racial or ethnic cultural property rights

Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.BITNET)
Mon, 6 Feb 1995 18:57:39 CST

of a culture which have been absorbed into another culture, if only because
they have become other than what they were to begin with, if indeed they ever
were the way they were, which must be objectively proven, not taken at face
value. Consider where this might lead elsewise:

The founder of Christianity was, if he indeed was historical and not a
composite, in some sense Jewish. Till about the year 60, Christianity remained
a Jewish sect till the bits with mass appeal were shamelessly ripped off by the
Hellenized Jew, Saul of Tarsus, subsequently known as St Paul, over the
objections of the faction led by St James, reputed brother of the alleged
Jesus. Now, suppose we are to return the rights to the Christian religion
to the *original owners*. There are, to oversimplify, two candidates (that
is, I'm omitting native speakers, if any, of the Aramaic-Syriac language,
whereof a dialect was spoken by Jesus, if historical).
--- "The Jews," whatever this means, as the *ethnic* heirs of the Jews
of Galilee and Judea of the time of [the alleged] Jesus.
--- "The Palestinians," as the closest thing to the *genetic*, ie in the
vulgar sense the *racial* heirs of the agricultural population of Galilee and
Judea in the time of [the alleged] Jesus.

This suggestion is so bizarre, it refutes itself.

How about this: The "sacred geography" of Christianity "will be returned"
to the same heirs. This is none other than the Holy Land, alternatively
*either* Israel or Palestine, the disputed status whereof is likely to be
with us for a while yet.

Proprietary interest in culture, past and present, real and imaginary,
is the stuff of history and politics, and as such must be resolved by
political means, period. Besides, you can always invent a tradition when
you need one, doesn't everybody.

Daniel A. Foss