Skip to main content

Really. I know you've heard that before. But seriously. What follows is information that you probably do not yet know, without taking sides. Really.

We all have been besieged recently with impassioned posts and links about the conflict from all sides, taking all sides - you may have read about how Hamas is a terrorist organization firing rockets into civilian populations, and how Israel cannot negotiate with terrorist, and is surrounded and outnumbered, and is in its "Promised Land," while also reading that Israel is an oppressive regime that is slaughtering thousands and instituting Apartheid. And everything in between.

What follows is admittedly very incomplete, because books can be written on this subject, and several have. But what you will find in here is the root of the conflict.

WITHOUT TAKING SIDES.

The first question, really, is this:

 Why was Zionism suddenly invented in the latter part of the 19th century?

Why did Jews start heading for what was then known as Palestine at that time, instead of centuries earlier? What was the impetus for the Zionist movement? Why did Jews decide, at THAT specific point in time, to go to Israel, and not earlier, or later?

The answer is below the squiggle.

The answer comes from the unification of Germany, Austria, Italy, et al. Europe was consolidating - and, with the new consolidated nations, Jews suddenly found that they were unable to become citizens of some of the new states. Previously, they could just go to a neighboring country. But with regular, intermittent pogroms in Russia and Europe, and with those consolidations, they saw that it was likely that their days in Europe were numbered. THAT is why Zionism came into being at that place, and at that time. Because, suddenly, Jews were (once again) becoming people without a country, again, and, there seemed like there was nowhere else to go.

In fact, an earlier, discarded possibility, in those colonial times, was to colonize Uganda. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed on that one.

As they entered Palestine, though, remember that it was ALREADY AN OCCUPIED TERRITORY. It was occupied, and occupied oppressively, by the Ottoman Empire. Palestine had been occupied by different empires, at the time, for over 2000 years. It had not been its own nation since it was Israel before the Roman Empire destroyed and disbursed the people, and named it "Palestine" as the name of the enemy of the people - the Philistines - as was the Roman custom at the time. The native Arabs of the area had been living under occupation literally for millennia.

The land was populated, but there was plenty of room for Kibbutzim. The Arab population was very poor under the Empire. Jewish settlers were torn between hiring Arabs, who were very poor and could certainly use the money, and those who were socialist, and decided not to hire them, because they did not want to create class discrepancies.

During WWI, Jews in Palestine saw what the Turks were doing to the Armenians - genocide - and they knew that if the Turks and the Ottoman Empire won in the Great War to End All Wars, the Jews, after the Armenians, would be next. So the settlers allied themselves with the English, and spied for the English against the Turks, and did their best to ingratiate themselves among the English, who by nature tended to be anti-Semitic.

At the same time, T.E. Lawrence, with a romanticized notion of the Bedouins, was organizing Arabs against the Turks, and against his own Empire.

Finally, after the war, countries were carved up in the best interest of the British, but Palestine was still an occupied territory. It was now part of the British Empire.

After the Second World War, and after the Germans succeeded after all in doing to the Jews what the Turks did to the Armenians, but more efficiently, the State of Israel was created. And yes, Arabs who had lived there were displaced, and sometimes worse. The thought, rightly or wrongly, was that there were an awful lot of places that Arabs can go to live and practice their religion, but for Jews, this was it.

And, for decades, it was "us against them": a tiny little country surrounded by many, many enemies, supported by the US as a pawn in the Cold War.

Then came the 6 Day War in 1967. Israel's greatest triumph became it's greatest failure. Knowing that an attack was eminent, Israel destroyed fighter planes on the ground, and took Gaza and the Sinai from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan. Gaza and the Sinai were given back in exchange for peace with Egypt. The PLO took the West Bank while almost overthrowing the King of Jordan.

