The result is something more than a book. Cook’s most basic argument, to be found in his final chapter, is that our two nations’ “monolithic belief systems” are based on collective myths that have lost their credibility. He demonstrates his thesis relevant to the current practices of both nations, but for the history and pre-history of the United States he traces these myths to a more inclusive narrative in counterpoint with what might be described as an “unspeakable narrative.”
Appropriately, Cook draws attention to earlier American atrocities that anticipate our nation’s conduct in Iraq--for example the total destruction of the Pequot tribe during the early seventeenth century and the persistent effort through the end of the nineteenth century to disperse native American societies that occupied territory sought by white-European settlers. Most obvious was the so-called Trail of Tears, when approximately 4,000 innocent Cherokee Indians died in transit. As Cook indicates, all this was entirely in accord with the wishes and intentions of our Founding Fathers, Jefferson having declared that the U.S. government was obliged “now to pursue them (Indians) to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach.” Washington suggested in the same vein that Indians deserved nothing from whites but “total ruin.” And Cotton Mather had inveighed a century earlier, “Turn not back till they are consumed. . . . Beat them small as dust” (Cook, p. 299).
Without discussing whether the writer’s view is accurate isn’t he just examining the cycle of the conqueror vs. the conquered within his selected context, US/Israel. Tribes of people have always extended past their environment and boarders in order to increase the personal wealth, health and standing of their own peoples. Migration, assimilation, immigration, devastation and integration are all forms of conquest and along with all of this comes death, destruction and lose. It’s the story of the world. Perhaps the question should be “how can we change it?” Can we change it?
This particular area of concern was first and foremost to me when I lived in New York for a year (after the demise of my second marriage) and, wouldn't you know it - I had a Jewish girlfriend who was all-too-politically aware of both of these sad legacies!
How about the Indian-Israeli connection?
With both, you have an indiginous people that were marginalized and slaughtered hundreds of years ago by an arrogant and racist foreign empire. Efforts to preserve the indiginous people in a "Reservation" have met intolerance at times from those who just want to wipe them all out.
The invading empire is rather intolerant, and even places major restrictions on the religious practice of the indiginous people.
This is the experience of the Indians under the European/American onslaught, and the experience of the Jewish people, who have always lived in that small area now known as Israel for thousands of years.
The Israelis still face this: government of Palestine and those of several neighbors are very much pro-extermination, and won't tolerate any sort of Jewish "Reservation" no matter how small. The Indians pretty much were faced with this attitude 140 or so years ago. At least there has been some improvement in America. While the Palestinian government speaks of annihilating Jews, there aren't many white Americans who advocate exterminating Indians anymore.
(There is no case of equivlency to be made. While there are some who are pro-extermination on the Israeli side, the majority have long accepted the idea of a Palestinian state and the rights of the Palestinians to exist. Israel also accepts the rights of Syria and Iran to exist. While the Palestinian, Iranian, and Syrian governments are pro-extermination and speak of final solutions and complete elimination. Not too different from what L. Frank Baum wrote in favor of wiping out Native Americans).
Show me someone who complains about "Zionist imperialism", and I'll show you an antisemite. That is one of their favorite codewords.
Who exactly is the "invading empire"? The Palestinians? Invading what...their own homeland?
Let's refresh our memory about what happened in 1948:
Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the State of Israel retained nearly all the territory that would have been assigned to it in the 1947 UN Partition Plan, as well as the conquered half of the land intended to become the Arab state of Palestine and a portion of the territory intended for international administration around Jerusalem.
By 1951, the United Nations (UN) estimated 711,000 Palestinian refugees existed outside Israel, with about one-quarter of the estimated 160,000 Arab Palestinians remaining in Israel as "internal refugees." Today, Palestinian refugees and their descendants are estimated to number more than 4 million people.
"New Historians" have presented a viewpoint suggesting around half of the Palestinians of the exodus were purposely expelled by Israeli army, though this was not an organized policy. However, Walid Khalidi and other Palestinian historians, supported by Ilan Pappe, defend the thesis that the expulsions formed part of a deliberate plan.
"No case of equivalency to be made" between Indians and Palestinians? Many people have made the case many times. Here are some examples:
William Means, a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council, calls the situation in Israel "the most difficult political issue in our community" today, because Native Americans can identify with both Jews and Palestinians.
Means, whose organization works with the United Nations on human rights for indigenous peoples around the world, says that Native Americans oppose any system of reservation and settlement and can sympathize with the situation of the Palestinians.
But at the same time, Means says, strong relationships have been built "in this country with Jewish people in the struggles for the civil rights" of Native Americans. In 1973, during clashes at Wounded Knee, S.D., more than 500 Native American activists were jailed after clashes with U.S. federal forces.
