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The Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict for dummies (Part Two, 1948-1970)

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So, where were we? Well, yes… the war of 1948.
It’s a minefield.
The “Jewish question” as it has been inherited, after centuries of antisemitism culminating in the Holocaust, mostly still prevents an objective approach to the problem. In addition, the Jewish written sources are abundant all over the question of Palestine, and on the other hand they are very poor (and often partial) by the Arab-Palestinian side. So that the most reliable sources seem to be precisely the Israeli ones, who have painstakingly recovered objectivity, and are considered – in Israel – almost blasphemous. As far as I could ascertain, mainly from Israeli extreme left/humanitarian sources, the former Jewish and then Israeli forces were infinitely superior in numbers, resources, organization and strategic capabilities in prevention.

Without going into details:
– the Jews could count on very heavy economic aid from abroad and equally important acts of sabotage to block outside Palestine aid (weapons) obtained by the Arabs-Palestinians abroad;
– the Arab armies would have been disconnected, disorganized, unmotivated. Their leaders corrupt and interested. The Palestinian population, terrified and badly armed.
It is said that there was since years a plan to invade the whole of Palestine, a plan made by Jews, also aimed at the evacuation of the natives, trusting in the moment of absolute imbalance that would result from the departure of the British. There are plenty of chronicles relating to those facts, by both Arab and Israeli authors. In this respect, some Israeli authors use talking about a real “removal” on the side of the Israeli people. Removal of unjustifiable facts, that nonetheless spearheaded the establishment of the State of Israel.

If we want to make a prediction, it will take, say, ten years to obtain reports officially impartial of that historical moment. [I wrote this some time ago, and I’m actually afraid I was deeply wrong. Let’s be optimistic though.]

Let’s get back to us. We are always in 1948. Within weeks, the newborn State of Israel (just proclaimed) occupies most of the territory that would be the State of Palestine, as well as West Jerusalem, which should have been internationalized.
Remain under Arab and somewhat Palestinian control:
– the Gaza Strip, under Egyptian control;
– the West Bank, under Jordanian control:
– East Jerusalem, under Jordanian control.

The UN sends, in order to mediate and arrange an agreement between Israelis and Arab-Palestinians, Count Folke Bernadotte. It’s a bad idea. The Count develops some proposals, rejected by both sides, and on September 17, 1948 he was assassinated by the Stern Gang (see below, part 1) and some people – the more mischievous – say with the connivance of the Israeli military and political leaders.
On 11 December 1948 the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 194, emphasizing the idea of an international regime for Jerusalem, and to solve – at least economically – the problem of Palestinian refugees.

On May 11, 1948, Israel becomes a member of the UN with the understanding that he will favor the resolutions 181 and 194 (which will not happen.)

In 1949 is signed the armistice with neighboring Arab States and it is established an “armistice line”, not to be crossed, among the parties. Neither the armistice nor the line would be respected.
Things were going badly since some years, and they plunge into a worse situation in 1956, when Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser realizes to be a nationalist and is determined to nationalize the Suez Canal (i.e. to seize control, including economic control, the most important, of the channel that allows passage from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.)

As a result, it sparks off the second conflict in the Arab-Israeli world. (It would be better have a map here, but never mind… for the time being.)
Well, when Egypt decides to nationalize the Suez Canal, that is in Egypt, immediately England, France and Israel, do team up and wage war against Egypt.
In practice, Israel seizes the opportunity and invades the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Full stop. The UN intervenes, forcing Britain and France to desist. Israel is forced to leave the Sinai, but maintains control over the Gaza Strip. Only in 1957, Israel finally withdrew from the Gaza Strip, meanwhile were involved the UN Emergency Forces.

In fact, it is the Egyptian President Nasser who sponsors the formation of a Palestinian national consciousness, which was previously rather poor. As a matter of fact the Palestinians have never had the urge to belong to something other than an Arab State around there. But “around there” was their homeland.
In this respect, the creation of a Palestinian identity is at the same time due to Nasser , who theorized it, and Israel who tried to annihilate the native population of that land, encouraging a nationalist reaction on the part of the Palestinian people in favor of a true nation that, practically there by centuries, no one had theorically ever fancied.

