Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another U.S. Veto of Palestinian Rights

From the New York Times:
The Obama administration vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Friday condemning Israeli settlement building in occupied territory as illegal, choosing not to alienate Israel and risking the anger of Arabs... But the American ambassador, Susan E. Rice, said the veto should not be misconstrued as American support for further settlement construction, which the United States opposes [!]. The issue should be resolved through peace negotiations, she said, and not mandated by a binding resolution.
What nonsense! Israel has shown no interest in negotiations that take the rights of Palestinians seriously. It hasn't even been willing to halt all settlement construction during negotiations. Its occasional so-called freezes were never more than slow-downs. Keep in mind that the settlements are being built on stolen land. (Also see this.)

The Obama administration, like its predecessors, sure has a funny way of showing it supports freedom and human rights in the Middle East. We can be sure that the Egyptian people and the rest of the Arab and Muslim world is paying attention.


Chris Sullivan said...

"The Obama administration vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on Friday condemning Israeli settlement building in occupied territory as illegal, choosing not to alienate Israel..."

Either it's illegal or it isn't. What Israel or anybody else thinks should be irrelevant if we believe in the rule of law as we claim.

It's baffling to me why those pesky Arabs don't like us.

Anonymous said...


Atlanta Roofing said...

Just because a pack of hyenas says that the settlements are illegal doesn’t make it so, because in fact they are not. Israel has the right to annex the entire West Bank if it wants to since its seizing of that territory resulted from a war of aggression launched by the Arabs. The real obstacle to peace is the refusal of the Palestinians to sit down for real negotiations and ink a peace treaty that would delineate the borders for good. Until then, we only have cease-fire lines. There is no such thing as “the 1967 borders” (and there is also no such thing as a “Right of Return”). The pack of hyenas at the UN have not done their homework and have not studied international law. They should know better. So for once, the Obama administration did the right thing by vetoing this inaccurate resolution. And if you think that it’s going to cause the Arab world to hate America more than it already does, wake up! No matter what the US does, the Arab world will hate us as much as they hate Israel. Therefore, there is no need to try to accommodate them in the vain hope that they will like us more. They won’t.

Sheldon Richman said...

I address the 1967 "Arab aggression" claim in the links. Denial is not rebuttal.

You might make a better impression if you did not refer to your opponents as "pack of hyenas."

iceberg said...

"Israel" is building settlements? As far as I know, and I could be mistaken, is that these are either private individuals or private developers who are building homes. But "settlers" sounds more ominous, as opposed to "people of Jewish descent". So why use the term settler, unless you would be willing to apply it to anyone who decides to build in that region? If someone moved a few miles from their old home, are they now "settlers"?

As libertarians, the only thing that should concern us is whether or not the land is rightfully owned by the homeowner/builder. If someone has a better title, then by all means let's throw the invader out. If this nebulous title stems from some "national" or "ethnic" right to a land, than we are veering from libertarianism and into statolatry.

Talking about vetoed UN resolutions and "illegal settlements" would matter if we thought state-rules were moral and just. But we both know better, so why all the outrage? It's almost as though you have an agenda....

Sheldon Richman said...

iceberg, you are right. You could be mistaken and you are. The American taxpayers pay for those settlements. They are not private. But even if they were, they are still occurred on stolen land -- not land owned by a nation or ethnic group but land owned by identifiable individual Palestinians. Its Zionism that holds that the land belong to "the Jewish People." "Settler" is actually an unjustified euphemism. "Usurper" would be better by far.

Why doesn't your skepticism of the UN extend to the very creation of Israel itself? Do you think that was the result of peaceful private efforts too? Have you read any history?

iceberg said...


In my conservative past, I've read a number of history books about Israel. And as I can see from some of your recent posts, the facts that I have read are in dispute.

As such, I cannot and do not want to pretend to judge which facts are true. Nor do I want to. I don't care for the state of Israel; I only care that the rights of individuals are not violated.

My take on the middle east situation is either the no-state or the 6-million state solution, which amount to the same- each person in the region is sovereign to him or herself.

I'm interested in understanding why you say the American taxpayers pay for those settlements- is this because you equate the military subsidization as that which "allows" the settlements to exist (in the same way that oil-dependence is said to be nurtured by the subsidization provided by having an American empire to "stabilize" the OPEC region). Or are the subsidies more direct?

Do you dispute all claims to land by the Jewish settlers, or just those with superior [individual] Palestinian claims? By issuing blanket statements about ethnic groups, it appears as though you give credence to national notions. If this is not what you mean, then why do you continue to talk on a macro level about UN violations, etc?

FWIW, it's well-known that European Jews engaged in mass land purchases back in the late 19th & early 20th century to buy up arab-owned lands. Are these land purchases being disputed along mutualist occupancy principles?

Sheldon Richman said...

Not "mass land purchases." See this.

Sheldon Richman said...

P.S. I am not a mutualist and you don't have to be to see the problem in the land acquisition. It fails the Lockean test.

Jett Rucker said...

US (taxpayer) guarantees of military supremacy to Israel, abundantly delivered on for the past 30 years: (a) enable Israel to conquer and occupy surrounding territory with ease and impunity; and (b) enable Israel to threaten both neighbors and others with nuclear annihilation at its will.

The parallel aid the long-suffering US taxpayer provides to surrounding regimes is entirely bogus in nature - it is merely (incredibly) lavish bribes to local potentates who have for the moment managed to gain control of the means of (helping Israel) oppress their populations.

Do you think that could be why the Arab masses hate the US? Do you think Zionist control of the media in the US could be what makes their hatred seem so mysterious to us in the US?

iceberg said...


The link you provided goes to a one-sided argument against the state of Israel; the aim of such which I don't have a problem with as an anarchist. I do however take issue with any state claim to a territory (Palestinian, Israeli or otherwise) and an article that apparently is in favor of such an idea.

The very first footnote made it clear to me that the author does not pretend evaluate the situation in an objective light and instead intends to paint the state of Israel with the broadest-strokes possible. I'm genuinely surprised that such an article made it to the pages of the JLS (not that I've read any JLS volumes prior to 2004.)

Sheldon Richman said...

What article did you read? Halbrook is a libertarian, and the article applies individualist, Lockean principles to the land-acquisition question. That's why it was in the JLS, edited by Murray Rothbard at that time.