The conflict between Palestine and Israel has demonstrated the combination of disagreement and agreement over collective action. Baker reported on how left-wing Democrats in the United States, in an analysis that was rather senseless, were equating the Palestinian conflict with Black Lives Matter . In the analysis of the left, the history of Israel was being ignored. Both Bright and Gilbert documented the historical foundations of the country, from ancient history to modern, contemporary time .
Yet, to truly understand the people’s history, we need to go back and see the past. If we extend what is being written concerning the conflict into an analysis of some of the primary sources, we see that the structure of Palestine in the nineteenth century was very different to what is being reported by the Palestinian people . The history as it has been reported in the past and what is being promoted now are different . The history of the people of Israel and the region demonstrates a narrative that is entirely different to what is being promoted in support of the Palestinian people .
McAllister covers the complete history of Palestine up until the period before World War I . In an early twentieth-century analysis of the region, it was determined that very few people had remained and that the Arab population had primarily abandoned the area of Palestine. For this reason, the Balfour Declaration looked towards this area as a Jewish homeland . At this point, the British had, either informally or formally, occupied the region for several decades. The state was, in part, why individuals such as Simon sought to promote the formation of a Jewish homeland in the traditional Jewish enclave of Israel . An earlier analysis, by Stanley, analysed the history and population of the region in the 19th century .
In equating Black Lives Matter with the Israeli conflict, the current press and progressive politicians are ignoring the underlying anti-Semitism that was noted even in the 19th-century by Oswald Simon . Few remember or even know of the expulsion of the Jews from Russia in 1881 . Nor do they remember the expulsion of millions of Jews from Romania, or that of a Jewish state in the Holy Land under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire. Here, we again see the rise of anti-Semitism in the twenty-first century. As Prager and Telushkin noted, Israel is the only UN member state that has been constantly targeted for annihilation by another UN state (Iran) .
Anderson created the concept of ‘imagined communities’, many of which are being promoted through the media, along with the notion that they are starting to fall apart . The notions of imagined communities and nationhood through shared memes have been redeployed not in the finding of the true origin of a people as imagined by Woodrow Wilson in the formation of the League of Nations, but it has been transformed into a post-modern methodology to provide false analogies of nationhood and justifications thereof . As Tarantini discussed, a post-modern construction of the Muslim umma has created a concept of individuals fighting for their rights to occupy and hold Israel without Jewish populations .
Because of the modern concept of an imagined Arab community, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has involved calls of condemnation against Israeli violence—with little discussion of the Palestinian cause . Luckily, they have remained as little more than vocal action at present. Even though the various Arab states have suppressed joint support for the Palestinians, the situation remains on a rhetorical level . Yet, such discussions fail to recognise the Palestinian-Arab refugee problem, or its origins. As Lockman details, the primary migration of Arab workers started after the 1947 accords . In the early twentieth century, labour migration had occurred across the Ottoman Empire . In the period leading up to the end of the First World War, Jewish workers would hold Arab co-workers in considerable respect .
But, as noted in economic research, the Jewish population and migrants from many Eastern European regions that moved to Israel demanded higher salaries than the Arab counterparts’ . The increased migration and earnings brought about considerable further migration, changing the nature of the region’s population trends . One of the significant disparities that occurred came with the influx of European Jewish and Anglo-American control of the region, leading to a rapid westernization of the region and creating more highly skilled jobs. Such disparities in income and earnings led to problems in the region, with Arab riots as early as 1933 .
The international community provided a right in Palestine for a Jewish community as early as 1924 . Yet, as with other failures of the League of Nations, and failures that have occurred through lacklustre efforts to understand international differences following the development of the United Nations, we see the continuing problems few states address based on the traditional construction of the Israeli nation or the modernisation of regions such as Palestine. Instead, the consensus between many nations is swaying back towards anti-Semitism and the racially focused attitudes that had existed before World War II.
1. Baker, G. (2021). America Is No Longer United Behind Israel. Thetimes.Co.Uk. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/america-is-no-longer-united-behind-israel-pz6cdc9nr
2. Bright, J. (2000). A History of Israel. Westminster John Knox Press; Gilbert, M. (1999). Israel: A History. Random House.
3. Tristram, H. B. (1866). The Land of Israel: A Journal of Travels in Palestine. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
4. Ewald, H. (1886). The History of Israel, vol. 8. Longmans, Green.
5. Renan, E. (1889). History of the People of Israel, vol. 2. Chapman and Hall.
6. Macalister, R. A. S. (1912). A History of Civilization in Palestine. Cambridge University Press.
7. Balfour, A. J. (1917). The Balfour Declaration. London: British Foreign Office.
8. Simon, O. J. (1898). The Return of the Jews to Palestine. The Nineteenth Century and After: A Monthly Review 44 (259), 437–447.
9. Stanley, A. P. (1871). Sinai and Palestine: In Connection with Their History. J. Murray.
10. Simon, O. J. (1898). The Return of the Jews to Palestine. The Nineteenth Century and After: A Monthly Review 44 (259), 437.
12. Prager, D., and Telushkin, J. (2003). Why the Jews?: The Reason for Anti-Semitism, p. xiii. Simon and Schuster.
13. Castelló, E. (2016). Anderson and the Media. The strength of “imagined communities”. Debats: Journal on Culture, Power and Society, 1, 59–63.
14. Ambrosius, L. E. (2006). Woodrow Wilson, Alliances, and the League of Nations. The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 5(2), 139–165.
15. Tarantini, L. (2020). Case Study: Constructing an Imagined Community in Al‐Qaeda’s Magazine Inspire. The Handbook of Magazine Studies, 384–392.
16. Erlanger, S. (2021). Arab World Condemns Israeli Violence But Takes Little Action. Nytimes.Com. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/14/world/middleeast/israel-arab.html
18. Lockman, Z. (1996). Comrades and enemies: Arab and Jewish workers in Palestine, 1906-1948. Univ of California Press.
19. Ibid. p. 113.
20. Ibid. p. 119.
21. Gottheil, F. M. (2003). The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931. Middle East Quarterly.
22. Glass, D. V. (1946). Population trends in Palestine. The Eugenics Review, 38(2), 79.
23. Baker, R. L. (1933). Arab Riots in Palestine. Current History and Forum, 39(3), 376.
24. Weinfeld, A. C. (1947). Eminent Domain among Peoples – A Jewish State in Palestine and Arab Self-Determination. Temp. LQ, 21, 223.
[Image: Balfour Declaration in the Times 9 November 1917, The Times of London, editor was Geoffrey Dawson, died 1944, Public domain, Wikimedia Commons]