Saturday, June 18, 2011

WWH, June 17, '11~~ Wake'N'Bake 101: Hegemony

It's probably not inaccurate to describe/understand the behavior of the State of Israel towards the Palestinian Arabs as a unique species of 'ethnic cleansing.' It is unique in that an ethnic "minority" is endeavoring to expunge, not merely--as with S.African apartheid--to 'contain,' a potentially hostile ethnic "majority."

That Israel behaves as it does is not/should not be surprising. Israel behaves as a State behaves (PoliSci 200: Int' Pol). States have altogether inhuman imperatives, chief among them, the exercise of exclusive, political hegemony within their borders. Israel is in the extremely awkward position of an invading/conquering culture with no place upon which to fall back and regroup. The stories of the indigenous migrations by groups of Anasazi and Athabaskans down the mid-continental plains provides an instructive model, with succeeding waves of migrant and/or displaced peoples pushing southward, driving the previous occupants before them.

States in this position have three alternatives for dealing with 'in situ' populations: Assimilation, segregation/deportation, or extermination. Israel-qua-State--ironically, BECAUSE it is a "religious" State--has only two options with respect to the Palestinians: For the time being, asssimilation is off the table. Arabs aren't going to convert, and Jew wouldn't let them anyway. (Although one way or the other, demographically, ceteris paribus, Israel will eventually have to confront the "assimilation" dilemma.)

That leaves two: There has already occurred a significant Palestinian diaspora, begun in 1948, and the so-called right of return is another sticking point for any potential settlement. One steps warily around notions of extermination when dealing with Israel-qua-state.

The term for it is "Real Politik." It is the same principle which would prompt the US Govt. to step in if, say, the Navajo (the "Dine'h" in their own word) were to develop cruise missiles. The State-qua-state doesn't really have a choice, it expands to fill the space available. Only serious resistance stops it, and then not for very long.

The biggest difference between Israel and the Palestinians is that the Arabs do not HAVE one. Not BEING a State-qua-state, the Palestinian Arabs do not possess really "equal" standing before the "world" which is composed of other "states-qua-state." And this, in turn, is one BIG reason why the Israeli State is so adamant against the Palestinians having one. The status imposes a certain decorum. The recent, USer model notwithstanding, normally states do NOT launch arbitrary attacks on other States. They have EQUAL claims to disputed resources. They have equal rights to security.

Where all this falls apart, to me is: Can you imagine Bibi Netanyahu having to negotiate in good faith with a ("filthy Arab") over the redistribution of water FROM a kibbutz TO an Arab village olive orchard???

Frankly, neither can I...

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