Independence Day by mattsteinglass
July 4, 2009, 6:02 am
Filed under: Israel

It’s become fairly clear over the past couple of decades that the principle that every people deserves political self-determination, i.e. a state of their own, can be taken too far. NATO handled the 1998-99 Kosovo situation as well as could be expected under the circumstances, but it’s not clear to me that a far better outcome than an independent Kosovo that’s really not a viable state might not have been achievable. I don’t understand the point of Flemish, Abkhazian or Ossetian independence, and independent East Timor is not doing too well. In some cases, international commitments to guaranteeing independence to any population that wants it seem guaranteed to generate weak, dependent states that might even be considered neo-colonialist.

That said, there is at least one population in the world that genuinely needs to get an independent state as soon as feasible, even if it doesn’t appear economically viable. So on this July 4, let’s hope the year brings us closer to an independent Palestine with a peaceful relationship with its Israeli neighbor.

3 Comments so far
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Comment by Forrester McLeod

Are you saying that an independent Paletinian state would prevent the kind of violence seen in Gaza this year? I just can’t see it. Gaza and the West Bank would remain divided, terrorists in both areas would remain active, and Israeli forces no more hesitate to cross international borders to combat what they perceive of as terrorism than they do to cross borders with ‘authorities’.

Comment by FOARP

Have you read The Shield of Achilles by Philip Bobbitt? He makes this point (roughly speaking), though he takes it one step further. It’s a very long, dense read, but I recommend it to anyone with the time and interest in geopolitics.

Comment by Joel

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