A nice bit of analysis putting the Israeli/Palestinian conflict – and its current level of shrill hyperbole – into context by comparing it to the experience of the Herero People of southwestern Africa.
The rebellion of some among the much-abused Herero people is transformed by the German authorities and settlers into a race war and a pretext for seizing their lands. The logic of settler colonialism involves a ratcheting up of tensions that is always exploited to the advantage of the colonizer. The indigenous population is “savages,” whereas the settlers are “civilized.” When the settlers commit violence, they depict themselves as merely acting in self-defense. When the locals commit violence, they are depicted as engaging in senseless violence that stems from the flawed character and their backwardness, what with being savages and all.