I wrote an article in Tikkun Magazine 14 years ago, before the Intifada, in the last year of the Clinton Administration, when there was still hope for a peaceful resolution in which I wrote:

The relationship of both secular and traditional Jews to the land changed severely after the 1967 war. With the annexation of new territory, the traditional culture that sought to preserve the land as an extension of G-d's will quickly became a culture that worshipped the land itself. Believing the land was theirs to rule, both secular kibbutsniks and religious Jews too easily accepted the role of occupier. Yeshayahu Leibowitz in his essay 'The Territories,' written shortly after the war, predicted that this decision to retain rule over the occupied territories would have tragic consequences. He suggested that the religious traditionalists, in arguing that the land has biblical significance, were actually idolizing the land, thus corrupting the very religion they strove to maintain. Instead of Jews working together on the land and in all levels of society, the process of maintaining rule over a hostile population of 1.5 to 2 million foreigners within the territories would have significant social repercussions. Arguing that hierarchical relationships would necessarily develop between Jewish Israelis and the Others, he predicted that in a few years there would be no Jewish workers or Jewish farmers, that Arabs would be the working people and Jews the administrators, inspectors, officials, and police. In short, he predicted the dissolution of Israeli social fabric and boundaries as surely as the boundaries of the country itself.
Dr. Leibowitz proved to be omniscient. The greatest military success in the history of Israel turned into its greatest failure.

And now, this latest Occupation -and it can be argued, kinda, that Egypt had occupied Gaza and that Jordan had occupied the West Bank pre-1967 - is horrific, dehumanizing, and thousands of innocents are dying.

Yet the people on both sides are being manipulated by their leaders to want to win the war, or at least maintain what was the status quo.

Where are the calls for peace? Well, think about it: when we were attacked on 9/11, there were few voices for a peaceful solution to our newfound conflict with Afghanistan. Attacks on our soil will do that. So, too, when there are attacks on their soil - in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank - those who call for peace get drowned out, as well.

The biggest problem, right now, is to realize that the leaders are manipulating the population into supporting war - on both sides.

For Israel, Netanyahu's coalition demands it. They simply have no interest in giving back any of the West Bank, or Gaza, and they will do what they can to fight peace. That includes shouting that Hamas killed 3 teenagers, when we now know they did not. That was enough to rile up public opinion, and, to send in troops. Any chance they can take, they will gin up conflict with Hamas will be taken, so that the people of Israel will not want to have peace, either.

And, at the same time, Hamas has no interest in living peacefully, side by side, with Israel, and is sacrificing the Palestinians living under its rule in order to strengthen itself and its cause. They want their land, and the destruction of Israel. They also know that the more children die, the more people will have blood vengeance on their minds, and will be willing to die for their cause.

I wrote this before, but it bears repeating - here's what you need to know about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:

"The enemy of your enemy is not your friend."

What does that mean? Think about it. Stalin and Churchill had a common enemy: Hitler. But they were not friends. And so it is in the Middle East.

Those of you who oppose the actions of Israel, you share a common enemy with Hamas. But Hamas is not your friend.

Those of you who oppose the actions of Hamas, you share a common enemy with the Netanyahu Administration, but The Netanyahu Administration is not your friend.

Those who choose to destroy Jewish homes and businesses in France and throughout Europe, well, you simply were looking for an excuse to act on your hatred for Jews from the last war. Hamas is not your friend either.

In fact, Hamas, and the Netanyahu Administration, both have the same common enemy:

Peace.

But they are not friends.

The losers in all this? The poor Palestinians, who have been occupied literally for millennia, and want, now, what everyone else received in the 20th century but them - unless you count Jordan, which they do not - a homeland with home rule, after all these years.

Poll

What will come first?

25%11 votes
18%8 votes
56%25 votes

| 44 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Oh, and I know that a lot of you.... (9+ / 0-)

    .... get a lot of significance in trying to point out that you know a lot more about the Middle East than anyone else, and look down your noses at us poor schmucks who dare to pretend to offer you information you did not know.

    Stuff it.

    If you want to have a discussion, go for it. Please.  I welcome discussion and debate.  But check all condescension at the door.

    Thank you.

