Beyond Nationalism

The Atlantic has reposted an interview it conducted in 1999 with the late Edward Said. It's worth reading for insight into his political views, which sometimes seem to be caricatured more frequently than they're described. Said could be prickly and he could be wrong, but he had a more inspiring vision for the Israeli-Palestinian future than you'll find in official circles on either side of that awful wall:

Said: The genius of the South Africans was that they said, "One person, one vote, and let's have a truth and reconciliation commission."

Atlantic: That is not a two-state solution.

Said: No, it's not a two-state solution. I don't myself believe in a two-state solution. I believe in a one-state solution.

Atlantic: Well you've changed ...

Said: Of course I've changed. Reality has changed. Consider the fact that there are now a million Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, who constitute about twenty percent of the Israeli population. They have no interest at all in moving to a Palestinian state because they are in places like Nazareth and Haifa, which is where they belong. Why should they go to the West Bank? There are now Jews and Arabs on every inch of this tiny little country called Palestine, living next to each other and hopelessly intertwined. And how can we talk about anything unless we say something about the settlements, where they're still taking land --

Atlantic: Barak has put a freeze on settlements.

Said: Okay, but there are a lot there. Listen to what I'm saying. I'm saying, let them all stay. But first of all, give the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens the rights of citizens, and let Israel become a state of its citizens and not of the whole Jewish people.

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  • Warren||

    Perhaps this vision would get more traction if the US would stop pumping guns and bullets into the area.

  • ||

    He's a romantic, I'll say that for him.

    Would we be breaking new ground by arguing that that a state should morph to include people who are citizens by virtue of occupying a given area of land? I mean, citizenship in most countries is an ethnic matter irrespective of physical location. Citizenship in the United States is a matter of signing onto a set of ideological premises (maybe simplistic, I'm off the cuff here), and is specifically not a matter of ethnicity.

    What is Said saying should be the basis for Isaeli citizenship? How do you reconcile under one state government the drastic differences in ideologies between the Palestinians and the Israelis?

  • Jesse Walker||

    Jason: The sanest versions of the one-state proposal that I've seen adopt a federalist model. Israelis and Palestinians would have a hard time getting along within a strongly centralized unitary state. The Swiss approach, by contrast, would be more workable.

    One advantage to having a single confederation rather than two states is that it makes it easier for the two populations to trade and thus grow interdependent. With time, that could erase the more drastic differences -- or, at least, create some new interest-group polarities that don't fall entirely along ethnic lines.

  • ||

    Oh, I agree that if you could hold folks together for long enough to allow interdependencies to form, you are on your way. I'm wondering about the fundamentals here. The self identification of each person is what matters. When the identification for a Palestinian or an Israeli becomes strong enough, you are asking for trouble if you create a single regulatory body to manage the interests of both.

    I've always thought it was interesting that both parties have created an ethnicity out of thin air, and the defining characteristic of each is its opposition to the other. I suspect that modern Israelis have about as much in common with the people of David as I do with my mother's German relatives. Similarly, I don't think you would have anybody who self identified as a Palestinian in the modern sense before the state of Israel came into existence.

    My feeling is that there is a natural pace for voluntary political cooperation that you can't force. I am imagining proposing to the Hungarians in 1988 or so that they join into a cooperative government with Moscow. I'm not sure you could make things federalist enough. I have always envisioned an ethnic/ideological separation under two states, with the hopes that something on the order of a regional EU could evolve eventually.

  • ||

    A thoughtful, thorough, and sympathetic criticism of the one-state idea, with some links to arguments in its favor, is at:

    http://headheeb.blogmosis.com/archives/014766.html

  • Hovig John Heghinian||

    I'm not sure his interview is as illuminating as one might wish to believe. In it, Mr Said mentions something I've also heard rumored elsewhere: Perhaps Jewish Israelis don't want Palestinians in their state any more than Palestinians want to participate in it. For example, I've heard the fear that Palestinians may become a majority. It might be that Edward Said wanted exactly that outcome.

    This is not to say I believe Edward Said thought one thing or another, that I believe Jewish Israelis believe one thing or another, or that I believe one solution is better than another. This is merely to point out that this single opinion of Said's cannot be generalized and inflated to suggest therefore that he was a reasonable and logical person. Given the many writings he has penned since 9/11, I am not easily swayed to the cause that he was more reasonable than his "charicatures" make him seem.

