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Old 10-24-2002, 03:00 AM   #31
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CannabilisticArtist,

Jews coming from Europe consulted with the british about settling on unoccupied land in Israel/Palestine because after 1917, the British were the only legal authority in the area and controlled trade and immigration to Palestine. Before the Jews had been asking the Ottoman Empire because after all it was Ottoman land they were moving on to. NO country existed in Israel/Palestine so there was no one to legally consult with except the British who now controlled the area. Again, with the end of the Ottoman Empire, the unoccupied area's of what is now Israel/Palestine became available to anyone on the planet.

I'm aware that other area's were considered for a Jewish homeland, but it made sense to settle them and give them a homeland in unoccupied area's where no country at that time existed and where several hundred thousand Jews were now living as of 1917.

Only the radicals who wanted to claim Palestine all for themselves were opposed to Jewish movement into unowned, unoccupied area's. Even with 7 million people today there is still much unoccupied land in the area. Back in 1948 there were only a total of 2 million people in the area, so claims that people were being crowded out are unfounded.

Friction between various Jewish Groups and Muslim groups existed as early as 1905 when the area was legally apart of the Ottoman Empire. But the Ottomans who owned the area allowed Jewish Emigration to continue.

The UN agreement in 1948 was a fair one but the Palestinians and Arab countries rejected it. The Palestinians could of had far more land than they have today, plus an indpendent state, and peace, but they along with the Arabs rejected the UN treaty of 1948 and attacked Israel.
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Old 10-24-2002, 03:28 AM   #32
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Originally posted by STING2
CannabilisticArtist,

Jews coming from Europe consulted with the british about settling on unoccupied land in Israel/Palestine because after 1917, the British were the only legal authority in the area and controlled trade and immigration to Palestine. Before the Jews had been asking the Ottoman Empire because after all it was Ottoman land they were moving on to. NO country existed in Israel/Palestine so there was no one to legally consult with except the British who now controlled the area. Again, with the end of the Ottoman Empire, the unoccupied area's of what is now Israel/Palestine became available to anyone on the planet.

see this is where the problems lay, first off:
the area was NOT unoccupied, it was NOT fair game for anyone on the planet. there were scattered tribes there, and they were there for a long time. just because it wasn't a country doesn't mean it's right to go ahead and take it over, which brings me to my next point:
different interpetations of ownership. European views of ownership demand maps to be drawn land to be bought. tribal ownership comes from working on the land and inheriting it. the british had NO right to take over a piece of land JUST because it wasn't a proper country, who makes those rules anyway? who decided what country is what? who decided where your home should be? you have been living in the same place for a long time, then some people come over and sudden buy your land from under you? it makes no sense. and just because these peasants were scattered and had no common voice does not make them less human, which was exactly how the british used to view colonised lands. lands filled with untamed godless heathen for them to educate and enlighten. they thought they were doing these poor people a favour by colonising them.
as much as i love england, i believe this whole situation to be the british empire's fault. much like what is going on between india and pakistan. they suck out the economy, fuck up the place, then leave the people to pick up the pieces.
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Old 10-24-2002, 10:26 AM   #33
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Originally posted by CannibalisticArtist

European views of ownership demand maps to be drawn land to be bought. tribal ownership comes from working on the land and inheriting it. the british had NO right to take over a piece of land JUST because it wasn't a proper country, who makes those rules anyway? who decided what country is what? who decided where your home should be? you have been living in the same place for a long time, then some people come over and sudden buy your land from under you?
Well, I think this is just a bit naive. I mean we are talking about all this happening in the 20th century, it was not like the British were colonizing anything.

In any event, I keep reading complaints about how the Jews and the British handled this, but what is the argument for the "Palestinians" of that time to have the land? If there is a valid argument as to why at that time (early 1900's) the "Palestinians" should have had that land I would like to hear it.

If not they are terrorizing a people who settled, formed a democracy, and try to live in peace.

