Monday, February 18, 2008

International news

Al Jazeera interviewed antisemite academic Normie Finkelstein the other day. He's working on his seventh book, the fetchingly titled A Farewell to Israel: The Coming Break-up of American Zionism, and in the midst of an international speaking tour. Good quotes:
Al Jazeera: Has there been much controversy so far on your speaking tour?

Finkelstein: There are some die-hards occasionally in the US but that has pretty much ended.

Israel's case [for occupation] has collapsed, it's not just weak, it has collapsed. You could see in the audience [at Manchester University] there was a row of hostile people who were anxious to hear me finally come to the end, but when I was done they had no objections because you can't argue the case any more. . . .

[AJ]: George Bush, the US president, has called Iran and North Korea "rogue states". Do you consider Israel a "rogue state"?

It is more than a rogue state. It is a lunatic state. The only country in the world where the population overwhelmingly supports an attack on Iran is Israel – 78 per cent want to attack Iran. The state has gone berserk. The whole world is yearning for peace, and Israel is constantly yearning for war.
Constantly yearning for war. DePaul sure screwed up, denying this guy tenure. One more little quote from the Finkster:
One million Palestinians armed with picks and hammers should go to that wall and say "The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said this wall has to be dismantled. We are implementing the ICJ decision. We are knocking down the wall."
That'll work.

Days before Australia (or "the Rudd government"--take your pick) apologized to the Aborigines, the Australian published a "preliminary extract" from Keith Windschuttle's forthcoming The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Volume Two: "The Stolen Generations," in which the muckraker of the Australian history profession proposes (yes, modestly) much more than an apology:
If the Rudd Government apologises to the Stolen Generations it should not stop at mere words. It should pay a substantial sum in compensation. This was the central recommendation of the Human Rights Commission's Bringing Them Home report in 1997.

The charge that justified this, the report said, was genocide. This allegedly took place from the 1910s until the late '60s right across Australia. In some parts of the commonwealth it was still going on in the '80s.

None of the politicians who plan to apologise next Wednesday can avoid the term genocide. It is embedded in the very meaning of the phrase "Stolen Generations".

Bringing Them Home found indigenous children were forcibly removed from their homes so they could be raised separately from and ignorant of their culture and people.

The ultimate purpose, it claimed, was to end the existence of the Aborigines as a distinct people.
For those who believe this, Windschuttle has some rough figures:
The Aboriginal population today numbers almost 500,000, living in about 100,000 families. Those who are serious about an apology should back it with a lump sum payment of $500,000 to each family, a total of $50 billion. Only an amount on this scale can legitimately compensate for such a crime and satisfy the grievances of activists such as Lowitja O'Donohue and Michael Mansell.
Sounds reasonable to me. Did I ever tell you my grandmother claimed she was Aborigine? She got stuck in the loony bin for it (well, that and the cannibalism), but I believed her. No blood quantum!

Speaking of self-identifiers, finally there's a way for Ward Churchill to become a real Indian. Russell Means, Chief Facilitator of the new but unimproved Republic of Lakotah (told you this was international news), said in an interview last month that people who renounced their U.S. citizenship and became citizens of the republic could also become Lakota. He offered no details.

(h/t Snaps in comments)

Update: Here's the Israeli poll Finkelstein is referring to (I think). Scrupulous, ain't he?

No comments: