Is There a Statute of Limitations in Libertarianism? Yes, It’s Called ייאוש

In my debate with Jeremy Hammond on the legitimacy of the State of Israel from a libertarian perspective, the center of Hammond’s argument is that a 2,000 year old claim to previously homesteaded land is invalid because there is a statute of limitations in libertarianism.

First of all, he quotes a footnote in the paper that reads as follows.

But are there no statutes of limitation? Surely, two millenia and counting would more than qualify for any statute of limitations. There is such a thing, for the libertarian, as a ‘natural’ statute of limitations: the further back ones [sic] goes into the past, the more difficult it is to encounter any relevant evidence. Since the burden of proof always rests with he who wishes to overturn extant property rights, mere passage of time can serve as a natural limitation.

Sure sounds like there is a statute of limitations according to our paper! But Hammond deliberately leaves out the second part of the footnote to give the impression that we hold that libertarianism does support a statute of limitations, when we hold no such thing. Here is the full footnote. Note the However after Jeremy’s selective out of context quote:

statute-of-limitations

I have requested that Jeremy put up the full quote on his article on his site discussing this very issue. I put it in the comments in any case.

But anyway, there is a statute of limitations in libertarianism, and it is a priori, but it has nothing to do with time passed. It cannot have anything to do with time passed because any measurement of time is a posteriori, whereas libertarianism, or should I say the positive Austrian method of deductive analysis as set forth by Ludwig Von Mises in “Economic Science and the Austrian Method” which leads to normative libertarianism, is a priori.

So what is the statute of limitations in libertarianism? It is when a claim is entirely foregone. When a claim is foregone, that claim cannot be picked up by subsequent generations. Once someone gives up a claim, that claim is gone and can no longer be inherited. In halacha the concept is called ייאוש, transliterated ye’ush. Giving up.

In Judaism for example there is a religious obligation to return lost objects to their previous owners. Lost objects cannot ever be taken regardless of the amount of time passed, unless there is ייאוש by the person who lost the object. It is not time-dependent. It is ייאוש dependent.

Once there is וודאי ייאוש, or definite relinquishing of claims, there is no longer any obligation to return a lost object, and the person who found it can keep it.

Now let’s reason this out deductively, just like Mises reasoned out the business cycle and just like Chazal reasoned out ייאוש in בבא קמא. If a person declares a piece of his property hefker (ownerless) and someone takes that piece of property, the child of that person can no longer claim that piece of property as his inheritance, obviously. Further, if a parent’s property was stolen and the parent has ייאוש, meaning he completely gives up on ever getting the property back, the child’s claim is now null and void and the child can no longer claim the property either, even though the property was lost unjustly in the first place.

If we now enlarge the sample size, do Mexicans have a claim on California and Texas? No, they do not, because Mexicans have given up their claims entirely. I don’t hear of any Mexicans claiming these places. Do Native Americans have a claim on their stolen land? In that case I am not 100% certain because I am unfamiliar with Indian tribes, but in the event that they have given up any hope of ever getting their stolen land back, then subsequent generations cannot claim it back either.

So, have Jews ever given up their claims to Judea/Israel/Palestine? No, not ever. We have never had any ייאוש regarding our eventual return to our homesteaded land. Not for a single generation. Our claims are reinforced every single day of our lives without exception and we are in fact commanded never to give up our claims. This is inherent in our mandated belief in the גאולה, the redemption of the Jewish People by the משיח at whatever point in the future and the ingathering of the exiles, which in fact has already happened.

Have some Jews given up their claims? Certainly. Have some Jews experienced ייאוש? Absolutely. Most of those Jews are no longer part of the nation. They are gone, assimilated, kaput. Many Jews have not had ייאוש, including yours truly. If and when a Jew who has given up his claims to his homeland marries one who has not, he or she re-inherits the continuous unbroken claim through marriage. Think of the Jewish Nation as one body, like Wolverine or the T-1000. If one strand breaks off and gives up the claim, the core heals and makes the body, the claim, full again. One piece flies off, but if it is found by the core and reabsorbed, the claim is restored through joining back up with the unbroken, whole Nation.

The only thing I need to prove is actual physical descent from the original homesteaders. All land with evidence of previous Jewish homesteading goes to the nearest of kin, which are Jews, whether they happen to practice Christianity or Islam or Judaism or Hinduism it does not matter. Since there is no one Jew who can prove individual ownership of any plot of land, all land with evidence of previous Jewish homesteading goes to the descendants of Jews by shares of stock, whether these descendants call themselves Palestinian or Israeli or whatever.

I can easily prove descent. I have the genes and I have the claim, repeated constantly and never, ever broken. Anyone else who can prove decent also has a right to previously homesteaded land, unless he has had ייאוש. Most Palestinians have not had ייאוש either.

