JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THE CONCEPT OF RACE – SOMETHING OF THE WAYS IT WAS USED IN THE PAST – NO LONGER RECOGNIZED AS A VALID CONCEPT – IT STILL DOES ARISE SOMETIMES CONCERNING THE TROUBLES OF THE MIDDLE EAST – BUT THE FORCES AT WORK IN THE MIDDLE EAST HAVE LITTLE TO DO WITH RACE – JUST WHY WE HAVE SUCH A HUMAN CATASTROPHE IN THE REGION – TRUMP’S “DEAL OF THE CENTURY” ONLY FORMALIZES A STRUCTURE FOR THE FUTURE OF EXISTING APARTHEID – A BARBARIC PROPOSAL   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN MONDOWEISS

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Response to a comment:

Indeed, all authorities today reject the term “race.”

It was always an artificial construct. It was used historically often almost as though you were talking about two different species, thus justifying abuse of one by the other. It has a history associated with imperialism and conquest and slavery, and it reached its height of destructiveness with the Nazis. The word has an indelible stain.

The word should be avoided, although you can find it repeated innocently in respectable places, being used as a short-hand grouping or sorting criterion.

There plainly are groups of people – whatever you choose to call them, as ethnic groups – who share many inherited physical characteristics such as skin tone and height, but that does not define a distinction called “race.”

But I think the word “race” has little to do with the terrible problems of the Middle East.

That situation arose because of the ugly effects of British and American imperialism, because of blundering interventions by American politicians, and because of the terrible abuse suffered by one group in Europe three-quarters of a century ago. Emotional connections with ancient cultural/religious things in the region for several religious groups also are thrown into the mix.

The almost constant intrusion of American politicians into the region’s affairs for decades has pretty well created a mess. This intrusion is a result of America’s campaign- finance system, an anti-democratic horror that should have been eliminated long ago, and not just because of the Middle East. It essentially sets up a reward system for American politicians to intrude on behalf of those whose lobbies in America are largest and best financed, with the Palestinians really not even being in the contest.

Trump’s maliciously named “deal of the century” is just a structure for formalizing long-term the apartheid which already exists. It reduces the Palestinians even further to living in a set of discontinuous “Indian reservations” inside the bowels of Israel, seizes still more of the property that’s been theirs for centuries, and leaves them at Israel’s mercy in everything from water to the electromagnetic spectrum. It leaves them with no rights of any description. As a final insult, the authors openly doubt whether Palestinians are capable of governing themselves.

It is barbaric. But what else would anyone expect from Trump? He is barbaric in virtually everything he does.

But it is also something else. It is a set of conditions which cannot remain stable, no matter how much Israel is given the upper hand. It is hard to understand how Israel doesn’t see that, but fanaticism and greed are things that don’t leave a lot of room for reason.

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