Saturday, July 26, 2014

When people at home tired of the slaughter

The Northern Irish understand Palestine like few other people. Their ancestors lived through hundreds of years of a brutal apartheid. 

The Britain invaded Ireland in the Sixteen Hundreds and proceeded to colonize it with religious sects and minorities it didn't want at home, particularly the Presbyterians. Most Irish in the US can trace their heritage to one of the consequences of that occupation, a genocidal famine that killed a million Irish and drove another million to the New World.

By 1922, the Irish had freed themselves of British occupation. That is, all but the northern counties, where Protestants held the majority and religious discrimination, ethnic cleansing, and British funded death squads continued. 

Only when the English people at home tired of the slaughter was a peace between the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland possible. A treaty, brokered by the US in 1998, eliminated all forms of religious discrimination in Northern Ireland and insured human rights for every citizen. In fact, religion was completely separated from the state and all forms of apartheid made illegal. 

Although many of the physical walls between groups still exist today, there is a feeling of hope that the two religions can coexist.

Could such a peace come to Palestine? The citizens of the US are becoming increasingly tired of supporting the blatantly racist regime of Israel. Now that Jewish settlements in the West Bank have made a two state solution impossible, it is time for Americans to insist on an end to all apartheid in Palestine.


Fred Nagel

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