The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Great Debates

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:18 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,248
Is religion the main reason for the Israel/Palestine conflict?

Talking about this subject with other people and I feel like a bit of my ignorance is making me go in circles here. To me, as little as I understand it, the base of the disagreement seems to fall back into the differing religions of the groups involved.

Some argue that there are land claims but those seem to end up being based on the religious reasons of those who are claiming the land.

So, what am I missing and if it's not religion based, what is the crux of the issue?


/Extra credit: I'd love to read a non-biased book about the whole thing.
//Extra-extra credit: It's available in Kindle format.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:30 AM
njtt njtt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
It is about land, and scarcely about religion at all. Palestinian Arabs had lived in the area for many centuries, when, in the mid-20th century, a bunch of Jewish Zionists moved in and took over, forcibly kicking out many of the original inhabitants. The original justification for the Jews moving in was partially about religion (it was where their original holy places had been), but the main reason they want to stay there now is because it is now their home, as it was once the home to Palestinians. But even in the first place, Zionism was more a secular nationalist movement about finding a homeland for the Jewish race, rather than a religious movement.

Before the establishment of Israel, Muslims mostly had a better record in how they treated Jews than Christians did. There is not a long-standing historical emnity between the religions, less so certainly there is between Muslims and Christians.

Incidentally, it was not Muslims who were responsible for originally kicking the Jews out of Palestine. That was down to the Romans (and they were not religiously motivated either, although the Jews who ticked them off may have been).

GD here we come.

Last edited by njtt; 05-03-2012 at 10:34 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:43 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
in the mid-20th century, a bunch of Jewish Zionists moved in and took over, forcibly kicking out many of the original inhabitants

<snip>

GD here we come.
Indeed. Got a cite for that first part?

As for the OP, religion certainly plays a part, but like most conflicts, it's about land and economics, too. Religion can serve as a good proxy for any number of grievances.

Last edited by John Mace; 05-03-2012 at 10:45 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:58 AM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 1,989
I would generalise the answer to say that religion is very rarely the cause of any conflict.

Conflicts arise from competition for resources. Religion is just one of the ways the two sides can define themselves (along with language and other cultural markers).

Absent such rivalries, people of different religions can live alongside one another and get on tolerably well (including, historically, Jews and Muslims).
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-03-2012, 11:09 AM
Babale Babale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by hibernicus View Post
I would generalise the answer to say that religion is very rarely the cause of any conflict.

Conflicts arise from competition for resources. Religion is just one of the ways the two sides can define themselves (along with language and other cultural markers).

Absent such rivalries, people of different religions can live alongside one another and get on tolerably well (including, historically, Jews and Muslims).
Having your synagogues, homes, and businesses get burned down is tolerable? Wow, ignorance fought. Not that Europe was any better, mind you.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:08 PM
Keeve Keeve is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
But even in the first place, Zionism was more a secular nationalist movement about finding a homeland for the Jewish race, rather than a religious movement.
It is quite accurate that only a small number of the original Zionist movement was religiously motivated, in the sense of trying to fulfill messianic dreams of returning to the homeland to establish God's kingdom.

But the "nationalism" side needs to be clarified too. "Nationalism" makes it sound like a group of power-hungry land-grabbers. They too were a small minority. The main impetus was not to be in charge of a country, but simply to escape antisemitism. It was only practical considerations which led to the conclusion that the best way to escape antisemitism would be if Jews were in charge. That is very different from simply Jews wanting to be in charge for political purposes.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:08 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
It's a racial/ethnic rivalry. The religion just helps clarify the sides.
Both sides want the land. Both sides are too pig-headed to come to a compromise, even though neither side allows pigs in the diet.
If you want to take the palestinian side - they were there for thousands of years (say almost 2000) since the Jews were dispersed by the Romans after their second revolt.
200 years ago there were almost no Jews in Palestine, now there are millions; many came just after WWI and then WWII.
As can be expected when cultures clash, both sides started fighting to try to force the other side to leave, to avenge previous attacks, etc. The exact causes and results of the fights, who attacked whom, etc. - you will get different versions from different sides.

The issues are simple and complex - the arabs attacked the nw state of Israel in 1948 when the two states were created, and lost big time. The second try in 1967 didn't do much better.

Israel occupies the palestinian territories, since 1967.
If they annex them, then theywould have to acknowledge the Palestinians as citizens with all the rights of citizens. Demographically, the Palestinians will outnumber Jews, and the next election would be a disaster.
Or else, they set up an apartheid system, where Palestinians have no right to vote.

If they let the Palestineians become an independant country, then what borders? Why? Legally, the borders are those of the 1948 partition or the pre-1967 settlement boundaries. Fanatical types say all of the terrirtory should be Israel, and the Palestinians can just bugger off and have no right to be there.

Because of a shortage of land, many housing complexes have been built (continue to be built?) on formerly Palestinian land. Nobody wants to leave their nice home - to entice people to live there, these houses on occupied territory are heavily subsidized. Access roads and the border fences cut across Palestinian farms with little regard for the owners rights.

Note that "former Palestinian land". The process for acquiring and "buying" that land are heavily weighted against the Paletinians.

Many Palestnians fled during the wars of 1948 and 167, and then fond themselves unable to get back to their land on the other side of the Palestinian frontier. They "own" land in Israel, but are not allowed back. Any settlement would probably have to settle the "right of return" by either buying it off for hundreds of thousands or swapping land. Both choices are not trivial. On one side, the radical Jewish sects decry any giving away of one inch of greater Israel and on the other side, no Palestinian government has the balls or temerity to confront the question in a realistic manner - they still insist everyone should be able to return, a totally unrealstic position.