    But let me unsheath my blade: I'm not sure how within this new reformation of Mr Said to fit his characterization of Rachel Corrie's death as murder. It makes no sense to me that Mr Said would push for a "one-state solution" yet simultaneously excoriate the Israelis for their "settlement-building." If it's one state, can't Israelis build settlements anywhere within it? How can it be that Said can believe in a one-state solution, and think it's folly for Palestinians to believe in a state at any cost if he also believes Israel is an "occupier" (of what? its own one-state?), and that Palestinians must "press on with resistance and liberation," in the same artitle calling GW Bush moronic?

    I'm also unsure if a reasonable person can reasonably call Giuliani a racist, or simultaneously say America is to be chastised for being incapable of a "serious, systematic political challenge to the dogmas of what are referred to as the opportunities of a free market." It's unclear to me how much reason is carried in the mind of a man who says GW Bush is led by Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and Karl Rove, in that order, then continuing along to say America's actions in Iraq are the equal of Hiroshima, and punishable by the Nuremburg Laws.

    But this game tires me. The interested reader may find Mr Said's online writings compiled at EdwardSaid.org. I look forward to hearing from others their impressions of how the interview referenced at top might fit, or fail to fit, into the rest of his corpus of opinion.

  • ||

    Said said, "There are now Jews and Arabs on every inch of this tiny little country called Palestine..."

    Funny, I have never heard of a country called Palestine.

  • joe||

    "If it's one state, can't Israelis build settlements anywhere within it?" Because it's not one state. The settlements are an attempt by Israel to incorporate land from (would-be) Palestine into Israel. Said specifically says that, in a one-state situation, the settlements could stay.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Thanks for the link, Nicholas. Here's another:

    http://bostonreview.net/ndf.html#Binationalism

  • ||

    Any binationalist out there:

    I don't understand the nature of the proposal. Is the idea to incorporate all of Israel and the occupied territories into a binational Isaraelistine, or is the idea to take the occupied territories only and create a binational area out of just that somehow?

    In reviewing the primary case and some of the rebuttals from Jesse's link, there seems to be a lot of confusion on this point. Said specifically indicated that Israel would not be a Jewish state, which was my understanding of the position. Rebuttals seemed to indicate that Israelis *in the settlements* would become oppressed minorities.

    I'm lost.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Is the idea to incorporate all of Israel and the occupied territories into a binational Isaraelistine, or is the idea to take the occupied territories only and create a binational area out of just that somehow?

    The former.

  • ||

    I think the unitary state might have some merit.

    Why should Israel be a Jewish State? Why should Saudi Arabia be an Islamic state?

    So I think what needs to happen is that the Saudis should go first and show us how it is done.

    There are Christian States in the world. There are Islamic States in the world. There are Buddhist states in the world.

    Why not a Jewish state?

    When Saudis allow Jews full citizenship the Jews should consider a secular state where any who wish can come and go as they please.

    As to the wall. Can a state protect itself from unwanted migrants who are not citizens? The migrants were at one time citizens of Joran until Jordan revoked their citizenship. The ex-Jordanians are not an Israeli problem. They are a Jordanian problem.

  • ||

    Did I mention that there is a wall around Gaza? The murder/suicide bombers do not come from Gaza.

    Tell me again why you object to a wall?

    The way it is designed large sections of it can be moved without excessive difficulty.

    Settlements and walls are not the problem. The problem is the Islamic fascist desire to destroy the Jews. You figure out how to square that circle and all the rest are easy.

    You might also note that the Palestinians don't seem to be able to get along with any one. Jordan - Black September. Lebanon - pre 1982. And now the territories. You don't suppose it has something to do with an error in the Palestinian's fundamental approach do you?

    BTW the Jews are not going to give up their homeland so easily. Some of them still remember WW2. Their confidence in National and International institutions is much less than solid. Promises and international guarentees do not have the weight with them that they might have elsewhere. Some of their memories go back to Munich 1938 even.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Tell me again why you object to a wall?

    For a number of reasons, but mostly because it cuts through people's property, expropriating what's rightfully theirs.

    As for the rest of what you wrote: Hey, I'm really not interested in having those arguments here. Especially since I'm about to knock off for the weekend. But I will suggest that when it comes time to decide whether Israel is behaving justly, we might want to set the bar higher than "Are they better than Saudi Arabia?"

