just something to say

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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