So here’s what it comes down to practically:

Since possession is 9/10ths of the law, any human being sitting on homesteaded land in Israel that has no previous evidence of any homesteading by Jews, gets to stay there. If there is previous evidence of homesteading by Jews, anyone on that land must prove descent from Jews, and if they cannot, they must leave. All people who were expelled from their homesteaded land unjustly in 1948 or whenever, has a right of return. If he descends from Jews, he can return regardless of whether the land he was expelled from was homesteaded by Jews in the past or not. If he is not descended from Jews, he only has a right of return if the land he was on has no previous evidence of homesteading by Jews.

So does a statute of limitations exist in libertarianism? Yes. It is called ייאוש, ye’ush. Jews never had ye’ush, our claim is still valid, and it must be so a priori. All previously homesteaded land in Israel belongs to us by shares, simply because it is impossible to know which Jew owns which plot of land. Shares of stock in previously homesteaded land in the areas currently under the control of the Jewish State, must be distributed to all demonstrable descendants of the Jews that originally homesteaded the land.

As for Har Habayit, that specific land was homesteaded with Jewish money, donated and taxed, on the condition that it be used for the Beit HaMikdash. Any other use of it is a violation of contract. Therefore, according to libertarianism, the Beit HaMikdash, the Temple, must be rebuilt.

 

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Debating Jeremy Hammond on Israel on the Tom Woods Show

I’ll  be debating Jeremy Hammond on the Tom Woods show next week, on the legitimacy of the State of Israel. I will be arguing from a minarchist perspective even though I am an anarcho-capitalist. It will be published on the Tom Woods YouTube channel and I will of course post it here when it’s up.

I don’t think Tom or Jeremy know what they’re in for. I will make arguments that every libertarian has heard before, but never in the context of Israel.

Stay tuned.

More Arab Workers, More Arab-Jewish Business Ties, Less Stabbings

My family that is still in America is worried that I’m going to be stabbed any day now. Maybe I will, but I doubt it. The general reflex when attack waves happen is to clamp down. Arab workers are no longer allowed in my town. That is really bad timing because the community pool just started undergoing renovations, and then the stabbings started, so now the pool is unusable and won’t be finished any time soon because Arab workers may not enter.

The local butcher, Basar HaShomron, is looking for Jews to replace its own Arab workers.

This is when the nationalists start coming out of the woodwork and accusing anyone who uses Arab labor of being a self-hating Jew. And endangering the community.

I shop at the Arabs. There’s a village called Nabi Elias (Eliyahu HaNavi in Arabic) that has little hole in the wall shops of vegetables, eggs, meat, a little 7-11 type Arab Kwik-E-Mart. I don’t buy the meat obviously, but we get eggs and olive oil there, mainly. Sometimes vegetables, though I haven’t lately because of Shmitah and I don’t know where they come from exactly.

Beyond the money-saving, I shop at Nabi Elias on principle. The more business between Jews and Arabs, the less stabbings and attacks in general. This is not the inane Shimon Peres theory that if you give them luxury they stop attacking. In other words if you take money from Jewish taxpayers and give it to an Arab government, everyone will be happy. No no. No peace results from one government giving money to another government. Shopping at the Arabs is based on the common sense theory that business owners want to make as much money as possible, and therefore will protect their businesses and customers from attack.

There are no rock attacks or shooting attacks in the area of the Nabi Elias market because if some stupid Arab kid dares throw a rock at passing cars in the vicinity of shop owners looking for customers, the shop owners will beat the snot out of the kid for ruining business. The rock attacks usually take place around Azun, or between Azun and Nabi Elias on the stretch of road with nothing on it.

So Thursday I was coming back from a meeting in Herzliya and decided to go shopping for eggs. I get 120 eggs at a time for 80 shekels. That’s 66 agorot an egg, because there is no State supervision on them, no minimum price controls to support egg farmers, and no sales tax. Eggs stamped by the State cost a shekel and a half usually, more than twice what I pay. And I eat between 3 and 5 whole eggs a day, so it’s not trivial. I also got olive oil, which is much more hearty than the industrialized Jewish stuff and 33% cheaper.

That’s the usual. Thursday I decided to get something extra. I bought a live chicken and had the guy put it in a box for me. Then I drove home and put it on the balcony. Then I quickly did a rerun of hilchos shechita in the שמלה חדשה, prepared my knife, checked it, got some dirt, shechted the chicken, defeathered it and gutted it, washed it and salted it, and we had chicken soup for Shabbat.

I’ve had my knife sitting in my drawer for years and finally decided to use it. My girls got to see a real shechita and pluck some feathers, and my wife got to do the mitzva of כיסוי דם, covering the blood with earth, for the first time.

