controlled Palestine, there was very little ethnic or religious antagonism. There were small numbers of traditional, religiously oriented Jews in Palestine, but everybody minded their own business and got along.

The problem started with the Aliyahs. Large numbers of European Jews moved to Palestine as an ethnic/religious homeland. It resulted in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

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For whatever reasons, tightly knit ethnic groups seem to want their own homelands. The Kurds, for instance, are spread among Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran but don’t have an official homeland; that’s a big problem for the future. The Rohingyas, who are currently powerless Muslims in generally Buddhist Burma, have the same problem. Many AmerIndians throughout the Western Hemisphere have growing revanchist feelings, 500 years after the European conquest. What’s happening between the Israelis and the Palestinians is not unique.

Before Israel was founded, the Jews were pretty much in the same position as the Gypsies, another tightly knit but widely dispersed ethnic group.

At this point, Israel is a real country. The Jews say, “This land was ours from way back when God gave it to us.” And the Palestinians say, “Even your own Bible says that you don’t have a homeland.”

I don’t want to get into that. It’s insoluble. But, more important, it should be irrelevant to outsiders.

Our main interest is keeping the United States out of this thing. We’re 330 million people. About 7.6 million are Jews, and 3.6 million are Arab. The rest of us don’t want to have anything to do with what amounts to a Biblical domestic dispute that could easily turn into World War 3.

On the one hand, I say “a pox on both your houses” because they’re fomenting World War 3. On the other hand, I wish them both well. It’s just none of our business. For the US to take sides is insane and can only make things much, much worse.

I’m friendly towards Israel, if only because it represents Western values far more than do the Muslims. But I can’t see that it has a rosy future for at least two reasons. One, as Yassar Arafat once said, the Palestinians will win because their most effective weapon is the womb of the Palestinian woman. Demographics are on the side of the Palestinians. Not to mention that the Israelis are outnumbered 100-1 by hostile worldwide Muslims—it has to do with what the Prophet (or Allah) said in the Koran. Two, Israel has nuclear weapons. As can any Muslim government that wants them. The result will be like a knife fight in a phone booth.

International Man: Recently, two solid anarcho-capitalists, Saifedean Ammous, who comes from a Palestinian background, and Walter Block, who comes from a Jewish background, debated Israel-Palestine. Click here to watch it.

How do you view the Israel-Palestine conflict as an anarcho-capitalist?

Is there an ancap solution?

Doug Casey: The Block-Ammous debate is excellent and worth watching. Both of these guys are friends of mine. Walter’s been a friend for 40 years.

Incidentally, I’d say Saifedean won. Walter, who normally takes justifiable pride in being accurate and logical, is just factually wrong in saying that Palestine belonged to the Jews since biblical times. Groups have been stealing land from each other since Day One. How far back do you want to go to establish “group” ownership? Which, incidentally, doesn’t exist. Land should be something that’s individually owned. Nobody has a title going back 2,000+ years, although the Palestinians basically possessed it for perhaps 80% of that time.

At this point, I think it’s an insoluble problem. You just have to let these people work it out between themselves. It’s an unfortunate situation, but there are dozens like it around the world. We don’t have a dog in this fight. It’s none of our business. Actually, the US is the biggest problem in this. As in the Ukraine, the US Government is promising to take a regional dispute and turn it into WW3, with scores of smoking nuclear-bombed cities across the globe.

As far as what’s happened so far, it’s clear that Hamas is at fault. They launched an unprovoked attack on the Israelis. But it should be treated as a crime, not a casus belli with a military solution.

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