Every one of the “republics” of Central Asia sits inside artificial borders arbitrarily drawn by the Soviets, each a sovereign authoritarian country; Uzbekistan has retained even today its one-party Soviet-era dictatorship. Ethnic tensions are to be found in all the countries of Central Asia, and these sometimes produce massive violence.
According to the United Nations, in the 2010 violence 400,000 refugees were displaced and over 100,000 people, mainly ethnic Uzbeks, fled across the border to neighboring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The Kyrgyzstani interim government headed by acting president Roza Otunbayeva was accused of granting shoot-to-kill powers to its security forces in the south, and was criticized by human rights organizations. Human Rights Watch reported some involvement of government forces in attacks on Uzbek neighborhoods.
There are several lessons that can be learned from the violence in Kyrgyzstan. As a predominantly Moslem country Kyrgyzstan is very much a part of the Middle East. As such, the first lesson is that in the Middle East, bi-national and multi-national political structures do not work well, even under the best of circumstances, and produce inter-communal and internecine violence. Multi-ethnic Tajikistan has also seen civil war break out among different Muslim groups in that country. If relations among the fellow Turkic Muslims of rival ethnic groups break down into near-civil war, then how much less viable would be any bi-national Jewish-Arab state of the sort that the Destroy-Israel movement is currently proposing?
Ironically, there is a related positive lesson for the Middle East from the same region. While relations between ethnic Slavs and local Muslims in Central Asia have often been tense and can be potentially explosive, recent violent confrontations have been relatively rare largely because of the massive out-migration of the Slavs to Russia and the Ukraine. Ethnic Germans also largely emigrated. Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians simply moved to those nation-states in which their kin are the dominant majority.
Could not the Arab-Israeli conflict be resolved at least partly through a similar out-migration of “Palestinians” and their relocation into the predominantly Arab ethnic “homelands,” much like the resettlement of Central Asian Slavs? After all, “Palestinians” are by and large people whose families migrated into what is now Israel from neighboring countries over the past century or so, to take advantage of rising standards of living produced by the Zionist immigrations and investments of capital there. And Palestinian Arabs are the only ethnic group on the planet that can choose to move to any from among 22 different sister states composed of the same ethnic group to which they belong.
Confrontation and civil war with Slavs have been prevented in Central Asia thanks to “transfer” of the minority Slav population to the predominantly Slavic countries. “Transfer” has long been the bogeyman solution that defenders of the Palestinian agenda dismiss as a racist and colonialist idea. They prefer the “progressive” solution of annihilating Israel and its population and erecting even more Arab states in its territory. The same people who want Israel dismembered reject out of hand the idea that Iraq or Syria could be made into more tranquil places by breaking them each into smaller states with more homogeneous populations. After all, that would be “colonialistic,” unlike Soviet border invention.
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