On a recent visit to Berkeley last Saturday, I ran into the Dalai Lama quite by accident:


I noticed that a street had been cordoned off and I saw a huge crowd down the block straining to catch a glimpse of something. Out of curiosity, I came closer just in time to see the Dalai Lama arrive in a limousine and bless the crowd before heading into the back door of the Berkeley Community Theater to give a speech. To mark the occasion, the city of Berkeley was flying Tibetan flags on city-owned flag poles at Civic Center Park.


For some reason I was struck by the memory of a different world leader who came to Berkeley nearly nine years ago to give a speech in the exact same theater — but who was given a rather different kind of reception: When Benjamin Netanyahu arrived to give a speech at the Berkeley Community Theater in 2000, the protests were so violent that the speech had to be cancelled at the last minute.

Which got me to thinking: The average Berkeley resident is pro-Tibet, yet anti-Israel. But how logical is that?

Consider the following: Which side do you support in this scenario:

A large empire controlled by a dominant ethnic group tries to seize a comparatively small piece of territory that is the ancestral homeland of a minority ethnic group.

Now, being Americans, our natural urge is to root for the underdog. But the scenario outlined above could apply equally to Tibet or Israel. The only difference is how the story ended up.

The modern nation of China is the contemporary name for the vast empire of the Han Chinese ethnic group. Tibet had been mostly independent for the past two millennia, with occasional periods of domination by the Han. In 1913 Tibet officially declared itself a modern independent nation, and stayed that way until 1950, when a newly re-unified China invaded, seized total control of Tibet, and absorbed it inside the Chinese borders. The Chinese government in the intervening 60 years has encouraged massive migration of millions of Han Chinese into the region, to dilute the power of influence of the vastly outnumbered ethnic Tibetans.

The story of Israel, which in specifics seems totally different on the surface from the history of Tibet, in fact has many fundamental parallels. The ancient nation of Israel had been independent for many centuries, with periods of domination by the Romans and others. Some time after Rome fell, Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula, newly unified under Islam, spread out across the Middle East, central Asia, north Africa and parts of Europe to create a vast Arab empire. The land of Israel was one of the many former nations absorbed into the Arab empire. After a long history far too complicated to summarize in a sentence, the Arab empire eventually fractured into dozens of modern independent nations, all of which still have Arabic as their primary language and Islam as their primary religion. After this fracturing, a minority ethnic group, the Jews, returned to their ancestral homeland in 1948 and declared themselves to be an independent nation. Now, there are many pan-Arab transnationalists who want to re-establish the Arab empire under a caliphate, and that would include abolishing national boundaries, including the one separating Israel from the surrounding Arab world.

In both cases, a large ethnic majority (Han, Arab) wants to subsume the land and national identity of an ethnic and religious minority (Tibetans, Jews) who have a legitimate historical claim for independence. The main difference is how things currently stand: The Tibetans’ homeland has been successfully invaded, conquered and partly ethnically cleansed by the Han; but the Jews have been able (so far at least) to defend their homeland of Israel from invasion and ethnic cleansing by the modern Arabs.

And it is this success at clinging to their independence that is apparently the Jews’ main moral flaw in the eyes of Berkeley. Oppressed people who remain victims deserve our sympathy; but oppressed people who fight back and reclaim their sovereignty are no longer pitiable, and lose their underdog status.


Hence when the former leader of one ethnic group (the Tibetans) arrives in Berkeley he is greeted by cheering crowds like this. But when the former leader of the parallel ethnic group (the Israelis) arrives in Berkeley, he is greeted by riots and threats of violence. The inconsistency is breathtaking.

But what, you may ask, about the Palestinians? How do they fit into this equation? Well, remember that the word “Palestinian” was until 1964 simply an adjective, the first half of the phrase “Palestinian Arab”; it was only with the rise of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian nationalism that the separate ethnic identity of “Palestinians” was invented. I need not go into the well-trod history of the Near East between 1917 and 1967, when the struggles between the Ottomans, British, French, Arabs, Jordanians, Egyptians and Israelis left those Arabs who had been living in the area around Jerusalem and who had fled in 1948 as the only population without a nation to call their own. The revisionists are trying to claim that the land now called Israel is their ancestral home, and that they thereby have a right to it in its entirety; but from an outside strictly historical point of view, the Jews have a prior claim on the land by about 2,000 years, and the Arabs who later settled there are similar to the Han Chinese who are currently settling in Tibet: subsequent immigrants. Just because someone tried to change the ethnic labels doesn’t mean that the Palestinian Arabs are suddenly native to the region: They remain Arabs, and are being used by the larger Arab world as a tool to re-establish an Arab empire.

