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September 22, 2011 / mike54martin

A Brief and Unofficial History of Palestine

I don’t often write on current affairs. Mostly because I seldom really know what’s going on and more often because other people (usually paid to do this) are much better than me. But the situation involving Palestine has been so badly handled by commentators from all sides that I figured I couldn’t make it any worse. So at the risk of offending some, most or all or you I will dive into the murky depths of the “Palestine” question.

First of all for the record I am not Jewish or Palestinian. Secondly I am probably one of a distinct minority who believes that both sides have a case to make. I studied the history of the Jewish people for a project in which I wrote hundreds of articles about how Jews lived, died and were persecuted in every country of the world from Bulgaria to Botswana for the last two thousand years. They have a case to make for a homeland. I am less familiar with the story of the Palestinians but I do know this. There had to be Palestinians because there was a British protectorate called Palestinewhich was carved up to make two distinct areas,Israel and the rest of Palestine. The people living on the Israeli side were basically kicked out and went to live in Jordan,Lebanonand all over the Middle East.

The Palestinians were not happy when this carving up was announced, as most people could probably understand and a series of wars began which continue up until today. They were supported by the other Arab/Muslim countries in the region who promptly kicked out most of the Jews living in their countries and from time to time ganged up to attack Israel. In most of these mini-wars the Jews were victorious, mostly because they had the support of Europe and then the Americans, and as a result they “captured” various parts of the other half ofPalestineand officially or unofficially occupied them and started building settlements in these areas. Needless to say this pissed off the Palestinians a bit more and a cycle of yelling, screaming, rock throwing combined with an occasional military bombardment ensued until today.

Today we now have the Palestinians asking for their own state at the United Nations and as an almost neutral observer you would have to agree. Why can’t they have their own country likeIsraelhas on their side of the fence? (Oh yeah, the Fence: built by Israel to secure its “borders” and snakes through the whole of what was once Palestine to ensure that all its settlements are inside the fence). Instead of being a slam-dunk the major countries of the world including theUnited StatesandCanada(not thatCanadais a major country anymore, and why the heck are we involved anyway?) are apoplectically opposed. What difference will it really make one way or the other? You would think that Barack Obama would have bigger issues to deal with than this… Just saying.

I guess I still have more questions than answers but somehow it feels better to write about it than to think about it. Thank you for letting me have my therapy session. Anybody who actually knows anything is certainly welcome to comment. Not that anyone will pay attention.

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and wellness consultant. He is the author of Change the Things You Can (Dealing with Difficult People)

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One Comment

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  1. Sandra McLeod Humphrey / Sep 24 2011 11:30 pm

    Actually, I don’t understand why Palestine can’t have their own state either. Obviously, there’s something I’m probably missing here as far as the “big picture” is concerned, and I guess I need an objective observer to clue me in (if there’s even such a thing as an objective observer regarding this situation). Like your blog and I’ll be back!

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