Meanwhile, there's Jerusalem. The original UN settlement in 1948 gave the historical old city to the arabs, but when Israel conquered it in 1967, they annexed it. Very few governments will acknowleged this as legitimate (see arguments above over right of return, citizenship, etc.) and UN rules forbid unilateral annexation. Israel says its capital is Jerusalem, but except in an election year, western governments maintain Tel Aviv is the capital. The paletinians insist it is Palestine, and like other issues, also refuse to compromise.

Logically, this should be settled with some sort of "international zone" status for the historical old city. However, this would require significant compromise by religious fanatics, so probability... zero.

The Palestinians have not even been able to agree that a fundamental tenet of any peace agreement would be acknowledging Israel's right to exist. As long as they stick to that point of view, nothing is going to change.

Until now, Mubarak has had an interest in keeping the Palestinians in the Gaza strip from getting too troublesome, since fanatical muslim organizations like Hamas were troublesome to Egypt as well. The next government in Egypt will be more populist and less inclined to compromise with Israel, although they will not want war. So expect the Gaza strip militants to be better supplied and more troublesome in future. Once again, Israel has had 30 years to solve the Gaza problem and has frittered away all that time.

One of the recent interviews, with a retired strategist for the Israeli forces, he basically said the current government has zero interest in coming to a settlement with the Palestinians. They seem to think their current upper hand will contnue to keep them safe.

I personally think they are coasting towards the edge of the cliff and they had better look for compromise before it's too late...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-03-2012, 12:57 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 10,647
No.

Some of the most prominent Palestinian terrorist leaders were from Christian families ( but were often secular themselves ), the PLO in its original incarnation was an avowedly secular organization as were most of its offshoots, the Christian president of Lebanon joined the 1948 Arab-Israeli War on the Arab side, most of the original Zionist leaders were non-religious. Originally if you want to cast it in simplistic terms you could have said it was more "tribal" - Arab vs. Jew. This because the dominant ideologies at play were Jewish and Arab nationalism, the latter then at its heyday through the early 1970's and heavily influenced by international socialism, then also in its ascendency among "revolutionary" groups. Indeed the "two" sides were in a certain odd way strikingly similar in their basic ideological backgrounds.

Religion has become more prominent as at least a unhealthy veneer in recent decades due to the gradual failure of the ideology of Arab nationalism and its partial replacement in the region by Islamic extremism as the new political flavor du jour. In a much more limited way, perhaps the increasing public tension between the Orthodox and secular branches of Israeli society has also played into that perception. But if every Arab and Jew in the vicinity of Israel were to suddenly become atheists overnight, tensions would remain, albeit in some slightly different morph.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 05-03-2012 at 01:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-03-2012, 01:29 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
I have a question regarding the Gaza Strip. For all their issues, the Israelis did bequeath an area with functioning farms, some infrastructure, and some chances (Gaza farms could sell produce to Israel.)
Now it seems, the whole place has been wrecked-why?
I remember when the Israelis pulled out-the Palestinian leadership was promising a port, a free trade zone, and airport, and foreign investment in factories-why did they screw it up?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:07 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Montana, U.S.A.
Posts: 9,449
Moderating: Moved Thread GQ->GD

Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
GD here we come.
[moderating]
I suppose it would be possible to keep this discussion GQ, but I think the thread is better suited to Great Debates, so I have moved it there.
[/moderating]
__________________
---
Yes, I have joined the ranks of former moderators. Being a mod was eating my life. Now I'm a member just like you. Except smarter and better looking.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:29 PM
septimus septimus is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
in the mid-20th century, a bunch of Jewish Zionists moved in and took over, forcibly kicking out many of the original inhabitants.
OP asked for a non-biased version.

If biased versions are permitted, it would be at least as accurate as your account to mention that the Zionists purchased their land legally; and that many Arabs fled, not for fear of the Zionists, but because they were warned by their own kinfolk that a war against the Jews was planned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
Many Palestnians fled during the wars of 1948 and 1967, and then fond themselves unable to get back to their land on the other side of the Palestinian frontier.
Note that all adults of 1948 are now at least 85 years old. Most of those who complain about their lost home refer to a home they've never seen (and, in many cases, even their parents have never seen). It's time now that we all try to get along and move forward. Poles were dispossessed by Treaties of 1944-1945 but there is no ongoing war over that territory.

A major reason that the Palestinian crisis festers is that the Arab masters benefit from Palestinian anger, and hence view their suffering as worthy means to an end.

Last edited by septimus; 05-03-2012 at 02:29 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:39 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
I have a question regarding the Gaza Strip. For all their issues, the Israelis did bequeath an area with functioning farms, some infrastructure, and some chances (Gaza farms could sell produce to Israel.)
Now it seems, the whole place has been wrecked-why?
I remember when the Israelis pulled out-the Palestinian leadership was promising a port, a free trade zone, and airport, and foreign investment in factories-why did they screw it up?
(a) Anything Israeli is "bad", therefore the Palestinians "must destroy it".
(b) In practical terms, how do you give a functional first world farm, with the need for mechaized equipment, meant to hold and support a few hundred Israelis etc. - to tens of thousands of Palestinians?
(c) The land originally belonged to Palestinians before it was "expropriated" by the Kibbutz. If you go to google earth, you can still see the scars from the original farm which basically sat astride the middle of the strip; the only way around it was a narrow coastal road or a crossing/checkpoint in the middle of the access road, which was often arbitrarily closed and dug up so that vehicles would not be allowed between north and south Gaza.
(d) according to an Altlantic article I recall, the guard towers for the kibbutz were manned by Lebanese who were collaborators during the Lebanon invasion, and took delight in arabic insults and shootng anyone who came near.
(e) similarly, the Kibbutz sat on top of the only clean water aquifer in the region (which is why it was built on expropriated hostile territory in the first place). A lot of the story of the conflict is also based on water resources.
(f) As a result, polluted and bad groundwater accounted for serious health problems with the Gaza inhabitants.