I realize that I’m not going to settle any arguments with this post, but I ask: What is your view of the parallels between Tibet and Israel? Do you accept my basic historical framework? Is it logically and morally consistent to support the independence of Tibet and Israel? Or do you reject this paradigm, and adopt some alternate historical structure, as do apparently most of the residents of Berkeley?

49 Responses to “Tibet and Israel: parallel stories, diverging opinions”

  1. 1Anonymous on Apr 28, 2009 at 10:04 am:

    Well put.

      

  2. 2GWB on Apr 28, 2009 at 10:19 am:

    Zombie, didn’t you get the memo? You can no longer use logic to debate this subject

      

  3. 3Reek on Apr 28, 2009 at 11:53 am:

    Americans surely should be wary of accepting prior ownership claims based on modern (or ancient) independent status as most of our history was premised on the removal & subjection of former inhabitants.

      

  4. 4Kowa B on Apr 28, 2009 at 12:09 pm:

    Most people who are anti-israel have no idea of the history behind the arab-israeli conflict whatsoever. I have been called racist for explaining how older israelis I know can recall being referred to as “palestinian jews” as late as the early 1950′s, prior to the 1964 founding of the PLO.

    Great post zombie, keep it up

      

  5. 5zombie on Apr 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm:

    #3 Reek:

    Your statement is partly true; however, two key points:

    1. Native Americans did not have the same concept of nationhood and land ownership that we currently do, so each tribe did not consider itself a political “country” with borders, since many of the tribes were migratory, and many of the migration routes overlapped.

    2. Most tribes still have their own land and own laws; what they call “First Nations” and what we call (still using the demeaning 19th century term) “reservations.” I’ve met Native Americans from some of these Reservations and some have their own passports and consider themselves to be somewhat independent, politically.

    But yes, depending on how far back you want to go, nearly EVERY NATION ON EARTH is on “occupied land”: The Turkic tribes did not settle in Anatolia until the 12th century and did not take it over from the Greeks and Byzantines and other tribes until the 15th century; hence, Turkey is an illegitimate nation. The Frankish tribes drove out the Celts and the Basques and the Romans starting in the 5th century, hence France is an illegitimate nation. And on and on, around the world. How far back to you want to go? Cro-magnons out of Neanderthal territory!

      

  6. 6Lizzie on Apr 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm:

    Reek:

    What a wonderful argument for you to devolve back to a mindless amoeba and forego your right to speak and vote. You Go, buddy.

      

  7. 7CattusMagnus on Apr 28, 2009 at 12:56 pm:

    I have often wondered why supporting Tibetan freedom is so en vogue while other oppressed groups receive no attention at all. My guess as to why the Tibetan and Israeli causes are so viewed so differently is that Israel is more or less a “western” nation. If you are western or Judeo-Christian, that means you’re an impirialist and you’re getting your comeuppance. Being western, or Jewish, or Christian, or capitalist excludes you from victim status. I wonder what the Dalai Lama thinks of the plight of Israel?

      

  8. 8Ringo the Gringo on Apr 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm:

    The reason the Left does not support Israel is because Israel has been (thus far) successful in fending off their enemies, where as Tibet has failed….And, as you know, in the Leftist world-view, being a loser is a virtue.

    If the Arabs had succeeded in destroying Israel back in ’67 or ’73 Leftists around the world would love them. You’d probably even see “Free Israel” bumperstickers on Volvos in Berkeley the same way you see “Free Tibet” stickers.

    …….As for the far-Right, well, they hate Israel because it’s full of Jews.

      

  9. 9zombie on Apr 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm:

    “#4 Kowa B
    I have been called racist for explaining how older israelis I know can recall being referred to as “palestinian jews” as late as the early 1950’s, prior to the 1964 founding of the PLO.”