The Jewish tribes in their Diaspora were much like Indian people in being exiled from their homelands and the Jewish holocaust, though smaller, paralleled our own. But now those holding power in Israel seem to have forgotten the lessons of their own history and they're doing the same thing to Palestine. In a twist of fate the Israeli government is treating Palestinian people like America has historically treated Indians.
Like America's native peoples, Palestinians bear the burden of proof of their existence and right to their ancestral lands.
Possession of keys and deeds, or official registration as refugees with the U.N. haven't succeeded. Neither has international law. In fact, in keeping with several bodies of law, the U.N. explicitly conditioned Israel's 1949 U.N. admittance on its implementation of Resolution 194 affirming Palestinians' inalienable right to return home. Despite this, Israel has refused to allow its native peoples to return. The U.S. has implicitly supported this since the Truman administration.
Like Americans, Israelis "know" what their own historians have amply documented: Palestinian dispossession is the foundation of their state. Between 1947 and 1949, more than 75 percent of the native population was expelled by Zionist forces that seized their lands for exclusive Jewish-Israeli use. Then, in 1967, 35 percent of the population of Palestinian Gaza and the West Bank were forced out, some made refugees twice in a generation.
I complain about Israel's illegal invasion and occupation of Palestinian territory whenever the subject comes up. If that means I'm complaining about "Zionist imperialism," so be it.
My complaints have nothing to do with the Israelis' race or religion and everything to do with their immoral actions. I'd say that's true of most people who complain about their immoral actions.
You've complained about China's invasion of Tibet before. Does that mean you're an anti-Confucian? Such a conclusion is flatly ridiculous.
"Who exactly is the "invading empire"? The Palestinians? Invading what...their own homeland?"
The Arab empire which invaded that area. It is several hundreds years ago, yes. Likewise with the European invasion of the New World, also several hundred years ago, but not as long ago as the explosion of the Arab empire across that part of the world. But there is a legacy of cultural intolerance left over from both.
"says that Native Americans oppose any system of reservation and settlement and can sympathize with the situation of the Palestinians."
The same must be true of their views of the Palestinian government's proposal of extermination of the Israelis at worst or "driving them into the sea" (a Trail of Tears) at best.
"The Jewish tribes in their Diaspora were much like Indian people in being exiled from their homelands and the Jewish holocaust, though smaller, paralleled our own. But now those holding power in Israel seem to have forgotten the lessons of their own history and they're doing the same thing to Palestine."
Not true at this point. Israel's mainstream society and politics (including those in power) accept the presence of Palestinians, and a Palestinian state.
"In a twist of fate the Israeli government is treating Palestinian people like America has historically treated Indians."
Actually, the closest parallel to how "American historically treated the Indians" is how the Palestinian government seeks to cleanse the area of Israelis and Jews, much like what Jefferson and Jackson thought about for Indians in the eastern U.S.
"I complain about Israel's illegal invasion and occupation of Palestinian territory"
How can it be considered illegal or even unreasanable? Israel was forced to invade and occupy these lands after repeated invasion from them (like the U.S. was forced to occupy of Japan at the end of WW2). Look at Israel's retreat from the Sinai once Egypt dropped its demand for extermination of the Israelis and more war against Israel.
I hardly find it reasonable for Israel to retreat from Palestinian territories as long as the Palestinian government demands a "final solution": a state of one-sided war which will only demand Israel re-occupy right after it leaves.
I'd like to see the occupation end, of course, but it is not reasonable to expect Israel to cede power to a next-door-neighbor that is hellbent on wiping out the Israelis.
I know you are not antisemitic. But that is at the root of much of the hatred for Israelis.
I certainly don't believe that "Israel can do no wrong". However, I don't side with those that include "merely being alive" as one of the things that Israelis do wrong.
A quote from the charter of the organization that leads the Palestinian government:
"'The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight Jews and kill them. Then, the Jews will hide behind rocks and trees, and the rocks and trees will cry out: 'O Moslem, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him.' (From The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement / HAMAS)
Compare this to the Israeli national leader and Kadima Partliament leader:
" Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an interview published Thursday that creation of a Palestinian state is a vital Israeli interest"
I repeat: "There is no case of equivlency to be made. While there are some who are pro-extermination on the Israeli side, the majority have long accepted the idea of a Palestinian state and the rights of the Palestinians to exist ... While the [Palestinian government is] pro-extermination and [speaks] of final solutions and complete elimination."
Are you under the impression that Arab people didn't exist until Muhammad gave them Islam and Islam spread throughout the Mideast? If so, let me correct your misapprehension.
