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The story of every piece of land one of conflict over ownership. I'm typing these words in a coffeeshop in northern Hamilton County. I'm leasing it from the proprietor for the cost of a cup of joe. The business rents it from the landlord. And the landlord bought it from someone, who in turn bought it from someone, who in turn got this bit of land where I'm sitting right now from a land grant from some regional provisional government.

Who effectively seized it from a native tribe called the Lenape [1].

That's how most Americans see the Israel-Palestine conflict [2]. There's a group that was there first, and they are the ones with the primary claim to the land. Or maybe, there is a group that has been the target of historical oppression, and thus they have the right to the land.

Except, here the analogy collapses. Our beliefs are contradictory. No matter what. Do the math yourself: whatever reason you think the __ has the right to determine the fate of their land, apply that to another conflict elsewhere.

We are not going to logic our way to an answer about Israel and Palestine, at least not one based on history. Instead we have to ask ourselves a more important question: for any given action, what will be the outcome? These options are, roughly:

1. The United States can keep giving Israel support, as we have done for generations [3]
1. The United States can increase support for Israel 
1. The United States can decrease support for Israel


[1] In the 1800s at least, because the Lenape were “pushed” westward in the 1700s from where they had settled in what is now the northeastern United States. Before that the Miami, Potawatomi, and Shawnee tribes lived here. It's not clear how much conflict there was between these groups. But before that the Mississippian culture flourished from around 800 CE to 1600 CE. Before that, there was the Hopewell tradition dating from 100 BCE to around 500 CE. And before that there were people associated with the Folsom tradition and Clovis cultures but we really don't know much about them or how much they were in the place I'm now having coffee and writing this.

[2] Or as I think we ought to call it, the Abrahamic Conflict. This eons-long cold-and-hot war is a religious war. It is about which religions—and their associated peoples—have the right to exist.

[3] About $150 billion in aid since 1946, more than any other country the US assists.

israel.txt · Last modified: 2024/02/22 12:38 by rslaughter