I was reading about Kiruna in Sweden. It is the site of a huge iron ore mine located in Lapland where the Sami live. The Sami are reindeer herders.
It reminded me of Israel/Palestine. 2 peoples sharing the same land. In the best of cases it is tough but it doesn’t have to be fucked up as Israel is.
Part of that means acknowledging an inconvenient truth – the fact that the new town sits on the territory of the Sami, the indigenous people of Lapland, whose reindeer herding is frequently disrupted by mining. The Sami convene their Swedish parliament in Kiruna – though you wouldn’t know it from the opening ceremony.
“Where’s the Sami flag? Where’s the Sami representative [on stage]?” says Carola Grahn, a Sami artist whose work is exhibited in the new gallery. “We have a Sami parliament but the head of the Sami parliament wasn’t invited.”
“They just don’t need to give a fuck so they don’t give a fuck,” says Nils Johan Labba with a shrug. A traditional craftsman with an 18-month waiting list for his knives, he is also a member of the Sami parliament. “We have a reindeer community here, this is their moving territory. Or it was – everything changed with the city. Kiruna as a city doesn’t take much consideration about Sami people or Sami lifestyles.”
A sense of betrayal is rooted in the Sami experience in Kiruna; several Sami told me versions of an apocryphal story about a Sami man discovering a special heavy stone, and being tricked by a Swedish prospector into revealing the location of the iron ore deposits.
The company seems exasperated by the issue. “They have their interest in this land and we have ours,” says Mäkitaavola. “So it’s a problem. It’s not easy.”
Stefan Sydberg, Kiruna’s deputy mayor, acknowledges the Sami people’s interests must be respected. “But moving the city centre to this area has the least impact, because this is an old industrial area. There haven’t been any reindeer in this area since before the city transformation.
“We can’t just sit and say we can’t do anything because we have the reindeer herders. We have to evolve as a city. Because they prosper from that as well.”
The impression Kiruna’s officials clearly want to give is of a kind of northern Swedish pragmatism. The city wouldn’t exist without the mine, so it had to be moved; yes, of course that is expensive; true, it’s Sami territory, but what isn’t? Up here, you simply get the job done.
This is very interesting. The GOP is chaotic so different conflicting positions are emerging. Israel needs to be a bipartisan issue. The nightmare scenario is when it becomes a polarizing issue.
« The main bill Paul is blocking puts into law an agreement reached under former President Barack Obama that gives Israel $38 billion in military assistance over 10 years. The measure has broad bipartisan support in Congress. Various versions of the bill have easily passed the Senate and the House in recent months, but the Senate still needs to pass a final version.
Using his Senate privileges, Paul placed a hold on the bill on Oct. 11, surprising other lawmakers, according to Hill staffers.
In various statements to the press, Paul has said he supports Israel, but that in the long run the country should become self-sufficient.
Just this week, Paul placed a hold on a bill that is designed to counter the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” movement, congressional staffers confirmed. That movement urges companies and countries to penalize Israel through boycotts and other means over its treatment of the Palestinians. Rubio is also a lead sponsor of that legislation, which has plenty of bipartisan backing.
The federal bill has a number of elements, including essentially condoning state and local government laws that penalize people and companies who back isolating Israel over the Palestinian issue.
Paul’s office said he has concerns that the anti-“boycott” bill could infringe on Americans’ First Amendment rights — a concern other opponents of such measures share. In any case, his hold has further upset pro-Israel groups already steamed about his efforts to stop the aid package.«