December 27, 2017 by JImbo
“History” depends on who is telling it and why.
It also depends on what you DON’T tell people.
History not told… is history erased.
Here’s what “everyone is told” about Israel and “Palestine.”
The “standard” narrative is that the Jews are evil and took the native Palestinians’ land.
However, as an historian I notice at once that they are limited by their dates. Why did they choose to start the history of an ancient land around the beginning of the 20th century?
Why not ANYTIME else in the past?
Well, because there was no “Palestine” before that. Arguably there was no “Palestine” in the 1897 slide either above. At that point the area was still a no-name area of empty desert with Jerusalem carved out. Everything else was ignored by the Turks.
There were no real local identities.There was no “arab” identity or ethnic group. In fact, much of the local population was Greek and Jewish. The locals were in several small towns (the Greeks and Jews) or in nomadic tribes of camel herders who passed through the whole region on long migratory routes (most of the Arabs)
I also notice that they don’t include any mention of the British Mandate from 1920-1947. There WAS a “Palestinian Protectorate” there, but it didn’t mean “Arab.” The British just called it “Palestine” since that’s what the Romans had called it…which was what the Greeks had called it… which was the ancient Greek word for the “Levant”… or basically everything in the region south of Syria and east of Egypt.
In fact the “Palestinian Brigade” and the “Palestinian Regiment” in the British military were raised entirely of Jews from “Palestine.” To say that there were no Jews there or that Jews weren’t a part of “Palestine” would be rather ridiculous since thousands of them joined the British to fight the Germans in BOTH world wars.
You see knowing the history of the area already blows several holes in the standard narrative of peaceful Arabs who were suddenly invaded by European Jews. You see the Jews never entirely left (even though many of them were massacred by the Muslim Arabs in the 600’s when conquered by the army of Mohammed.) ‘
What you are NOT told in the standard narrative is that there was a plan to divide the area into areas where the original inhabitants could regain their national heritage following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire who had taken the area over and been defeated in 1917.
This is the ORIGINAL PLAN for the area. The area of Israel is ancient, dating back up to 3,000 years. The borders are well defined. It has always been seen as Jewish. Jordan has been less well defined geographically, but the area of it has been regularly occupied and ruled out of Amman for around as long. They have been long-standing neighbors under different dynasties and names.
The Ammonites were the ancient Jordanians, whose capital was then and is today “Amman.” (Ammon) They were (like the Israelis) all Canaanites and Semites, but the Israelis were Jews and the others not. This division was both cultural and geographic in roughly the same manner then as it is today. The Jews were roughly between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River. The Ammonites to the East of the Jordan River.
The original British plan was to return the areas to historical, local control. However, the League of Nations opposed this plan. They didn’t want ANY Jews in the area, and feared to let the nation of Israel return to the map.
However, the Muslim countries (and many others) despised this. And so, when the United Nations (successor to the League of Nations) agreed to divide the land up again, they had ALREADY split off Jordan as the land for Arabs… but made a point of pushing more Arabs into the “Palestinian” part that now was really JUST the Jewish part. That way the Jews got half of what had already been halved.
and these men
Anyway, the way to solve this whole mess is to go back to the 1921 plan, using the same borders from 3,000 years ago. There was no “Palestine” nationality because it never existed as a nation. It was always a geographic administrative label to describe a region, not describing a people or a culture. Just as the Jews and the Ammorites were different people and cultures in different lands then, the Israelis and Jordanians are too.
The “Palestinians” there in Israel were a mix of those caught there by politics and wars, stuck between two ancient regional powers. Just make them choose one or the other. If they want to live under a moderate Muslim democracy, then choose Jordan. If they want to live under a moderate Jewish democracy, then choose Israel. If they want to live in a radical Muslim country then move to Saudi Arabia, Iran or a host of other countries.
The longer we let this fester and become unhistorical and politically motivated, the more people suffer. The solution is simple. However, simple isn’t usually easy. It is however often the BETTER choice in the long run.
It’s cruel to keep these non-state refugees in a state of non-identity for any longer than they need to be.