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China/Tibet; Bad Guy: China. Israel/Palestine; Bad Guy: Palestine

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Whenever I read about China’s horrifying crackdown on Tibet, I’m struck by the different ways the media report the Palestinian situation and the Tibetan one. There are several similarities between the two disfranchised peoples–60 years of statelessness, an utter imbalance of power, imprisonment, siege, denial of hope and human rights.

No, the Tibetans aren’t doing suicide bombing, that I’m aware of. And the Chinese aren’t surrounded by a sea of Tibetans. But what we are seeing now in Tibet reminds me of the "first intifadah," to refer to the Palestinian uprising of the late ’80s; and unlike the Palestinian intifadah, it’s being covered with complete sympathy for the underdog. Kevin MacDonald (who I hasten to note makes ugly generalizations about Jews) says it is an amazing achievement that American Jews have routinely been able to portray the Israelis as righteous, when they are oppressing the Palestinians, and I agree with this statement. I think this is a reflection of the Jewish place in the American Establishment, and the definition of Jewish identity as militantly Zionist. Though things are changing…

(Rightwinger Dennis Prager accepts the analogy but says just the opposite: Palestinians are the darlings to the world. Maybe to the world. Not in the U.S.)

Philip Weiss

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