Hence and for some years there are significant issues in the sense that there are fights, but the Palestinians take note not only of not getting their independent State, but that, quietly and firmly, the Israelis are invading their home. Palestinian home.
And in 1964 they founded the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Skip a few years of skirmishes (in 1965 the military wing of Fatah, the Palestinian nationalist underground movement born in 1959, began an armed struggle against Israel, in 1966 Israel attacked the village of Al-Samuh doing a lot of dead, and prepare – they said, but actually it’s sure – the nuclear bomb with the help of the French.)
On June 5, 1967 following an accumulation of Egyptian troops on the border (and a whole host of other things: such as increase of Arab nationalism, the desire for revenge of President Nasser), Israel simultaneously attacks Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

The war, namely the third Arab-Israeli conflict, lasts for six days (and so will be remembered, with undeniable fancy, as the “Six Day War”) and is disastrous for the Arab states, mainly because of the Israeli air force.

Israel occupies all of Palestine (i.e. what was missing: the Gaza Strip and the West Bank) and East Jerusalem and, in addition, as a rule, the peninsula of Sinai, and furthermore the Golan Heights, which belonged to Syria. Needless to say that the Six Day War created another bit of Palestinian refugees, indeed more than 300 000 people flee to Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
The UN Security Council adopts then a Resolution (237) by calling the Israeli government to facilitate the return of refugees. Without any success.

Needless to say that immediately after the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Israel began to confiscate Palestinian land – so much for the Geneva Convention – and establishes the well-known Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, that are today the main reason and excuse to perpetuate the conflict and in particular for the construction of the infamous wall or fence.
On 22 November 1967 the UN adopts Resolution 242 which demands the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from “…territories occupied” in the conflict, and asserted the need to achieve a just solution to the refugee problem and guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of “every State” in the region. We must repeat: the Resolution also states the need to reach a fair accommodation of the refugee problem.

Resolution 242, approved by the U.S. and Israel only because of its ambiguous formulation, is forcibly interpreted by the United States and Israel. Better: mischieviously misinterpreted in the sense that it authorizes the continuation of Israeli control over the occupied territories.
The problem is submitted again to the Security Council in January 1976 and the related answers, which obviously included an agreement on the “green line” and the existence of a Palestinian State, meet the obvious U.S. veto.
In subsequent years, the armed Palestinian factions – who have not got a damn in terms of concrete armed action – begin to organize politically and aggregate into the PLO.
In 1969, Yasser Arafat (head of Al Fatah faction) takes control of the PLO and becomes its President.

The clashes continued: humiliations and violence on the Palestinians that cause actions that cause reactions that cause other actions of the Palestinians and so on, leading to some UN initiative: resolutions to wind.
The Palestinian resistance, namely thousands of armed Palestinian of PLO, has now moved to Jordan, where evidently has a lot of problems and creates a lot of problems. In September 1970, while, on the one hand, there is some attempt to make sense of the UN resolutions and there are negotiations between the representatives of Egypt, Jordan and Israel, the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) hijacks four airplanes and make them land at the Mafrak airport in Jordan.
The same month, the Jordanian government (i.e. King Hussein) is fed up, and its army makes a massacre of Palestinians. It’s hundreds of dead, an episode that will be remembered as “Black September”. Skirmishes then follow among armed Palestinian factions and armies of Jordan and even Syria, because the armed Palestinian groups after “Black September” were moved to the north (note: see map! But which map?). The leadership of the Palestinian resistance finally moves into Lebanon, alas, with resultant disastrous consequences.

Here it should be noted that the Arab countries neighboring to Palestine and Israel have been around the Palestinian issue for their own interests (for example, in order to annex parts of Palestine) and finally they all gave up, by concluding bilateral agreements with Israel. So that solidarity with the Palestinian people survives in these Arab states, at present, almost exclusively at the level of popular sentiment.

Written by pipistro

April 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Posted in Israel, Palestine

The Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict for dummies (Part One, 1895-1948)

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 The history of the conflict in Palestine has its origins in the mists of time, probably with the first skirmishes between tribes consisting of a few tens or hundreds of people (little more than large extended families), that many thousands of years ago lead the family or group of families, each time louder and more evolved, to winning.
However, evidently these tribes have always found particularly interesting obtaining dominion over this strip of land, slightly bigger than Sicily, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the extreme western part of the so-called Fertile Crescent. (Namely the crescent-shaped area that starts more or less from Quwait, cross to the north of Mesopotamia, reaches out to Iraq and then begins to descend along the modern State of Israel-Palestine, Sinai and along the reaches of the Nile Delta.)
This is not the place to talk about how and why a war takes place between families, tribes, peoples contiguous. But you can imagine that in the beginning, many thousands of years ago, it had to do with the capture of small sources of greater prosperity for their closest relatives and groups, such as drinking water sources, to get nearer the sea or more fertile land, or where it was easier to build a mansion, or to a morphologically advantageous position in order to anticipate the moves of the “enemy” and so on.
But surely it is useless to try and trace here the facts that have come and gone, real or assumed, in the course of millennia, the peoples who lived there and the kingdoms that have arisen, have thrived, struggled and have found their end.

