Thursday, November 24, 2022

 Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory.

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nice house carWashington, November 24 - The distant progeny of seventh-century invaders of the Levant from the Arabian Peninsula and of later immigrants from around the region voiced puzzlement today that the White people who colonized and eventually took over the New World have not followed the same playbook they themselves did, namely to insist that they were there since the dawn of time and therefore the only legitimate people with collective political rights in the area.

Pro-Palestinian activists and political figures wondered Thursday what might explain Europeans' collective neglect of a powerful tool in the rhetorical repertoire, namely claiming that one's people occupy the same territory since time began, and that others who make claims on that territory have no historical validity to do so - despite that claim flying in the face of all the evidence indicating that one's ancestors in fact came much later.

"It works well for us, and I can't imagine why Westerners don't do that same thing," stated Nour Erakat, a commentator and political activist. "It would be so much easier for the US, for example, to dismiss 'Indian' claims by calling those claims lies, as we do with Jewish claims to our land. My clan in particular came to Palestine in the nineteenth century, but that doesn't stop us from insisting we're the original inhabitants going back to prehistory. And that we always identified as 'Palestinian,' even though no native group ever referred to itself as such. It would be so much less complicated that the current mess those New World governments have to deal with, what with the treaties, reservations, and other hassles. Just get rid of those other people and say you were always there. What's the big deal?"

"I understand the Western reluctance to abandon the factual realm entirely," acknowledged James Zogby. "Without an anchor in documented history, the Western mind can't make coherent sense of the world. But with time, we can teach them to create narratives that do not rely on such a flimsy basis as 'facts' and 'evidence' - and that will free them to do as we have done, to deny the legitimacy of indigenous peoples restoring their political nationhood, by denying the historicity of any such nationhood."

"Also, if Muslims can claim pre-Islamic and Biblical figures as Muslim," he added, "why all the fuss over anachronism? Just call the Lenape New Yorkers and Seminole Floridians and be done with it. It works for Al-Khalil, Al-Quds, the Haram al-Sharif, and Al-Aqsa."



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