Basically, the Gaza strip was turned into a giant concentration camp, and the Israelis were continually frustrated by not understanding why no Palestinians wanted to collaborate with them and be the camp guards.

George Carlin said "Women are crazy and men are stupid. Women are so crazy because men are so stupid." In the case of the middle east, both sides are crazy and stupid.

Take the example, I think it was the tomb of the Patriarchs, in Hebron. For decades, the Israeli army had spent massive resources to protect a tiny group of jewish settlers who insisted on living in the middle of Hebron. There were frequent dealy incidents back and forth. Finally, they told the Isrealis to leave and had the Palestinian authorities promise to protect the sacred site.

So the first day, a mob trashed the place completely... Just the result needed to demonstrate what confidence that the Isrealis could put in the Palestinians to guarantee anything.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:57 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Note that all adults of 1948 are now at least 85 years old. Most of those who complain about their lost home refer to a home they've never seen (and, in many cases, even their parents have never seen). It's time now that we all try to get along and move forward. Poles were dispossessed by Treaties of 1944-1945 but there is no ongoing war over that territory.

A major reason that the Palestinian crisis festers is that the Arab masters benefit from Palestinian anger, and hence view their suffering as worthy means to an end.
Could be. But the Palestinians have varying degree of legal title to their land, and are not allowed to exercise that legal title.

This makes it conveniently easy for the Israeli government to consider property abandoned, even though close relatives of the original owners are living in the houses with the permission of the owner. Then the court takes away title, the occupants are forced out, and the land sold to a Jewish group.

For some reason, the Palestinians don't view this as fair.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition...ement-1.372023
http://www.thepicaproject.org/?page_id=533

I expect irrational and prejudicial behaviour, rank legal discrimination, and greed and persecution disguised as "rule of law" in a group perhaps only a generation removed from third-world, if that. I expect better of first-world peoples.

I don't imagine too many poles in Soviet-bloc Poland or East Germany were allowed to complain about dispossession. Yes, unlike the arabs who keep the Palestinian issue alive for its value, any complaints of dispossed eastern europeans were suppressed by the governments of the day.

Of course, the Palestinian refugees represented a massive influx of people who could disrupt the local politics as they almost did in Jordan and repeatedly did in Lebanon - so no wonder they were not welcome to assimilate in neighbour countries.

OTOH, decades after the 1959 Cuban revolution, the US embargo includes the demand that Cuba return or compensate for expropriated property.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-03-2012, 03:02 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Beervania
Posts: 40,342
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
OP asked for a non-biased version.
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
A major reason that the Palestinian crisis festers is that the Arab masters benefit from Palestinian anger, and hence view their suffering as worthy means to an end.
Thank you ever so much for that non-biased report.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-03-2012, 03:55 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
Talking about this subject with other people and I feel like a bit of my ignorance is making me go in circles here. To me, as little as I understand it, the base of the disagreement seems to fall back into the differing religions of the groups involved.
There have been brutal conflicts all over the Middle East for quite some time now. Between Muslims and Christians; between Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims; between Arabs and Persians; and so on.

Generally speaking, the conflicts in places like Lebanon; Syria; Jordan; Iraq; and so forth have been at least as bloody -- and often far bloodier -- than those involving the Jews.

So the reasonable explanation is that Arab (and by extension, Muslim) culture is very intolerant of differences and very prone to violence.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-03-2012, 03:58 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
There have been brutal conflicts all over the Middle East for quite some time now. Between Muslims and Christians; between Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims; between Arabs and Persians; and so on.

Generally speaking, the conflicts in places like Lebanon; Syria; Jordan; Iraq; and so forth have been at least as bloody -- and often far bloodier -- than those involving the Jews.

So the reasonable explanation is that Arab (and by extension, Muslim) culture is very intolerant of differences and very prone to violence.
That would be funny if it were meant to be funny. As it is, it's just... astonishing.

Do you draw that conclusion about European culture? We got 2 world wars from them!

Last edited by John Mace; 05-03-2012 at 03:59 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-03-2012, 04:14 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
It's a racial/ethnic rivalry. The religion just helps clarify the sides.
Both sides want the land. Both sides are too pig-headed to come to a compromise,
This is incorrect. For example, the UN partition plan in the late 40s would have created an Arab State and a Jewish State. The Jewish state would have been significantly smaller than Israel is today. Jerusalem would have been under international control.

The Jews accepted the UN partition plan. Chaim Weizmann famously stated that the Jews would accept a state "the size of a tablecloth."

The Arabs rejected the UN partition plan and went to war to put an end to Israel.



Quote:
If you want to take the palestinian side - they were there for thousands of years (say almost 2000) since the Jews were dispersed by the Romans after their second revolt.
This is also incorrect. For one thing, there was no group known as "Palestinians" until 40 or so years ago. Second, a lot of the Palestinian Arabs immigrated to the area in the 20s and 30s seeking economic opportunities.

Quote:
Israel says its capital is Jerusalem, but except in an election year, western governments maintain Tel Aviv is the capital. The paletinians insist it is Palestine, and like other issues, also refuse to compromise.
The Jews were willing to give up Jerusalem in 1948. Also note that before 1948, Jerusalem was never a capital or seat of government for the Arabs or Ottomans.

Quote:
I personally think they are coasting towards the edge of the cliff and they had better look for compromise before it's too late...
I disagree, since there's no evidence that a compromise would end the dispute. There's no point in compromising with a party who wants to destroy you and pretty much all of the credible evidence indicates that the Arabs (generally speaking) want to destroy Israel.

