Excerpts of an article by Edwin Locke, Ph.D., Professor of Leadership and
Motivation at the University of Maryland, and a member of the board of
advisors of the Ayn Rand Institute, June 2001.
The actions of the two sides are morally opposite.
Spontaneous civilian assaults aside, the Palestinians are the initiators of the
violence – an indiscriminate violence in which they do not care whom they kill,
whether soldier or child.
Israel, in contrast, is acting in self-defense, in retaliation for such
terrorism. And its response is aimed at those responsible for the violence and at
the facilities from which they operate…
The Palestinians are not seeking to gain their freedom – they are unequivocal
enemies of freedom. They, along with the rest of the Arab world, reject the
whole concept of rights. Virtually every Arab country is a monarchy, theocracy
or military dictatorship.
Freedom of speech, property rights, free elections, and the separation of
church and state are almost non-existent. Speaking out against the rulers or
against the Moslem religion leads to imprisonment or death. All attempts to
start competing political parties are ruthlessly crushed.
Israel is the sole country in that entire region that recognizes individual rights. It
is the only Mideast country in which people are free to voice their opinions. The
non-violent, non-PLO-supporting Arab who lives in Israel enjoys far greater
freedom than he would in an Arab nation. It is an utter perversion for the
collectivized, tribalist Palestinians to claim that they are acting in defense of
rights, when their aim is to obliterate rights – the rights of Israelis as well as of
The fundamental goal of the Palestinians is destruction. They WANT their
terrorist attacks to lead to retaliation, so that more of their people will become
terrorists, so that more killing takes place, and so on, in an endless cycle of
violence, resulting in death to as many people as possible.
For example, the response of a father to the suicide-bombing act of his
23-year-old son, which killed three Israelis and injured 93 in downtown
Netanyah last March, was: “I call upon all Palestinian youth to follow in his
…The Palestinians… are guilty of what Ayn Rand called “hatred of the good for
being the good.”
They hate the Israelis not because of their vices, but because of their
virtues – their ability to better their lives by embracing reason, science,
technology and individual rights …
The only way this conflict can be resolved, short of all-out war, is for a
radical change in philosophy on the part of the Palestinians. They need to
choose individual rights and a free society as their core political principle. If
they don’t, they will tragically get their death wish, and will bring about only
Until and unless that change occurs, our Mideast analysts should not
ignore the morally antithetical premises governing the two sides of this conflict.