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OpinionIsrael at War

Objectivism and Israel’s right to defend itself

Ayn Rand’s philosophy holds that every nation, like every person, possesses an inherent right to exist and defend its citizens.

Ayn Rand, the founder of Objectivism. Photo: public domain
Ayn Rand, the founder of Objectivism. Photo: public domain
Steve Rosenberg
Steve Rosenberg
Steve Rosenberg is principal of the GSD Group and board chair of the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He is the author of Make Bold Things Happen: Inspirational Stories From Sports, Business and Life.

In the unyielding battleground of ideologies, the relentless assaults by Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist group, on the democratic bastion of Israel, demand a staunch defense of the principles that uphold the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, with its unwavering emphasis on individual rights and reason, provides an unassailable foundation of support for Israel’s unequivocal right to self-defense in the face of terrorist aggression.

Objectivism asserts the sanctity of individual rights, but it also holds that every nation, like every person, possesses an inherent right to exist and defend its citizens from harm and terror. Israel’s status as an independent democracy is not up for debate—it is a sovereign nation founded on the principles of democracy, freedom and justice. The recent atrocities committed by Hamas aimed at Israeli civilians were not merely an attack on a nation. They were an assault on the very essence of individual rights and human dignity. Objectivism unequivocally affirms Israel’s right to exist and, by extension, its right to defend its citizens from terrorism.

The media’s role in shaping public opinion is pivotal, but it often falls prey to biases and manipulations. Objectivism demands intellectual independence, urging individuals to dissect the media’s narratives critically. In the case of Israel, media outlets have, time and again, failed to portray the situation accurately. They downplay or ignore the constant barrage of rocket attacks on Israeli cities, focusing instead on the Israeli response to these heinous acts of terrorism. We’ve seen this most recently in The New York Times and other nefarious reporting by media outlets, including The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy calls for unapologetic reason in the face of distortion. It urges us to challenge the selective narratives and biased reporting that vilify Israel, focusing on the objective truth: Israel is defending its citizens against terrorism. Objectivism teaches us to question the media’s credibility and to seek out reliable sources that present the unfiltered reality of the situation. Many people could learn valuable lessons taught in Objectivism and how it relates to the world—particularly in this instance of terror vs. good.

Unfortunately, anti-Israel lies have festered not only in the media, but have become rampant on college campuses and in corporate workplaces and social settings. Imagine for a moment if, after the murder of members of any other minority community, those who stand against that community were celebrated as heroes. Or imagine if, on Sept. 12, 2001, we allowed Al-Qaeda to march through the streets of New York City. How long do you think any rational human being would have allowed that to occur? The answer is not for one second.

Objectivism, which in and of itself is an atheist belief using reason as its sole means of knowledge, champions individualism, emphasizing the sovereignty of the individual and their right to live free from coercion and violence. In the context of Israel facing relentless attacks, the principle of individualism underscores the importance of peace through strength.

Israel’s proactive measures to neutralize threats and protect its citizens align with the Objectivist belief in the right to self-defense. Self-defense is not aggression but a manifestation of the moral duty a government has to protect its people from terrorism. While there was clearly a major security failure on Oct. 7, the current and upcoming response by the IDF will restore order and moral clarity in this battle of good vs. evil.

However, this emphasis on individual rights, reason and self-defense is universal in their applicability. These principles can and should resonate with people from diverse backgrounds, beliefs and ideologies, including the varied religious practices within Judaism. The focus on individual rights and rational thinking within Objectivism makes it accessible and relevant to people regardless of their specific religious beliefs, reinforcing the idea that its principles can be applied universally to support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist attacks.

Objectivism does not negate the suffering of innocent Palestinians caught in the crossfire. It advocates for a peaceful resolution but not at the expense of Israel’s security, and certainly not in the face of the memory of the innocent people murdered on Oct. 7. Objectivism encourages the pursuit of peace through negotiations, diplomacy, and, when necessary, the decisive use of force to eliminate threats to individual freedom.

In the face of terrorism perpetrated by Hamas, Objectivism stands as a beacon of moral clarity. It reminds us that Israel’s fight is not just a geopolitical struggle. It is a battle for the preservation of individual rights, democracy, and, most importantly, human dignity. By embracing Objectivism’s principles—upholding Israel’s inherent right to exist, challenging distorted media narratives and supporting the pursuit of peace through strength—individuals can champion the cause of freedom and stand with unwavering resolve beside the democratic nation of Israel in its fight against terrorism and hatred. In this, we must never waver.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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