    •  that seems aggressive for first comment (7+ / 0-)

      Especially from diarist. You don't want to create a bad vibe from the getgo so people don't comment! I'd just rec'd the diary scrolled down to find this comment in a totally different tone, so am leaving instead of saying how useful he diary is (would be) to be sure everyone concerned about what's happening in the Middle East has the historical context.Read what you wrote again...you want to set the tone of perhaps non judgement and openness..."stuff it"?! 'Bye!

      •  Sorry. I've just seen too much condescension... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mickT, sajiocity

        ... in comments, from people who gain a lot of significance in trying to show that they know more than the ignoramus who wrote the post - especially in prior posts that I have made.

        So I attempted to pre-empt that.

        •  Well, you wrote a really good diary, establishing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David B, janis b, blueoasis

          your own bona fides (including the article from Tikkun in 2000). Anyone condescending to you is just going to look like an ass.

          But it's your diary, and if you want to bark at troublemakers, fair enough. Myself, I try to just walk around the troublemakers in I/P, whenever possible.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:37:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, you were offensive in doing so. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Piren

          It's usually not a good idea to post while angry.

          Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

          by Bob Love on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:48:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I can be as condescending (0+ / 0-)

          as I wish to be.
          Why would that be offending to you?

          You offer me a few historical facts out out of millions of documental historical evidence and you think that that entitles you to judge a poster that is just disgusted having just seen mamed babies on the news?

          This discussion is not like court proceedings where the smartest lawyer wins.

          Sorry. I'm 60 with a few years (if that) to live. I've studied and stayed informed and all that shit. Most importantly I've seen in the past and still witnessing things that humans shouldn't be doing. It made my heart weak and my soul an infinite black hole.

          Give people a break. Please.

    •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David B, DeeDee001, janis b

      For providing some framework of understanding.  The end of the 19th and early 20th century also saw progroms spread to Arab countries.  Palestine was a refuge for the Jewish communities being slowly pushed out of Algeria, Morroco  and other countries.  This is all prior to the 1930s   So the opera of it being a  European event is inaccurate.

  •  Fail (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, IndieGuy, SCFrog, maregug

    Thank you for repeating the myths that the Israeli government would like you to believe to justify attempting to commit genocide.

    Nakba denial by omission is noteworthy.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 05:19:30 PM PDT

  •  Where did you get that the Turks would have (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco, IndieGuy, SCFrog, Iberian

    committed genocide against the Jews?

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 05:23:48 PM PDT

  •  You have summed it up so well (9+ / 0-)

    This is a brilliant diary, and I thank you for your insight.

    I knew most of the specific facts you discuss, having read quite a lot on this (including the perfectly-named A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East), but you have tied it together in a way that is simple and compelling and makes sense.

    "I believe that some fine day, the children of Abraham
    will lay down their swords forever in Jerusalem."

    by Ducktape on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 05:36:35 PM PDT

  •  Something else you don't know about I/P (2+ / 0-)

    It's playing merry hell with One Direction's chill.

  •  I thought it was pretty accurate (9+ / 0-)

    It's the truth, the enemy of my enemy is NOT my friend. Lets stop giving both sides money to be used to kill each other. Wouldn't that be a good start ?

  •  i have no idea about your history (6+ / 0-)

    so i wont argue that. But I do object to hearing how Hamas is basically liking the deaths of their own children-the children of Gaza.

    When Hamas starts bombing their own schools and lying about it. I might believe you. Right now i see Israel bombing schools/shelters /markets. not Hamas.
    and i see israel lying about those bombings.

    I am really tired of the victim blaming and the propaganda

    •  It is in the interest of Hamas to create martyrs. (8+ / 0-)

      I know that this may not be politically correct, but it is true, and is consistent with a lot of things you may or may not know about them.

      People can stay in an oppressed situation and grumble about it, and get beaten down, and do nothing.  If, however, they lose a loved one to a bomb dropped by Israel, NOW they have blood-vengeance. Now they will risk their lives to avenge the death. Now they will work with Hamas to destroy Israel.

      At least, that's the theory.

      You have to remember that just because Hamas represents the underdog and the oppressed does NOT mean that they are good people.

