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Hawaiian Sovereignty, Zionism, and Governor Lingle -- Lingle's main motive for supporting the Akaka bill, OHA, race-based entitlements, and Kamehameha Schools' racially exclusionary admissions policy is her strong support for Zionism and her mistaken belief that the Hawaiian sovereignty movement is comparable to the struggle to establish and maintain a Jewish nation of Israel.

(c) Copyright December 3, 2008 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved

Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle has repeatedly and zealously done everything she can to support race-based political power for ethnic Hawaiians; and she has consistently supported government and private institutions providing racially exclusionary benefits to them. I have always wondered why. When asked about it, she says simply "Hawaiians should decide for themselves whether to create their own government." (But what about the rights of the rest of Hawaii's people?) or "I made a promise when campaigning for Governor and I am keeping my word." (But she has broken other promises, so why not this one?) Those answers are superficial, and left me wondering what is actually motivating her.

But then a letter to editor from two Kamehameha School graduates opened my eyes. They said Lingle had spoken with the Kamehameha alumni group during the 2002 campaign, explaining that as a Jew she sees the ethnic Hawaiian pursuit of sovereignty in the same way she sees the historical drive to create and sustain the nation of Israel. The letter writers made it very clear that this was not merely their interpretation, it was what Lingle had actually said. Lingle herself saw the analogy as providing a religious justification for exercise of political power by a racial/religious group. The depth of that analogy will be explored below. Should the Governor of a fully integrated, multiracial, multireligious state be imposing her religious views as a basis for reorganizing our governmental structure? And aside from her personal religious views, should she be imposing on us the views of Hawaiian activists who claim their racial group's right to control Hawaii is given to them by their gods in the same way as the Jews' right to control Israel?

There are two versions of this essay: A shorter, informal version with no footnotes or internet links; and a longer, more detailed version with links to supporting documents and webpages. Choose which version to read:






On Sunday January 4, 2008 the Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo) published a pair of photographs with lengthy captions on page A1. Unfortunately the photo was not included in the newspaper's online edition; but a copy of the photo is provided below.

The photo shows Hawaiian sovereignty activists protesting the fact that Governor Linda Lingle and Attorney General William Bennett have (successfully) asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision that the state is prohibited from selling ceded lands until such time as a settlement is reached with ethnic Hawaiians. The sovereignty activists were protesting at a time when Israel had invaded the Gaza strip to suppress the firing of rockets into Israel and perhaps to destroy the Hamas government. The Hawaiian sovereignty protesters are almost all supporters of Palestine and opponents of Israel. They claim that Lingle/Bennett's appeal of the ceded lands case is an attempt to steal ethnic Hawaiian lands, just as they also claim that Israel has stolen Palestinian lands. The most prominent sign held by a protester shows the Star of David under Lingle's name, and quotes God's Commandment "Thou Shall Not Steal."

As it happens, both Governor Lingle and Attorney General Bennett are Jewish, and Governor Lingle has been a long-time active supporter of Israel. Lingle has also been a zealous supporter of the Akaka bill, and a major reason for her position is her belief that the ethnic Hawaiian drive for "self-determination" in creating an ethnic Hawaiian nation through the Akaka bill is comparable to the Jewish people's drive for self-determination when they created the race-based nation of Israel.

Readers will have to decide for themselves whether the protester's sign with the Star of David is in fact a racist attack against Governor Lingle, or whether it is merely the usual sovereignty activism claiming that America stole Hawaiian lands just like Israel stole Palestinian lands, and America has a long-term belligerent military occupation of Hawaii just like China has a military occupation of Tibet, and other outrageously overblown analogies. Racism against Governor Lingle, or unhappy coincidence of analogies? You decide.


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(c) Copyright December 3, 2008 Kenneth R. Conklin, Ph.D. All rights reserved