The short version is that Semitic Arabs have lived in Palestine about as long as Semitic Jews have. I'm not sure if there's any difference between them genetically, but they're both native to the region.
Early Semitic peoples from the Arabian Peninsula, such as the Arameans, Akkadians and Canaanites, built civilizations in Mesopotamia and the Levant; genetically, they often interlapped and mixed. Slowly, however, they lost their political domination of the Near East due to internal turmoil and attacks by non-Semitic peoples. Although the Semites eventually lost political control of the Middle East to the Persian Empire, the Aramaic language remained the lingua Franca of Mesopotamia and the Levant. Aramaic itself was replaced by Greek as the Middle East's prestige language following the conquest of Alexander the Great.
The first written attestation of the ethnonym "Arab" occurs in an Assyrian inscription of 853 BCE, where Shalmaneser III lists a King Gindibu of mâtu arbâi (Arab land) as among the people he defeated at the Battle of Karkar. Some of the names given in these texts are Aramaic, while others are the first attestations of Proto-Arabic dialects. In fact several different ethnonyms are found in Assyrian texts that are conventionally translated "Arab": Arabi, Arubu, Aribi and Urbi. The Hebrew Bible occasionally refers to Arvi peoples (or variants thereof), translated as "Arab" or "Arabian." The scope of the term at that early stage is unclear, but it seems to have referred to various desert-dwelling Semitic tribes in the Syrian Desert and Arabia.
Regarding Israel's right to exist, who says the Hamas charter is the final word on the subject? Many Arabs have accepted this right. Why don't you quote them rather than the outdated charter?
Don't worry, I'll do it for you. Here are some Arab and Muslim quotes on Israel's right to exist. Also, an explanation for the Palestinians' reluctance to amend their charter until they get something in return.
Hundreds of top Palestinian officials, including former guerrilla fighters, Monday renounced parts of the Palestinian charter that called for the destruction of Israel.
"I hope this will close this chapter forever," Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat said.
It looks like the top elected officials in the Palestinian Hamas party are signaling that they accept Israel's right to exist. Last week the highest-ranking Hamas leader, Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, told Israel's most prestigious newspaper, Ha'aretz: "If Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, peace will prevail and we will implement a cease-fire [hudna] for many years."
A hudna is more than just a "cease-fire." An erudite article in the Encyclopedia of Islam tells us that "hudna in Islamic law is equivalent to 'international treaty' in modern terminology. Its object is to suspend the legal effects of hostilities and to provide the prerequisite conditions of peace between Muslims and non-Muslims, without the latter's territory becoming part of dar al-Islam.'"
Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has made a remarkable announcement. He's admitted that Iran might agree to the existence of the state of Israel.
Ahmadinejad was asked: "If the Palestinian leaders agree to a two-state solution, could Iran live with an Israeli state?"
This was his astonishing reply:
"If they [the Palestinians] want to keep the Zionists, they can stay ... Whatever the people decide, we will respect it. I mean, it's very much in correspondence with our proposal to allow Palestinian people to decide through free referendums."
To demand that Palestinians recognize "Israel's right to exist" is to demand that a people who have been treated as subhumans unworthy of basic human rights publicly proclaim that they are subhumans. It would imply Palestinians' acceptance that they deserve what has been done and continues to be done to them. Even 19th-century US governments did not require the surviving native Americans to publicly proclaim the "rightness" of their ethnic cleansing by European colonists as a condition precedent to even discussing what sort of land reservation they might receive. Nor did native Americans have to live under economic blockade and threat of starvation until they shed whatever pride they had left and conceded the point.
You've quoted Israeli statements accepting a two-state solution. Now quote the statements where the Israelis say they'll let the millions of Palestinian refugees return, dismantle the illegal settlements in the West Bank, and negotiate some sort of joint authority over Jerusalem.
Until they agree to find solutions to these problems, their talk of a two-state solution is nothing but hot air. It's like the US saying it accepts the "sovereignty" of Indian nations while it breaks its treaties with them. It's yet another reason Palestinians have become the moral equivalent of Indians.
As for the illegality of Israel's invasion and occupation of foreign territory, you needn't look any further than UN Resolution 242:
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 (S/RES/242) was adopted unanimously by the UN Security Council on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six Day War.
It calls for "the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
"(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
"(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."
"To demand that Palestinians recognize "Israel's right to exist" is to demand that a people who have been treated as subhumans unworthy of basic human rights publicly proclaim that they are subhumans."
