when does a national minority have the right to secede and establish a nation-state of its own? If the Kosovars have this right, why not the Basques in Spain? The Corsicans in France? The Tibetans in China? The Tamils in Sri Lanka? The Kurds in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria? The Luo in Kenya? The Darfurians in Sudan?
That is a subject best left to professors of political science. Reality has its own language. No one case is the same as another. There is no international tribunal to decide, according to established standards, who has this right - and who does not. The matter is decided in practice: when a particular population is determined to achieve independence at any cost, and when it is ready to fight and sacrifice for its independence - then they have the "right" to independence.
Apparently, a paradox. A small state, even a medium-sized state cannot maintain real independence in a world that is inevitably moving towards globalization. States like Germany and France are compelled to transfer large chunks of their sovereign powers to regional super-states, like the European Union. The French economy and the German army are subject to Brussels more than to Paris and Berlin. So what is the sense in creating even smaller states?
The answer lies with the power of nationalism, which is not decreasing, but rather the opposite. One hundred or two hundred years ago, Corsica could not defend itself. To be secure, it had to be part of the French kingdom. The Basque homeland could not sustain an independent economy and needed to be part of a larger economic unit, like Spain. But today, when decisions are made in Brussels, why should Corsicans and Basques not have their own states and be separate members of the EU?
That is a world-wide tendency. Separate nations do not unite in new states, but on the contrary, existing states break up into national components. Anyone who believes that Israelis and Palestinians will unite tomorrow in one state does not live in the real world. The slogan "two states for two peoples" is relevant today more than ever.
So Israel, approaching its own 60th anniversary, should recognize the Republic of Kosovo and wish it well.
RLCC: This is a very strange attitude coming from a peace activist: "...when it is ready to fight and sacrifice for its independence - then they have the "right" to independence." What does he mean by "fight"? This is as saying that rights are determined by violent might. It sounds like social Darwinism to me. Don't the physically weak have as much right to family or tribe and lands as the physically strong?
If this might-makes-right is right, then Hitler was right up to the point that the Soviets and Americans and others were more right by being able to defeat him and the leftists and Gypsies and homosexuals and Jews and all the others who were killed by Hitler were just too weak to deserve their so-called rights.
The rights of people are not properly determined according to the terms laid out above by Uri Avnery. Rights themselves need to be defined and qualified. The right of people is to be unselfish. Everything else fails in the end.
This is Semantical Theology that is not yet taught in the mainstream. It will be though.
As for nationalism as a trend, when the Berlin Wall came down, it was assured that nationalism would increase because it had been held down so much. Nevertheless, the trend is also that after people get that out of their system and then look around, they see that peaceful cooperation is the right path forward. Unity is right, and the only true unity is exemplified by Jesus.
The only problems since then have been with non-adopters and those who fall away. We need to come together in the Christ-spirit. We need universal repentance. Only that will save. God saves. God anoints. God is one in us and we in God.
What the Serbs did to the Kosovo Muslims was wrong, the U.S. bombing of Serbia was wrong, and what the Muslims did in retaliation was also wrong. It has been wrong all the way around.
Also, it is very clear that there is much more going on concerning this recent declaration of independence than is being discussed in the Western mainstream media. The common people are just pawns on the imperial chess board. The greedy at the top want more. They will break up things and recombine ad nauseam to become richer in mammon and material possessions, etc. They know and knew that gas and oil and other things are in the ground. They don't want the Russians and Russia's allies to dominate since they are less likely to allow Western oligarchs to gain all at the expense of all the rest.