  • Kevin Carson||

    Jason Ligon,

    I think the point of Jesse's federalism in one state proposal is that there wouldn't be any central state apparatus, or at least as little as possible. Most decisions affecting everyday life would be carried out within relatively small, mono-ethnic enclaves. The "state" would just be a skeleton framework with absolute minimum powers, maybe a council of recallable delegates, based on proportional representation. That kind of ethnic canton system worked pretty well in Lebanon until it was destabilized by the Palestinians.


    M. Simon,

    You make it sound like it's some kind of symmetrical situation where two different nationalities that JUST HAPPEN to live in the same area, and for some weird reason one of them just doesn't know how to get along. Do you think it would a similar analysis of, say, the situation in French Algeria would have made sense, if you ignored the fact that the French were colonists in somebody else's land?

    The fact that the Israelis were invited into someone else's land by an imperial power, and set up a state on someone else's land, might also have something to do with it, don't you think? When you occupy and settle another country against the wishes of the native population, and set up a settler regime with overwhelming conventional superiority, they tend to resort to methods of fighting that aren't exactly sporting. I live in Arkansas. I imagine if we were conquered and settled by foreigners, a lot of good ol' boys here would be fighting back with Ryder trucks and letter bombs. I don't condone killing innocent people. But if you ignore the fact that the situation was created by an unjust colonization, you're delusional.

  • thoreau||

    Kevin-

    Any statement that "the Israelis were invited into someone else's land by an imperial power, and set up a state on someone else's land" will be met with the objection that 3,000 or so years ago a property deed was granted atop Mount Sinai.

    Now, you know and I know that religious doctrine doesn't often make good law (beyond the basic ethics of don't steal, kill, rape, lie, etc.). But when you have a state founded on the notion that a property deed granted by God 3,000 years ago is still valid for descendants of the original recipients of said deed, and when the enemies of that state are telling their followers "God will reward you in the afterlife if you make war on Israel", there's just way too much religion going on in the politics of the region.

    I'm pretty sure that if God ever decides to pay a personal visit to the Middle East, He'll have some choice words for the Jews, the Arabs, the handful of Christians, even the Zoroastrians in Iran. Until then, partisans of each side will merrily claim that they're in the right and the other guys are wrong.

  • thoreau||

    I hasten to add that if God ever visits the Middle East in person, he'll also have some choice words for the rest of the world. I'm not trying to bag on Middle Easterners here.

  • Kevin Carson||

    thoreau,

    Remember that "Godman" catoon in Tom the Dancing Bug: "This is the holiest dirt in all of dirtdom."

    Seriously, the dispensationalist view of Israel (that upheld by Hal Lindsey and the footnotes to the Scoffield Bible) is pretty much a whole-cloth invention by Darby in the mid-nineteenth century. Until then, the dominant (orthodox interpretation of the Catholic Church and the mainline protestants was that all the Old Testament promises to Israel were inherited by the Church, as the new Israel. And to be sure, there are an awful lot of passages in the New Testament that bear out that interpretation. The parable of the vinyard (Israel), in which the owner threw out the wicked husbandmen and hired new, righteous ones; Christ's proclamation that he could raise up children to Abraham from the rocks in the street; his promise to the apostles that they would reign over the twelve tribes....

    For that matter, I think some ultra-conservative Orthodox Jews consider Zionism blasphemous, because it attempts to refound the kingdom of Israel before the coming of the Messiah.

    And to top it all off, many of the Social Democratic founders of Zionism were quite anti-religious. I vaguely remember a lecture by a professor of Middle Eastern history in which he mentioned a procession to the Wailing Wall by Zionists eating ham sandwiches. I also remember a scene in the news in which the Israeli gestapo clubbed Orthodox Jews protesting a government desecration of a cemetery.

    Finally, the idea that twentieth century Jews are descended from the inhabitants of Palestine 2000 years ago really goes beyond my powers of suspending disbelief. When you see blond, blue-eyed Jews in Europe, brown Jews in the Middle East, and black Jews in Ethiopia--well, it boggles the mind. It's like Irish Catholics demanding a national homeland on the Tiber because they go to the Tridentine Mass.

  • ||

    The problem you fail to grasp is that the instability between Israel and the Palestinians really does negatively affect us. Our support of the Israelis is one of the reasons they hate our guts so much.

    The only reason Said advocated a binational solution is because it would have resulted in millions of Jews having to run for their lives out of the Middle East. 1/2 the Jews in Israel are already refugees from other Muslim countries. 1/3 of the population of Baghdad earlier in the 20th century was Jewish. Many people in the ME were enamored of the policies of Hitler and Stalin.

