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Emet m'Tsiyon

Monday, June 13, 2005

Political Philosophy on Retreating from a Nation's Lands

The current Sharon/Peres regime in Israel wants to retreat from areas that were part of the ancient province of Judea, part of the heritage of the Jewish people. This land moreover was recognized in international law as part of the Jewish National Home based on the ancient Jewish connection to the Land of Israel. What does political philosophy have to say to such a plan?
Jean Bodin is one of the greatest early modern political philosophers. He and another political philosopher, Claude de Seyssel, state specifically that a king must not give away the domain --the territory-- of the state.

Claude de Seyssel, in his Grand'Monarchie de France (1519) "... analyzes the triple restraint on the royal will: religion..., justice, which provides for the independence of the judges, and 'civilization,'" that is, the body of customary law and morality of the state, "or respect for fundamental customs, which prevents the King from giving away his domain." [= qui empêche le Roi d'aliéner son domaine] p17

Jean Bodin wrote in The Republic (1575):
"...the King cannot go against divine and human laws. He cannot break the fundamental laws, nor give away the domain of the state" [= ni aliéner le domaine de l'Etat] p27

The quotations and page numbers above are from:
Jacques Droz,
Histoire des Doctrines Politiques en France (Paris: PUF, 1969)

On the related issue of disobedience to the will of the Sharon-Peres regime, two other early modern political theorists affirm:
"...the obedience due to the sovereign is only legitimate to the extent that he makes his actions conform to the supreme interest of the nation."
by the authors of Vindiciae contra Tyrannos (1579) --Philippe de Plessis-Mornay and Hubert Languet in Droz, p23

[Readers will note that the recent Israel Supreme Court decision on the matter is not taken seriously as a legal or judicial decision, since this court is commonly viewed with disdain, almost as much as the highly politicized and prejudiced "International Court of Justice" at the Hague, many or most of the members of which are appointed by tyrannical states. The Israeli Supreme Court nearly always takes the side of hostile foreign powers on matters of state and diplomatic issues.]

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