For Israel and Palestine, There is No State Solution

July 23, 2014 | By | 5 Comments

Palestine & Israel: there is no state solution, except for the “No State” Solution

[Updated Aug. 1, 2014.]

[Edited Aug. 4, 2014]

I love The Onion. Anyone who hasn’t checked out the fictitious reports from this satirical news site is really missing out. Recently, an Onion article was posted in response to the growing wars in the Middle East with the headline: “Everyone In Middle East Given Own Country In 317,000,000-State Solution.” The post went viral amongst people who needed some comic relief to the escalating chaos. Among libertarian-types who question the institution of the state, there is humor here, and something deadly serious too.

If only...

If only…

On the one side, it’s just funny for the absurd tone. I especially liked the ending sentence:

“At press time, reports confirmed the outbreak of more than 90,000,000 new wars across the region…”

On the other side, this is actually something many liberty-minded people honestly discuss, although not exactly the way The Onion puts it.

The idea with abolishing states isn’t about making each person into their own state. That makes no sense. Actually, it’s not even possible, since a state by definition is based on geography, not on a person’s individual body.

duct tape borders

“We need more border control!”

The idea with a stateless world (aka the Free Society) is to allow each person the freedom to form whatever personal associations they wish. In other words, allowing people to decide for themselves with whom they will or will not interact with and be associated with, instead of letting another person or group of people (the state apparatus) decide for them. It’s about people forming associations based on mutual agreements, not on which side of an imaginary line they happen to live on.

Sounds like an extremely radical notion. But is it, really?

The ongoing war between Palestine and Israel is typical of the mindless slaughter that results from the institution of the state. “Operation Protective Edge” is Israel’s latest military campaign against Gaza. Israel’s government says it is in response to the murder of 3 Israeli, teenage boys. So far, the investigation into the murders is not even being conducted as you would expect a murder investigation to be done.

No suspects have been brought in, put to trial, or had verdicts rendered. No warrants for specific people; no examination of evidence.

Various armed groups, some not even Palestinian (such as the Islamic State in Iraq!) have claimed responsibility for the murders. According to the Israeli government, Palestinian group Hamas is responsible.


[UPDATE 8/1/2014]: Officials within the Israeli intelligence and secret police apparatus are now expressing doubts that Hamas was behind the murders in any way.


The state of Israel’s response has been to bomb Gaza into rubble, and then invade with troops and tanks.

So because three people have been murdered on the Israeli side of the line, this somehow means that every man, woman and child living on the Gaza side of the line must pay.

And yes, I’m aware of how Hamas is launching rockets into Israel. I’m also aware of how before any of that was happening, Israel had been conducting raids into the Palestinian territories. It’s a tit-for-tat blame game that will stretch all the way back to 1948 if we actually take time to follow how one act of violence led to another.

The bottom line is that individuals are firing rockets, abducting people and murdering teenagers, but entire cities and nations have to pay the price, and support war efforts against other cities and nations.

  1. Three teens disappear, and are later found murdered.
  2. State of Israel sends in soldiers to randomly abduct Palestinians, shooting a few of them in the process.
  3. Palestinian militants send rockets to hit random Israelis because of anger from point 2.
  4. Israel sends bombs and missiles to kill random Palestinians because of point 1 and 3.
  5. Palestinians fire more rockets and raid across the border to kill random Israeli soldiers because of point 4.
  6. Israel moves into Gaza with tanks and soldiers because of point 3 and 5.
  7. Palestinians shoot at random Israeli soldiers because of 6.
  8. ???

The key word is random. Random people indiscriminately killing other random people because…why? There is a lot of vengeance seeking, but where is the justice?

What would the situation look like if the state of Israel didn’t exist?

What if instead, there was just a land called “Anarcho-Levant” (or whatever people decided to call it), and cities in that land, like Tel Aviv, Gaza, etc. In this land, there are no “Israelis” or “Palestinians,” there are just people. Some of these people are Jewish, some Muslim, others are Christian; there are Bedouins, Arabs, French immigrants, etc.

If a Muslim kills a Jew in this land, then it’s murder. One guy killed another guy, and that’s it. Same if a Christian kills an atheist or whatever the case may be.

In the same way that Bloods and Crips fighting a turf war in a town are the enemies of all peaceful people in the town, Jews and Muslims that want to kill each other in Anarcho-Levant are disrupting the lives of all peaceful Jews, Muslims and everyone else who lives there.

In this land, people may put themselves under different law codes. So, a Muslim may choose to live in a community of other Muslims that follows Sharia, and a Jew may live in a Jewish community that follows Halakha. Atheists or non-fundamentalist Jews and Muslims might live in a mixed community that has some form of “English law” or something else that they have agreed to live under when they move into the community.

Arbitration is how disputes are handled peacefully between states. Why not within states?

Arbitration is how disputes are handled peacefully between states. Why not within states?

If a Muslim has some issue with another Muslim in the fundamentalist community, and it goes to court, they will settle their dispute in a Muslim court using Sharia. If a Muslim from that community has a dispute with someone from the Jewish community, then the law that applies will depend on jurisdiction.

