Montana Politics

What Are the Roots of Support for Palestine?

Speaking of states that want independence but are currently being invaded, the Tamils are finally losing their decades long struggle for a state with little fanfare. The Sri Lankan government is moving to close down their last bases for armed resistance, of course at the cost of great hardship for the Tamil people. Indeed, the Tamil Tigers liberation army seems to be trapped and finally approaching complete defeat. As was expected, there was a huge outcry for a ceasefire and negotiation, as most nations of the world admit the need for an eventual two-state solution to the Tamil crisis. Oh wait, no, no there’s not. In fact, there is no such sentiment being expressed by anyone. I am not about to defend the Tamil Tigers, or even necessarily call for complete Tamil independence, but I fail to see how this conflict is substantially different from the one that has been raging in Israel. In fact, they have many similarities. Both involve religious differences, intervention by European colonialism, showdowns between terrorism and oppressive military force, thousands of deaths, etc. But no one, it seems, cares to speak up on behalf of the Tamil people despite the fact that by most of the justifications used for a Palestinian state, the Tamils are just as deserving.

I can see merits both for having these nations become independent states or in having them join the states they are part of under some sort of compromise. But I don’t see any reason for two different treatment of the two. That is, unless you count the Palestinian´s sympathy among important Muslim nations a reason. And if one considers that the only reason we support the independence of one and not the other, then we should really stop the show of empathy for oppressed peoples and admit that we will continue to support the oppressed when it suits our needs, and turn the other way when it doesn’t. Anything else is disingenuous, transparent, and therefore a waste of breath.

There is of course another option: one can admit that public support for Palestine is largely due to international efforts to appease important Muslim nations (much as others have argued that support for Israel comes down to a desire to appease important Jewish minorities), but that it should rest on something a bit deeper, that is, a genuine concern for human dignity, a recognition that people should be allowed independence rather than having to submit to a different culture, etc. Adoption of this viewpoint would be admirable, but it requires more than supporting Palestine; it requires a coherent international policy philosophy that does not hold self interest as the highest goal; it requires really asking why Kosovo and Palestine, instead of Kurdistan, Tamil Eelam, or South Ossetia. Creating a system where international policy decisions are based primarily on soem defined sort of justice, not self interest, is an admirable goal. Sadly, it is contrary to almost every international policy decision or action undertaken in the last….ever.

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  • Polish dog, you convoluted defense of israel is truly amazing. How do you do it? What’s missing in your screed is even a basic understanding of the history of the region. But here, how bout this? How bout we just stop slaughtering Muslims for awhile? ESPECIALLY with u.s. weapons of mass destruction. A century of colonial meddling has NOT won us any friends in the Middle East. Like in Latin America, our days are over. It’s time to butt out. And it’s also time to reign in fascist, racist israel. The creation of israel was HUGE mistake. The world is now pretty much in agreement that if there is to be any peace at all, isreal must accept its old borders and stop slaughtering its neighbors.

  • The “Holy Land” is the most contested piece of realty in the world – that’s probably why no one looks at the Tamil tigers… no one wants to live on an island that might be flooded by rising sea levels. I consider the holy land a lot less holy because of all the squabbling that has happened because of its mere existence.

    Before Roosevelt died, he talked with King Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Because of the Saudis’ unfaltering (secret) support of the Americans during WWII, Roosevelt told the King in a letter that he would not vote for the creation of an Israeli state without consulting the Arabs. FDR died; Truman came to power; the Holocaust was brought to light and *poof*! Some people thought it would be a brilliant idea to give the Jews a nice big chunk of desert that they had never seen before. So European Jews are shipped off to take over a land that was never theirs (sure, their “ancestors'” had it thousands of years ago, but they were European). Now, all the people who were born there are natives, and that can’t be disputed. But since the US uses Israel as a watchdog for the area, that might stir some bitterness in the hearts of Arabs who are distrusted by the west. The whole situation is so complicated, but I am 100% for the Palestinians.

  • Larry, I don´t doubt that you really feel for the Palestinians. But you feel for them probably because you actually hear about their plight, which no one is denying. And I wouldn´t deny them a state; frankly, I think the last thing Hamas wants, however, is to have a state given to them by Israel. But the real question is, why does the media refer to Israeli operation as an invasion, and the Sri Lankan operation as just that, an operation? Could it not have something to do with the fact that the US wants the Palestinians to have a state, to appease the Arab nations, while the US wants the Tamils to just go away? If you read some history, Larry, you´ll see that 60,000 people have died in the Sri Lankan conflict, and yet nearly everyone will agree that Sri Lankan Sinhalese have the right to rule of Sri Lankan Tamils, despite how clear it is that such a set up will always lead to violence. I´m just wondering if you can point out one reason to treat the two peoples differently except for self interest. And if you can´t, get off the moral high horse and admit that you ultimately support Palestine because an independent Palestine is good for the US.

  • And a quick note: the Jews were not shipped to Palestine. For 50 years there had been a movement to get them to learn Hebrew and sneak illegally into the British protectorate so they could someday lay claim to the land.

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