Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Ultimate Question – Arabs or Jews??

(pic courtesy

A recent documentary aired on Al Jazeera English network caught my attention. The program named, “The Promised Land” focused its attention on the Israel- Palestine conflict and it discussed the establishment of the Jewish sate and the reaction on the parties involved. Ironically the program was quite captivating and it discussed the pre world war elements and forces, which helped form the State of Israel.

We all know the harassments and cruel massacres that were carried out by the Nazi forces against the Jews in Europe, but that was not the sole reason but a major stimulus, which helped the formation of the State of Israel in 1948. The Zionist dream or the ideology to form a Jewish state in Palestine dates back years before the 2nd World War. Though an idea for the reestablishment of a Jewish state in Palestine had been there for centuries, it only became a major ideology and a movement in late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Arab lands, which were under colonial rule, saw an influx of Jewish immigrants since the late 1880s and this continued and increased yearly. The British, then rulers of the Palestine and other Arab countries played along with different ball games offered by both the Arab and Jewish leaders in order to maintain their authority over the region. Even before the Jewish immigrants started to arrive, there was a minor population of Jews living in these Arab lands but it was around 7% of the total population. Also this Jewish population lived closely with their Arab counterparts and they did not even hold any Zionist dreams and in fact they were anti-Zionists.

However in late 1930s the Jewish immigrants in Palestine clearly outnumbered its Arab population. Of Palestinians point of view, the damage had been already been done, the harsh nomadic land witnessed the birth of modern Jewish settlements, stimulated much by the idea of Zionism. The Palestinians revolted but it was too late, the next years of the world history propelled the Zionist dream to new heights and by the end of the World War 2, amidst clear Arab opposition, the State of Israel was born. In the years to follow, Arabs waged war on Israel and by the time the wars had ended Israel had occupied more land and thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee and seek refuge.

Half a century down the line the tables have turned completely, and the Palestinians are now fighting for their land while the Israelis are trying to protect their country from militant Palestinians.

With its 60th anniversary of Statehood marked only a few weeks ago many Israelis celebrated their achievement and through out Arab lands it was a day of mourning called al-Nakba' - the catastrophe.

This was a mere synopsis of what happened and to draw conclusions it would require a more detailed analysis over the issue. And making judgments over who was right or wrong clearly not the motivation behind this post. But we can clearly break this incident down to two main factors; the ignorance of Arabs and the tactfulness of Jews. As history points out the Zionist dream was more of an ambition for Jews living in Europe and other Western countries than Jews living in Palestine and other Arab lands.

As a nation are there any lessons Sri Lanka can learn from this incident? Well, I think there are. Of course the comparisons may not be the same, but whom can we relate to…Arabs or Jews??


  1. Nice post man... but do u thik the same situation could happen in Sri Lanka??

    Another side to the story is that the MIddle east was the jewish homeland way before the Arabs got there..

  2. yeah..but does it even matter..i mean this has shown that what only matters is who has the upper hand now,if everything is measured in that way..then North America and most of south America should still belong to the Red Indians.

  3. LOL nice example... but if a marxist revolution takes place we will all be living in a stateless society.. then all of this homeland bull shit wouldn't matter anyway....

  4. yeah.. i agree mate. I agree! but that dream of urs is quite far away.dnt u think?

  5. Good post mate,have a look at my post if time allows, and there is a very stimulative discussion in the comments section.

    Bawa :

    read this post -

    it will give you a great insight as to whom the land belongs to, and to quote from that

    "Such fragmentary records as we have indicate that the Jews were wandering nomads from Iraq who moved to southern Turkey, came south to Palestine, stayed there a short time, and then passed to Egypt, where they remained about 400 years. About 1300 BC (according to your calendar) they left Egypt and gradually conquered most—but not all—of the inhabitants of Palestine.

    It is significant that the Philistines—not the Jews—gave their name to the country: "Palestine" is merely the Greek form of "Philistia."

    Only once, during the empire of David and Solomon, did the Jews ever control nearly—but not all—the land which is today Palestine. This empire lasted only 70 years, ending in 926 BC. Only 250 years later the Kingdom of Judah had shrunk to a small province around Jerusalem, barely a quarter of modern Palestine.

    In 63 BC the Jews were conquered by Roman Pompey, and never again had even the vestige of independence. The Roman Emperor Hadrian finally wiped them out about 135 AD. He utterly destroyed Jerusalem, rebuilt under another name, and for hundreds of years no Jew was permitted to enter it. A handful of Jews remained in Palestine but the vast majority were killed or scattered to other countries, in the Diaspora, or the Great Dispersion. From that time Palestine ceased to be a Jewish country, in any conceivable sense.

    This was 1,815 years ago, and yet the Jews solemnly pretend they still own Palestine! If such fantasy were allowed, how the map of the world would dance about!

    Italians might claim England, which the Romans held so long. England might claim France, "homeland" of the conquering Normans. And the French Normans might claim Norway, where their ancestors originated. And incidentally, we Arabs might claim Spain, which we held for 700 years.

    Many Mexicans might claim Spain, "homeland" of their forefathers. They might even claim Texas, which was Mexican until 100 years ago. And suppose the American Indians claimed the "homeland" of which they were the sole, native, and ancient occupants until only some 450 years ago!

    I am not being facetious. All these claims are just as valid—or just as fantastic—as the Jewish "historic connection" with Palestine. Most are more valid."

    Have a great year ahead mates!