    Exactly. In fact, one very old former Israeli I once met said that in the ’30s and ’40s he was called simply “a Palestinian.” If there was a need to be specific, he was a “Palestinian Jew” to distinguish him from the “Palestinian Arabs.” Now, incomprehensibly, the terms “Palestinian” only is supposed to refer to Palestinian Arabs, but no longer to the Palestinian Jews.

    “Palestinian” is not an ethnicity, but rather an adjective referring to the name of the region under the British Mandate, and anyone, of any heritage, who lived there at that time. Now, suddenly, all the people who stayed — the Palestinian Jews — are deemed illegitimate by the international community, and the ones who ran away — the Palestinian Arabs — are deemed to sole inheritors of the land. Crazy.

      

  10. 10SanFranciscoZionist on Apr 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm:

    I don’t think the analogy works for me–the parallels seem a little strained. China is the pan-Arab coalition?

    I’m not totally sure why Tibet gets such focus. The romance of the religious angle, I think, because I don’t really think there’s a motive to bash China.

    Bret Stephens did an interesting piece this week on why the Palestinians get so much more sympathy and attention than the Chechens–another imperfect analogy– for one thing, Russia’s army does not worry about purity of arms–but a morally interesting comparison.

      

  11. 11Ringo the Gringo on Apr 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm:

    Now that I think about it, Benjamin Netanyahu might be better received around the world if he just started wearing a Gandhi-style loincloth and flip-flops. Sensitive leftwingers love that kind of stuff.

      

  12. 12Ken on Apr 28, 2009 at 3:23 pm:

    “In 1913 Tibet officially declared itself a modern independent nation”

    And no country ever recognized it as such, thus making it ineligible for statehood under the terms of the Constitutive Theory of Statehood.

    “The Chinese government in the intervening 60 years has encouraged massive migration of millions of Han Chinese into the region, to dilute the power of influence of the vastly outnumbered ethnic Tibetans.”

    If anyone can show me proof of Han outnumbering Tibetans in Tibet, I’d love to see it. I have yet to find a single shred of evidence that says so:

    “Tibetan nationality accounts for over 90% of the population, but that of the Han nationality and other ethnic groups is very small.”
    (http://www.unescap.org/esid/psis/population/database/chinadata/tibet.htm)

    As for encouraging mass emigration, that, too, is another “pro-Tibet” myth:

    “Most of the Han people and other ethnic group residents in Tibet are professionals and technicians with a higher than average education and specialized skills. They mostly return to their hometowns once they have completed their service terms. Since opening up and reform, traders from neighboring provinces have gone to Tibet to do business, but they are largely itinerant and of a small number, rarely settling down in Tibet.”
    (http://www.tibetinfor.com/tibetzt/question_e/4/055.htm)

    Not only are they NOT encouraging it, they’re not even making it easy! Someone who wants to do business in Tibet may need as many as 10 different documents, including signatures and notarizations.
    (http://www.tibetinfor.com/tibetzt/question_e/3/053.htm)

    Tibet has never been “ethnically cleased,” partially or completely or in any way, Zomb. If you’d ever been there you might know better.

      

  13. 13Brian on Apr 28, 2009 at 3:36 pm:

    It’s simple. The Israelis win. And keep winning. They are no longer the underdogs.

    Beleaguered, sure. But not the underdogs.

      

  14. 14Kun on Apr 28, 2009 at 10:19 pm:

    Comparing Israelis to Tibetans is fallacious since Israelis have control over Israel, Tibetans have little control over Tibet. If the Presidency and all other important posts in the Israeli government were led by Arabs while Jews had ceremonial or local posts, then I could start to see why you’d claim such a thing. In Tibet, the Han Chinese control all really important administrative functions (sometimes from Beijing), Tibetans only control ceremonial and local posts.

    “I have often wondered why supporting Tibetan freedom is so en vogue while other oppressed groups receive no attention at all. My guess as to why the Tibetan and Israeli causes are so viewed so differently is that Israel is more or less a “western” nation. If you are western or Judeo-Christian, that means you’re an impirialist and you’re getting your comeuppance. Being western, or Jewish, or Christian, or capitalist excludes you from victim status.”

