January 24, 2006

Brechtian democracy?

To Greg Promtemkin's blog - The Pumpkin head - for a look at how Israel's democracy works.
In 1953, the Soviet sponsored government of East Germany suppressed an uprising of Berlin's workers. After seeing the government’s response to what was regarded as the people’s lack of understanding, the Communist playwright, Bertolt Brecht, wryly quipped:
Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
This is a post about how Israel rid itself of the original population of Palestine and simply elected, well, selected another. But it also takes a good look at zionist logic.
On November 17,1958, the Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Abba Eban, tried to explain why the Arabs who had been forced out by the Israeli onslaught should not be allowed to return. In order to make his case, he took issue with the use of the word "repatriation", and in order to do this, he also used some rather unusual (to say the least) definitions for the words "transplanting" and "resettlement".

In reference to the word "repatriation":
First the word itself is not accurately used in this context. Transplanting an Arab refugee from an Arab land to a non-Arab land is not really “repatriation.” “Patria” is not a mere geographical concept. Resettlement of a refugee in Israel would not be repatriation, but alienation from an Arab society; a true repatriation of an Arab refugee would be a process which brought him into union with people who share his language and heritage, and impulses of national loyalty and cultural identity.
You can read the whole thing here.

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