What Palestinians and Hawaiians Have in Common
My wife and I have spent the better part of our lives accommodating the two sets of dissimilar realities of our roots in
Spin-doctoring, as a journalistic art form and a political tool, came of age only in recent years with the advent of neo-conservative dominance in US politics. Neo-cons have used this tool masterfully in the promotion and justification of the war on
That, at least, was what I had assumed until I read David E. Stannard’s book Honor Killing depicting race relations in
As I started reading this book it all seemed vaguely familiar. The more the author exposed the factual information with the benefit of some seven decades of hindsight the more I found its essence similar to the parallel narrative of what happened in
The two histories, of the Hawaiians and of the Palestinians, are quite dissimilar in their details. Yet the basic operative mode and motivation of the aggressors are highly similar despite the disparity in the level of sophistication of the tools used. The Hawaiians were a demoralized and conquered native minority imposed upon by the openly racist, crudely oppressive self-serving haoles (Hawaiian for foreigner or white). The Palestinians face a much more refined and infinitely more powerful circle of interests with the added advantage and veneer of self-righteous liberal intellectualism. Yet, step by step and feature by feature the tale of demonization, land theft, and adding blame to injury is the same. In both cases facts are turned on their heads and the victim is fully guilty in the eyes of the wider world. And in both cases the local truth is of no significance; it is the media that has the voice to sound off its falsity to an attentive world that is not only happy to swallow the lies whole but is willing to give of its sympathy, energy and financial means to further establish it as the final operative reality.
I should read about other indigenous peoples’ tales of dispossession: Native Americans, Native Canadians, Maoris, Aborigines and more. I bet you the story repeats itself.