    It’s because they believe that Buddhism is a 100% peaceful religion and that Tibet was a sort of heaven on earth until the dreaded Communists killed everyone in the 1950′s. In reality, Tibet was feudal and oppressive, but more importantly (vis-à-vis China) they never claimed independence until after the invasion (to my knowledge), before that the Lama was against incorporation into the Chinese Republic directly but still did not declare himself leader of an independent state. Only the British (who invaded in 1904 and were competing for influence in it with the Russians and Chinese) declared that China had suzerainty but not sovereignty over Tibet, the rest of the world recognized China’s de jure sovereignty over it even though it was de facto independent, especially due to the Warlord Era and the decentralization it brought.

    I’m not denying the Han dominance of Tibet today, and if Tibetans want independence then they should have it.

      

  15. 15Kun on Apr 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm:

    Prime Minister of Israel, not President*

      

  16. 16zombie on Apr 29, 2009 at 9:32 am:

    “#13 Kun
    Comparing Israelis to Tibetans is fallacious since Israelis have control over Israel, Tibetans have little control over Tibet.”

    Kun, that’s the whole point behind my post. The stories of Tibet and Israel have interesting parallels up until 1948/1950, when suddenly their fates took radically different turns: Israel became independent, and Tibet became completely non-independent and became subsumed into the Han Empire (China).I was speculating that the reason Tibet gets sympathy from the modern American left is that it failed to reach independence, whereas Israel gets no sympathy because it finally controlled its own fate.

      

  17. 17Starless on Apr 29, 2009 at 12:22 pm:

    IMO, Orientalism (almost to the point of fetishism and sometimes into fetishism) has a lot to do with it. As Kun and CattusMagus were sort of saying, there’s this notion of the mystical East (Shangri La) and what could encapsulate that notion more than Buddhist monks? Add to that the idea of the poor oppressed–oppressed being code for “victimized”–people and you’ve got a Leftist wet dream. And then you add a man like the current Dalai Lama–all smiling, Zen-like, and media savvy as all Hell.

    Jews/Israelis, OTOH, are quite familiar, though slightly different, and they refuse to behave like victims, therefore they’re not nearly as cool nor are they as worthy of sympathy.

    One of the oddest things I see in the whole Leftist Free Tibet fad is that they’re defending a theocracy so vigorously. Apparently, while a Christian theocracy run by old white men is just about the worst thing that could ever happen in the history of mankind, a Buddhist theocracy run by old brown men is a really good idea. Personally, I’m all for Free Tibet, not out of any real ideological concern, but mostly because of those giant monk hats. I love those hats.

    As far as prior claims to territory is concerned, I think we should really go back to when humanoids first appeared in the Rift Valley.

      

  18. 18Ken on Apr 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm:

    Read “Virtual Tibet,” by Orville Schell and you’ll all see how fake and manufactured “Free Tibet” is.

      

  19. 19Ken on Apr 29, 2009 at 2:49 pm:

    How come all of my comments to this post are “awaiting approval?” That’s hardly fair…

      

  20. 20vitoc on Apr 29, 2009 at 3:00 pm:

    It is completely logical to root for Tibetans and to be anti-Israel at the same time. Here’s why I think so: Tibet appeals to regressive, tribal needs. People like Tibet because it was so utterly backwards and so far away from anything that could be considered modern.

    Jewish traditions however are at the core of Western / modern thinking.

    It is not a coincidence that members of the Tibet-fanclub are often also heavily into all kinds of kookery – esoterics, “alternative” medicine, animal rights and so on.

      

  21. 21zombie on Apr 29, 2009 at 3:47 pm:

    “#20 Ken
    How come all of my comments to this post are “awaiting approval?” That’s hardly fair…”

    Sorry, WordPress is supposed to send an automated email to approve all comments that have more than one link in them (as part of the anti-spam feature). For some reason the emails didn’t show up this time. But thanks to your complaint I just went and approved them all anyway, so they’ve now appeared. Sorry about the glitch…

      

  22. 22average_guy on Apr 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm:

    I can see the parallel between the two situations and the resultant inconsistency in logic of supporting the oppressors in one situation and the oppressed in the other. Zombie didn’t say the details were identical, and why would they have to be such in order to make the point?

    By the way, is that a Washington DC license plate on the Dalai Lama’s Cadilllac? If so, which would make a smaller carbon footprint, driving this sled cross-country from DC, airlifting it in, shipping it by train, or shipping it by truck? Would it have to have a fighter escort or not?

