Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Yitzhak Benbaji"

Titel: Kantian Rights and the Zionist Settlement in Palestine
Autor: Yitzhak Benbaji
Seite: 165-189

Zionism aimed to establish a national home for Jews in Palestine. It involved settlement of Zionist Jews in the region, despite facing resistance from many local Arabs. Was the unilateral Zionist settlement morally permissible, or was it an instance of wrongful colonialism? Three objections will be discussed here and they all stem from the Kantian ethics of state-building and the minimalistic conception of statehood that follows from it. According to the ‘neutralist objection’, the establishment of a national home is not a just cause for a state building project. The ‘cosmopolitan’ objection argues that unilateral settlement is permissible only in extreme circumstances and that typically, it violates the locals’ right to self-rule. Finally, the imperialist objection argues that Zionist unilateralism exploited the wrongful colonial rule to which Arab Palestinians were subject. I will show that no Kantian objection to Zionism is decisive.

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