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Conflicting Claims to a Homeland. Palestinians and Jews: Two People, One Land

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Conflicting Claims to a Homeland

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Conflicting Claims to a Homeland

Palestinians and Jews: Two People, One Land

Palestine has never existed . . . as an autonomous entity. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

Early Zionists

“The Jews say that they lived in Palestine three thousand years ago. That is true…but that fact doesn’t mean that they have the right to come back and expel me. My family came from Iraq hundreds of years ago. Would it be fair if I go back to Iraq, enter any house, and say to the owner, “My family lived here hundreds of years ago, and you have to leave because I’m moving back home”? Would anybody justify that?”

Children of a Tenth Class God

Palestinian Arabs 1948

Biblical Times

  • Jews believe their claim to Israel stems all the way back to God’s promise to Abraham

  • Jews believe they inherit the land through a promise God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

  • The Jewish Bible has numerous references about this promise.

Patriarchs and Matriarchs

Biblical Times

  • Palestinians believe their claim to Israel stems back to God’s promise to Abraham in the Koran

  • Palestinians believe they inherit the land through Abraham’s son Ishmael

  • Abraham is willing to sacrifice Ishmael, so God rewards him with the land

Abraham Hagar and Ishmael

Jewish Sovereignty1200-586 BCE

  • Joshua enters the land around 1200 BCE

  • From 1200-922 BCE the Judges and Kings consolidate their rule over the country

  • In 922 BCE the kingdom splits into two parts

  • In 722 BCE the Assyrians capture the Northern Kingdom

  • In 586 BCE the Babylonians capture the Southern Kingdom

Occupation586-164 BCE

  • Babylonians invade and exile the Jews in 586 BCE

  • Jews return to the land in 538 BCE, but the land is under Persian control

  • Greek Empire (Alexander the Great) conquers the land around 333 BCE

  • Maccabees gain control of Judea after defeating Antiochus and his armies in battle

Exile to Babylon

Hasmonean Sovereignty165-63 BCE

  • Hasmoneans, descendants of the Maccabees, rule the land

  • Times of peace and prosperity, but also war and forced conversions

  • The Hasmoneans lose control of Judea when two brothers ask Rome to decide who should become Judea’s next ruler

  • Pompey, the emperor of Rome, takes political control

Roman Rule65 BCE-135 CE

  • Romans gain control of Judea. Jews will not have political control of the land again until 1948

  • Gradually Rome forbids the study and practice of Judaism

  • Several revolts, but all eventually fail

  • After the final revolt in 135 CE, many Jews were dead, enslaved, or forced to leave; Jews become a minority in the land

Romans Conquer Judea

The Birth of Islam7th Century

  • Around 622 CE Mohammed begins to spread the message of Islam throughout Arabia

  • His message quickly spreads throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Spain

Muslim Sovereignty in Palestine7th-20th centuries

  • Palestine remains under mostly Muslim control for the next 1300 years.

    • Islamic Empire (638-1098 CE)

    • Crusaders (1099-1187 CE)

    • Ayyubid Dynasty (1187-1290 CE)

    • Mamluks (1291-1517 CE)

    • Ottoman Empire (1517-1917 CE)

Muslims in Palestine

The Birth of Zionism1896-1904

  • Herzl writes The Jewish State

  • He encourages Jews to fight for a homeland in Palestine

  • Creates The Zionist Congress

  • Tries to gain political support for his idea

  • Jews both support and oppose his idea

  • 1st and 2nd aliyot

    • Many Jews immigrate to Palestine

    • Establish kibbutzim

The Dream Grows1906-1914

  • Jews continue to immigrate

  • Establish defense force Ha Shomer to protect Jewish settlements against Arab raiders

  • Weizmann, Herzl’s successor, continues to seek political support for a Jewish homeland

World War I1914-1918

  • Palestine is a key country in the war

  • Controlled by the Ottoman Empire (Axis Power)

  • Britain wants to gain control of it; makes promises to Jews, Arabs, and French to get their support

    • Balfour Declaration

    • Sykes-Picot Agreement

    • McMahon letters


  • McMahon Letters

    • Issued by Britain to gain Arab/Palestinian support

    • Promise the Palestinian Arabs sovereignty and freedom from control by the Ottoman Empire


  • Sykes-Picot Agreement

    • Britain and France secretly agree to divide political control of the region between their two countries.


  • Balfour Declaration

    • The British government issues a letter promising the Jews support for a homeland in Palestine.

      “His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Pursuing a Dream1918-1937

  • 3rd, 4th, and 5th aliyot bring more Jews to Palestine. Some Jews settle on kibbutzim, some build up cities.

  • Jews begin to establish government, schools, build roads, etc.

Creating a Nightmare1918-1937

  • Arabs angered by large numbers of Jewish immigrants

  • Arabs riot

    • 1920 in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv

    • 1929 in Jerusalem and Hebron (133 Jews and 110 Arabs die)

    • 1936 in Jaffa

The Peel Report1937

  • Britain no longer wants to deal with the riots and maintaining peace, creates Peel Committee

    • Committee’s goal is to investigate events, make a recommendation about what should be done with the land

White Paper

  • Britain restricts immigration of Jews to Palestine

  • 15,000 per year for 5 years and then no more

  • To appease Arabs

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