The area that concerns us is at the top of the Sinai, more or less, the part that faces the sea on the south-southwest of Cyprus and is bordered to the right by the Dead Sea and the Jordan River. On the right of the Jordan, there is another piece of land of Palestine, which became independent soon enough, and is now called Jordan and does not take a direct part in the conflict – in some ways similar to a Civil War – still in progress. As mentioned, however, today’s Palestine is slightly larger than the Sicily (or London) and became in its majority in 1948, due to the subsequent occupation, the newly-born State of Israel. For centuries it was a rather poor and shabby land, yet this area – populated in some of his points (Jericho) by hundreds of thousands of years – is seen by billions of people the “center” of the world. In this land they were born and have grown to the rest of the world, in order, the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This small land today seems to be the starting point, the symbol or the pretext of conflict between the West (Judeo-Christian) and the Islamic world.
As a necessary starting point in the story, without going back to the mists of centuries, we choose a close enough period of time, and we’ll try to do a major work of synthesis, albeit at the expense of precision.

In 1895 the total population of Palestine is about 500 000 people of whom less than 50 000 were Jews, who were in small groups or had come back to Palestine for religious reasons mainly.
In 1896 the journalist Theodore Herzl, born in Budapest, had founded in Austria – as a reaction to anti-Semitism that was becoming increasingly popular in Europe – the Zionist movement (actually it is a bit ‘more complicated, but never mind) and had written Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State).
By the way, the term Zionist derives from Zion, a small hill of Jerusalem.
In this book Herzl theorizes the possibility of establishing, in Palestine (or Argentina), a nation that welcomes Jews ,who, according to tradition, he assumed they have been dispersed from Palestine throughout the world. The novelty of the Jewish state should have been that of joining or rejoining and placing in the same land, people who have lost over the millennia their ethnic identity, while maintaining a strong common tradition, cultural and religious identity. Hence the inability to absorb anti-Semitism into a form of racism, as the first has nothing to do with the “races”. And still summon antisemitism as the aversion to the Jews, is in reality a pure question of terminology.
In his “Jewish State”, however, Herzl assumes – as we said – that this location can take place not only in Palestine but also in Argentina.

Meanwhile the Ottoman Empire (Turks), which extended even in Mesopotamia (land between the two rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates), in the Fertile Crescent and of course in Palestine, is disintegrating.
It is divided after World War I between the victorious powers. Or rather, between two nations that will be among the winners: England and France. These begin to divide the whole area before it is actually divided. In particular, the powerful England promises, right and left, large areas of Palestine, which is not, or still is not “her stuff”:
– In 1915-1916 to the Arabs (that were promised an independent state by exchange of letters between Sir Henry MacMahon and the Emir of Mecca);
– In 1916 to the victorious European powers in general, in order to keep under their sphere of European influence the area sacred to the three monotheistic religions, area entrusted to a hypothetical international administration (through secret agreements, so called Sikes – Picot, with which were also attributed to France, current areas of Lebanon and Syria, and to England, the areas of Jordan and Iraq today);
– In 1917 to the Jews (namely to the Zionist Movement) with the Balfour Declaration.

This point, the Balfour Declaration was important and would need to be investigated. In a nutshell: it is a letter from British Foreign Secretary, Sir Arthur James Balfour, to Lord Rothschild, wealthy and important member of the European Zionism, in which letter, stating that the Government of His Majesty (UK) welcomes the establishment in Palestine of a “National Home” for the Jewish people, it being understood that nothing may prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish populations in Palestine, or the rights and political status of Jews in other countries.
Actually, in 1920, essentially, England manages to keep for herself Palestine (relying on a strategic importance that will be rather less over time, giving England a series of complications, and untold endless conflict to the today’s world) .
In fact, the victorious Allied powers in World War inaugurated, through the League of Nations (born with duties in perspective later resumed by the UN), the system of “mandates”, then, in one word, they handed Palestine over to the “mandate” (protection, control and hypothetical exploitation, even strategic) of the UK, with a commitment that will be applied the Balfour Declaration.