      

  23. 23average_guy on Apr 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm:

    In addition, those look like Secret Service in the background. I wonder if Bibi got that level of security or had to provide his own.

    Of course, the Shin Bet and/or Mossad could likely get the job done…

      

  24. 24Bakunin on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:31 am:

    What is also funny is that Israel was founded by socialists who thought created collective experiments in the Kibbutz.

      

  25. 25LeaveAPosition on Apr 30, 2009 at 9:41 am:

    There are a few things to throw in here:

    1) The Romanticization of Tibet by the American media / Hollywood elites. Tibet is not the only sub-nation in the world being oppressed by a larger state, but the role played by a slew of movies, along with arguably a post-Christian new-age affinity for oriental religions, makes Tibet a very special case to many people, as Starless mentioned.

    2) Historically, Israelies also migrated into the land they now claim. If you check the old testament you’ll find that they even slaughtered in genocidal proportions various other peoples to achieve this. By your logic of original historical claims, we should really be lamenting the plight of the Esau, Midianites, and Laish who were killed by order of God so they could settle in their land…

    And some points on the side…

    3) The counter-point you’d get quickly enough from the Berkleyites or Hamas supporters is that Israel is actually not an independent nation but a part of the ‘empire,’ the American one. This is actually somehwat valid when you look at the proxy setup during the cold war between soviet and american-supported post-colonial MENA states, where American support of Israel was arguably not related to historical justice so much as strategic interest, but ‘the American empire’ is a phrase that gets a little tired…

    4) How about the third comparison, look at states that seceded from the Soviet Empire in the 1990s. Do they earn our sympathy or not? Or are Americans generally indifferent to eastern Europe? I wonder how Berkely students would reply to comparison between the ethnic strife in the middle east with that in the Baltics…

    And now a little normative dispute:

    5) There is a difference between merely ‘reclaiming sovereignty’ and what is currently being done by the state of Israel in the West Bank and Gaza. I’m sure you’ve had this debate a million times… but if the national project of Israel is that of an underdog… then it’s arguably one of the most immerciful underdogs in history, which is another case for it to lose sympathy with the average american, beyond simply lacking ‘underdog’ status.

    I found this on the internet and find it kind of pertinent to the case, that you seem to make, that Israel’s treatment of palestinian Arabs is justified in some way an historical claim:

    “When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt” Leviticus 19:33-34

    peace,
    LAP

      

  26. 26Starless on May 1, 2009 at 4:13 am:

    #25 LeaveAPosition

    RE: your first point. The New-Agey interest in Oriental religion has a lot to do with the love of squishy “spirituality” — e.g. the oft-repeated phrase, “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual“. Religion is evil and oppressive whereas spirituality is nice and fluffy and smelling of incense. IMO, the key is that they don’t really believe that Buddhism is a religion, but it deals with the afterlife and the supernatural so it fulfills their need to believe in something beyond the natural world. Judaism, OTOH, has the taint of being closely associated with Christianity.

    Point 2: I don’t think Zombie is saying that historical claims take precedence, but that if historical claims are what take precedence, then the Israelis have a stronger case than the Palestinians. The Esau, Midianites, and Laish aren’t currently laying claim to the chunk of sand called “Israel”.

    Point 5: For a nation with an internal enemy, not to mention neighbors, which is actively trying to eradicate it, the Israelis have shown remarkable restraint. In the last counterstrike against Hamas, the Israelis bent over backwards to try to avoid civilian casualties, care for the injured, and provide material aid to those who needed it. Hamas, OTOH, did their best to invite civilian casualties among their own people and actively diverted (stole, actually) material aid away from civilians. Now, if you want to talk about the idiotic Israeli policy of continuing to build settlements, that’s something else entirely.

      

  27. 27TNC on May 1, 2009 at 6:52 am:

    From my former association with the radical left, most anti-Zionists could care less about Tibet. The real hard leftists view the Dalai Lama as a CIA stooge. Liberals love putting “Free Tibet” stickers on their Volvos. Radical leftists, not so much.

      

  28. 28phoenixgirl on May 1, 2009 at 11:57 am:

    hey zombie! keep up the good work!