      The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend.

  •  Several significant points omitted.... (12+ / 0-)

    The illegal immigration of jews into palestine during the 1930's and 40's.

    The UN partition of palestine in 1948 in violation of its own charter which promotes self-determination.

    A partition that gave over 60% of the land to the jews while they comprised only about one-third of the population.

    •  Yes. I know. (7+ / 0-)

      Way up top, I wrote:

      What follows is admittedly very incomplete, because books can be written on this subject, and several have. But what you will find in here is the root of the conflict.
      That is still true.  I left out a lot.  I decided not to write a book here.
      •  A Little Surprised That Sykes-Picot . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        delver

        did not get an explicit mention and a little exposition since in many respects it is the primary underlying factor.

        "A famous person once said, 'You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.' But as I once said, "If you don't teach them to read, you can fool them whenever you like." – Max Headroom

        by midnight lurker on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 08:17:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, Not quite true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MGross

      The league of nations had designated Palestine in principle as a "Jewish Homeland" in 1922, with the establishment of the British Mandate. The Mandate provided specifically for the establishment of that Jewish homeland:

      ARTICLE 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self­governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.
      The British, who had been give the Mandate on the condition that they implement the Balfour Declaration (see Conference of San Remo) promptly turned around and declared all of Palestine to the East of the Jordan River to be for Arabs only - calling this new area, which comprised a whopping 77% of pre-Mandate Palestine, Transjordan, and imported an Arabian Hashemite to be its Emir, and later King (Abdullah the First). They complete this hijacking of the majority of the land in 1928 when they allowed the independence of Transjordan, now Jordan, in flagrant violation of article 5 of their Mandate:
      ARTICLE 5. The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.
      So you see, self-determination had ALWAYS been the principle behind the establishment of the Jewish Homeland, and the statement that the Jews got 60% of the land is simply untrue. They got three disconnected chunks of land of what little remained after the independence of Jordan that were militarily indefensible, which of course inspired them to try to capture as much land as they could when the inevitable Arab attack came in 1948.
      Finally, with regard to "illegal" Jewish immigration, I would be more inclined to agree if
      a) three-quarters of the land had not already been illegally removed,
      b) there had been any restriction AT ALL on Arab immigration to match the restrictions for Jews in the White Papers of 1930 and 1939 - the British were clearly trying to torpedo the idea of a Jewish homeland, the Jews knew it, and reacted accordingly.

      Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

      by drybones on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 10:40:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Non-contiguous islands of land won't work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        "They got three disconnected chunks of land of what little remained after the independence of Jordan that were militarily indefensible..."

        Yup. That's been a problem with every peace proposal dumped on the Palestinians. Not acceptable for Israel and not acceptable for the Palestinians.

  •  Finally a sane diary on this issue. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ducktape, Lujane, sajiocity

    This struggle did not come out of nowhere. Hamas decided to dig in with the civil population. A Hamas victory will not bring peace to Palestinians any more than there is peace in Syria, Iraq and all the other made up countries in the Middle East.
    Israelis are buckling under the pressure of constant, relentless low-grade warfare aimed at destroying Israel. It was there before Jews built settlements on the West Bank. It was there from the creation of the State of Israel. People here who argue that Jews have no right to exist in their own homeland are arrogant fools who live a fat life in their own country that spends a trillion dollars / year securing its borders. They are adding to the problem. Jews will not crawl off and die. Would you? But their sheer existence is a problem for groups who want to control a country of their own.
    All the hollering from Europe about human rights violations have no meaning - they didn't do a damn thing when Jews were systematically oppressed and exterminated in Europe over the last 200 years. And they won't come to their aid now and any Jew in the world who does not know that are oblivious to history.
    The UN Security Council? Russia, China, the US are the most relentlessly imperialistic countries in the world.
    If Palestinians found a leader like David Ben Gurion, they would have a Palestinian state, but instead they are pawns of all the military groups who are vying for power and it is costing them their lives just like it happens everywhere else in the world.
    Putin can take over the Crimea, China can expand into Tibet, but Israel is stuck in a place the size of New Jersey in a pressure cooker.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 05:57:37 PM PDT

    •  I don't see this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PrahaPartizan, mickT, Iberian, blueoasis
      If Palestinians found a leader like David Ben Gurion, they would have a Palestinian state, but instead they are pawns of all the military groups who are vying for power and it is costing them their lives just like it happens everywhere else in the world.
      Where would they get enough heavy weapons to make that happen?
    •  wow (5+ / 0-)

      Syria, Germany, the U.S., all just recent inventions.

