Monday, September 19, 2011
Hypocrisy United: The Palestinian Nationhood
Palestinians want to be recognized as a State, what's wrong with that? Israel was curved out of Palestine in one of the first acts of the rubber-stamp imperialism era. That was a different age. That was a time when the retreating British empire wanted to leave small pockets of direct influence and weaken the incumbent states. So, we had Pakistan, which was meant to be a client state of the Empire overlooking its oil interests in Persia; So was Israel, another protege, another victim, tasked with the job of holding Middle East on balance. But, Israel was being curved out of Palestine, a state which existed then, which the Palestinians objected to. They ended up being gobbled up, exactly as they would have feared, in the end.
For someone watching the drama, this would have been amusing if not for all the bloodshed. Palestinians objected to Israel then not because they were nationally minded, but it made no sense curving out some land to a nation of immigrants. It was dispossession of their own land they feared, and they turned out to be prescient. Today, they are coming back to the United Nations as they have acquired a sense of nationhood, united in dispossession let us say, and the Head Honchos there, including our Tony Blair, are behaving as if nationalism is so last century. Blair says things which only a politician can say: Seeking nationhood is bad because it can jeopardize the peace process. Peace process for what? These guys just supported the Libyans in their quest of Liberty over peace, and now this. I am almost thinking - how does this guy keep a straight face and say this without wincing - a trick I must try to learn.
The point is, indeed, Israel is as much a victim as the Palestinians, as Indians and Pakistanis are united in that sense. The generations of people in Asia have become Children of Violence, foot soldiers and pawns in the global game of power, resource grab and influence by proxy. I am no conspiracy theorist and don't necessarily see a group of imperial bosses shrouded in secrecy here. Rather, I see a group of people so immersed in personal comfort and sense of power that they are unable to see beyond it. These guys are regular blokes - not Tony Blair, you would think he is devious - who work in banks, governments and newspapers. I don't necessarily believe that they lie, just that they believe truth is what they say.
This is where Palestinian nationhood makes them very uncomfortable. This is not what they want, and they will do everything, with some lame excuses, to topple the plan. The plan is simple: These poor Palestinians should be happy with the hand-outs, periodic invitations to peace conferences in luxury resorts and getaways, and not talk beyond their station. The fact is that they are being so stupid to challenge the hand that feeds them is really upsetting people, notwithstanding the fact that they are dying of starvation anyway.
It is uncomfortable timing too. The 'revolutions' in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya are still underway, and the bosses are clinging on to power through some of their clients, who were asked to expropriate the street revolutions. It is laughable that BBC is now making a documentary on 'Facebook revolution' in Egypt, though the revolution on Facebook and Twitter only happened outside Egypt (as Facebook was shut down inside anyway). It is the same trick again: Make a defeat look like a victory and fool the people with a sense of freedom. It has gone on for too long though, and it is hard to maintain this any longer. People are still protesting in Cairo and Palestinians are coming back for the nationhood vote. Libyans are making uncomfortable noises. The people don't seem to know their station any more, they are not happy anymore with what's being handed down to them. They are asking: They are taking the rhetoric of democracy and freedom too seriously.
This is time for a tune change perhaps: Let the final act begin.
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How To Live
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Theodore Roosevelt
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
- T S Eliot
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