Monday, June 19, 2006


Nearly two thousand years ago, the Romans destroyed Judea and made clear that they would not tolerate an independent Jewish nation. This political interference from an outside power was a crucial cause of the Jewish diaspora. Huge numbers of Jewish people were effectively forced from their homeland apparently never to return.

The Jews spread throughout Europe and the Middle East and eventually further afield still. During the hundreds of years in which Jews lived in other countries, they generally resisted integrating culturally and religiously, prefering instead to preserve and maintain their "otherness", their unique Jewish identity. This they did even in the face of sometime brutal persecution and prejudice (particularly in Christian Europe). Despite the many assaults on them, the Jews bravely managed to sustain their unique cultural and religious traditions which were often quite seperate and distinct from those of their "host" nations.

Eventually, over 1900 years after the Roman destruction of Judea, the Jewish people were able to claim back their homeland.

Nearly sixty years ago, political inteference from outside powers effectively forced huge numbers of Palistinian people from their homeland apparently never to return.

The Palistinians spread throughout the surrounding nations. During the sixty years in which the Palistinians have lived in other countries, they have resisted integrating with their "host" nations, prefering instead to preserve their unique identity, even in the face of sometime brutal persecution and prejudice.

What are these moaners like, eh? Why don't they just integrate into their new countries? I mean, sixty years? Quite living in the past guy. Never happy unless they're the "victim," that lot, I tell you.



Just in case there's any confusion about this post, please see the comments for a less opaque version.

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KeirHardiesCap said...

Meeting Palestinians in the ME they say that they would never settle in to another country for the simple reason that if they do, their country will simply disappear. It would be doing exactly what the Sraelis want them to do, so they DON'T.

CuriousHamster said...

KHC, I think you've got the wrong end of the stick there. The second part of this post was an attempt to deploy a rhetorical device to highlight an inconsistency. On reflection, possibly not a very good attempt. Apologies for any confusion.

What I'm trying to do is point out the inconsistency here. The government of a country created off the back of a 1,900 year old claim to the right to return is now totally dismissive of the Palistinians desire to return to what were their lands until around 60 years ago. It is a very hard to see how it's possible to hold both of these views simultaneously.

The "why don't they just integrate" paragraph was sort of paraphrased from anti-Palistinian arguments I've heard dotting about. It isn't my actual view (hence the "Right?" at the end).

In short, I don't think the Palistinians should be forced to give up their own identity. As you say, if they do, their country will disappear.