Back to the Arab point, a good way to reduce attacks is to promote business. Where there is business, there are less attacks. Not that attacks and murders have not happened around joint Arab/Jewish business, but most happen in no-man’s land where there is no trade going on.

Therefore, just empirically, a good solution to lessening attacks is to buy Arab. It’s understandable if this makes you scared or uncomfortable, and I don’t mean or recommend going over to Shechem and painting the refugee camp red. Within reason. More importantly, the State, both local and national, needs to loosen restrictions against Arab labor, not tighten. If you object to that, then at least the State should get rid of welfare and minimum wage so Jews will do these jobs instead, but the state makes that impossible for Jews so Arabs must be hired instead.

Ultimately, Jews and Arabs should be allowed to build and settle wherever they want and trade and exchange between each other without interference, so that if I wanted to, I could buy land or real estate in Azun, and some Arab in Azun could buy real estate in Karnei Shomron.

The Philistines are bombing Ashdod. We’ll do nothing.

See the video of Ashdod getting bombed 6 times in a minute.

I’ve long since given up on the Israeli government doing the only thing it’s actually supposed to do: Defend its citizens. Everything else it will do – force me to buy their healthcare, force me to buy their insurance, force me to educate my child in its institutions, but it won’t defend us from being bombed.

I don’t expect it to. There is no leadership, and I won’t protest, because it’s not that they CHOOSE to do nothing. They CAN’T actually do anything, so they can’t be blamed.

According to the Israeli government, we are occupiers. So they are justified in bombing us. We can only respond in self defense, since even an evil aggressor has the right to self defense, and as long as we have our Iron Dome, we will keep shooting multimillion dollar missiles at pieces of explosive junk as millions of Jews suffer shock and eventually leave the country.

The only solution is to install Jewish leadership that understands that Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Jerusalem, Shechem, and Hevron are ours, and get the ones that are bombing us out of here. Eventually we’ll do it. For now we’ll have to take the missiles.

 

How can a settler who usurps Palestinian land be a Ron Paul supporter?

UPDATE: TO PEOPLE READING THIS NOW, I NOW NO LONGER AGREE WITH WHAT I WROTE HERE. SEE THE ZERO STATE SOLUTION FOR MY CURRENT POSITION. 

This was a question that came up repeatedly in several comments to the last post. It is a question that warrants a good and thorough answer. Many of the comments were so nasty I didn’t publish them. Some were just mildly hostile and I published those, but there was one comment in particular that caught my eye for asking the question honestly and respectfully. Here is the comment by a woman named Valerie:

I thank you for your support of Dr. Paul; however I do not understand your freedom message when the Palestinians are not afforded those same freedoms. Maybe I am misunderstanding your blogs? Maybe I am misunderstanding the Palestinian cause? Could you please elaborate more on your feelings toward the Palestinians. I believe in your message of freedom and support your message of freedom. I am not coming down on you, but I do believe freedom is for every man, woman and child no matter your ancestry. We are all brothers and sisters in this world as we have only one Father and that is God.

My answer, point by point:

Valerie,

You are correct when you say that everyone has freedom and should not be punished for using it, including my Arab cousins. I respect them as human beings created in God’s image just as I respect any other human being. Let me just be clear on that point first.

Now, I must start out this answer with a two axioms, those are, assumptions I rest my argument on that I assume to be true. If you don’t accept either one of these assumptions, then you obviously will not accept my conclusion. This is fine, since I don’t rely on the world’s agreement to justify my presence in Samaria, or what you call “the West Bank”. Consider this a window into my thoughts rather than an attempt to convince you that I’m right.

So here are my two assumptions:

1) The Bible, what you call the “Old Testament,” and only the “Old Testament,” is the Word of God. (“Old Testament” is actually an offensive term to me but I use it here so we both know what I’m referring to.)

2) The Jews of today are the legal descendants of the Israelites of the Bible, and are therefore the recipients of the legal covenant God made with Abraham in the Covenant Between the Parts. (See Genesis 15) In that covenant, God gave the Land of Israel to Abraham’s descendants for all eternity.

Now, with that in mind, we can continue.

Ishmael, father of the Arab nation, also Abraham’s son, was weeded out of this covenant explicitly by God. See Genesis 17:15-21. He received his own land and it is not the Land of Israel. Arabia is not mine, and I will never claim it as mine.

As a lover of freedom Valerie, I’m sure you also believe in private property rights. Private property is either property you purchased, or property that you inherited. In either case, you have the right to allow who you want in your property, and to exclude who you want as well. Israel, as defined Biblically, which includes where I currently live, is the private property of the Jewish People, as we inherited it from Abraham, who inherited it from its Creator and Owner, God. (Which I spell with an O for all the Jews reading this thinking I’m a plant.)