Let me ask you this: What serious concessions have the Arabs offered to make in order to get peace?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-03-2012, 04:18 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post

Do you draw that conclusion about European culture? We got 2 world wars from them!
Absolutely, except that it seems Europeans have started to grow up.

70 years ago, one could ask why Germany was attacking France. Is there something about French people which invites aggression? Are people still angry about Napoleon? Or is it just that aggression and expansionism is (was) a big part of European culture?

ETA: Do you agree that the Arab/Israeli conflict is just one of many conflicts over the years in the Middle East? Do you agree that the conflicts in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq have been pretty intense?

Last edited by brazil84; 05-03-2012 at 04:20 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-03-2012, 04:19 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
Absolutely, except that it seems Europeans have started to grow up.

70 years ago, one could ask why Germany was attacking France. Is there something about French people which invites aggression? Are people still angry about Napoleon? Or is it just that aggression and expansionism is (was) a big part of European culture?
There seems to be a common denominator in there somewhere. What could it be? It's almost like we're all the same species.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-03-2012, 04:29 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
There seems to be a common denominator in there somewhere. What could it be? It's almost like we're all the same species.
I would agree with that. I do hope that the Arabs grow up just like Europeans have started.

Anyway, you don't seem to dispute my premises.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-03-2012, 04:58 PM
md2000 md2000 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
This is incorrect. For example, the UN partition plan in the late 40s would have created an Arab State and a Jewish State. The Jewish state would have been significantly smaller than Israel is today. Jerusalem would have been under international control.

The Jews accepted the UN partition plan. Chaim Weizmann famously stated that the Jews would accept a state "the size of a tablecloth."

The Arabs rejected the UN partition plan and went to war to put an end to Israel.

This is also incorrect. For one thing, there was no group known as "Palestinians" until 40 or so years ago. Second, a lot of the Palestinian Arabs immigrated to the area in the 20s and 30s seeking economic opportunities.

The Jews were willing to give up Jerusalem in 1948. Also note that before 1948, Jerusalem was never a capital or seat of government for the Arabs or Ottomans.

I disagree, since there's no evidence that a compromise would end the dispute. There's no point in compromising with a party who wants to destroy you and pretty much all of the credible evidence indicates that the Arabs (generally speaking) want to destroy Israel.

Let me ask you this: What serious concessions have the Arabs offered to make in order to get peace?
I'm not sure I understand - are you suggesting that the current peace proposal of the Israelis is the 1948 borders and Jerusalem as an international city? I suspect the Arabs would grab that offer in an instant.

No, we're talking about taday. Today, according to former government strategists, the government has ZERO INTEREST in making a compromise with the Palestinians.

Are you suggesting there was nobody in Palestine between 150AD and 1900AD? Obviously not. So who was there, how long, and what their claims are is irrelevant. Somebody was there farming the land that was arable, or herding goats. whether you call them "Palestinians", or Hashemites, or Ottoman subjects, or whatever, they were there. "There were no Palestinians until 1930"sounds like the sort of revisionist history needed to justify stealing the land.

Legitimate residents at the time of the war fled from the land they legitimately owned and were not allowed back. As a short-term strategic tactic that's perfectly understandable in any war. As a long term solution - it has to be addressed better than that, and stealing there land under questionable legal pretext is not a good start.


Arabs - think "mother of all battles" - speak in bluster and boastfulness, not quiet modesty and realism. It's part of their culture. In the bargaining atmosphere of the Bazaar, you do not start with "this is our bottom line". As Sadat and King Hussein, and eventually even Arafat showed, they can reach some realistic accomodation given the right motivation. What they cannot do is cave in during negotiations and then face their home crowd, because their home crowd has guns.

I think it's convenient for the radicals on both sides to keep the pressure up. Oh, and the Arabs are the crazier and stupider of the sides in this dispute, so it will take a lot of time and patience to undo this mess.

I just think Israel had better take the peace process seriously, before a more populist Egyptian government opens the floodgates to Gaza and allows all sorts of trouble to descend on Israel.

Last edited by md2000; 05-03-2012 at 05:00 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-03-2012, 05:11 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
I'm not sure I understand - are you suggesting that the current peace proposal of the Israelis is the 1948 borders and Jerusalem as an international city?
Not at all, I'm simply suggesting that the Jews have been willing to make concessions -- big concessions. While the Arabs have not.

Quote:
I suspect the Arabs would grab that offer in an instant.
I doubt that they would if they had to make big concessions of their own.

Quote:
No, we're talking about taday. Today, according to former government strategists, the government has ZERO INTEREST in making a compromise with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu himself said a few months ago that Israel was willing to make big concessions to get peace. Of course, you may think he's lying, but why are you so sure that these "former government strategists" (whoever they are) are telling the truth?

Quote:
Are you suggesting there was nobody in Palestine between 150AD and 1900AD?
No.

Quote:
"There were no Palestinians until 1930"sounds like the sort of revisionist history needed to justify stealing the land.
The word "stealing" suggests that the land has a legitimate owner. Seems to me that the land has been under control of so many different groups that it's not reasonable to point at one particular group and designate that group as the owner. Unless your criteria is the oldest identifiable group, in which case it's the Jews who are the owners.

Quote:
Legitimate residents at the time of the war fled from the land they legitimately owned and were not allowed back. As a short-term strategic tactic that's perfectly understandable in any war. As a long term solution - it has to be addressed better than that, and stealing there land under questionable legal pretext is not a good start.
I'm not sure what your point is here. There are few polities in the world with a "good start." For example, many Jews were kicked out of Gaza in the late 40s and their land taken. Same thing with Iraq. Heck, same thing with Hebron and Jerusalem.

