“… get the hell out of Palestine”

When Helen Thomas said Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine,” the implication was that the Jewish people are not a nation, in the way that the Irish, the Poles, the Algerians and others who have struggled for national independence, are nations, and have no right to a homeland, as these other nations have.

This is the prevailing point of view in the Arab world and widely held elsewhere, and it is a view that Americans rarely hear. According to this way of thinking, Jews are merely a minority group in whatever nation they happen to reside, and never can be more than that. Jews born in Poland are Poles, Jews born in Germany are Germans, Jews born in the United States are Americans and Jews born in the territory of the old British Palestinian Mandate are not Israelis, but Palestinians.  Jews have no right to leave their native lands, settle in Israel and the Palestinian territories and push out the resident population.

But there is a flip side to this, and that is the refusal to recognize that Palestinians also are a nation with a right to self-determination. The counter-argument is that Palestinians are not a nationality, and it doesn’t matter if they are pushed out of their ancestral lands, because they are merely generic Arabs who could live just as well in any Arabic-speaking country from Morocco to Iraq. If the Israelis demand that Palestinian Arabs acknowledge their right to exist as a nation, they should recognize the existence of the Palestinian Arab nation. The alternative is more suffering and more bloodshed.

Click on this for a Wikipedia article on the history of opposition to Zionism both within and without the Jewish community.

Click on this for a report on a statement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas calling for a renewal of the peace process with Israel.

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One Response to ““… get the hell out of Palestine””

  1. th3cow Says:

    An answer to those who think like Helen Thomas:

    http://th3cow.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/get-out-of-my-land/

    Like

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