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delayed effect of the Holocaust
by g kohler
30 March 2002 14:40 UTC
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Does world(-)system(s) scholarship have anything to offer with regard to
analysis of the present struggle Israelis-Palestinians? One strand of
world system scholarship looks at this in terms of geopolitical
(especially petroleum) interests of the "center" of the world system or,
alternatively, of the class interests of the global corporate class or
inter-capitalist rivalry. There is another strand of WS scholarship,
which is less economistic, more Braudelian, emphasizing long-term
historical processes (long duree). Taking this perspective, one cannot
but observe that the past fifty years of conflict between Israelis and
Palestinians is a long-term effect of the Holocaust (Shoah).
        According to this interpretation, the suffering of the Jewish
people in the shoah (1939-45) triggered the creation of the state of
Israel (1948), which triggered the Palestinian catastrophe, Palestinian
suffering and resistance ever since. Thus, Palestinians are
second-degree victims of the Holocaust. Two of the many peoples who were
victimized by the Nazi aggressions half a century ago, are spilling each
others' blood half a century later. The capitalist world system should
have something like "binding arbitration". Even labour disputes between
teachers unions and the government in Canada are not ended by
negotiation. Most of the time these disputes are ended by legislation
and binding arbitration. Just as the capitalist world system invented
war crimes tribunals, it should invent binding arbitration for
collective blood feuds. The global hegemon behaves like a global Hamlet.
The rest is silence.


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