Against, and then For a Palestinian State

It always kills me when I go to anti-war or anti-SOA protests and see a bunch of leftists waving Palestinian flags and wearing keffiyehs. On one hand, I am sympathetic to the Palestinian demand for sovereign territory. (Almost as a rule I support dividing land into as many small countries as possible.) And there's definitely a lot to criticize in Israel's approach to the Palestinian question.

But that doesn't mean I want to wave a Palestinian flag around. It baffles me how much far-Left support there is for a Palestinian state that is inevitably going to violate the hell out of its citizens' civil rights as soon as it gets the chance. Who do they think will get the presumption of right in cases of domestic violence and divorce? How hard will it be to get an abortion? How long will the prison sentence for homosexuality be? Will drug laws be draconian? Honor killings, unpunished rapes, imposition of hijabs? I am not an expert on Palestine but there don't seem to be any liberal elements in the political landscape to moderate the profoundly illiberal ones. Be careful what you wish for, because you might get it.

Why support the carving out of a Palestinian state at all, you wonder? First, it's complicated, and there's not one great realistic answer. That said, we'll need a great amount of patience but in the long term I think it will be a net positive. If land is divided finely enough there can be many more experiments in organization that will separate the wheat from the chaff. Plus once a people has a land to call its own it can start thinking about the future rather than blowing up the present. Assuming of course that Palestinian culture won't get a healthy infusion of Tolstoyan voluntarism to duplicate this effect first.

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Huh. That's weird. If you

Huh. That's weird. If you were at the last two soa's then we probably met when I was hanging with the capitalist clump. Shame on you for not admitting to blogging fame.

Anyhow, far weirder than outright palestinian flags are the hybrid rainbow/palestinian flags that got waved around at the last Democratic convention.

I agree. Although one can't

I agree. Although one can't assume that ALL of those anti-war, pro Palestinian folks are also domestically liberal, it's mostly the case, thus their contradiction.
Palestinian society is a pretty conservative one, but there IS a secular and liberal element, represented in the Alternative List party in the recent elections, for instance.
And to think how many people are turned on to Hamas extremism just to spite the American financial support for Fatah (recently) and Israel (quite a while now).
This all speaks to the tension that middle eastern liberals feel with regard to tolerance and open-mindedness on the one hand, and the disgust at American foreign policy on the other. Unfortunately the former is often perceived to be associated with the latter.

Those particular

Those particular "terrorists" are legitimate now, looking as they are for coalitions.

They will soon be declared certified "club members" in a New Kind of Terrorism.