Thursday, January 08, 2009

Palestine 101

Ted Slater @ has a helpful article on Palestine that helps come up to speed in dealing with the background to the present conflict. He notes:

"Palestine" (a term imposed by the 1st century Romans) is, and has been for millennia, a "region"; it's never been an independent state.

You'll find "Palestinians" who are Christian and Muslim ... and Jewish. "Palestinians" should not be conflated with "Muslims" or "Arabs"; the "Palestinians" that we hear so much about are merely Arabs who have come to live in the region of Palestine.

And how did Gaza come to be inhabited by so many Arab Palestinians? Did Israel sequester them there? No, they chose to gather there in 1948 at the request of the Prime Minister of Iraq, who warned them to flee the rest of Israel because Iraq, along with other neighboring Arab countries, was going to "smash the country with our guns and obliterate every place the Jews seek shelter. The Arabs should conduct their wives and children to safe areas until the fighting has died down." Yes, these Palestinian refugees are victims -- they are fundamentally victims of Arab aggression against Israel.

Jews have consequently lived in the region for over 3,000 years. They are not "occupying" the country; they are living in their homeland.

If you're interested, and want to learn more, check out this site. Here is another great primer on the region.

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