December 12, 2007

Palestinians = Navajos

Palestinians, Diné share U.S. impactsMuch like the U.S.'s attitude toward apartheid South Africa pre-1994, the U.S. naturally aligns itself with racist settler states and the parallels between the Navajo situation in the U.S. and the Palestinians in both Israel and the occupied territories is axiomatic.

As Colombia University professor of Arab Studies Rashid Khalidi wrote about U.S. visceral sympathy for Israel, "...because of their own pioneer heritage, Americans were even more apt than Europeans to identify with lurid images of brave, outnumbered settlers of European stock taming an arid land in the face of opposition from ignorant, fanatical nomads-widely distorted and unrealistic (albeit lasting) though these images were." The Palestinians of the West Bank (excluding Hamas-run Gaza which was omitted from the Annapolis conference) are in the process of treaty making, or "setting final boundaries," as is euphemized in these negotiations.

Much like the Navajo people, the Palestinians want a functioning and autonomous nation-state. And much like the Navajo people, they face a hostile and belligerent colonizer who is satisfied with containing dark-skinned minority groups to reservations, or what in South Africa were called "Bantustans," while expanding settlements.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Indian-Palestinian Connection.

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