e Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law
ISSN: 2338-7602; E-ISSN: 2338-770X
© 2016 e Institute for Migrant Rights Press
e authors wish to thank Steve Kahn, Buzz Lorch, Michael Makovi, Joel Kirsch and
Gustavo Perednik for helpful comments on an earlier dra of this paper. e usual
proprieties apply; only the authors are responsible for all errors and infelicities.
thE lEGal status of thE statE of
a liBErtarian aPProaCh
Walter E. Block
Joseph A. Butt, S.J. College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans
Alan G. Futerman
Independent Scholar, Rosario, Argentina
Independent Scholar, Karnei Shomron, Israel
At bottom, for the libertarian, the issue of justice in the Middle East regarding
the Jews and the Arabs, Israel and Palestinians, comes down to private property
rights. Murray Rothbard's War Guilt in the Middle East takes the position that the
Arabs were and are the proper owners of the terrain under dispute. We oer the
very opposite point of view, but based on the very same libertarian principles
employed by Rothbard. Our main criticism is that this author does not go far
back enough in history in his analysis nor does he correctly analyze the histori-
cal record in the period before and aer the creation of the State of Israel. us,
we provide a case for the existence of Israel as a state from a libertarian legal
Keywords: Libertarianism, Private Property Rights, Israel, Palestinians, Legal eory,
III Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law 435-553 (June 2016)
Block, Futerman, & Farber
Is the government of Israel justied? Not from the Rothbardian an-
archo-capitalist point of view. e Israeli government engages in tax-
ation, which is a polite word to describe the; it has a military dra
which amounts to forced labor; it also demands the monopoly right to
dispense justice, and will initiate violence against innocent providers of
this service who might dare to compete with it.1 Of course, every other
government on the face of the earth (with the exception of compulsory
service in the armed forces) violates rights in this manner. ey are all
therefore equally guilty from the perspective of libertarian anarchism.
us, given that the Israeli state is not justied, this applies to all other
nations on earth as well.2
1. In the view of Murray N. Rothbard (emphasis added by present authors):
For centuries, the State (or more strictly, individuals acting in their
roles as ‘members of the government’) has cloaked its criminal activ-
ity in high-sounding rhetoric. For centuries the State has committed
mass murder and called it “war”; then ennobled the mass slaughter
that “war” involves. For centuries the State has enslaved people into its
armed battalions and called it "conscription" in the “national service”.
For centuries the State has robbed people at bayonet point and called it
“taxation”. In fact, if you wish to know how libertarians regard the State
and any of its acts, simply think of the State as a criminal band, and all of
the libertarian attitudes will logically fall into place.
M N. R, F A N L 56-57 (1973).
2. For the anarcho-capitalist case against all governments, see Terry Anderson
& P.J. Hill, An American Experiment in Anarcho-Capitalism: e Not So Wild,
Wi ld West , 3 J. L S. 9 (1979); Bruce L. Benson, Enforcement of
Private Property Rights in Primitive Societies: Law Without Government, 9 J.
L S. 1 (1989); Bruce L. Benson, Customary Law with Private
Means of Resolving Disputes and Dispensing Justice: A Description of a Modern
System of Law and Order without State Coercion, 9 J. L S. 25
(1990); Walter E. Block, Anarchism and Minarchism; No Rapprochement Pos-
sible: Reply to Tibor Machan, 21 J. L S. 91 (2007); Walter E.
Block, Governmental Inevitability: Reply to Holcombe, 22 J. L S.
667 (2011); Walter E. Block & Michael Fleischer, How Would An Anarchist
Society Handle ChildAbuse?, LR. (Oct. 13, 2010), http://www.
lewrockwell.com/block/block167.html; Doug Casey, Doug Casey on Anarchy,
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