Quote:
Oh, and the Arabs are the crazier and stupider of the sides in this dispute, so it will take a lot of time and patience to undo this mess.
I agree. If Israel were run by followers of Meir Kahane, there would be no chance of a peace deal no matter how reasonable the Arabs tried to be. Well, the Arab side is run by the Arab equivalents.

Quote:
I just think Israel had better take the peace process seriously, before a more populist Egyptian government opens the floodgates to Gaza and allows all sorts of trouble to descend on Israel.
Exactly what do you think Egypt might do or not do?
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-03-2012, 05:20 PM
even sven even sven is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
All conflicts are ultimately about land. When a society (defined loosely as all of the social systems in an area) has too many pressures on it (either through strained resources or large scale inequalities, or even just a need to create shared identities as part of the nation building process) it will start to crack. It will crack along whatever line is easiest- this may be by ethnicity, religion, language, or whatever. If there is nothing handy, people will make something up. The "ethnic" conflict between the Tutsis and Hutus were between people who shared a language, culture, and gene pool....in other words, they shared everything that makes an "ethnicity" an ethnicity. But it was the most obvious crack in land-poor, politically unstable Rwanda, so that's where it cracked.

These cracks provide the breaking point, and they also provide the fuel. It's hard to sell a land grab, but it's easy to sell a higher cause. A lot of this stuff operates differently on different levels. Often the people on the ground have a very different understanding of the conflict than the people at the top. Both of these understandings need each other to keep the conflict going. You see this a lot in rebel groups- the leaders at the top are often thinking of the spoils, while the ground troops may buy the ideology.

The Middle East is still in the process of forming nations. It went through a lot of bullshit in the COld War (and after...) that has made that process a lot longer and more difficult than it should be. Forming a nation is often a bloody process, as the basic definition of a nation is founded in the idea of a single power being able to control violent force in a territory.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-04-2012, 02:52 AM
hibernicus hibernicus is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 1,989
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babale View Post
Having your synagogues, homes, and businesses get burned down is tolerable? Wow, ignorance fought. Not that Europe was any better, mind you.
Hmmm. I seem to have annoyed you and prompted a snarky response by posting something I thought was uncontroversial. That makes me think I expressed myself poorly. I'll try again.

The fact that, during most of their common history, Jews and Muslims have lived alongside each other tolerably well, I adduce as evidence that difference of religion does not necessarily give rise to conflict.

To answer your question, I do not include periods where one group was being attacked and having their homes and property destroyed in my definition of living alongside one another tolerably well. I would have thought that goes without saying, but apparently not.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-04-2012, 03:12 AM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
I see that brazil84 is again pretending that there is no such thing as the Arab Peace Initiative, which offered normalized relations with Israel if it would go back to the 1967 borders, allow a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and negotiate in good faith over the problem of refugees.

If you think that is not conceding much, and if you think it was totally unreasonable of the Arabs to reject the original "generous" UN division in 1948, just ask yourself how reasonable Americans would be if the UN, with infinitely more justification, decided to give a third of the US back to the Indians.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-04-2012, 05:57 AM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
I see that brazil84 is again pretending that there is no such thing as the Arab Peace Initiative,
Nonsense.

Quote:
and negotiate in good faith over the problem of refugees.
A proposal which leaves this issue open is not a serious proposal.

Since you like analogies so much, here's a proposal for you: You move out of your house; sign over the deed to me; and I will move in. Then we will negotiate in good faith over how much I should pay you. (Of course for years I have announced that I will never pay you a dime, but why should that matter? After all, I've given my solemn promise to negotiate in good faith.)

Quote:
If you think that is not conceding much, and if you think it was totally unreasonable of the Arabs to reject the original "generous" UN division in 1948,
The issue was not what's reasonable, the issue is which side -- if any -- has been willing or unwilling to compromise. Clearly the Jews in Israel have been willing to compromise while the Arabs have not.

Whether the Arab intransigence is reasonable or not is a different issue. Here's a question for you:What significant concessions should the Arabs be willing to make in order to get peace with Israel?
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-04-2012, 12:53 PM
Damuri Ajashi Damuri Ajashi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
Talking about this subject with other people and I feel like a bit of my ignorance is making me go in circles here. To me, as little as I understand it, the base of the disagreement seems to fall back into the differing religions of the groups involved.

Some argue that there are land claims but those seem to end up being based on the religious reasons of those who are claiming the land.

So, what am I missing and if it's not religion based, what is the crux of the issue?


/Extra credit: I'd love to read a non-biased book about the whole thing.
//Extra-extra credit: It's available in Kindle format.
My impression is that religious symbolism is part of the reason Israel was formed in the middle east rather than South America or carved out of some piece of Germany/Austria. IIRC folks might not have thought that a Jewish homeland in Brazil would have been as compelling or had as much of a draw as one in Palestine. The historic Jewish ties to the land are more symbolic than real, its pretty hard to say that a latent Jewish state persists on that land after thousands of years since the last Jewish state but there is some powerful symbolism there.

Right now, I don't think the it is religion in the theological sense that is driving things in the middle east so much as it is tribalism. The only thing that would make the Israel situation messier would be if they discovered oil off Israel's shore.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-04-2012, 03:41 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
What I have never understood-Egypt's meddling with the Palestinian-Israeli mess.
Egypt has its own problems (massive unemployment, falling standard of living, overpopulation, zero foreign investment). So why do they get involved in this? They got the Sinai back from Israel, and they (never) wanted to govern the Gaza Strip.
How many lives have they lost in war with Israel-for what?
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-04-2012, 03:50 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c View Post
What I have never understood-Egypt's meddling with the Palestinian-Israeli mess.
Probably it would help to understand if you re-frame the way you perceive the conflict. It's better to think of it as the "Arab-Israeli conflict," not the "Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

See, the group known as "Palestinians" are a recent invention for purposes of undermining Israel. There was never a country called "Palestine," there was never a "Palestinian" language; or a "Palestinian" currency; or any kind of separate "Palestinian" religion or culture.

