The inimitable James Lileks, in his most recent Screedblog, discusses the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip:
|Perhaps it was a waste of resources to defend 8500 settlers living next to 1.5 million Muslim refugees; unfortunately you can’t give up the land without the sweet lads at Hamas claiming victory and wishing to press their momentum. [emphasis added]|
In a sign of how entrenched the Leftist “narrative” of the Palestinian conflict has become, Mr. Lileks uses the word “refugees” to describe the non-Jewish residents of the Gaza Strip. One presumes his use of the word is careless; after all, his position on the Palestinian issue is well-known, and very clear in this particular essay.
How did the children and grandchildren of the Arab residents of the British Mandate of Palestine come to be called refugees? Their ancestors were residents of the Mandate before 1949, and then residents of Egypt or Jordan until 1967. Since that war of Arab aggression, they and their descendants have been residents of the “occupied territories”, left in a limbo created by the intransigence of the Palestinian Authority and the cynical refusal of their Arab neighbors to accept them as residents and citizens.
So now they are all “refugees”, as will be their descendants in perpetuity, until, presumably, they become the joyous citizens of a new Palestine when the Zionist colonizers are finally driven into the sea…?
Given this definition of “refugee”, as concocted by Islamist irredentists and their usefully idiotic Leftist fellow travelers in the West, it is high time to recognize other groups which deserve the same rights as the suffering Palestinians. We will begin with the Acadians of Louisiana, commonly known as “Cajuns”. Their French ancestors were forced out of Nova Scotia and parts of New Brunswick by the British after the end of the Seven Years’ War (known in North America as the French and Indian War, a war of French aggression). A number of them migrated south and settled in Louisiana, which was still French territory at that time. When Napoleon sold Louisiana to the United States in 1803, they were once again subjected to the brutal rule of the Anglo-Saxons.
I call for the right of return for the Cajuns, that they might re-occupy their ancestral homes in Moncton and St. John and Halifax and Prince Edward Island, and drive the hated English colonizers into the sea!
Then there are the Tories who fled the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution, grabbing anything that could be piled onto a wagon and hurrying to Ontario or Quebec to escape the oppression of their Yankee overlords. When will their great-great-great-great grandchildren gain the right to return to Manhattan and claim their rightful properties?
Or how about the Germans who, after the War of Nazi Aggression, were deported from their homes in Königsburg in 1945 by the Red Army and resettled in the rump state of Germany? Now that the Soviet Union has attained its well-earned place in the trash compactor of history, the rightful heirs of the East Prussia should be able to return to Kaliningrad, drive their Slavic oppressors into the Baltic, and resume their status as Junker landowners.
The list goes on and on — Lapps, Finns, Basques, Welsh, Poles, Irish… Forget the Irish, what about the Fir Bolg who preceded the Celts in Ireland? When will they gain the right to evict their vicious oppressors? The Etruscans. The Minoans. The Assyrians. The Paleolithic inhabitants of North America who were driven off their land by the “Native Americans” who arrived from Siberia.
The case can be made that we are all refugees, and have the right to return to the places from which we were wrongfully ejected.
As a matter of fact, my great-great grandfather fought for the Confederacy during the War of Northern Aggression. He returned in 1865 to his plantation between Richmond and Petersburg to find that it had been burned out by Union troops, and his family had fled to Richmond. Forced into penury as a result, he and his wife were reduced to the position of running a boarding house.
I claim for myself and the future Baron the right of return to that idyllic and hallowed ground in Colonial Heights, and I look forward to the day when we drive the evil Yankee occupiers into the James River.