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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. This map is great!

  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. 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.