Monday, January 02, 2006

Inalienable Rights

In the Declaration of Independence, it is stated that"All men are created equal...and are endowed...with certain inalienable rights". And it seems to me, that if the Bush administration is intent on setting up an "American style democracy" (would that be a democratic republic, George? Do you even know what that means?), that maybe we should ask of our allies in this "war on terror" (which seems to be fighting everything but terorists) is that they endow those within their borders with the same inalienable rights we Americans (used to) enjoy.
We used to have the right to privacy, for instance, but now we have a president who thinks it's okay to spy on Americans. Yeah, I know, I've heard all the apologists say "If you're not getting phone calls from alQa'da, you've got nothing to worry about." That's no excuse for the president breaking the law, mind you, just fear mongering by parties who have no respect for the Constitution. If someone were to receive a call from al Qa'da, how would Bush know? Is alQa'da listed in the phone book? Is it under the yellow pages, or is it in the US government section?
Now, if alQa'da were calling, I think that Bush would have no problem getting a wire tap from a judge. Even the most liberal of activists judges wouldn't say "Terrorists have a right to privacy". Given that, it's a pretty fair shake that anyone that Bush had to break the law to wiretap is probably not from alQa'da. But then, given the paranoia run rampant through the whole rightwing of the country, I could be a terrorist. After all, like George Bush said(just like Anakin Skywalker, right before he became Darth Vader)"You're either with us, or against us", and since I oppose the Bush administration, I could be considered to be a threat (yeah, right), couldn't I?
Yes, we have many inalienable rights in this country, but how about the Palestinians in our "ally", Israel? they don't have the inalienable rights that we (used to) enjoy. The freedom of assembly, the freedom to vote for whom they choose, the right to bear arms, all denied by the Israeli government. In fact, there are roads in their own country they are not allowed to drive down. They have had their land stolen to make way for a wall that separates them from the rest of the country while denying them access to their own land on the other side.
The UN resolution that called for a Jewish state in Palestine, also called for the creation of a Palestinian state as well.And as long as the US enables Israel to continue denying Palestinians their inalienable rights, there will never be an end to "terrorism".

5 comments:

JEW said...

Yes, we have many inalienable rights in this country, but how about the Palestinians in our "ally", Israel? they don't have the inalienable rights that we (used to) enjoy. The freedom of assembly, the freedom to vote for whom they choose, the right to bear arms, all denied by the Israeli government. In fact, there are roads in their own country they are not allowed to drive down. They have had their land stolen to make way for a wall that separates them from the rest of the country while denying them access to their own land on the other side.

If this conflict 'proves'one thing, then it is that unlimited 'freedom of speech' is disastrous.
To this I agree.
fixing the problem needs explicit making of basic rules, and alterations on Christian side as well as on Muslim side. Sincerely trying to understand people born in another culture might look just another tough job, but is EXTREMELY difficult. It takes vice versa understanding of history and cultural myths.

It is important to remember that The Arab nations initiated four wars against Israel:

