For your liberty!
James Eyer
Candidate for U.S. Congress District 9

Position Statement: Middle East

Consistent with tenants of libertarianism, I reject the use of force or violence to settle political disagreements. Of course, when government must defend citizens against clear and present danger from an enemy, a military response may be required, for defense. The dispute between the Palestinians and the Israelis is no exception.

Like all people, the Palestinians have a fundamental human right to self-determination and they deserve a safe and prosperous homeland. And, the Israeli government has an obligation to defend its citizens against danger, foreign and domestic.

If nothing else, the Palestinians and the Israelis both must come to terms with the fact the endless circle of retaliation, retribution, and revenge must be broken before significant progress toward sustainable peace is possible.

Unfortunately, breaking that circle requires unlikely circumstances such as Hamas' recognition of Israel's right to exist and removal of restrictions on movement between Gaza and The West Bank that are imposed by Israel. So the unwinnable war of attrition seems likely to continue.

I do not believe that financial assistance from the U.S. will make matters any better, nor do I believe that the U.S. should use its military as part of any “solution.” Furthermore, as a matter of principle; libertarians believe that Congress does not have authority to take money from U.S. citizens -- using threat of force -- so that money may be be sent to foreign governments.

The U.S. should use diplomacy to engage both parties, if both parties want our assistance, because the U.S. does have a large stake in peace in the Middle East. Ultimately, though, the Israelis and Palestinians must work out their own differences.

I implore the Palestinians to reject the use of terrorism and for Israel to be much more judicious about use of military force and to develop robust means to secure its borders to replace its reliance on incursions into the West Bank and Gaza.

rev 2/19/06