Date: Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 6:09 PM
Subject: Modern nation states
This essay is by Uri Avnery -- once a freedom fighter (terrorist, if you prefer), then a parliamentarian, poet, historian and now Israel's most respected peace activist. I think it's a masterpiece. Not all of you will agree, by any means. But don't quibble, please. If you disagree with him on technicalities of law or politics or history, never mind. Just admire this extraordinary man as a genuine and sincere humanitarian, and give his analysis the respect it deserves.
Hope this may interest you.
"If he steals my cow, that is bad. If I steal his cow, that is good" - this moral rule was attributed by European racists to the Hottentots, an ancient tribe in Southern Africa.
It's hard not to be reminded of this when the United States and the European countries cry out against Russia's recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two provinces which seceded from the Republic of Sakartvelo, known in the West as Georgia.
Not so long ago, the Western countries recognized the Republic of Kosovo, which seceded from Serbia. The West argued that the population of Kosovo is not Serbian, its culture and language is not Serbian, and that therefore it has a right to independence from Serbia. Especially after Serbia had conducted a grievous campaign of oppression against them. I supported this view with all my heart.
Unlike many of my friends, I even supported the military operation that helped the Kosovars to free themselves.
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