    I swear I've read about a mosque in the area that was literally built on the foundation of a synogogue. The fact of the matter is that, when it comes to the land, the Jews are the Native Americans and the Arabs are the Europeans. It would be great if they could share, but it's so not going to happen. And that is because of the Arabs quite frankly. They are not especially tolerant people.

  • joe||

    The idea that the Palestinians would, under a liberal system of democracy and economic opportunity, support "driving the Jews into the sea" is your vision of them, not Said's.

    Though I guess I can understand why it's important to believe that, if you assume no claims against Israel are legitimate.

  • Annoying Old Guy||

    Joe;

    Well, the evidence of history is on the side of attempting to drive the Jews into the sea as anti-Jewish pogroms in Palestine predate the establishment of Israel (and occurred while it was a unified state under the Ottoman empire).

    Also, from where is the regime of liberal democracy and economic opportunity going to arise? Arafat's dictatorship? Hamas' bold leadership?

  • ||

    "he had a more inspiring vision for the Israeli-Palestinian future than you'll find in official circles on either side of that awful wall"

    Only if you have no desire to see "Israel" survive in any form whatsoever. Said's plan was to throw open Israel so that the Jews could be demographically swamped by "Palestinians" devoted to the idea of driving the Jews from the Middle East. If his plan were implemented, what we now know as Israel would soon become just another province of Arafatistan, with Hamas slaughtering whatever Jews did not flee.

  • ||

    Kevin Carson,

    "Finally, the idea that twentieth century Jews are descended from the inhabitants of Palestine 2000 years ago really goes beyond my powers of suspending disbelief. When you see blond, blue-eyed Jews in Europe, brown Jews in the Middle East, and black Jews in Ethiopia--well, it boggles the mind."

    You may be interested in this link in the NYTimes. It's about the genetic links between blonde, blue-eyed Jews as well as brown and black Jews. I believe there are even a few tribes in Africa whose religion is remarkably similar to Judaism and also share genetic markers with white and brown Jews.

  • ||

    I understand why Edward Said cared about this. Why do we?

    It's a serious question. Most of the Americans I've read opining about this over the years are neither Jewish nor Muslim, speak not one word of either Hebrew or Arabic, and have set foot anywhere near Israel only on business trips and two-week vacations, if that. Yet they will debate with great passion and earnest feeling the order of events in 1947-48, the precise intended meaning of the Balfour Declaration, and even the validity of Biblical and Koranic title deeds to various parts of the Mediterranean's eastern shore until the cows come home.

    I'm not making a case for complete indifference here; the United States does have some interests in the Middle East. I just think we ought to keep in mind that this interminable quarrel is fundamentally someone else's problem. They will resolve it, with our help, or they will refuse to resolve it, and we will adjust ourselves to that. The idea that any American should care passionately about who does what with a few acres of dirt on the West Bank of the Jordan River is absurd and a little ridiculous.

  • Kevin Carson||

    linden,

    Thanks for the link. I recall someone else bringing up some mitochondrial DNA stuff a long time ago, under similar circumstances. I'll check it out. Still, though, given the significant amount of conversion to Judaism in the past, and given such wide differences in appearance, I would guess that the common genetic material reflects only a minority of total ancestry in common, with large admixtures of European, African, etc. blood.

    In the late Roman empire, I read in a popular history (Howard Fast's *The Jews*?) a long time ago, there were Jewish quarters in most major cities. And significant numbers of proletarians converted to Judaism for the same reason that Christianity appealed to them. Had not Christianity been a viable alternative, Europeans might be living today under the star of David instead of the cross.

    vivianna,

    If you're referring to the Jews of Baghdad, Yemen or Morocco, your sympthies are quite valid. But you'd be hard put to make the Israelis the "Indians" in Palestine.

  • John Hood||

    For the most part, Jews emigrating to Palestine before and after WWII purchased land privately. They did not force Arabs off their land, so the entire notion of a "conquest" is fallacious. After the Arab nations attacked the country, land was seized, as it was again after the 1967 war. Debate continues as to what to do about that. But it is wrong to compare Israelis to foreign encroachers. The proper justification for the Jewish right to live in Israel has nothing to do with divine land grants thousands of years ago. It is the basic right of individuals to engage in voluntary exchange. Sounds libertarian to me.