Isn’t this how international issues are resolved, today? If a German travels to Canada and murders a Canadian, he is most likely going to be tried in a Canadian court, under Canadian law. Likewise, if the German commits a crime in Germany and flees to Canada, he is going to be extradited back to Germany.

If the jurisdiction isn’t clear-cut, then what? It seems that the simplest solution would be to have both sides agree to have the case tried under a third-party; a neutral judge, who is mutually recognized as being versed in the laws, not affiliated with either side, and respected for his/her record of impartial judgements. Over time, the precedents of such third-party rulings, combined with local customs and traditions, might build up into a system of “common law” clear to the people living in the area.

All of this is the essence of what some libertarians call a “Polycentric Legal Order” and “Private Law” (in contrast to the “public law” of states).

Without states, the militant people of this land cannot rely on a herd of other people to subsidize all of their murderous instincts.

If a Muslim wants to make a rocket and fire it into a Jewish community, then he had better be prepared to deal with the full weight of law enforcers from both sides that will be coming for him; he’ll be on his own. He won’t be able to shelter amongst people who had nothing to do with the crime and use them as meat shields to drive the conflict.

In the same way, if a Jewish family wants to bulldoze a Muslim farm so that they can build their own house on its spot, they are going to have to figure out how they are going to do this; they wont have the support of an entire Israeli tax base (with the U.S. providing 25% of Israel’s military budget) to fund an Israeli state military that is going to do the bulldozing for them, then patrol around their new home and fight off the original owners who are trying to reclaim their property. It would be a lot more difficult than just setting up a lawn chair and watching the state military go to work.

Even if entire communities band together to engage in violence, they would not have the support of those communities that want to remain peaceful and conduct trade and commerce with each other. With the state, a small group of radicals on both sides enlists the resources (taxes) of everyone subject to their state.

The state allows for and engenders total war

The state allows for and engenders total war

Without the state, militant radicals are left only with their own funds and their own resources, and they become outcasts (or even outlaws) to the great majority of the population that just wishes to live their lives in peace. People that are currently left out of the discussion over rights to land and other issues, like the Bedouin, would actually get a seat at the table, for a change.

Israelis need not be enemies of Muslims, and Palestinians are not the enemies of Jews.

The true enemies of both are those who see human beings through the lens of state association; those who do not see two individuals, one Muslim and one Jew, but instead see only two dupes; one wearing green and black, the other blue and white, tax payers both, each one willing to march and to kill random members of his own species that wear the opposing colors.

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Category: Philosophy, the Free Society

About the Author ()

Jack has been a Liberty activist since 2007. His life experiences have convinced him that establishing a Free Society, based on Private Law, is a necessity for humanity's survival and progression.

Comments (5)

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  1. Znam Svashta says:

    Logical, coherent, moral commentary by the author/blogger. The questions are: Are the combatants (1) reading it ? (2) comprehending it ? (3) giving a damn about the truth? (4) giving a damn about living?

  2. Doug Nusbaum says:

    I Joined the Libertarian Party in 1978. While working on my book, it occurred to me that the core premise of libertarianism philosophy, that humans are rational autonomous individuals is not only not supported by the evidence, but rather almost all observational evidence dealing with neurology, psychology and anthropology falsify that premise.

    In addition, if you look at most human history, there are few exceptions where the following statement is not supported by almost all available evidence. The more effective and larger the central government, the less crime and the fewer homicides there were over any time frame of a decade or more. (please do not embarrass yourself by citing WWI. & WWII)

    However, I welcome specific evidence to the contrary

    • Jack says:

      ” While working on my book, it occurred to me that the core premise of libertarianism philosophy, that humans are rational autonomous individuals is not only not supported by the evidence…”

      I’ve seen a lot of people go back and forth on this idea. It’s one of those never ending debates.

      For me, it comes down to how you define your terms. And because people seldom define their terms, the arguments tend to break down over each side arguing not with the opposing side’s definition, but with what their own definition of the term is.

      “Rational” falls prone to this. For some, to say humans are “rational,” then it means humans make the “correct” or most “economically efficient” choice. For others, “rational” simply means that humans engage in a rationalization process as they make decisions: it doesn’t mean that the choices they make are always “correct,” or in their best interest; it just means that a person will rationalize their action as somehow being in accord with what they reason at the time will most effectively lead to their happiness.

      So, for example, someone is hungry and goes to the vending machine. They can order either a chocolate bar for $1.25, or one of those bird-seed granola bars for $2.

      What is the most “rational” decision for the person to make?

      Some people will say that if the person gives in to their sugar craving and gets the chocolate bar, then this shows that humans “aren’t rational” because they were not thinking of their health, but only what would satisfy their craving. On the other hand, the chocolate bar is 75 cents cheaper. So is it more economically “rational” to get it, sugar craving or otherwise?

      The bottom line is that whatever choice the person makes, they are engaging in a rational thought process either way. Even if they give into the sugar craving and are not making the “healthy choice,” at the time the person felt that they would have a more pleasurable experience by eating the chocolate vs. the bird seed bar.