      

  29. 29Starless on May 2, 2009 at 4:38 am:

    #27 TNC

    Zombie’s original question: The average Berkeley resident is pro-Tibet, yet anti-Israel. But how logical is that?

    So is the average Berkeley resident a “real hard leftist” (who I picture as a window-smashing, car burning anarchist) or a basic run-of-the-mill leftist (who I picture as a patchouli scented, Birkenstock wearing, sign carrying socialist)?

    That said, what you say about the extreme Left sounds about right. They must be vigorously nodding their heads, pointing, and saying, “See! I told you so!” after the Dalai Lama called GWB “very honest and a very good leader” yesterday.

      

  30. 30TNC on May 2, 2009 at 12:48 pm:

    “So is the average Berkeley resident a “real hard leftist” (who I picture as a window-smashing, car burning anarchist) or a basic run-of-the-mill leftist (who I picture as a patchouli scented, Birkenstock wearing, sign carrying socialist)?”

    The latter. I don’t know of any communities in the U.S. where the average resident is a radical leftist. I know much of the country has that interpretation of Berkeley but there are many, many more latte sipping Volvo liberals than anarcho-nutjobs.

      

  31. 31Frisk on May 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm:

    I think the issue here is less which ethnic group was the initial inhabitant of the Holy Land, and more to do with the displacement of millions of Palestinian Arabs expelled from their homes during the Six Day War, and their subsequent treatment. If you want to take the stand that historical ownership takes precedence over the wishes of a current population, you’re pretty much undermining your anti-illegal immigration argument, considering that if we applied those same standards here California would have to be ceded back to Mexico. But I digress. One of the things that gets left behind in arguments about Palestinian statehood is that the lack of one was not due to lack of wanting or trying, but the fact that it was constantly occupied by foreign powers, from the Romans to the Crusaders to the Ottomans. The main reason that Palestinian Arabs were so pissed by the 1917 Balfour Declaration was that they had been promised a sovereign nation by the British in exchange for their rebellion against the Ottomans. Regardless, the issue for most people is the current situation of Arabs in the occupied territories, and it’s an issue which is extremely valid and urgent.

      

  32. 32Starless on May 3, 2009 at 5:05 am:

    #31 Frisk

    The main reason that Palestinian Arabs were so pissed by the 1917 Balfour Declaration was that they had been promised a sovereign nation by the British in exchange for their rebellion against the Ottomans.

    Then they need to talk to the British about that. Between 1917 and 1948, a lot of things happened, not the least of which was the Holocaust, something for which pretty much everyone had blood on their hands.

    Regardless, the issue for most people is the current situation of Arabs in the occupied territories, and it’s an issue which is extremely valid and urgent.

    And if that situation is resolved, they will have one less defensible rationale for killing Jews, but it won’t stop them from continuing to try to do so. You talk about what’s left behind in arguments about Palestine. One thing that is left behind/missing is an offer from any Arab nation to take in the so-called Palestinian people and give them a land of their own. Forget about past promises, forget about Israeli intransigence, and consider the fundamental humanitarian concern so many Arabs beat their breasts over when they talk about Palestinians and yet they’re not so concerned that they’re willing to take them in. Why is that? Because if they do the Palestinians can no longer claim victim status and act as a lightning rod for Arab anti-Semitism. That really is the point behind the long, complicated, and bloody drama that’s been playing out in Israel for sixty-some years and it’s one of the fundamental differences between Israel and Tibet. Israel is fundamentally Jewish and for some reason I can’t quite fathom, the American Left has steadily become more and more unashamedly anti-Semitic.

      

  33. 33Brandon Bankston on May 4, 2009 at 4:58 am:

    Zombie,

    As I was driving in to work this morning I noticed a billboard on Hwy 59 in Houston, TX. Take a gander at the website that the billboard was promoting: http://www.pray4gaza.org. Just thought you’d wanna see it.