The group known as "Palestinians" are actually Arabs. Linguistically, culturally, religiously, and ethnically they are essentially the same as the Arabs in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:02 PM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
See, the group known as "Palestinians" are a recent invention for purposes of undermining Israel. There was never a country called "Palestine," there was never a "Palestinian" language; or a "Palestinian" currency; or any kind of separate "Palestinian" religion or culture.
Unoriginal horseshit. Up until the 19th century, you could say the same about Italy or Germany. The fact that powerful empires, eastern and western, kept the Palestinians from forming their own nation has nothing to do with them being a fabrication to undermine Israel.

Last edited by TonySinclair; 05-04-2012 at 08:05 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:58 PM
OldnCrinkly OldnCrinkly is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
There was never a country called "Palestine," there was never a "Palestinian" language; or a "Palestinian" currency; or any kind of separate "Palestinian" religion or culture.

The group known as "Palestinians" are actually Arabs. Linguistically, culturally, religiously, and ethnically they are essentially the same as the Arabs in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
Well, I'm no expert on Israel/Palestine, but this statement is not really accurate. It may be that there were not any clear borders or legally separate entities that were internationally recognized in the Middle East in prior times. However, people in different areas did, and still do have differences culturally, linguistically, and religiously. If, for example, you were to take a group of Egyptian people, add say, one Lebanese guy, how ling do you think it would be before any one noticed he was different? I think not very long.

Similarly, you could take a group of people from say, Texas, add one New Yorker, people are likely to notice he is different. They wouldn't be completely foreign, of course, and would have more similarities that differences maybe even. But I do believe the differences between people in Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon may likely be wider that between two Americans. Palestinians, or whoever it was living on the land bordering the Mediterranean's eastern shore, would have had their own differences as well.

I mean, Canada and the U.S. are similar but that doesn't mean that those "so-called Canadians" are really Americans.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 05-05-2012, 02:14 AM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
Unoriginal horseshit. Up until the 19th century, you could say the same about Italy or Germany.
Have any German leaders said anything remotely analogous to the following:

Quote:
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.
(my bolding)

Quote:
The fact that powerful empires, eastern and western, kept the Palestinians from forming their own nation has nothing to do with them being a fabrication to undermine Israel.
In your view, when did the "Palestinians" first seriously attempt to form their own nation?

And what are these "powerful empires" you refer to?
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 05-05-2012, 02:30 AM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldnCrinkly View Post
However, people in different areas did, and still do have differences culturally, linguistically, and religiously.
What are the main cultural, linguistic, and religious differences among (1) Arabic speaking people in Lebanon; (2) Arabic speaking people in Jordan; (3) Arabic speaking people in Egypt; and (4) "Palestinians"?
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:47 AM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
Have any German leaders said anything remotely analogous to the following:
For some reason, you didn't identify the very famous Palestinian leader who said that. I had to google it to learn that it was someone named Zahir Muhsein, who apparently was a member of the PLO executive committee. Big whoop. So his words are analogous to Congressman Allen West "admitting" that there are 80 members of the Communist Party currently serving in the House of Representatives.

Quote:
In your view, when did the "Palestinians" first seriously attempt to form their own nation?
I don't know; I'm not a historian. But since they were dominated by powerful empires, they had no realistic chance to do so until after WW II. Kind of like India, which I suppose you also think is a fake nation, since there is no "Indian" language.

Quote:
And what are these "powerful empires" you refer to?
Um, the Ottoman and British, to name the last two?
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:49 AM
TonySinclair TonySinclair is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
What are the main cultural, linguistic, and religious differences among (1) Arabic speaking people in Lebanon; (2) Arabic speaking people in Jordan; (3) Arabic speaking people in Egypt; and (4) "Palestinians"?
What are the main cultural, linguistic, and religious differences between Americans and Canadians?
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:58 AM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
For some reason, you didn't identify the very famous Palestinian leader who said that. I had to google it to learn that it was someone named Zahir Muhsein, who apparently was a member of the PLO executive committee. Big whoop. So his words are analogous to Congressman Allen West "admitting" that there are 80 members of the Communist Party currently serving in the House of Representatives.
I take it your answer is "no"?

Quote:
But since they were dominated by powerful empires, they had no realistic chance to do so until after WW II.
It's not a matter of whether they had a chance to do so so much as whether they had any interest in doing so.

Do you agree that between 1948 and 1967, there was no Jewish control whatsoever over the West Bank and Gaza, and that in fact these areas had been successfully ethnically cleansed of Jews?

And do you agree that during this 20-year time period, there was no serious attempt by the "Palestinians" to establish a "Palestinian State" in this area?

If so, then why do you think it is that there was not such an attempt?

Quote:
Um, the Ottoman and British, to name the last two?
Please show me proof that there was a serious movement to set up a "Palestinian State" which was suppressed by the Ottoman empire.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:59 AM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonySinclair View Post
What are the main cultural, linguistic, and religious differences between Americans and Canadians?
First you answer my question, then I will try to answer yours.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:58 AM
OldnCrinkly OldnCrinkly is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
What are the main cultural, linguistic, and religious differences among (1) Arabic speaking people in Lebanon; (2) Arabic speaking people in Jordan; (3) Arabic speaking people in Egypt; and (4) "Palestinians"?
Well the fact that they do not identify themselves as all being just generically "Arab", as you do, does imply that there are differences. You may choose to disregard that, but it remains a fact. Your assertion that they are all the same is foolishness. As far as your identifying them all as Arabic speaking thats just more foolishness. The languages, or dialects, are different. I will give you an analogy, Jamaicans speak English. However, if you are not familiar with the Jamaican patois, you are likely to have significant difficulty in understanding a conversation between two Jamaicans. It is similar to different Arabic dialects. If you regularly hear someone speaking a particular dialect, you would also, without necessarily understanding the language, be able to recognize that it sounds different than other dialects.

