Why Palestinian Arabs don’t want a Zionist State.

The average Christian Zionist has an IQ at least 40 points higher than is needed to get the correct answer  to why Arabs in Palestine have always resisted the Zionist state of Israel, but, unfortunately their commitment to Christian Zionist religious doctrine about the Israel-Palestine conflict means that even with this superfluous intellectual capacity they fail to see the real causes for Arab resistance to Israel.

To illustrate what I mean I will consider the hypothetical case of an Aboriginal state being created in Australia and how this would be reacted to by the non-Aboriginal Australian population (particularly those descended from white, English speaking peoples).

The population of indigenous Australians that lived in this country when white European settlers came to Australia in large numbers is somewhere between 500,000 and 2 million depending on which authority one reads. These first Australians lived throughout the 7.6 million square kilometres of land that comprises the island continent of Australia. Compare this with the 466,000 Arabs that lived in the 30,000 square kilometres of historic Palestine in 1893. Today the total population of the state of Tasmania is just over 500,000 in some 90,000 square kilometres of land.

Aboriginal Australians have lived in this country for thousands of years and in the last two hundred years they have suffered under the oppression of white European settlement. This oppression came in the form of dispossession, starvation, death by introduced diseases, outright massacre and ethnic cleansing.

I live in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, with a population of about 1 million. The city was founded as a free European settlement in 1836. The Kaurna people were the original custodians of the land known as the Adelaide Plains of South Australia and the culture of these people was almost completely destroyed within a few decades of the establishment of the settlement of Adelaide.

Let us now imagine that the Aboriginal community as a whole petition the United Nations to allow them to create an Aboriginal state on the land previously inhabited by the Kaurna people. The new Kaurna nation would be a state “owned” by its indigenous inhabitants in that only they could have Kaurna nationality while non-indigenous residents of the new Kaurna nation could only ever be given citizenship. The vast majority of land within the borders of the new nation could only be purchased by Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal people from all over Australia (and even the rest of the world) would be encouraged to move to the new state by offering them large financial incentives and giving them full nationality (with all its privileges) upon arrival.

The current population of Aboriginal people in Adelaide is about 5,000 and some 500,000 other indigenous people outside of the Adelaide Plains would be encouraged to become residents of the new Kaurna nation.

How would we expect the current non-Aboriginal residents of the Adelaide plains to respond to this idea? Would they fear dispossession from their homes in the wake of some half million new inhabitants to the region? Would they fear discrimination? Who would be the likely candidates for expulsion to make room for the new residents?

Would the Aboriginal people have an entitlement to do this? Would it be right for Aboriginal people, who have never set foot in South Australia (and neither had their ancestors for as long as anyone could tell), to be given preference over non-Aboriginal people who have lived there for 4 or 5 generations?

The Aboriginal people could claim an ancient and continuous connection with the land before white settlement. They have been a persecuted and oppressed people and their future survival would be guaranteed by such a nation.

And what if the Aboriginal leaders of the new Kaurna nation declared that they wanted to live in a democracy with equal rights for non-Aboriginals? With a majority non-Aboriginal population in the new state, would they not fear that at the first general election, the majority non-indigenous population would simply vote out the minority indigenous leadership and dissolve the new indigenous state? Would that not only further encourage the indigenous leaders of the Kaurna nation to expel as many of the non-indigenous inhabitants as they can and bar their return or the migration of any other non-Aboriginals into the land? Expelled non-aboriginals would have no compensation for the loss of their property and would be forced to live as virtual refugees.

The Kaurna politicians could claim that the Adelaide Plains are only a tiny fraction of the land of Australia. Why can’t the non-Aboriginal residents just move to the vast area of land that is left in Australia? We “own” the land!  We “own” all of it and we only want this tiny piece of it! The whites have only just got there! We have been here for thousands of years!

They could claim that resistance to the creation of such a state by the non-Aboriginal community is simply based in racism.

I have lived on Kaurna lands nearly all my life and I can tell you that without asking one person, without asking one survey question, I can say that non-Aboriginal residents of the Adelaide Plains would literally be up in arms over such a proposal.

This hypothetical situation is virtually identical to the situation that the Palestinian Arab population has had to endure. How is it that we find it so hard to imagine why they resist the Zionist state? Why do we expect the Palestinians to accept a situation we ourselves find unacceptable? By definition, Zionist colonialism, just like any type of colonialism, is oppressive and violent as it violates the sovereign wishes of indigenous peoples.

Such a solution to the problems facing Aboriginal people in Australia would be disastrous for all. Yet we expect it to work in the Middle East? Like I said, the average Christian Zionist is easily smart enough to work this out. They just don’t want to.

CRAIG NIELSEN

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