How Israeli and U.S. settlement is similar

  • Article by: Mary Christine Bader
  • Updated: March 23, 2013 - 4:58 PM

Memories about Minnesota came rushing back when I heard President Obama tell the people of Israel how their country is like America. Indeed, it is -- in good ways and in bad.

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AbumazzenMar. 23, 13 5:07 PM

The only problem with this narrative is that Jews have lived on this land including Judea and Samaria for over 3000 years. Mileneium before there's were Arabs in this region

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goldmundMar. 24, 13 9:31 AM

And where, exactly, did the Arabs come from, Abumazzen? In their mythic narrative they trace their ancestry back to Abraham as well. One could argue that these are one people, deeply related to one another, as brother and sister. But it serves the imperial mindset to talk about them as if they were two different species engaged in an epic struggle over the same piece of real estate, both claiming God is on their side. This, of course, is madness, a Gordian knot that can only lead to ever escalating violence. But, as is usually the case, there is method in their madness. The establishment of ever more settlements is designed intentionally by the current, right-wing Isreali government to splinter the Palestinian population and make a unified state impossible. In the eyes of the Isreali ruling class- mostly Ashkenazi Jews who trace their lineage back to Europe- the Palestinan people are very much like Native Americans are seen in the eyes of white supremisists: ignorant savages to be conquered, subjugated and destined for eventual anihilation.

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justsayinMar. 24, 1311:30 AM

The Dakota were forced west out of WI and N MN by the Ojibwa. Then wave after wave of white settlers pushed them further west. There are some similarities to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, of course, but perhaps the Irish/English conflicts over the centuries are even more similar. It's a tragic story that has been repeated throughout the ages. Will we ever learn? .

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zionistgalMar. 24, 1312:03 PM

I can acknowledge with no difficulty that Arabs are indigenous to this land- but so are Jews. For 2000 years we prayed for a return to our ancient homeland. The same cannot be said of the colonial settlers of America. The Israeli settlements are AN issue but not THE issue. They take up less than 2% of the land that will someday be a future Palestinian state. If and when the Palestinian leaders are ready to build a state alongside Israel instead of in place of it, the issue of settlements will be part of that negotiation.

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tiredofbibleMar. 24, 13 2:35 PM

Article 49 of 4th Geneva Convention says that an occupying power shall not transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territories it occupies. Israel is breaking international law. European colonizers of the western hemisphere were not breaking international law, because there was no such law. Also settlers of the western hemisphere were not getting $3 billion a year from a foreign government, while Israel is.

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readnews17Mar. 24, 13 6:18 PM

DNA testing now proves that Palestinians are indigenous to the land and that over 70% of Ashekenazi men and Palestinian men share a common ancestor. The issue is dispossession. Ben-Gurion saw "nothing immoral in forced transfer and expulsion." Meanwhile the Israelis cherry pick the best land and water resources on the West Bank nearly doubling settlements since Oslo. Zionist gal, I would refer you to Aba Eban who said nearly forty years ago: "A Palestinian state poses as much of a threat to Israel as Belgium does to the USSR;" or, Moshe Dyan who said: "we will continue to treat the Palestinians like dogs and whoever wishes to leave can leave."

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sylviaschMar. 24, 13 6:59 PM

Excellent commentary, Ms Bader. The US and Israel are indeed similar in their pursuit of ethnic cleansing and settler colonialism. One should expect to learn from devastation wreaked on a population to not repeat (or support the repetition) of those human rights abuses. But we don't, or can't. So after the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, after the criminal history of enslavement, after Jim Crow, after incarcerating tens of thousands of Japanese American citizens, we still support an ethnically based state which seeks superiority over an ethnic minority within their state, and ethnic cleansing and colonization in territories it seeks to annex. I am only heartened when I see commentaries like this that show that awareness of the situation is growing in the US.

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bevcanMar. 31, 13 9:11 PM

Thank you for printing this excellent piece. Hopefully we can learn from our past and bring about a more just future for all in the Holy Land. In order for this to happen we need more such articles in our media so that we hear the hopes and dreams from ALL parties involved in the current suffering in the Holy Land.

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punky215Apr. 9, 1312:31 AM

This is an excellent commentary, Ms. Bader. No two historic periods are exactly alike. That there are differences does not negate the hard truths they share. Ethnic cleansing made it possible for my ancestors to leave behind the problems of Eastern Europe for free land in the United States, laying the foundation for my comfortable, privileged lifestyle today. I can't turn back the clock, but I can speak out against ethnic cleansing that happens during my lifetime.

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