abundance assumed by liberalism during the period when the major lineaments of liberal theories of the state were taking root was underpinned by colonialism. Arguably, the complex patterns of accumulation that have been part of the ‘natural’ rights assumed by the social contract have often entailed the impoverishment of others, particularly in the Third World. As Henry Shue, among others, has pointed out, our classical construction of rights, in particular the prioritisation of (an interpretation of) political and civil rights itself assumes and is made possible by this
recognise them as participants in the construction of political community.
The ‘silence’ concerning Indigenous people is not peculiar to Australia. It has arguably been characteristic of the response to Indigenous people generated by colonialism and the globalisation of the nation state in the modern era. In this sense, the circumstances of Aboriginal people are not only an Australian domestic phenomenon but are interwoven with the history and constitution of the international state system. It is not surprising that Aboriginal efforts to overturn
endorsing the importance of the idea of rights, Chinese spokespeople remark that the West has no copyright on its content. The rights given first priority in statements in international fora (e.g. the 1993 Vienna Conference) are those pertaining to the self-determination and sovereignty (both economic and political) of states – the elimination of colonialism and racism, and of abuses resulting from invasion and occupation or from underdevelopment. China here claims ground as spokesperson for developing states, ‘which make up the overwhelming majority of the world
who had committed the Holocaust plus the hypocrisy of British colonialism, US interests, and the strong Jewish lobby therein. All made the country built upon a lie, namely: the portrayal of Palestine as an empty place where you could “Give the land without people to the people without a land.” 47 Zaman ’s Taha Kivanc recorded the following in his “Notes from Jerusalem”:
Our businessmen who found many things to criticize in Amman in relation to the city and the people, were a bit hasty in admiring everything they saw in Israel. Their eye