this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr

for the main blog of poetry, whimsy and maybe beauty, now

Friday, 24 April 2009

and if it were your home, 2 - a conundrum

Imagine, let's put it in an Australian context, if Indonesia was granted half of Western Australia, despite people already living there, and then decided it wanted the other half as well. They had the better military, and international backing, so they evicted people from their homes, and put settler families in them, or demolished them, and built on the land. There was no reparation. In fact, the people who were evicted often had to pay for the demolition.

Of course, the equivalent is what the British and Irish (my ancestors) did to the Aboriginal people when they first decided Australia (not that it was called that, then) was a good place to set up camp. It is the whole premise of terra nullius. I did think that we had decided that it was a wrong and shameful part of our past, and that all people of the world had rights. I thought that was one of the reasons for Rudd saying sorry to the stolen generation, and one of the reasons why our government has decided to support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Apparently not.

Tellingly, but not surprisingly, to the best of my knowledge the U.S. has not supported that declaration, and neither has New Zealand. I guess the surprising thing, given its current track record, is that Australia has decided to support it. Still, pay attention to the words of the British diplomat below. However, they are just words, and as Gideon Levy says, what is needed now, and had always been needed are deeds. The following is from ISM about ongoing house demolitions in East Jerusalem (which also occur in the rest of the occupied territories). Keep in mind that it is almost impossible for a Palestinian to acquire a housing/building permit.
Other Israeli changes in Sheikh Jarrah include plans to evict two large families from homes they have occupied for more than 50 years on the grounds that they are not legal owners. It is believed their dwellings will be given over to settlers. Plans to demolish 88 Palestinian homes in the Silwan neighbourhood are temporarily on hold as a result of international pressure.

A British diplomat criticised the Israeli steps last night. “They [the new Israeli government] asked us for a pause while they formulate policy but if there will be a pause in the peace process there also needs to be a pause in the actions we are seeing in East Jerusalem. Such steps contradict Israel’s stated goal of peace,” the diplomat said.
[my emphasis] Read more

No comments:

this cutie was taken by Crazyegg95 in 2005 and is from flickr