So, the mere existence of Israelis, according to that author, makes Palestinians sub-humans. The author comes across as pro-genocide by this. I have no doubt that that particular author would scream bloody murder if the Israelis denied that the Palestinians had no right to exist. But to him, it is an afront to human rights to let the Israelis exist.
The comparison to Native Americans is gratuitous. While the "exterminate all whites" view existed at times among Natives, it was not mainstream.
"It's yet another reason Palestinians have become the moral equivalent of Indians."
That drags down the Natives, who do not and generally have not had extreme pro-genocide governments/leaders.
"You've quoted Israeli statements accepting a two-state solution. Now quote the statements where the Israelis say they'll let the millions of Palestinian refugees return, dismantle the illegal settlements in the West Bank, and negotiate some sort of joint authority over Jerusalem."
The second part is a negotiating point. You can't really get to that until both sides are agreeing not to annihiliate the other. HAMAS has made some recent noises like that, but I wonder if it was like Arafat's acceptance of the Oslo accords (i.e. a trick, a step on the road to exterminating the Israelis).
It's "in" now to demonize Israel and sympathize with the "poor mistreated Palestinians". More and more people are hating Israel in these times. Im not surprised at all.
One of the biggest myths out there about Israel is that it was compensation for the holocaust (one way how they exploit the Jewish genocide and spread the lie that only Jews died in the holocaust) when that simply wasnt the case.
"It's "in" now to demonize Israel and sympathize with the "poor mistreated Palestinians". More and more people are hating Israel in these times. Im not surprised at all."
Ever had your home bulldozed? Ever had your family killed in a carpet boming? Only a complete Israel fanboy couldn't see that Israel is not the utopia it claims to be (not to mention people are forced to serve in the IDF for three years when they hit 18). Now for the record I do not support Hamas either; but the fact that the Palestians elected them is a clear indicator of just how desperate these people are.
"How about the Indian-Israeli connection?"
Don't forget the Irish-Israeli connection; it ranges from positive activism and displays of solidarity to collaboration between terrorists which is one of the reasons why - as an Irish-American - that I regard IRA sympathy as borderline treason. Well that and the fact that I don't have much love in my heart for morons who support scum who inflicted decades of terroism on my - pardon the cliche - people (one of the main reasons why AIM pisses me off but we're getting off topic).
Oh and here's a mural on the whole IRA-PLO thing:
Fkn sickening isn't it?
One of the main reasons that I don't support Israel is that I fail to see the reason why I should cheer on some sh*tty little state that seems to only excell at carpet bombing civilians and pitching some boohoo for the cameras. Most American supporters are usually:
A. Members of the Jewish diaspora who love the fact that they have a homeland, despite the fact that they wouldn't ever live there, the idiot maher is a perfect example. Which isn't to say that all Jewish-Americans are Israel fanboys; I've known quite a few who rightly think that Israel's a joke.
B. So called Christians who support Israel because it figures into their bizarre apocolyptic fantasies; plus they love anybody who kills Arabs.
C. People who know sweet f*ck all about Israel but support them anyway out of fear of being 'anti-Semitic.'
The comparison to Native Americans isn't gratuitous, DMarks. It continues to be extremely apt. Non-Natives (Zionist Jews) have colonized a land that isn't theirs and subjugated the indigenous population (Palestinians).
Re "So, the mere existence of Israelis, according to that author, makes Palestinians sub-humans": No, that isn't what the article said. It said the Palestinians have no reason to recognize Israel while the Israels are treating them as subhumans. Recognizing Israel now would be rewarding the Israelis for their imperialist bad behavior.
Re "The second part is a negotiating point. You can't really get to that until both sides are agreeing not to annihilate the other": That the Palestinians must recognize Israel before negotiations can proceed is an opinion, not a fact. The Palestinians disagree with this opinion. They believe the two parties can negotiate recognition of Israel and the other issues simultaneously.
And they're right. Absolutely nothing prevents this kind of simultaneous negotiation from taking place. Again, it's the Israelis' opinion only that their needs and wishes are paramount and must be met first.
I see you couldn't quote any statements where the Israelis say they'll let the millions of Palestinian refugees return, dismantle the illegal settlements in the West Bank, and negotiate some sort of joint authority over Jerusalem. Presumably that's because such statements don't exist. While some Palestinians have recognized Israel's right to exist, the Israeli government hasn't shown any willingness to budge on the other issues.
As for its being "in" to criticize Israel these days, I don't think so. I haven't noticed any increase in the criticism. Show us the evidence of this increase if you think it exists.
I'd say the criticism has been pretty constant over the decades. Liberals like me have opposed Israel's illegal occupation of the West Bank as long as we've been aware of it. That would be about 35 years in my case.
Post a Comment