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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

5000 Years of Middle East History in 90 Seconds

H/t Israellycool, which posts the following challenge: "See if you can spot when a palestinian state existed."

Related Posts:
What If Palestinians Were Settlers?
Law Professor Continues His Personal Intifada

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  1. Incredible graphic.

    And, no "Palestinian state" although technically a Jewish Israel is a "Palestinian" state.

  2. Wow! That is VERY cool!! And, very educational. It is fascinating to see the rise and fall of the empires, phases of leadership, etc., animated like that! Thanks! That is one of the most useful maps/animated map tools I've seen.

    I noticed there is never a "Palestinian state" shown on the map; as I recall, the area was first called "Palestine" at the time of the Romans. It was never a "state;" however, after Israel fought the Romans in 78 AD, the diaspora of Israel began. Even then there was never a "Palestinian Sate" - the Jewish people were punished by the Rome by being scattered all over the Empire (many to the "wilderness" of Europe). After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire was in control of the area: no change. From the Muslim occupations, Mongol control, etc., through the Turkish Caliphate control of the area - no Palestinian State. After WWI, the British controlled the Middle East (until post-WWII). Hence the hatred of the British.

    Never, in all that time, was a "Palestinian State" established. Churchill proposed such a state when Israel was re-established in 1948, but the Muslims rejected it - it was all or nothing then, just the same as now.

    Do they teach this in school/university anymore? (Rhetorical question.....they don't; it isn't PC.) Ignorance in the Western world of history dictates our current actions; history repeats itself due to our negligence to understand and learn from the actions of the past. As we can see today, ignorance of truth and history is perilous to civilized society.

  3. I don't think its very logical to argue that a Palestinian state should not exist because one never existed before. The reality is there are 3 million of them living in limbo in the West Bank and Gaza. The Arab states will not take them in because that would be giving up all the land West of the Jordan River to Israel. That means Israel has two options, gradually expel them or accept a state. I hope they choose the latter. I understand that many Israelis fear that Palestinian statehood is just a ruse to put Palestinians in a stronger position from which they could then attack Israel. This may be true so I do not expect Israel to go for it on a whim. But the goal still should be a negotiated settlement that results in a secure Israel and a viable Palestine.


  4. My own theory about who can claim ownership to land is whoever establishes themselves and for how long. The longer one controls land, the more legitimate your claim becomes no matter how you came to own that land. If it's worth it to you to control that land even through heavy opposition, it's yours. If you're not willing, then you can secede that land to whoever wants it the most. This could be deeply flawed as I don't have enough knowledge of history, but it sounds more logical and concrete to me than some historical claim. Under this premise, Israel is as it currently is drawn with the Golan Heights. It's given up the Gaza Strip, though it has not established itself as its own or a part of any state, but the people there now have a stronger claim to it. The West Bank is still under contention as there are large settlements of two peoples there. We are currently seeing the ownership of this land being decided and we could be watching it play out for a very long time.

  5. The closest there has ever been to a Palestinian state was Philistia, the Phislistines, for whom Palestine was named by the ancient Greeks. They were not Arabs, they were remnants of the ancient "Sea People" who conquered the Gaza strip and generally ran rampant through the coastal cities of the Mediterranean until they were brought to heel by the Egyptians. The Philistines weren't actually a state either, they were more a loose confederation of kingdoms unless I'm mistaken.

    Also, until recently, Jews in Israel were actually called Palestinians, and if you look into it, I think you would find that this was a pejorative.

    I am neither Christian or Jew. I am, however, a Kahanist in sympathy. Like a Jewish acquaintance of mine (who is NOT a Kahanist) says, let the Arabs settled their own refugees, they have more than plentiful conquered Judenfrei real-estate in which to settle them.

  6. What follows is a few paragraphs from the booklet titled "Big Lies: Demolishing the Myths of the Propoganda War Against Israel" by David Meir-Levi:

    The State of Israel was created in a peaceful and legal process by the United Nations. It was not created out of Palestinian lands. It was
    created out of the Ottoman Empire, ruled for four hundred years by the Turks who lost it when they were defeated in World War I. There
    were no “Palestinian” lands at the time. There were Arabs who lived in the region of Palestine who considered themselves Syrians. It was only after World War I that the present states of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq were created artificially out of the Turkish [Ottoman] Empire by the British and French victors.

    Jordan was created on about 80 percent of the Palestine Mandate, which was originally designated by the League of Nations as part of the Jewish homeland. Since then, Jews have been prohibited from owning property there. Two-thirds of Jordan's citizens are Palestinian Arabs, but it is ruled by a Hashemite monarchy.

    In 1947, the UN partition plan mandated the creation of two states on the remaining 20 percent of the Palestine Mandate: the State of
    Israel for the Jews, and another state for the Arabs. The Arabs rejected their state, and launched a war against Israel. This is the primal cause of the Arab refugee problem.

    The Arab refugees were roughly 725,000 people who fled because of the war that the Arab states – not the Palestinian Arabs -- started.
    The Arab states - dictatorships all - did not want a non-Arab state in the Middle East. The rulers of eight Arab countries whose populations
    vastly outnumbered the Jewish settlers in the Turkish Empire, initiated the war with simultaneous invasions of the newly created state of Israel on three fronts. Israel begged for peace and offered friendship and cooperation to its neighbors. The Arab dictators rejected this offer and answered it with a war of annihilation against the Jews. The war failed. But the state of war has continued uninterruptedly because of
    the failure of the Arab states –Saudi Arabia and Iraq in particular – to
    sign a peace treaty with Israel.

  7. I'm going to use this in a lesson on world history for my kids. I homeschool them. Right now we are working through the Greeks.