Thursday, December 15, 2011

An invented Palestinian people

"Newt Challenges the Myth of Palestinian Nationalism"

1 comment:

  1. Pan-Arabism (and pan-Islamism, which Thornton inaccurately conflates) is a political (and religious) theory without much basis in reality. Witness the failed experiment of the United Arab Republic and other Arab unification efforts of the 20th century, much less the schism between Sunni and Shia Islam that has confounded the region for over a thousand years.

    If "being Muslim takes precedence over being an Egyptian, a Libyan, or a Palestinian", then surely the Sunni Kurds and the Sunni Arabs in Iraq should have reconciled by now, 8 years after the fall of Saddam. Instead, ethnic nationalism and religious sectionalism remain the norm.

    Multiple Iraq by the twenty or so other countries in the Arab world (not including Persian Iran, Pashtun Afghanistan, and Turkic Turkey), and the whole notion of a unified Arab/Islamic front begins to look like a bad joke.

    There is no doubt that Jordan, Syria, and other regimes have exploited the plight of Palestinian refugees for their own propaganda purposes, but this does not negate the legitimate private property claims of pre-1948 inhabitants of the Levant, whether you want to call them "Palestinians", "Arabs", "Bedouins", or men from Mars.

    The flawed theory of Wilsonian self-determination that set off a wildfire of post-colonial nationalist movements in the 20th century is predicated on the subordination of individual rights to the collective rights of UN-designated ethnic groups.

    The solution to the Israel-Palestine conundrum will be found only when the natural rights of men, women, and children are given precedence over the destructive, statist invention of collective rights, which imperil the liberty of all men everywhere.