      

  34. 34Anonymous on May 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm:

    Dear Zombie,
    I disagree with you on how the Tibetans are being opressed. Monks are not constantly beaten like what SFT says and temples are not being destroyed. The temples were destroyed during the cultural revolution but the government is spending money to restore them. If this truly was a “cultural genocide” like what the Dali Lama stated on CNN, then none of the traditional buildings, like the Potala Palace, would be around, no tibetan culture or dance would be recorded on DVD and be practiced on the streets of Beijing and Lhasa, Buddhist monks wouldn’t be able to practice their religion, and none of the new buildings (like the Kandang airport in Sichuan province) would be based off of traditional tibetan architecture. Plus, all of the signs in the tibetan autonomous region and the nearby provinces are in three languages: Mandarin, English, and traditional Tibetan. Cultural discrimination has been “exaggerated” (http://www.international.ucla.edu/asia/article.asp?parentid=2732) and the tibetans were once oppressed by the higher monks and their rights were abused. The british even annexed that region to intimidate china during the opium wars. They even encouraged then to declare independence. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsoc4-QnplY
    Pro-tibetan supporters say that is propoganda. Every other thing they say is nothing but propoganda. So, they are hypocrites. Plus, sft claims that people are being abused every day and they even released a video that showed police officers beating citizens. It’s a cover-up however. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsoc4-QnplY
    What kind of police batons bend when smacked and why aren’t any of the faces of the people shown?
    Plus, why would any officer be stupid to make a video like that or how could any byastander get that close?
    All in all, the tibetans want to undermine chinese culture and call themselves superior by using the tiananmen square massacre as a way to tell the world that the chinese are “abusing” them like the nazis, which is total B.S!

      

  35. 35John on May 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm:

    Dear Zombie,
    the tibetans are not being abused and there is no cultural genocide.
    If there were a genocide, then none of the temples would be restored via government money, all the tibetan landmarks like the potala palace would be destroyed, chinese youth would not visit ancient tibetan temples, signs wouldn’t be in three languages (chinese, tibetan, and english), there wouldn’t be any cultural tibetan programs on tv with tibetan language, tibetan monks wouldn’t build a temple in beijing, and the entire tibetan race would be wiped out by now.
    The chinese spend a lot of money in tibet to make the people’s lives better. They build up the infrustructure, supply water and electricity, build roads, railways, and airports, restore temples, decorate the city, and ethnic tibetans don’t have to follow the one-child policy rule. Plus, everyone in schools in tibet must learn traditional tibetan language, mandarin, and english.
    Links:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xsoc4-QnplY
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/photo.php?pid=1846824&op=3&o=all&view=all&subj=9356526887&aid=-1&oid=9356526887&id=1332643226
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1846806&op=3&o=all&view=all&subj=9356526887&aid=-1&oid=9356526887&id=1332643226
    http://www.international.ucla.edu/asia/article.asp?parentid=2732

      

  36. 36ajai burns on May 23, 2009 at 2:29 pm:

    Frisk…”displacement of millions of Palestinian Arabs expelled from their homes during the Six Day War”. Please. Not even one Million Arabs ever left (‘expelled’ is debateable) in all the wars they lost against Israel combined. In 1948 hundreds of thousands were displaced, in 1967, it was comparatively insignificant and they were the residents of an external agressor.

    Just because millions of palestinians exist in exile because of absurd birthrates doesnt mean millions were ever expelled from anything. Your confusion must be because of the UN’s absurd definition of only the offspring of palestinian exiles for all eternity to be considered refugees. Its an artificial phenomenon of refugee status, not deportation history

      

  37. 37Ram on Jun 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm:

    The Dalai Lama brings in peace messages, and together with them a somewhat indirect criticism of material life. Leftist took that to mean death to Capitalism. Curiously, in recent years the Dalai Lama has clearly stated his support of a system that allows individual freedom, and that every people should have a minimum of material strength in life to be able to improve society and so on… But by then my guess is Tibet was already a cause…

      

  38. 38True Resistance on Jun 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm:

    I think Isreal is generally percieved as the aggressor in the conflict. For this reason it is demonized by the left.

    Isreal should conquer all the land. They are already vilified but will be treated worse if they back down.

    Do you think Nazi era Germany would be so vilified today if they had won World War II? How do you think German media would have described Japanese Internment Camps in the USA if the Allies had been beaten?

    Isreal needs to conclude the conflict with Palestine while public support in the USA is still in her favor. As Zombie has noted, not every place in our nation is so favorable to Isreal. Whether that means Greater Isreal or some compromise remains to be seen. I doubt Isreal will survive long if she should fall out of favor with a majority of US citizens.