I don't think you are willing to acknowledge any differences, so I will not try to argue with you. I maintain that there are, factually, differences. As far as your Palestinian leader's quote, I think you would agree that he seems to have some bias and agenda, so, I'll not take his words at face value either. Good luck, and keep up the good fight against ignorance!
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:55 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldnCrinkly View Post
Well the fact that they do not identify themselves as all being just generically "Arab", as you do, does imply that there are differences.
Sure, and if I refer to myself as "His Royal Highness of France," it implies that I am the King of France. But it doesn't make me the King of France.

Quote:
Your assertion that they are all the same is foolishness.
Then show me proof.

Quote:
It is similar to different Arabic dialects.
Is it your position that there is a "Palestinian" dialect, generally spoken by Arabs in Gaza, Israel proper, and the West Bank, which is both distinct and noticeably different from the Arabic spoken in Jordan and Egypt?

Quote:
I don't think you are willing to acknowledge any differences,
Of course I am, if you actually supply solid evidence that these differences exist. Simply asserting that my position is "foolishness" does not count as evidence.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 05-05-2012, 01:33 PM
OldnCrinkly OldnCrinkly is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Yes indeed, there are different dialects in Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine. Just because you can not notice the difference does not mean it is not there. I can't tell the difference between someone speaking Spanish who is from Spain and a Cuban speaking Spanish, but I assure you they can tell the difference. Can you tell the difference between people speaking, say Russian and Ukrainian? Not sure how to prove that to you, I guess it would require some level of familiarity with the language, as opposed to ignorance of the subject. But it is true.

As for your being the King of France, I think a much less silly, or foolish, example would be along the lines of someone saying, I'm a Southern Belle, or I'm a UP'er, or I'm a Yankee. Laying claim to some royal title is not the same as claiming to identify with a particular culture.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 05-05-2012, 01:55 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldnCrinkly View Post
Yes indeed, there are different dialects in Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine.
Please show me evidence that there is a distinct "Palestinian" dialect which is generally spoken in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel proper but generally not spoken in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, or Egypt.

Cites, links, and quotes please.

Quote:
as opposed to ignorance of the subject. But it is true.
Then by all means, fight my ignorance. Cites, links, and quotes please.

Quote:
Laying claim to some royal title is not the same as claiming to identify with a particular culture.
Sure it is, if the claim itself is the only evidence that the culture in question is in fact identifiable.

And by the way, why is it that there was no serious push for a "Palestinian State" between 1948 and 1967? Surely that was an opportune time for such a project given that there was no Jewish control over the West Bank and Gaza. The "Palestinians" could have set up their own government, currency, and immigration controls. They could have offered citizenship to "Palestinians" living in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria just like Israel offered citizenship to Jews.

Why didn't they seize on the opportunity to achieve the self-determination they claim to want?
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:38 PM
OldnCrinkly OldnCrinkly is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Well Brazil, let me just say again that I claim zero expertise on issues relating to Israel/Palestine. However, I can tell you this. My husband is a native Arabic speaker. He has some friends who also are native Arabic speakers from other countries. They do sound different. If I hear a person I do not know speaking Arabic, I will have a good chance of guessing where that person is from. I myself do not speak Arabic, outside of maybe a very few polite phrases like please, thank you, and go to hell.

I have no dog in this fight, I am just stating the fact that the different dialects do sound different. If you were familiar enough with the sound of one dialect, you also would be able to hear a difference. I feel like I'm arguing with a colorblind person over whether or not there is really a difference between green and blue.

What do you want for a cite? Go read a newspaper written by a Jordanian, read another article on the same subject written by a Syrian. It may be difficult if you don't speak or read Arabic. That is to say, you may not be able to discern the difference, but it does not mean there is no difference.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:46 PM
Qin Shi Huangdi Qin Shi Huangdi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
BTW what are the positions of Arab Christians on the Israel-Palestinian conflict (along with those with other Muslim countries in the ME)? Because Israel did support the Lebanese Christians in their civil war.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:52 PM
OldnCrinkly OldnCrinkly is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post



Sure it is, if the claim itself is the only evidence that the culture in question is in fact identifiable.


I would say that at present, there is definitely a discrete "Palestinian Identity". It would be comprised of people whose lives are largely controlled by Israel. Whether there was a differnce before or not, there is sure a difference now, no?


And by the way, why is it that there was no serious push for a "Palestinian State" between 1948 and 1967? Surely that was an opportune time for such a project given that there was no Jewish control over the West Bank and Gaza. The "Palestinians" could have set up their own government, currency, and immigration controls. They could have offered citizenship to "Palestinians" living in Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria just like Israel offered citizenship to Jews.

Why didn't they seize on the opportunity to achieve the self-determination they claim to want?
I don't know why you think 19 years of not establishing a sovreign state is such a big deal. If it has been free open land to settle and establish such, seems like the Jewish people took some 2000 years to do it. Thats a whole lot longer, no? I only add this because you seem to ask me directly, but again, I'm no expert, and I have no dog on the fight. But since you asked, thats my thoughts on your questions.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 05-06-2012, 12:14 AM
FinnAgain FinnAgain is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
For fuck's sake... of course "Palestinian" is a created ethnicity which was formed around the turn of the 20th century. So is "Israeli." So what?
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:44 AM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldnCrinkly View Post
Well Brazil, let me just say again that I claim zero expertise on issues relating to Israel/Palestine.
Then why do you insist without any evidence that there is a distinct "Palestinian" dialect of Arabic?