      What makes them a rational actor is not whether they make the healthiest choice, the most energy efficient choice, or the most financially thrifty choice, but that they make a choice which they feel will somehow improve their immediate condition, i.e. increase their happiness/contentment.

      Looking at it this way, human beings are indeed rational individuals. Human beings have the capacity to act, something that other creatures do not possess. Humans can choose from several possible ends in any given circumstance that may be conflicting, and they can then choose what means to pursue those ends. This makes them actors. If we focus on the idea that human beings are actors, that is the crucial thing.

      “In addition, if you look at most human history, there are few exceptions where the following statement is not supported by almost all available evidence. The more effective and larger the central government, the less crime and the fewer homicides there were over any time frame…”

      I agree with this to an extent, but again, I think we need to define our terms first.

      If you define “homicide” as one human killing another human, then governments engage in homicidal activities through all sorts of ways, and it means that we do in fact, have to include wars.

      Now, given the nature of your comment, and the fact that you feel World War I and II shouldn’t be pointed out, I get the impression you define “homicide” differently. For this part of your comment to make sense, homicide would have to consist in humans killing humans outside state sanctioned activity. So World War I would not be mass homicide.

      Like I said earlier, I think we tend to get hung up on terms and conflicting definitions. If we talked about “humans killing other humans” instead of homicide, and “stealing and destruction of property” instead of using the word “crime,” then this last part of your comment doesn’t stand to scrutiny.

      Now, I said earlier that I actually agree with you to an extent.

      What I mean by this is that when I look at history, I see things like Vlad Dracu’s reign in Wallachia. He was an extremely brutal prince who passed into legend as the basis for the Dracula figure of myth. But the historical ‘Vlad the Impaler’ was actually loved by his people because he was so brutal.

      Not only did he kill thousands of invading Turks and preserve the territorial integrity of Wallachia, but he had a zero tolerance policy for crime in his realm. It was said that someone could leave a bag of gold laying in the middle of the street in a Wallachian town, and weeks later, it would still be there, because if anyone was caught stealing, Vlad’s sheriffs were completely merciless: the thief would be impaled or cut into little pieces, no ifs and or buts, and no acquittal. So, from the perspective of the Wallachian villager who accidentally dropped his bag of gold in the street, this was probably a pretty decent system to live under. Until, that is, this same Wallachian happened to do something Vlad didn’t approve of. For example, if Vlad called up the village muster to go fight a war, and this villager decided he really didn’t want to go to war.

      This sort of “tough justice” was also present in the former Soviet Union. I have spoken with a couple of old Soviet citizens and they confirmed that, in the USSR, crime was extremely rare because people knew the regime would ‘shoot first and ask questions never’ when it came to stealing, rape, etc.

      The thing is, it would be absurd to say that the Kremlin was a benevolent entity that spread humanitarianism. The USSR murdered millions upon millions of its own people directly, and millions more indirectly through its disastrous economic policies.

      The reason that Soviet citizens were relatively safe from petty thievery in the street was not because the Kremlin was benevolent or omnisceant, but because they had no tolerance for anyone disrupting their system. It would be similar if we examined the Sicilian mafia. Sure, in a mob controlled town in Sicily, petty crime would be next to nill, but that was because highly developed, organized crime was finely tuned.

      In other words, you can make the case that if you pay protection to the syndicate, then it’s all worth it because hoodlums aren’t coming around throwing rocks through your store front. But this is only seeing half of the picture. The reality is that you are still paying protection to the syndicate. Is that really the most desirable or reasonable solution? Of course not.

      There are ways to achieve the same results without the infringements on property rights or self determination.

      • Doug Nusbaum says:

        I think that I can safely assume that your background in science is limited to highschool or maybe a freshman college course. When I use the term evidence, I do not mean opinion, but actual evidence as in well controlled experiments that can be reproduced with all of the terms well defined and agreed upon. Since you are not familiar with science you are not aware that scientists who work in the field of neurology, and related fields actually have a common meaning for these terms that you question.

        Please, before responding, do a little bit of research on the subject. Everything you wrote on rationality was just a sort of humpty dumpty speak, and definitely unsuitable for any kind of actual science. Above all, it would probably qualify as “not even wrong” And before you embarass yourself by saying that “not even wrong” does not make sense, at least look it up.

        I never said do not include wars. I said do not cite them as evidence that governments kill a lot more people than humans do. That is not supported by the evidence, and this includes WWII. It would be a good idea if you read and understood what I write before commenting on it. I choose my terms very carefully.

        ” I have spoken with a couple of old Soviet citizens and they confirmed that, in the USSR, crime was extremely rare because people knew the regime would ‘shoot first and ask questions never’ when it came to stealing, rape, etc.”

        Cool. I have a perpetual motion machine, and I just need 100K to build it. Would you invest? I assume that you will consider it, since you think that testimony from people living in a police state gives accurate information about what happens throughout the entire nation. Which also assumes that crimes were reported, and accurately tracked. What have you been smoking?

        You do not have any actual evidence to support any of what you say do you. You are just repeating talking points from some other anarchist web site.

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