When Israel was nearly in Africa

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Watching the news of late especially international news leaves me with a frown and mostly a cringe. The steady violence that is perpetrated by the Israeli Government against the Palestinians is appalling at best and disgusting at worst. Images of children injured or killed by missiles fired at homes is not palatable evening news at least for this part of the world.

This reminded me about the Palestinian conflict and the Uganda Scheme. Basically there was a drive to look for a place for the persecuted Jews in Europe to call home. Naturally they wanted to go to the place where God had “Given” them (Ignore that they massacred indigenous tribes to get it). Some suggested that they should get a piece of the African pie in what is now called Uasin Gishu in Kenya.

It doesn’t take much to see how this was both daft and bound to fail more spectacularly than imagined. For starters there is zero history of an indigenous white or Semitic race in inland Africa. This would mean any settlement would be outright colonisation and dispossession of the existing populace of their land and resources (A lot like whats happening in Palestine now).

Secondly you couldn’t pick a more hostile place in the country. Maasai tribesmen are the ballsiest people on the planet. Traditionally a boy was initiated into manhood when he delivered the mane of a Lion he killed himself. You will not hear of Maasai slaves from any history books.

Settling Jews and their love for exclusion (see also) and the obvious influx of foreigners would build hostility and inevitably violence. The language and culture barrier would even be worse. It simply wasn’t workable.

Reading through this story made me wonder about the rights of a people. I don’t know of any other ‘tribe’ that has been defended for such a long time without any meaningful regard for the other side of the coin. The amount of war crimes and the stuff Israel gets away with is staggering. Some Israeli’s even turn the Gaza bombings into some kind of sport spectacle.

Its a common thing for Africans though. References about the ’3rd world’ (I still try to understand how we have 3 worlds), caricatures of happy smiling low intelligence Africans are bandied about to date.

Recently in other discussions on Africa On The Blog about some photos taken of the Dinka the concept of othering came to play. In retrospect, we all do it. We will treat or family members way better than total strangers. Extended family get preferential treatment to tribes-mates, country mates, and well. . .Others.

I do not see how this is much of a problem unless we make it one. Diversity is healthy. Mono culture is not. It is in this light that the likes of efforts like Africa rising and stories of sleeping help us sleep better. Only its just a convenient tale. A tale that exists in the same newspapers that defend the right of Israel to bomb civilian populations in the name of protecting the motherland that wasn’t theirs some 70 years ago.

The more things change the less they seem different.

Whether the Palestinians use human shields or not is besides the point. The territory they are restricted to is pitifully small. Also there are sever restrictions on imports and the embargo is pretty well maintained. I wonder how they manage to sneak in missiles in such conditions.

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