Strangers in a Strange Land

by: Phil Maymin

A small movement for freedom begins in one of the most statist countries on the planet.

With Tea Parties all around us, President Obama’s approval at all-time lows and dissatisfaction with government seemingly ubiquitous, you might wonder if this kind of discontent is happening in other countries.

In Israel, one of the world’s longest-lasting bastions of socialism and concentrated state power, the flower of liberty has not yet started to bloom, but seeds are afoot. Boris Karpa, a graduate student of history at Tel Aviv University, is spearheading a libertarian uprising. His Israeli freedom blog is at Karpa agreed to an exclusive interview with the Weekly.

What is the history of libertarianism in Israel?

In general, libertarianism and market liberalism are not a big part of Israel’s history. Aside from an abortive anti-tax party in the 1970s and similar such marginal attempts, there’s precious few libertarian activists in this country. There are several think tanks, however, that do great work promoting libertarian ideas, especially libertarian economics, through seminars, press releases and so forth. I must especially commend the Jerusalem Institute of Market Studies, who focus on the promotion of Austrian economic thought.

Why is it do you think that Jews and libertarianism don’t get along? I would have thought the pair would be a perfect match, with the shared focus on law and justice and freedom. Next week is Passover, the Jewish festival celebrating their exodus from slavery, one of the most libertarian holidays anywhere.

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