Letter: Profit-driven state oppresses people

Editor of the Reformer,

One cannot dispute the reality of the Balfour Declaration of 1917, in which the British government "granted" the land of Palestine to Jewish people.

One also cannot dispute the reality of the Papal Bull of 1493, in which Pope Alexander VI "granted" Spain the right to colonize the lands of North and South America and enslave the indigenous people who already lived there (here).

Palestine was never "a land without people," just as the Americas were never "empty." However, this kind of rhetoric has been used to justify colonial occupation.

Empires occupy in order to control resources to make profit. Columbus and Cortez came to the Americas to profit from the extraction of gold and silver. Israel currently profits from controlling exports (for example, Israel holds onto perishable goods from Gaza so they are spoiled before getting to the market), from controlling water (for example, Israel is 50 percent owner in the company Mekorot, which uses Palestine's water to make profit - even by selling it back to Palestinians), and through the weapons industry (IWI), among other initiatives.

The result of the profit-driven state is the oppression of the people. Oppression is terrible in all of its forms. We must look for the patterns in history in order to choose what we are fighting for: state profit, or liberation of all people.

Maresa Nielson

Brattleboro, May 7


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