Quote:
They do sound different.
I am happy to concede that there are different flavors and dialects of Arabic. But that's not the same thing as your unsupported claim which is that there is a distinct "Palestinian" Arabic.

Quote:
I feel like I'm arguing with a colorblind person over whether or not there is really a difference between green and blue.
Probably that's because you refuse to understand what we are arguing about.

Claiming that there are different versions of Arabic is not the same as claiming that there is a distinct "Palestinian" version. For reasons best known to yourself, you refuse to grasp this distinction.

Quote:
What do you want for a cite? Go read a newspaper written by a Jordanian, read another article on the same subject written by a Syrian.
Assuming that there is a difference, it would not establish your position in the slightest. But in any event, I'm not your research associate. It's not my responsibility to go looking for evidence to support your claims.

Again, I absolutely concede that there are different dialects of Arabic.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:51 AM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldnCrinkly View Post
I don't know why you think 19 years of not establishing a sovreign state is such a big deal.
19 years of not even seriously attempting to establish a sovereign state. And hundreds of years before that.

Do you understand that there is a distinction between attempting to do something and actually accomplishing it?

Besides which, what exactly was stopping them?

Quote:
I only add this because you seem to ask me directly, but again, I'm no expert,
If your knowledge is so limited, then why do you seem to be so confident that my claim is inaccurate? And why is it that you cannot provide a shred of evidence to support your own claims?
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 05-06-2012, 04:57 AM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
For fuck's sake... of course "Palestinian" is a created ethnicity which was formed around the turn of the 20th century. So is "Israeli."
I don't think "Israeli" is a created ethnicity so much as a created political nationality. (Besides which, "Israeli" was not created for destructive purposes.)

Quote:
So what?
Go back and read the exchange. Ralph124c was puzzled as to why the Egyptians would care so much about the conflict between Israel and the "Palestinians" This question is easier to answer when you understand that "Palestinians" are really just Arabs.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:59 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by brazil84 View Post
I don't think "Israeli" is a created ethnicity so much as a created political nationality. (Besides which, "Israeli" was not created for destructive purposes.)
Neither was "Palestinian," it was created simply because we've got to have some name more specific than "Arab" for these people. Or, rather, it survives for that reason. The story of its origin is a bit more complex -- but not much:

Quote:
Syria Palestina continued to be used by historians and geographers and others to refer to the area between the Mediterranean sea and the Jordan river, as in the writings of Philo, Josephus and Pliny the Elder. After the Romans adopted the term as the official administrative name for the region in the 2nd century CE, "Palestine" as a stand alone term came into widespread use, printed on coins, in inscriptions and even in rabbinic texts.[37] The Arabic word Filastin has been used to refer to the region since the time of the earliest medieval Arab geographers. It appears to have been used as an Arabic adjectival noun in the region since as early as the 7th century CE.[38] The Arabic language newspaper Filasteen (est. 1911), published in Jaffa by Issa and Yusef al-Issa, addressed its readers as "Palestinians".[39]

During the British Mandate of Palestine, the term "Palestinian" was used to refer to all people residing there, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and those granted citizenship by the Mandatory authorities were granted "Palestinian citizenship".[40] Other examples include the use of the term Palestine Regiment to refer to the Jewish Infantry Brigade Group of the British Army during World War II, and the term "Palestinian Talmud", which is an alternative name of the Jerusalem Talmud, used mainly in academic sources.

Following the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel, the use and application of the terms "Palestine" and "Palestinian" by and to Palestinian Jews largely dropped from use. For example, the English-language newspaper The Palestine Post, founded by Jews in 1932, changed its name in 1950 to The Jerusalem Post. Jews in Israel and the West Bank today generally identify as Israelis. Arab citizens of Israel identify themselves as Israeli and/or Palestinian and/or Arab.[41]

The Palestinian National Charter, as amended by the PLO's Palestine National Council in July 1968, defined "Palestinians" as "those Arab nationals who, until 1947, normally resided in Palestine regardless of whether they were evicted from it or stayed there. Anyone born, after that date, of a Palestinian father – whether in Palestine or outside it – is also a Palestinian."[42] Note that "Arab nationals" is not religious-specific, and it implicitly includes not only the Arabic-speaking Muslims of Palestine, but also the Arabic-speaking Christians of Palestine and other religious communities of Palestine who were at that time Arabic-speakers, such as the Samaritans and Druze. Thus, the Jews of Palestine were/are also included, although limited only to "the [Arabic-speaking] Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the [pre-state] Zionist invasion." The Charter also states that "Palestine with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit."[42][43]

The history of a distinct Palestinian national identity is a disputed issue amongst scholars with some arguing that it can be traced as far back as the 1834 Arab revolt in Palestine while others argue that it didn't emerge until after the Mandate Palestine period.[22] According to legal historian Assaf Likhovski, the prevailing view is that Palestinian identity originated in the early decades of the twentieth century.[22]

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 05-06-2012 at 02:02 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 05-06-2012, 02:20 PM
brazil84 brazil84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
it was created simply because we've got to have some name more specific than "Arab" for these people.
Why is that? I mean, suppose that Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt had simply absorbed the descendants of Palestinian Arabs living under their sovereignty just like Israel has absorbed all of the Jews who were chased out the Arab world and just like every other group of displaced people has been absorbed. In that case, the people now known as "Palestinians" would simply be known as Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians, and so forth.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.