Before we get carried away thinking I want to expel or kill any and all Arabs living in my private property, let me say that I categorically do NOT. I have no problem with Arabs living here in my land and doing whatever they want. That is, provided that they do not hurt me, or, and this is key, provided that they do not claim that my land is actually theirs.

Let me put this into perspective for a second. Let’s say that a group of illegal Mexican immigrants claimed that Texas was actually theirs and they wanted to take it away from America. Actually, they’d have a much clearer claim to Texas than Arabs have to Israel, because your nation actually DID take Texas from the Mexicans, and fairly recently. You have no Biblical basis to have done that, though still, notice I didn’t use the word “steal”. You “conquered” Texas in an act of war and annexed it, which is legitimate. It’s what nations do when they have power.

Going back to the illegal Mexican immigrants who want Texas back, remember  they are illegal immigrants with no voting rights and no citizenship. Now they start gathering in a group with a supposed national identity. They don’t want to go back to Mexico because well, life sucks there with all the drug wars and no welfare, so instead they name themselves “Texastinians” and they want to establish an independent “Texastine”. So they start killing American Texans and demand the Federal government sit down to peace talks with them on the condition that you agree to give them all of Texastine before any negotiations even start.

Your response would probably be “Get them the hell out of my country and #$%# peace talks, Texas is mine!” And I certainly wouldn’t blame you.

So, my feelings towards the “Palestinians” are the same as your feelings towards the “Texastinian” Mexicans. There are no Texastinians, just Mexicans, just as there are no Palestinians, just Arabs.

You wish the people who call themselves Texastinians would just leave you alone, you don’t believe “Texastine” is a real sovereign nation anyway, and you’d love to just live in peace but if they keep acting like Texas is actually theirs, you want them gone and out. You’d probably kill the worst of them, meaning the leaders of the attacks against American Texans, you’d probably pay the rest of them who would accept the money to leave back to Mexico, and those that wanted to live in peace and be left alone, you’d just let them stay.

The “Palestinian” cause, Valerie, is simply the cause to get Jews out of their God-given land. They have no positive national aspirations. They never have, nor will they ever, actually produce anything. 80% of their GDP is foreign aid. They can’t even have positive national aspirations, because their nation is the larger Arab nation that spans hundreds of times bigger than the Jewish one. They have plenty of places to go if they want to. They can even stay here where I live. But NOT if they claim that my land is theirs.

The only issue we have left to touch on is the issue of citizenship and the definition of nationhood. Theoretically speaking, if confronted with the issue of “Texastinians,” the Federal government could simply give all of those illegal Mexican immigrants American citizenship to try and stop the fighting. This would probably work and would end the whole affair. You could do this because “Americanness” or the reality of being part of the American nation is simply incidental. You call yourselves the melting pot, which is great. Anyone can become a citizen and that’s it. Why can’t that be done in Israel?

Because, Valerie, God did not give Israel to “Israeli citizens.” He gave Israel to the Jews. And unlike “Americanness” which is only incidental, “Jewishness” is essential. The Israeli government can’t simply grant “Jewishness” and call the conflict over. Jews are not a religion. We are, and always have been, a distinct nation.

Just as there are no “Palestinians,” there really are no “Israelis” either. “Israeli” is just a made up term by Jews trying to shed their Jewishness in favor of a new modern national identity under a philosophy called “Zionism” that they even try to incorporate Arabs into by calling them “Israeli Arabs”. That term is absolutely ludicrous. It is a complete contradiction.

The reality is this: There are Jews in the land of Israel, and there are Arabs in the land of Israel. The Jews are the owners of the land, and the Arabs just happened to be here when the owners returned in 1948. What the Jews must do to end the conflict is make it clear that Israel is ours, both to them and the entire world. Those Arabs who are here and agree, are welcome to stay and be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. They of course should not pay any taxes to the Jewish government, nor should they get any benefits at all. If they stay, they should be completely independent, without voting rights just as non-Americans in your country don’t have voting rights.

Those Arabs who are here and disagree that the land belongs to the Jewish People, however, must be paid to get out. Those who are here and disagree to the point of fighting me over it with weapons, they must be destroyed, just as you would kill anyone who barges into your private property with a gun.

Israel is the private property of the Jewish Nation. Without private property, there is no freedom.

You say:

I do believe freedom is for every man, woman and child no matter your ancestry. We are all brothers and sisters in this world as we have only one Father and that is God.

You are right. Freedom is for everyone just like you said Valerie, regardless of ancestry. And we are all brothers and sisters and have one Father and that is God. That one Father gave me the Land of Israel as my nation’s private property. And if you believe in freedom, you can’t do whatever you want on someone else’s private property.

Therefore, I am a freedom-lover who lives where I live. Because it’s my land given to me by God Himself, and not anyone else’s.