  • ||

    John Hood's comment is premature. The Zionist Yishuv (community) purchased a good deal of their land from absentee landowners who had themselves consolidated their holdings under the land laws of the Ottoman Empire. Those land laws were not exactly the stuff of Lockean liberalism. They were more accurately characterized as the stuff of Ottoman feudalism.

    When the Zionists purchased rural land, they purchased it from absentee landlords, pushing the indigenous peasants off of it, and thereby creating economic dislocation throughout rural Palestine. The issue is not as simple as that "land was purchased." The question is whether the purchases themselves met libertarian muster. And I just don't see how they are. Run Nozick's entitlement theory from Anarchy, State and Utopia on the history of land purchases in Mandate and pre-Mandate Palestine and see what you get. You don't zip right to John Hood's conclusion, and you sure don't zip right to a Jewish state.

    Then bear in mind that the Jewish National Fund ruled out Arab ownership of large tranches of land in Israel, and that Zionists explicitly argued for excluding Arabs from their cooperative enterprises all along. That's libertarian? I don't see it.

    As for the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, would it have lasted this long if the Israelis hadn't decided to settle both places by expropriating the Palestinians living there? If the occupation was a defensive manuever in relation to the 1967 war, what sense did it make to move thousands of Israeli civilians there (at Palestinian expense) to hang out in the line of fire? More plausible to think that the settlement policy was was motivated by irredentism, in which case I don't see the libertarianism there, either.

  • ||

    Kevin Carson,

    "The term "Palestine" is believed to be derived from the Philistines, an Aegean people who, in the 12th Century B.C.E., settled along the Mediterranean coastal plain of what are now Israel and the Gaza Strip. In the second century C.E., after crushing the last Jewish revolt, the Romans first applied the name Palaestina to Judea (the southern portion of what is now called the West Bank) in an attempt to minimize Jewish identification with the land of Israel. The Arabic word "Filastin" is derived from this Latin name.3

    The Hebrews entered the Land of Israel about 1300 B.C.E., living under a tribal confederation until being united under the first monarch, King Saul. The second king, David, established Jerusalem as the capital around 1000 B.C.E. David's son, Solomon built the Temple soon thereafter and consolidated the military, administrative and religious functions of the kingdom. The nation was divided under Solomon's son, with the northern kingdom (Israel) lasting until 722 B.C.E., when the Assyrians destroyed it, and the southern kingdom (Judah) surviving until the Babylonian conquest in 586 B.C.E. The Jewish people enjoyed brief periods of sovereignty afterward before most Jews were finally driven from their homeland in 135 C.E.

    Jewish independence in the Land of Israel lasted for more than 400 years. This is much longer than Americans have enjoyed independence in what has become known as the United States.4 In fact, if not for foreign conquerors, Israel would be 3,000 years old today."

    Tada.

  • Irfan Khawaja||

    It would not have been "impossible" for Jews to immigrate into Palestine. There were places were immigration/appropriation would have been uncontroversial, places where the moral boundaries were blurry, and places where immigration/appropriation was problematic. (Rural immigration was probably more problematic than urban.) So there is no one answer to the question of whether immigration was permissible.

    But in the "impermissible" category, while it overstates things to say that Jewish immigration/appropriation was an "invasion," it doesn't overstate things to say that it often violated the rights of indigenous Palestinians.

    It seems to me that the better bet for Zionists would have been to encourage immigration into the US, not Palestine. Is there any particular reason why Palestine had the obligation of absorbing vastly more European Jews than did the US? There was no real need to "foment revolution" against the Ottomans; it would have made more sense to "foment revolution" against the 1924 immigration act that kept Jews out of the US right through the Holocaust.

    I agree it's not fair to say that the Zionists literally "invaded" Palestine, but the point is, while John Hood may not have mentioned a Jewish State...surely the relevant point is that the Zionists did! They went to Palestine *in order to create* such a state and explicitly said so for decades. To the extent that such a state violated Arab rights (and it did), again, while we don't have a literal invasion in the military sense, we do have rights-violation.

    And as to Locke on Islamic suicide bombers, I agree with Hood: he would have condemned them, as do I. He also would have condemned the Zionists on precisely the same grounds. Lest we forget, the Irgun, the Stern Gang, Gush Emunim, and Kach were all Zionist/Israeli terrorist groups, some of whose members attained fairly high positions in the Israel government (Menachem Begin?). And to bring things into the present, we're dealing with an Israeli government whose ranking ministers (e.g. Benny Elon, the late Rehavam Zeevy, etc.) claim the right to expel the entire Palestinian population from the West Bank and Gaza Strip--with the eager acquiescence of "libertarian" clowns like Dick Armey. I think it's about time that libertarians start looking at things like that, and stop pretending that our sole obligation is to condemn Palestinian terrorism while turning a blind eye to everything else.