      Germany didn't exist 200 years ago. It existed for a brief time, then after WWII, it was split. then it became one again. Now I expect you label it some country that is stable and pure and always existed.

      As opposed to those Arab states that can trace their basic region back to the Greek/Roman times.

      Find Germany listed 2000 years ago. America. You won't. Yet you can find various iterations of Syria and Sham. Damascus is the longest inhabited cities in the world. That is homeland.

      While you may see maps of Israel in many bibles, there aren't a lot of historic documents to support Israel as being some long-lasting regional entity like you would Syria.

      Russia is not building settlements in Crimea. The people in Crimea are not upset that Russia wants them. Unlike the people in the Golan Heights, they were able to vote.

      As for 'homeland', I find that quite a racist way to look at the world. You do know that for over a thousand years the center of Jewish culture was not in Israel but in Aleppo, Syria. Thanks to David Ben Gurion and his Zionist lot, they destroyed the bond between Arabs and Jews and welcomed the hatred, as this forced the Jews to come to the 'homeland.'

      You can praise him all you want, but he did more harm to the region than you can imagine. I'm glad the Arabs don't have someone on par with him.

      •  The Jews of Aleppo (0+ / 0-)

        were expelled.  So were the Jews of Egypt, Morocco, Syrian and Iraq…. all 900,000 of them.  They were kicked out and forced to find another home.

        Was that racist?  

        Why can't they go back to their homes?  Why can't they reclaim their property?  Why did they become stateless?  

        Oh, I guess it is all Ben Gurion's fault.  

        It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

        by Radiowalla on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 07:46:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ethnic cleansing by neigboring states years after (0+ / 0-)

          Israel ethnically cleansed Palestinians somehow retroactively validates what Israel had already done?

          /BOGGLE

          The UN should give Iraq a restraining order against the US.

          by JesseCW on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 11:07:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  They aren't ever going to have a palestinian (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Christin

      state, because too many powerful people in israel don't want one to ever exist, and those powerful people will keep the violence going one way or another.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:41:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well this (2+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      cville townie, Christin
      Hidden by:
      btfsilence

      sums it all doesn't it

      "Putin can take over the Crimea, China can expand into Tibet, but Israel is stuck in a place the size of New Jersey in a pressure cooker."

      Lebensraum

  •  I have read A peace to End All Peace and I highly (6+ / 0-)

    recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the roots of this conflict. Americans used to believe in a fair fight, that was before they became the bullies of the world.

    •  Americans were bullies (0+ / 0-)

      before the Revolution, as part of the British Empire fighting Spain, France, and Native Americans. The American idea of a fair fight is one that our guys won, or at least can pretend they won, as expressed in the doctrine of Manifest Destiny. Except for Neo-Confederate Lost Causers who claim that Yankees didn't fight fair just because there were too many of them with too many guns.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 12:54:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Overall, a relatively balanced view, (4+ / 0-)

    although I am unsure about some of your points.  I agree about the 67 war.  

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:07:53 PM PDT

  •  I have a hard time respecting the opinion of (0+ / 0-)

    someone who supposes that the -lm-ght- places significance in the explicit versus implicit orthography of any of an infinite number of possible references to -i-.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:33:26 PM PDT

  •  No, frankly, it is not. (0+ / 0-)

    Why not say what you mean?