      

  39. 39Big Steve on Jun 22, 2009 at 11:14 pm:

    First of all who ever equalizes Israel to Tibet is not only ignorant, but they do not know what the hell they are taking about. Because Israel is enslaving, torturing, raping, depriving, slaughtering and destroying the dignity and rights of the people of Palestine. Just like how China is occuping is Tibet and raping the people of Tibet and torturing Tibetians in inhumane ways. Israel is like China in every way. Just because Israel has good ties with the west and China has bad ties with the west, doesn’t mean that Israel and China are the same crap. Infact Israel and China have way too much in common. Look at Israel, in Germany, 6.000.000 Jews died in a holocaust. Or with Japan, 10.000.000 Chinese got killed in the Rape Of Nanking. Now Israel is using Zionists to go on sprees of World Domination so Zionist Jews can control other countries to continue their terrorist crimes in Lebanon and Palestine. Now China is using agents of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) to continue using Communist Apartheid Regimes in Burma, Darfur, Cambodia, Zimbabwe and elsewhere. Communist China and Zionist Israel are the same stuff in my opinion, they are both bent on world domination. So China=Israel. Just because China has bad ties w/the West and Israel has good ties with the West, doesn’t mean they are the same thing, infact they are totally alike. I mean Germany and Japan were problems in WW2, but now China and Israel are the big problem of the 2000′s.

      

  40. 40Рубен Павленко on Jul 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm:

    Спасибочки, что просветили. Никогда бы не подумал :)

      

  41. 41Юрий on Aug 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm:

    Действительноя раньше тоже так думал… Сейчас переосмыслил

      

  42. 42Wu-tang on Feb 12, 2010 at 1:58 am:

    ha ha, the author of article is extremely un-informed about both situations. Yet you try to claim other people are “zombies”?! I think you over estimate support for Palestinian rights in Western nations…

    This is a BETTER analysis of the Tibetan situation:

    http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4111

    As for Israel… the history of the mighty nations are not fully historically proven and their “right of return” are based on their RELIGIOUS belief. How can you even claim they are a indigenous people fighting for their right when most of them are immigrants from Europe around the time of Israel’s creation in 20th centuary?!!!

      

  43. 43Zach N. on Mar 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm:

    I would just like to point out from scanning through the comments that not everyone on the Left is anti-Israel. You forget that the vast majority of Jews vote Democrat here in America (well over 70% voted for Obama), and that the original settlers of Israel (before 1948 especially) were mostly Leftists. That being said, yes it is true that most of the opposition to Israel in the Western World comes from the far Left. And as has been pointed out, it is probably mostly due to a false view that Israel is the aggressor in the conflict. I see in mostly similar terms as was given in the original post. Israelis as the tiny minority in a sea of hostility trying their best to hold onto their very existence as a nation, against a huge majority that are unwilling to lose even the tiniest portion of their land.
    To be fair to the residents of Berkley, I highly doubt the protest would have been even remotely as large if it had been a different Israeli than Netanyahu. To be quite frank I don’t like him either, he is overly hawkish and seems entirely unconcerned with the peace process.

    And I just want to say in closing,
    Long Live His Holiness the Dalai Lama :)

      

  44. 44Zach N. on Mar 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm:

    Its also a question of method. I do think that the Palestinians have some legitimate concerns that need to be addressed, but their tactics lead me to sympathize more with the Israelis. One of the major reasons why I have such respect for His Holiness is his unwavering commitment to non-violence. If the Palestinian resistance movement were to follow in his and other non-violent movements lead such as Gandhi, MLK, and Nelson Mandela (who were all successful) then I would be much more inclined to sympathize with their concerns.

      

  45. 45شات كتابي on Sep 27, 2010 at 10:49 am:

    Действительноя раньше тоже так думал… Сейчас переосмыслил

      

  46. 46logic on Nov 7, 2011 at 3:59 pm:

    ISrael is condemned because they are NOT the victims instead they are the oppressor like CHINA. It really doesnt matter
    how much years the Jewish people USED to live there..what really matters is that you cant just kick down doors, throw out “current” inhabitants just because you believe you are the SHIT. Doesnt the Jews learn anything from many Pogroms where Russians, Germans, Spanish, muslims kick them out of their Houses?? Jews need to stop trading tooth for a tooth

      

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