Saturday, November 6, 2010

Why? Because we say so!

Take a look at a map of Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in the 1890's. This is a microcosm of the American version of Israel's occupied territories. America was able to pull off the act with little trouble because of the huge difference in numbers between the native-Americans and the white settlers. Just as with modern Israel, the word from the white man to the Indian was "Why? Because we say so!"

This map shows how the tribes, from the vast lands they had once inhabited, were crowded into sections of the Indian Territory, quite reduced in size from the original "Indian territory" - what is now the continental United States. Israel would love to pull this trick off too. There are Knesset members who have mentioned booting Israeli Palestinians out of Israel and into the West Bank.

As American history shows, that expulsion is only the first step. See the second map.

Below you can see Oklahoma as the state it is today (it became one in 1907). Some way or another the law made it legal for white people to move into and take the land in the territory that was supposedly for the Indians. Just as in the territories that Israel occupies, Native-Americans had only the white man's law for appeal. That didn't work out well for them.

There was a big land rush on the day the law came into effect in 1889. As you can see from this current map, there's nothing to distinguish Oklahoma from the surrounding states. "Settler roads", just as in the West Bank, now weave throughout. There are quite a few native-American place names but otherwise the land has been largely cleansed of the people who were there before the white man. No doubt, just like Israelis, Americans didn't think Native-Americans were making good use of the land.

Israel would love to have the same thing happen today with the Palestinians, only Israel would definitely not keep any Arabic place names. Full erasure, as in Israel proper, is their style of land management.

Finally, a map of the West Bank as it is today (provided by B'Tselem). Please compare to the Indian Territory map at top.

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