Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Right To National Identity

(via Alas, A Blog) No Snow Here writes:

Earlier this week, I saw a commercial on TV. Several shots of people saying things like “I am American,” “I am Korean,” and “I am Indian.” When I heard the words, “I am Israeli,” I shouted some expletives at the screen. WTF!? And I shouted some more expletives when I learned that apparently the “right” to a nationality is Youth For Human Rights International’s 15th human right (just not for Palestinians, who have no rights, human or otherwise). First, Israelis and Americans have no “right” to a national identity. Israelis and Americans have a national identity that exists on the backs and dead bodies of indigenous people, so I don’t even want to hear that bullsh#@. Second, most people in this world have a national identity that was entirely invented and forced upon them by colonizers. Who drew those lines on the map? Who constructed and named those countries? Uh huh.
Two thoughts:
  1. Saying that Americans have no right to a national identity is sort of like threatening to take away someone's birthday; like it or not its still going to be there when you get done.
  2. Be careful what you wish for; the "right to national identity" lives just next door to the "right to self determination". Criticize the former and you might end up killing off the latter, and then where would the Palestinians be?

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