Thus English administration settled in Palestine in order to lead that poor land – considered to be a wasteland, devoid of structures and wealth – to that minimum degree of “civilization” – according to the West European standards – which, as first thing, would enable them to be useful for Europe of the winners.
On the other hand, the ruin left by the Ottoman empire and the complications caused by the immigration,on a massive scale, of Jews from Europe, under the Balfour Declaration, to a land inhabited substantially by Arabs and Islamics, made clear soon for English Administration that taking hold of Palestine hadn’t been a good deal.
To begin with, Palestine was soon divided into two zones, east and west of the Jordan River. The east would later become autonomous, as Kingdom of Transjordan (later Jordan). The western part would remain under British mandate.

It’s a constant struggle between Palestinians, native, who want to gain independence from England, and Jews, who want to get what the famous Balfour Declaration had made them, concretely and objectively, understand: the birth of a Jewish State. England (which was sure to earn something, had behaved ambiguously, in a shape that would have been very difficult to overcome), put herself out to cope with the problem, and tries to float at her best for … 28 years.

Let’s go ahead:
– Ten years later (we are now in 1930) emigrated to Palestine about 100 000 Jews and the persecution of Jews by the Nazis in Europe increases the flow (legal or out of control and therefore illegal) to Palestine.
– They form – both among the Arabs-Palestinians, both among Jews – Political and social groups, unions and militarized groups (e.g. the Haganah, who later became the Israeli army);
– Both sides open the door – through the more extremist groups – to several terrorist events;
– Jewish groups are formed, whose sole function is to facilitate illegal immigration (the Mossad – which, as of today, is a branch of Israeli Secret Service – though born as body parallel to the immigration;
– It was born (in 1929 in Zurich), the Jewish Agency, political education “preliminary” to the government of the future Jewish State, with the task of representing the Jewish independence movement, which of course the Arabs do not recognize.

In 1937 it was created a British Royal Commission, the Peel Commission, charged to investigate and find a solution to problems. The Peel Report (look at this!) …. recommends a partition of Palestine. Instead, in 1939, after a series of lectures separate Anglo-Jewish and Anglo-Arab, is drawn up a “paper” (Mc Donald White Paper) – the so-called “White Paper” that provides for the end of the British mandate for 1949 and the formation of an independent Arab state, with an incomprehensible and unworkable government joint Palestinian-Jewish, with limits on Jewish immigration (the legal one) for five years and limits the sale of lands the Arab-Palestinians (that the Jews are determined to buy, by Western-Jewish funds, from Arab landowners who do not have any interest, if not cheap, for the land entrusted to the work of others, and who live in Lebanon and elsewhere).
Result: in 1940 the Jewish population in Palestine is about 450 000 people out of a total of one million and a half, that is: 30%. The conflict between different cultures, economies, religions, traditions, interests, is skyrocketing. And the terrorist attacks, mainly against the British, but, naturally, between Arab and Jewish factions, are wasted.

Meanwhile the Second World War and its end will make the world know – better: confirm – the horrors of the Holocaust (Shoah, tragedy, destruction) and all the burden of suffering inflicted by Nazi Germany to the Jewish people.
The Jewish Agency meanwhile tries to gain support from the Zionist movement in the United States and succeeded in 1945 in involving congressmen, and getting that President Harry Truman put pressure on the British Government to allow an increase of Jewish immigration. The UK Government resists pressure.
On July 22, 1946 on a Zionist terrorist faction (Lehi or Stern Gang, Irgun others say, probably both) blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, where they had been allocated the offices of the British government and the headquarters: 86 dead.
Between September 1946 and February 1947 the British Government proposes the division of Palestine into two autonomous provinces under its “High Commissioner”. Both Jews and Arabs reject the proposal.

In 1947 England, now determined to break free of this cumbersome and unsuccessful colony, decided to replace the mandate by the League of Nations, and return the “Palestine problem” to the United Nations (UN). Meanwhile, the actions of sabotage and terrorist acts continue.
It is established a special UN Commission on Palestine (UNSCOP).
It is adopted (better: planned) the UN resolution n. 181 (a plan of distribution of Palestine into two states, Arabic and Hebrew, with joined economic management, and autonomous UN international administration on Jerusalem).

