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While rationalism at the individual level is a plea for more personal autonomy from cultural norms,
at the social level it is often a claim- or arrogation- of power to stifle the autonomy of others.
- Thomas Sowell



Letter to My Brother


Eoghan O'Suilleabhain


Letter to my Brother (in response to article by Arab-hating-Arab sent to him by an Israeli friend named Uri as justification for current Israeli actions).

Dear Aodh,

In most countries, especially Anglo-Saxon ones like Britain and the U.S., land abandoned or forgotten about for 21 years can be adversely possessed from prior claimants by the current occupant. With that in mind, according to the history I am familiar with, Hebrews came to the land of milk and honey with Moses from enslavement in Egypt and smote the Canaanites (i.e. the other people living there) like George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

In time however, the Romans came from afar and conquered the land driving the then Hebrew occupants out in much the same manner as we Americans drove the Indians out permitting the Philistinians (persons of Greek descent) to continue living there as they have since 70 A.D.

To now say as this Arab author does that these Philistinian/Palestinian people have no claim to this land (despite having always occupied it in unbroken chain of title ever since) because they were never in control of it given the presence of outside invaders like the Romans and the Turks is like saying the Celts have no present right to Ireland because they rarely controlled it given the presence there of Vikings, Normans & Brits.

Moreover, to say that Palestinians aren't a real people because they have no language or culture of their own (therefore they are really just Arabs) is like saying Austrians, Belgians & Swiss aren't a real people because there are no real Austrian, Belgian or Swiss languages therefore they are just Europeans. In fact, the Palestinians are a real people just as much as Austrians, Belgians & Swiss are and like them they have their own culture, which like cultures everywhere is just having a shared set of beliefs and ways as a people of doing things.

And while Palestinians at first welcomed European and American Zionist communities after WWI, they never abandoned or gave up their claim to this land. If ever there was a fictitious people it is the present day European & American Zionists speciously claiming a 2,000 year chain of title (more than 21 years) from the scattered tribes of ancient Israel, which is about as believable as saying I am a present day descendant of the Hittites (now give me back Lebanon) because have you ever seen any blue-eyed blonde or red haired Arabs?

These Europeans and Americans (i.e. Shimon Peres is Hebrew for Simon Perez and he is from Argentina, Golda Meier was Golda Meyer an American school teacher from Milwaukee, Wisconsin via her birthplace in Czarist Russia) invaded that land as Zionists mostly post-1945 and have taken it over from the Palestinians much like people from Tennessee wrongfully took over Texas from the Mexicans living there during the 1840's.

And if you don't think so, then consider the following:

"Michael Ben-Yair, Israel's Attorney General in the mid-1990's, recently
described the Palestinian intifada as a 'war of national liberation', adding:
'We enthusiastically chose to become a colonialist society, ignoring
international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from
Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding
justification for all those activities... we established an apartheid
regime.'" - quoting from The Guardian news article of April 12, 2002 by
Seumas Milne at page 21.

And talk about the pot calling the kettle black: How many people past and present use religion as a basis for land grabbing? Christopher Columbus & the Spanish Catholic Conquistadors, English Puritans & Massachusetts, Scottish Presbyterians & Northern Ireland, Brigham Young Mormons & Utah, New York American & European Zionists & Israel, and yes --- Muslim Palestinians and Palestine.

But remember, there are also Palestinian Christians (Maronites like the Writer & Author Edward Said and your friend Chris), Agnostics & Atheists who also claim Palestine for the Palestinians much like secular atheistic Jewish people also claim Israel without any irrational reference to Biblical scripture. They just want to have a place to call home and it seems to me if you can recognize this desire for yourself, you should be able to recognize it in others be you Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Kurdish or Palestinian.

The fact that Uri can cite an Arab as authority for his own bias reminds me of Southern Whites in the USA citing various Uncle Tom's as authority for Jim Crow. Malcolm X (a Muslim-American) used to wonder where they found them because often times when he would do a radio or television interview they'd put up one of those high yellow types opposite him to say: "Things have never been better for the Negro in America so I don't know what Mr. X is talking about." As you know, Malcolm X was killed in early 1965, and the US was rocked by inner city rioting in 1967 & 1968, an urban American intifada.

If I have learned anything from being a Lawyer (someone who traffics in other peoples' conflicts) it's that there are always many stories to any dispute and not all are truthful. Therefore, it’d behove all of us to read and listen widely. I suggest you and Uri and anyone else also consider what writers and authors like Noam Chomsky & Howard Zinn (Jewish Americans), Edward Said & James Zogby (Palestinian Americans), Israel Shahak (Israeli Activist & Chemist) & Tariq Ali (Arab Activist & Atheist), Robert Fisk (British Journalist), and Gore Vidal & Charley Reese (American WASPs) among others have to say about the present day problems in the Middle East because they are all pretty much in agreement: it is out of control xenophobic Zionism which has now engendered crazed suicidal Palestinian bombers much like America's unlawful and immoral venture into Vietnam drove protesting Buddhist priests there to kill themselves in public.

While some will be quick to (dishonestly) claim Chomsky and Shahak as Jew-hating-Jews and Gore Vidal and Charley Reese anti-Semitic, I would be interested to hear if Uri knows any of the present day Israeli soldiers who have conscientiously objected to serving in post-1967 occupied Palestinian territories?

Apparently these Israeli soldiers (unlike this Arab author Uri Cites) think the Palestinians are a real people with a right to exist there! They remind me of our own Vietnam-Veterans-Against-the-War who thought America's involvement in Vietnam was wrong and immoral.

Finally, this Arab author's reference to Palestinians as "Goliathans" is akin to referring to Jewish people as Fagans or Shylocks. The fact that he does so speaks volumes about his own self-hatred muck like Uncle Toms calling black people nigger. It smacks of the kind of self-hatred claims pro-Zionists smear others with all of the time but ironically have no problem precariously resting upon Arab self-hatred as authority for their own.

Apparently, Conor Cruise O'Brien is legion because it would seem that all oppressed people have at least one among them.

I would appreciate your sharing my thoughts with Uri and the others listed in your email as you have shared his with us.

Slan, Eoghan.



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