  • joe||

    If not for foreign conquerors, Carthage would be approaching 3000 years old. If not for foreign conquerors, the Pennacook nation would still control most of New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts. To the extent that their ancestors' suffering can be traced to those conquests, the conquerors (or their descendants) have a duty to alleviate that suffering in a reasonable manner. (The more recent the conquest and suffering, the greater the duty, ahem, ahem.)

    John Hood, the response of an injured party to a crime, whether turning the other cheek, proposing an honorable duel, or slaughtering the family of the criminal, is of no relevance when judging the crime itself. The Palestinian resistance would be no more or less legitimate if they lined up in neat ranks in open fields and fired volleys at Israeli airfields.

    Annoying Old Guy, you may or may not be right about the intractability and universality of Palestinian antisemitic exterminationism. But my point was that Said did not share your belief in that intractability, and thus it is unfair for you to accuse him of wanting to see the Jews driven into the sea. He wanted to see them living peacefully and respectfully alongside Arabs, and thought a one state solution was the way to make it happen. You can honestly disagree with his opinion, but please don't distort it.

  • ||

    I am likely to respect the position of the antagonist whose operatives target enemy combatants and maintain some degree of civilized behavior in a dangerous place.

    If you spot such an antagonist, let us know.

  • John Hood||

    Joe:

    You are missing my point about the different behaviors of the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Because there are many conflicting claims and much confusion about the "crime" alleged here, sorting out the issue requires evaluating the credibility of the two sides. Their chosen tactics speak to their underlying ideologies and truthworthiness, I believe, which is why I have a hard time believing the assertions of those who massacre old women in buses and celebrate when Jewish babies' body parts are found along the city streets. Pardon me for being so obtuse.

  • joe||

    "Because there are many conflicting claims and much confusion about the "crime" alleged here, sorting out the issue requires evaluating the credibility of the two sides.'

    Or, John, you could reduce your dependence on the two sides' (or, I susupect, your chosen side's) propaganda entirely, learn more about the facts, and make up your mind based on those. In other words, I understand your feelings of antipathy towards suicide bombers, but knock it off with the "enemy of my enemy" nonsense.

    And I think it's reasonable to attribute the use of atrocity as a military tactic by the Palestinian resistance to the asymetry of the conflict. Certainly more reasonable than your assumption of some sort of racial, cultural, or religious inferiority on the part of your friends' enemies. The Irkun blew innocent people up too, you know, but that doesn't seem to have taken too much of a bite out of your support for Zionism. (Mine either, frankly. History sucks.)

  • joe||

    Asymetry does not justify atrocity, yes, absolutely I agree. I did not claim that it did; rather, I claimed that it explained it.

    However, the atrocities committed in the name of Palestinian self determination are irrelevant when considering the worthiness of that cause, just as the atrocities comitted by certain American soldiers in Germany do not invalidate the cause of defeating the Nazis.

    Yes, we need to consider the dirty hands of the players when formulating policy. That's a question of "How?" On the much more important question of "What?" they are irrelevant. Either people have the right to govern themselves, or they don't.

  • Kevin Carson||

    vivianna,

    I don't think I disagree with any of the factual statements in your last post--but what does that have to do with your earlier "Indians" comment?

    If America had been taken away from the Indians two thousand years ago, and a nationalist movement with questionable claims of historical continuity with the ancient "Turtle Islanders" was attempting to settle the continent again today, I could see the parallel.

    If the Israelis manage to hold on to Palestine for the next 2000 years, even I will concede that the Palestinians need to "move on."

    BTW, wasn't the Jewish resettlement of the Gallilee area after the return from Babylon prejudicial to the rights of those Samaritan "Indians" in the north? That area was originally part of the northern kingdom. Although everybody but the lower grades of the peasantry in the ten northern tribes were carried off by the Assyrians, there was still enough native Israelite population contributing to the Samaritan stock for them to have a better claim of Israelite heritage than any other identifiable people in the world. And I'd guess an awful lot of current Palestinian ancestry goes back to New Testament Samaritans. So who are the real Indians here? Quite ironic, given the Zionist penchant for calling the West Bank "Judea and Samaria."

    Samaria for the Samaritans!

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