While English administration had set a date for the end of its mandate to May 15, 1948. The Zionist movement acts in order to establish control over most of the territory. On April 9, 1948 are massacred, mostly by the Stern Gang, 254 people in the Arab village of Deir Yassin, near Jerusalem.
The Arab States, unprepared for any joint action, much less in favor of a “Palestinian people” (Palestinians do not yet have their own formal identity, except for the fact of being born and raised, since centuries, in an Arab area called Palestine), equipped with their incapable leaderships, envisage their ambiguous and interested military intervention in support of their interests in the area. And while 750 thousand Palestinians abandoned their homes in a mass exodus (Nakba: tragedy), that was explained by the terror caused by the violence of the initiatives of the fiercest Jewish factions. These 750 thousand people, who have dropped out – as mentioned – their homes, their lands and possessions, are today the refugee problem, confined for 64 years in “refugee camps” in the Palestinian territories (Gaza Strip and West Bank, occupied by Israel in 1967) or on the margins, in every sense, of other Arab States.

On 14 May 1948, one day before the expiration of the British mandate, it is proclaimed the birth of the State of Israel, allegedly to enhance and accelerate the UN partition plan.
Here the issue becomes complicated: According to the sources: a) for the Jewish side it is argued that the baby, who was born without means and military facilities, was literally attacked by a coalition of Arab armies. b) for the Arab-Palestinian side, they claims that the Jewish factions, equipped with weapons and cash by the Zionist movement of the West, have, so to speak, “brought forward” their plans by invading the major Palestinian towns and villages, terrorizing and slaughtering them to recover as much as territory allotted to the Arab State. Things are never black or white, but hardly the truth stands in between.
It started, 15 May 1948, the first Arab-Israeli conflict in Palestine.

Written by pipistro

April 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Posted in Israel, Palestine

The Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict for dummies (Preamble)

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Perhaps it is best to start with order, from the book used or abused to legitimize the return of God’s allegedly chosen people to other people’s land, though for God’s will. This period is given us by the legend, the fiction, the fairy tale, and the belief that God had the need and desire to choose where and why among billions of planetary systems a handful of creatures among billions and billions of creatures would have gone and spread their insignificant offspring. And as such, as in a fairy tale, we’re going to picture what happened.

In the beginning God made the world, which of course was perfect because it was made by God, and since he could not or did not want to deal with it, he also made man to govern and manage the world, i.e. to work in it. And so God took the man he had just done and put him “in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it”. And in return? Dunno, he would have enjoyed the presence of God …
Well, a little while later, the man, that in addition to the work and the enjoyment had got also the woman – of course made by God – rebelled and tried to become like God, at the suggestion of the woman eating an apple given to them by a snake. But you can be more demented?
Rather annoyed God cast the man and (of course) the woman out of Eden, the flood wiped out the men saving only Noah and his wife, three sons – Shem, Ham and Japheth – and a lot of animals, then he chose Abraham and his descendants , they were Jews but also Arabs, to restore – lucky him – a relationship with humanity.
Who was Abraham? He was the son of Terah, who was the son of Nahor, who was the son of Serug, who was the son of Reu, who was the son of Peleg, who was the son of Eber, who was the son of Shelah, who was the son of Arphaxad, which was son of Shem, who was the son of Noah.
We do not know how or why, God promised only to the Jews the “promised land”. And the others? The others my foot.

Whatever happened, it seems that around the eighteenth century BC, the patriarchs of the Jewish people, that were Abraham, his son Isaac and grandson Jacob, said Israel (Bible, Book of Kings), located in the land of Israel, i.e. in the land of Jacob – I say, what a fantasy – that was then still called the land of Canaan. And who was Canaan? A son of Ham. That is a grandson of Noah. Put and brother, of Ethiopia and of Egypt. (The one about Put’s children’s is another story). At the time, however, that land, the land of Canaan, who went “from Sidon toward Gerar, unto Gaza, then toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, up to Lesa”, did not provide clearly a living without being very busy, especially in the area of the Negev and in the Sinai desert, wittily chosen by Abraham to settle there, and thus the settlement lasted until the early periods of famine.

Around 1500 BC, then, the tribe of Israel, that is Jacob, even though God had promised them the promised land, namely Palestine, though not yet called Palestine, but land of Canaan, were starving and thus they emigrated to Egypt taking advantage of the collapse of the Egyptian empire. There were about seventy people in all, including Abraham, who was still alive, and twelve sons of Jacob, i.e. sons of Israel.
Except that the invasion of those who had been former taxpayers of the pharaohs, as former inhabitants of the former city-states that were formerly in the land of Canaan – that in fact, in the meantime, some called Canaan, other Israel, other Palestine and other simply, “here” – was not particularly well regarded by the Egyptians and from Pharaoh, perhaps defeated, but not yet completely nuts.

