I think it's about time that this subject be discussed at ATS.
What makes a nation a nation? What differentiates, say, Portugal from Spain? Well, for one, the Portuguese speak a different language: Portuguese,
while the Spaniards speak Spanish. This difference warrants a national differentiation. Throughout Europe we see this difference from state to state,
from the swiss near the Alps to the Germans, the Dutch, the Swedes, Norwegians, Lithuanians and Latvians, Poles and Ukranians: there are actual
linguistic and historical differences here warranting national distinction.
But what of the Arab middle east? Nowhere in the world do we come by such false and fraudulent notions of nationality, a veneer which obfuscates real
political issues, such as Sunni vs. Shi'ite, Arab vs. Kurd, Arab vs. Jew, Arab vs. berb, etc . Who here can provide some tangible evidence for what
differentiates an Iraqi Arab from a Jordanian Arab or a Lebanese Arab or an Egyptian Arab? The fact is, the nations of the middle east are colonialist
creations of Britain and France. They drew up completely arbitrary lines based on nothing but colonialist interests: Iraq - you go here, and hey
Faisal, Hashemite prince from the Hedjaz, you can be king here. Jordan - you can go here, and hey Faisal's brother, Abdullah, you can be king here. It
was literally this arbitrary, this illegitimate. Today, what do Arabs think of these national distinctions? Nothing. They are based on nothing. They
aren't real differences. Yet many of our modern day issues are based on these considerations: i.e the Palestinian issue.
Rather, the real differences in the complicated Muslim lands are not linguistic, nor cultural, but religious. Since the Arab conquests, little remains
of actual ethnic differences between the Arabs of North Africa and the Arabs of Iraq. Islam succeeded in homogenizing the region; what remains,
however, has been squelched from public awareness due to phony Arab pleas for nationalist recognition i.e. the Palestinians.
A former high ranking member of the PLO executive committee, Zuheir Mohsen, was famous for saying:
Between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese there are no differences. We are all part of ONE people, the Arab nation. Look, I have
family members with Palestinian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Syrian citizenship. We are ONE people. Just for political reasons we carefully underwrite our
Palestinian identity. Because it is of national interest for the Arabs to advocate the existence of Palestinians to balance Zionism. Yes, the
existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new tool to continue the
fight against Israel and for Arab unity.
A separate Palestinian entity needs to fight for the national interest in the then remaining occupied territories. The Jordanian government cannot
speak for Palestinians in Israel, Lebanon or Syria. Jordan is a state with specific borders. It cannot lay claim on - for instance - Haifa or Jaffa,
while I AM entitled to Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem en Beersheba. Jordan can only speak for Jordanians and the Palestinians in Jordan. The Palestinian
state would be entitled to represent all Palestinians in the Arab world en elsewhere. Once we have accomplished all of our rights in all of Palestine,
we shouldn't postpone the unification of Jordan and Palestine for one second.
It's hard to dispute this logic. What ties are there uniting Palestinians? I realize that todays Palestinians are united by a common experience, i.e.
their refugee status. But before 1948, what united them? They were simply Arabs who lived in a certain province of the former Ottoman empire. Nothing
distinguished them culturally from their neighbors. They spoke the same Arabic, followed the same Sunni Islam. As Mohsen accurately asserted: they
were ONE people. United in every imaginable way.
So, to divorce today's current Israel - Palestine conflict is a tad invidious. People mention the disproportionate area assigned to the Jews in the
1947 partition. What's not mentioned - which only bespeaks the efficacy of the propaganda - is that the 1937 Peel commission (which the 1947
partition was based upon) established the Jewish-Arab borders in light of the 1922 creation of the transjordan. As known, the transjordan was a part
of the initial British mandate of Palestine. What does this mean? It means the Arabs - One people - were understandably offended with the suggestion
in the Belfour Declration that the Jews would receive the entire British Mandate of palestine.
This was an exorbitantly sized area, and indeed, it was. So, the British splintered 80% of the mandate with the creation of the transjordan: a state
designed to be home for the Arabs resident to Palestine.
Now, lets take a look at the larger context of this division. The Arabs rightfully received states in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan:
This is the Arab world. And look at Israel: a mere speck on the map. A mere speck for the Jews, 2 million of which were indigenous residents of the
Recall that what warrants national differentiation is tangible distinctions, such as language, religion, culture.
So with the separation of Jordan from Palestine, the Jews were to receive 20% of the Palestinian mandate. Ok. But no. That still didn't satisfy the
Arabs, who historically speaking, have been accustomed to ruling, not being ruled, not even a minute number of them. With incitement against the Jews
and Jewish immigration, the Mufti of Jerusalem and collaborator with the Nazis, Haj Amin Al husseini - an Aristocrat (or effendi) would not allow
Jewish state of any size in the Dar ul Islam. It was religion which complicated the Jewish Zionist enterprise in Palestine, not the existence of
something called a "Palestinian people". So, with problems adding up, the peel commission reworked the picture. Knowing that the Jews had already been
"robbed" 80% of the mandate which the British had intended to give them, they gave them 12%, with 8% going to the remaining Arabs in what was left of
the British mandate of Palestine. Now...fast forward today, and defenders of a Palestinian state claim that "the Palestinians were offered an unfair
partition". But no. That ignores two extremely important facts: first and foremost, there's no such thing as a Palestinian ethnic identity. Just as
there is no such thing as a Jordan, or Syrian, or Lebanese identity. They are as a real as the clothing which I wear on my body are "part of me". They
don't reify any real cultural, linguistic or religious differences, because again, these states were colonialist inventions. And secondly, the Arabs
who lived in territorial Palestine had been already given 80% of the land. The additional 8% gave them 88%.
Now, to mention other victims of the phony Arab nationalist narrative: The Kurds. No people has been robbed worse than them. Again, there is NO
MEANING to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan or Palestine. They are mere inventions, tantamount to the differences between Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan
etc. In short, they are necessary administrative divisions, but have nothing to do with any substantial ethnic differentiation. But the Kurds? They
speak Kurdish. Have a uniquely different culture from the surrounding cultures. Correspondingly Iran is the land of the Persians, and Turkey the land
of the Turks. But the Kurds, a people as different as Persians or Turks are, have been subject to Arab, Turkish and Persian authority. To remedy this
injustice - a TRUE injustice which receives a pittance of the attention the Palestinians get, parts of Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq, lands indigenous
to the Kurdish people, would have to be taken to create a kurdish state.
Alas, this will probably not happen, as the world is hypnotized by a phony narrative called Arab nationalisms.
edit on 7-12-2012 by dontreally
because: (no reason given)