Thursday, December 23, 2010

US endorses absurd postcolonialist resolution
21 December '10

In 2007, the UN General Assembly passed resolution 61/295, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This past week, the US endorsed the resolution, after initially voting against it along with Australia, Canada and New Zealand. All four nations have now endorsed it, making it unanimous.

The intent is purportedly to protect people like Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians against exploitation and denial of rights by the majority culture. In fact, it represents a breathtaking invasion of the sovereignty of any nation that contains a subculture that defines itself as ‘indigenous’.

The declaration has a long preamble and 46 articles. It does not contain a definition of ‘indigenous’, because

According to the Chairperson, Ms. Erica Irene Daes, Rapporteur of the Working Group, this was because “historically, indigenous peoples have suffered, from definitions imposed by others” (E/CN.4/Stib.2/AC.4/1995/3, page 3).

The ‘working group’ which developed the declaration did provide a definition, but it was never officially adopted by any UN body. Here’s part of it, which may give you an idea of their thinking:

Indigenous communities, peoples and nations are those which, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing on those territories, or parts of them.

They form at present non-dominant sectors of society and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their ancestral territories, and their ethnic identity, as the basis of their continued existence as peoples, in accordance with their own cultural patterns, social institutions and legal system.

Naturally, the Palestinian Arabs claim to be an indigenous people. By way of illustration, if this claim were to be upheld, what would the declaration imply?

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1 comment:

  1. If you read many of their online family historical accounts you discover that many of the most vocal Palestinians aren't indigenous, having moved to Israel after Jews began to build, in the last century.

    For instance, one "Palestinian's" uncles came from Syria in the 1920's, and settled in a small Arab town. They didn't get along and started up another town a few miles away, and then later moved again before 1948. Now their children and grandchildren call themselves "indigenous" and "refugees".

    Of course, this isn't the case with every Arab in Israel, but Arabs apparently claim the whole territory on ethnic and religious grounds, regardless of where their ancestors originated, or how lately. Trouble is, it doesn't matter that it's not true. In most of the world, the matter has already been decided with no connection to facts.