1948 War of Independence
1956 Sinai War
1967 Six Day War
1973 Yom Kippur War
Israel defended itself each time and won.This is unprecedented in World history and shows Israel's willingness to reach peace even at the risk of fighting for its very existence each time anew.
The land dispute is frustrating for me as For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem (1948-1967), they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit. I am furthur convinced of this because In the Jewish Bible, Jerusalem is mentioned over 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) 154 times, or 823 times. The Christian Bible mentions Jerusalem 154 times and Zion 7 times. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. Jerusalem is also not mentioned in the Palestinian Covenant. Although this is true, The UN partition plan of 1947 was rejected by all the Arab countries. Arab leadership in Israel and in the countries surrounding Israel, planned a Jihad, holy war, against Israel and encouraged the Arabs to leave Israel promising their return after they purge the land of Jews. The great majority of Arabs left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
Even with this being true the european world has reinforced there negative feeling about the Jews. It would seem as if land was stolen not fought for, when in fact The development of the Jewish community under British mandate led to economic growth in the region providing job opportunities for Arab workers. Consequently, the Arab population of Palestine swelled by the influx of Arab immigrants from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and other Arab countries until 1947 (The trend of Arab migration into Israel to find a job continues to the present day). While the British forces limited Jewish immigration, they allowed free entry of Arab migrants. The UN agency UNRWA defined a "Palestinian refugee", as any Arab who stayed in the country for two years prior to 1948. Consider it like the illegal immigration problems in the USA, but with UN backing.
It might make one think that maybe they should have never returned home. This idea may have crossed your mind, when in fact the Arab refugee problem was created by the seven Arab countries that attacked Israel in 1948. Arab refugees were intentionally not integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the fact total territory of Arab countries is about 700 times greater than that of Israel. Out of about 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has not been absorbed into their own peoples' lands. Arab nations still maintain generations of the descendants of the refugees in so called "refugee camps" under squalid conditions with the hope that someday they will dislodge the Jews in Israel. The money spent by the Arab countries on armaments would be sufficient to build houses for all so called "refugees". Arab countries should be encouraged to care for their poor population instead of spending their richest resources in the world on armaments and development of terrorist groups such as Osama Bin Laden and hid likes, who are from Saudi Arabia.
It is in my opinion that The responsibility for keeping the Arab population who are descendants of the Arab refugees, rests only on the shoulders of the Arab countries that created the problem by attacking Israel in 1948.

I am not alone in this opinion as this quote shows.

Quote from Ralph Galloway, a former head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in Amman, capital of Jordan, in August 1958:

"The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die."

Many think that the UN having a low opinion of Israel, as well as there strong relationship with the USA, gives some crediblility to the way the nation is wrongly percieved. I implore you to understand this,
Quote from Ralph Galloway, a former head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in Amman, capital of Jordan, in August 1958:

"The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don't give a damn whether the refugees live or die."


So what are the Jews doing about the problem other then defending there people? Well, it is said that it all starts with education.

In Israeli high schools Arabic is taught as one of required languages. Special educational programs greatly emphasize the need for peaceful coexistence with Israel's Arab neighbors. In contrast, textbooks used in Palestinian Authority schools portray Jews and Israelis in most derogatory and hateful terms. In summer camps and kindergartens, Palestinian Arab children undergo paramilitary training against Israel. Some Arab Institutions and parents train children at an early age as suicide bombers. This educational atmosphere makes peace impossible in this generation, and plants the seeds of hatred among the coming generations of Arab children as well.

Lily said...

Wow that was a very thorough and reflective post, and I very much appreciated it as my feelings regarding this matter are not resolved. My discomfort remains because I do understand some of what you so cogently stated. Its hard to discuss in a comment box, thats for sure. I think it is fair to say that these are complex matters and by the time one hears both sides, could it be so easily distilled, adding in our cultural ignorance and blinders, it seems that efforts to take sides fall short. Sides are not the issue, the issue is ending the violence and I don't see how some of the efforts thus far have been applied toward that aim.
What many people in the peace community point out though is that it is not inherently a 'take sides' issue, and there have been progressive talks when approached differently, as in 'needs based' conflict resolution processes.
Add to that the resentful sentiments of Americans that perceive Israeli 'protectionism' as a nudge to the 'Jewish lobby"... its hard to look with clarity at what is based on historical fact, American policy interests, and what boils down to anti-semitism. Both of these positions need to be looked at some more.

Lew Scannon said...

JEW,
Thank you for that bit of enlightenment! It is nice to have a clearheaded point made with out someone reduced to name calling, and I will now keep an open mind when I speak of Israel.

Lily said...

Hold on, you just might get your beer swilling buddy..give it time. Shoe Chucker? Or George? Ten bucks says its back to anonymous. Take?

Lew Scannon said...

Actually, this was going to be a response to "anonymous", his staement that just because people continue to breed doesn't entitle them to rights, but my rant ran out of steam before I got to the keyboard (I usually work out a post in my head before I sit down and pound it out). But by then, I had already called up the create post screen, so I decided to wing it and build up a good head of steam (which explains why this post meanders a bit) and ended up with this piece. If I was a gambler, I might take that bet, but I don't gamble anymore (Now I just buy insurance).