  •  the people of Palestine weren't Arabs during the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TLS66, blueoasis

    Roman Empire. I think the common language was Aramaic, but probably people didn't speak Arabic until the Muslim conquest.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 08:01:39 PM PDT

  •  The claim that Zionism arose in the 19th century (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David B

    only because Jews felt radically more endangered by nation states at that time does not pass historical muster. Violent anti-Semitism, including expulsion from countries in Europe, goes back a millennium. There has to be more to it.

    In fact, the Rhineland massacres during the People's Crusade were cited by 19th century Zionists as one of the reasons for creating a Jewish homeland.

    Althoff, Gerd; Fried, Johannes; Geary, Patrick J. (2002). Medieval Concepts of the Past: Ritual, Memory, Historiography. Cambridge UP. pp. 305–8.

    Violence against Jews continued throughout the other Crusades. Open combat between Christians and various Arabic and Kurdish forces lasted from the First Crusade in 1095, off and on through the recapture of all of the Crusader territories in 1291. Hostility continued, however, at a lower level, including Christian military orders enslaving Muslims, up until the Ottoman conquest, which revived open war with Christian kingdoms, especially in the Balkans.

    History of the Jews and the Crusades

    Some Sephardic Jews did go to Palestine under Turkish rule after the expulsion from Spain, but in fact they went everywhere in the Ottoman Empire, and anyplace else that would allow them in.

    Now, obviously, Zionism as the creation of a country for Jews would not have made sense during the rest of the Roman Empire after the Diaspora, nor during the barbarian conquests that followed, annexation by Persian Sassanids, Byzantine rule, or early Ottoman rule.

    The idea of splitting off bits of the Ottoman Empire, as opposed to conquering bits like Hungary to make parts of another Empire (Austro-Hungarian, in that case), could only be entertained when the Ottoman Empire was crumbling anyway. It started to decline around 1700, and various distant regions broke away over time, but it was not until the late 19th century that the idea of breaking up the whole Empire, the original Sick Man of Europe, into new countries could be talked about seriously.

    The breakup took place after World War I, with the creation of numerous artificial countries under British and French rule that later became independent in various mostly unpleasant ways.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 01:41:25 PM PDT

    •  It's not that they felt more endangered... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Proteus7

      ... by nation states.  It's that some, like the 100,000 Jewish Romanians, who had their citizenship revoked after the 1878 Treaty of Berlin (which did not explicitly revoke their citizenship, but the courts did), found themselves with no place to go.  They weren't going to go to Russia.  Other parts of Europe were not welcoming, and were or had also consolidated, and while some wanted to come to the US, others had heard about the sweatshops and were reluctant to go. And the Ottoman Empire had a reputation for leaving Jews alone.

      So voices started calling for Jews to move to Palestine around that time, and money for the settlements started coming from families like the Rothchilds.

      Herzl did not create the movement in 1897.  He gave a name to what already existed.

      •  You have not replied to my assertion (0+ / 0-)

        that creating a Jewish nation could not be thought of before the Ottoman Empire's visible collapse. There were plenty of times when Jews went to Arab countries or the Turkish Empire before that, but not particularly to Palestine.

        Both sets of forces were working at the same time, and my claim is that it is not enough to consider only one of them.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 10:33:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, a few issues here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rduran

    1) Zionism didn't just start with Herzl. The concept of returning from exile has been enshrined in Jewish thought and prayer for thousands of years. For example, every year, at the end of Passover Seder, we say "next year in Jerusalem"

    2)

    They simply have no interest in giving back any of the West Bank, or Gaza
    Not true. Actually nobody seems to want Gaza..it's been offered back to the Egyptians multiple times, and Israel withdrew in 2005. What Israel wants to keep control of is security. The Jordan Rift Valley, Golan, airspace, and border crossings are all critical to Israeli security. Without that, Israel's coastal plain could be shelled or bombed with impunity from the Judean hills, or the Golan. The Jordan river valley is a natural fortification.

    The "blockade" of Gaza is simply to stop the buildup of missiles and bigger weapons. 10,000 snuck in there during the brief times Gaza wasn't under blockade (in 2005-2006, and later while Morisi was in power). It could have been much worse.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site