Saturday, December 1, 2007

One State Imperialism?

Gadi Taub, one of Israeli's more interesting young historians (but remember that historians, unlike basketball players, only really get going at about 40), systematically demolishes the idea of a one-man-one-vote solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. His final shot:

What, then, makes these solutions so popular in Europe? It seems that European polite society is finding it hard to let go of its old colonial instincts. The various plans now circulating in Europe are not based on inquiring what the natives (Jews and Arabs) want or need, but on what the West knows they should want. In other words, Europe is once again ready to shoulder the White Man’s Burden, and teach the natives what the right form of self-determination should be. It would be a good idea to remember that the price of this pedagogical enterprise, if implemented, is likely to be a chronic civil war. And it may also be wise to recall that the colonial presumption to know better than the natives what is good for them has repeatedly fallen short of success.


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