Jose Ramos Horta & NATO

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky nestor at
Wed Oct 13 17:05:07 MDT 1999

El 13 Oct 99 a las 1:43, Jo|o Paulo Monteiro nos dice(n):

> Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:
> > So were Jewish pioneers in Palestine. Moreover, the
> > whole Zionist Socialist ideology made of self-reliance a
> > fetish. This is why the Jewish Israeli workers had THEIR
> > OWN, closed to Arabs, Workers Central. I hope I will
> > never see the day when East Timorese Leftist Workers
> > build up a Workers Central that excludes the
> > non-Timorese workers...
> Come on down, Nestor. In the middle-east, the Ashkenazim
> are just westerner settlers plain an simple, a force of
> imperialist cultural, economic and political aggression.

Oh, J.P.M., if things were THAT easy. The Ashkenazim and
Sfaradim (not only Ashkenazim, that is a gross mistake) in
Palestine had (and have ever had since) their own goals. You
should read Dov Ber Borojov's "Jewish Question" for a
Marxist explanation of the need of a Jewish State (not that
I agree with him, I just show that the movement was a lot
more than an "imperialist cultural, economic and political

Whether we like it or not, a new nationality
was built there, the Israeli (not Jew) nationality, and
this nationality was granted a State by an imperialist
alliance. Though I believe that the rights of the
Palestinians to the land begin with the easy fact that they
were there from time immemorial, while the settlers came
from abroad, and though I also believe that this is a basic
point that we who support the Palestinians must raise this
question once and again, I know that this is not enough.

This is, so to say, the necessary condition and not the
sufficient condition. In the same manner, the fact that the
East Timorese have been there from times immemorial is a
very important one, but the construction of a national
movement must not be made with the eyes turned to the past
(as right wing nationalists do the Third World over), rather
with the eyes turned to the future, that is to building up
a nation that can superate and integrate -while fully
respecting them- the multicolor threads of the lesser
nationalities that can form it.

The equation nation=ethnicity is a red herring that the
imperialists, particularly American imperialism, has put
across our way. And it seems that many of us take a bite of
the fish from time to time. Well, that is not a good idea.

> Where is the analogy with the east-timorese? The
> east-timorese have lived in their land since immemorial
> times. They are what is sometimes called a "primitive"
> people. You seem to be under the impression that, by
> virtue of their acculturation under portuguese
> colonialism, they somewhat look down on the indonesians
> and consider themselves to be more "advanced".

Partly so. But my fears arise from some anecdote I have
been told of the East Timorese and the Australian troops
during the Second World War: they urged those troops to
stay there after they rejected the Japanese. They did not
fight the Australians at all. I will not judge them for
this (I am not a judge, in general, Joao). But the fact

And, honestly, though I thank you for your very instructive
lessons (and I honestly do, you are an open book for me on
matters I deeply ignore) on Portuguese colonialism in South
East Asia, when you explain me that

> the struggle of the east-timorese has much more to
> do with the [...] peasant communities from
> Chiapas than with the israelis,

then I have the idea that you did not grasp my deep
concern. For one of the reasons why I like the Chiapas
communities is that they are always stressing that they are
fighting for a renewed Mexico, they are always stressing
the Mexican nature of their own Indian reivindications. The
day Commander Marcos is offered help from, say, Canada
against the Mexican government, and he accepts it with the
idea in view that a free Chiapas State may serve both the
interests of the peasants of Chiapas and (lesser of two
evils?) imperialists, that impossibly absurd day, I will
begin to feel towards Marcos what I am feeling now towards
Ramos Horta. I snipped the "inuit" question out of sheer
ignorance, BTW.

> It is a struggle for the right to find a genuine,
> self-centered and authonomous way to development (however
> illusory this may prove to be, under capitalism). Or,
> alternatively, to be left alone with their "backwardness".
> Just no more aggressions, no more brutallity. They don't
> want to be the slain from whose skulls the goddess of
> progress (be she portuguese, indonesian or australian)
> quenches her thirst.

And I am with them, full heartedly, on this. Sixty or
sixty-five years ago, an Argentinian Communist Party leader
proclaimed that it would be no tragedy if ten or twelve
Latin American countries were brushed away from the planet,
while this would help the Soviet Union to survive. How
could I not understand that people do not want to be slain
to quench the thirst of the Goddess of Progress? This is a
kind of religion I do not profess, and I thought you knew

What I have is a deep feeling of danger for the E.T.s:
while they have a chance to integrate under these
reasonable and human conditions to an Indonesia that tends
to change sides, in one of those slow and mighty movements
that one can at most sniff, they have no chance to be left
in peace if they accept the imperialist offer.

Both of us have same feelings here. What I am not so sure
is that both of us sense the real danger that lurks behind
the imperialist troops. I have a tendency to get alarmed by
these troops.


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