According (probably) to the usual, at that time, being strangers or newcomers, or few, or too many, or unpleasant, or being simply Jews, the sons of Israel, and relatives of Jacob, that is Israel, were enslaved by the Egyptians. After a few centuries (sort of) of slavery, thanks to the favors rendered to Pharaoh by Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and by virtue of a complicated plan and the use of unconventional weapons by mutual agreement with God (which instead of blaming Abraham, turned on to the Pharaoh and struck him and his house “with a great calamity” and sent the plagues to the Egyptians that had nothing to do with that mess), the Jews, who by then had grown into a lot of people, also because they never died, led by Moses fled or were driven out, perhaps kicked out or otherwise decided to leave Egypt. Helped by God they crossed the Red Sea, and instead of thanking God they remained for forty years in the Sinai desert to worship a golden calf. God, who in the past had proved he was not likely to be taken for a ride, in the case showed a great deal of patience and did not turn them to ashes.

Around the thirteenth century BC (1250 BC) the Jews were leaving the desert and headed to the usual (former) land of Canaan, where they came from. The fact is that, in the meantime, that is a couple of hundred years (1190 BC approximately), other people – including so-called Indo-European peoples of the sea, or Philistines, it seems coming from Crete – despite of famine, had settled permanently in the land between the coast and the Jordan River and lived peacefully with those who perhaps were born or grew or remained, including the Apiru, some other Jews, of which many were called Yakubu with inexhaustible imagination, i.e. Jacob. Practically all those who were not close relatives of Jacob, i.e. Israel, in the land, once called Palestine or more or less Filistina or something.

The returning Jews, twelve tribes, this time led by Joshua, did their best to make meatballs of Philistines, Jews and unnamed natives, which finally had all become Palestinians, and settled in their home. It says here that, loaded as they were of gold and accompanied by “flocks and herds and donkeys, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys” given by Pharaoh to Abraham (perhaps with the complicity of his wife Sarah, in the occasion passed off as his sister) easily conquered Palestine because, despite the past, this was the land which – they said – the Lord had promised to Abraham for his offspring, although other people now regularly were living in that land.

Shortly after, around 1020 BC, the Jews had become too many and organized themselves into a monarchy. Saul was the first king of Israel, which was followed by David (1000-961) that led to Jerusalem the capital of the kingdom, and Solomon (961-922) who was building the (first) temple in Jerusalem. With the blessing of God, Saul did not recognize the authority nor the commandments, David was – in brief – a sinner, and Solomon, in order not to hurt anyone, devoted himself to idolatry. For God was just too much. Then he decided to leave them to their fate for some time.

In 922 the kingdom was divided into the kingdom of Judah (2/12) to the south, inhabited by Jews and the kingdom of Israel (10/12) to the north, inhabited by others Jews. Jews of Judah and Jews of Israel once they had recovered the “promised land”, did not go over well. The first to take advantage of this situation were the Assyrians, who conquered the kingdom of Israel in the eighth century BC, and then the Babylonians, who in 586 conquered the kingdom of Judah, destroying the (first) temple – the one built by Solomon – and sent the Jews of Judah in exile in Babylon. And the Jews of Israel? In exile in Mesopotamia as well.

After forty years of exile in Babylon the Jews got back again to the land of Canaan, that was called land of Israel by the Jews of Israel, i.e. Jacob, land of Judah by the Jews of Judah, and Judah Filistina, or Palestine, by the Philistines, land which had previously been conquered by the Persians, which probably called it simply “part of Persia near the sea.” Somehow, the Jews obtained then by the Persians permission to build the (second) temple. But it lasted little. Without much support from God, that would be silent for desperation for about 500 years, the Jews fell under the dominion of the Greeks and then of the Syrians with Alexander the Great.

Around 164 BC the Jews revolted against the Syrians and they got some independence plotting with the Romans. The Romans were instead on their own, they conquered Jerusalem in 61 BC and made the whole area a province without thinking too much either to the promises of God or to their own, they called it as it was called by its inhabitants, namely Palestine, and relied to “local” line of Herod.
Around the year zero, was born in Bethlehem Jesus of Nazareth [sic], that realized almost immediately the mess that his father had done and tried to remedy it. He waited for little more than thirty years, thinking about what to do, and then he tried – as they say – to patch up the situation.

Written by pipistro

April 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Posted in Israel, Palestine

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