How about this for a far flung analogy, what would the US do if the Native American tribes who live here on reservations decided they had had enough. What if they started to walk into discos, pizza joints, and shopping malls strapped with explosives and shards of metal and nails (you know to do MORE damage to the innocents around them) and started to blow themselves up? What if they started demanding that the "occupiers" leave the land that is rightfully theirs? They were here many more years than the British settlers were, we have no right to be here, I mean hell, should I be afraid to go outside and get a turkey sandwich because I took land from the Native Americans? How would our government react?
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Old 10-24-2002, 03:40 PM   #34
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CannibalisticArtist,

I don't think your understanding me. I never said the area was completely unoccupied, I did say there were large area's of land that was unoccupied and not in use by ANYONE! More importantly this was the land of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE! That is a fact. The OTTOMAN EMPIRE had owned this land and other area's for hundreds of years! Its their land and suddenly they did not exist anymore. This is not some wild area of the world made of only tribes. Ownership has been a key concept in this area for thousands of years.

There were scattered tribes here and there of course. Some were Palestinian Muslims, others were Christians, others were Jews. What right do Palestinian Muslim have to claim all the unoccupied unused land in the area, ABOVE Jews and Christians!? They don't have any rights above Jews and Christians that had been living there for centuries as well. Jews and Christians living in the area just as long as the Palestinian Muslims, however smaller their groups may be have just as much right to form a state as Palestinian Muslims do.

I'm sorry but there is simply no united group of Muslims that have a right to claim all the unoccupied land in the area. Again this is former OTTOMAN land. Remember that Jewish Emigration started under the OTTOMAN EMPIRE, not England!

You say that tribal ownership comes from working on the land and inheriting it. When I say unoccupied land, I'm talking about the land, which is much of it, was NOT worked on by ANYONE or anyones to inherit it. It would be like the way Vermont or Wyoming

Remember this land is OTTOMAN land and they ceaced to exist in 1917. They were defeated by Allies in World War I for their unlawful support and engagement in that War. The British were only in the area for 30 years, and there would be a Jewish state or at least an attempt at one with or without British control of the area. Remember, the OTTOMAN EMPIRE allowed Jewish emigration to the point that at the time of its break up, there were over 200,000 Jews living in Israel/Palestine before the British ever entered into the area.

I think you forget the context in which the British came into the area. World War I was going on and the OTTOMAN EMPIRE was fighting against the allies along with Austria-Hungery and Germany. The British never took over any country, but occupied this area do to the military situations that happen in war. The Break of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE created many problems. The British did consult with the people of the area about the formation of a states, but this is a difficult process. They only had 30 years and they tried to bring security and stability to the area to allow the formation of states by people in the area, which included Jews, Christians, as well as Muslims. The British never decided where anyones actual home should be!

NO one bought anyones land out from under them! That is a myth! Absent of a country that one is apart of, Absent of living and working on a particular area of land, that land is unoccupied and does not belong to ANYONE. Ones closer geographic proximity to an area of land they have never used or lived on before does not confer ownership! Jews from outside Israel/Palestine had every right to move to the area after the fall of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE( as they had done before with the legal permision of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE) as did any Muslim or Christian from outside of Israel/Palestine. The British never blocked emigration to the area by Muslims or Christians from outside the Israel/Palestine area, yet you suggest they should have excluded Jews from moving there?!?! Thats very anti-Jewish if you feel that way.

Bottom line, Jews were moving to Israel/Palestine, long before the British were in control of the area, with the legal permission of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE who's land it had been legally for hundreds of years. When the OTTOMAN EMPIRE broke up at the end of World War I, unoccupied and unused land, which much of the land in the area of Israel/Palestine was, became available to anyone who wanted to settle it. Every group in Israel/Palestine had the right to attempt to form a state. There was never any Christian attempt, but certainly attempts by the Jews and the Muslims. There is definitely NO rational basis to conclude that Jews did not have a right to form a State in the area that is now Israel/Palestine. 200,000 Jews were already living in the area when the Ottoman Empire broke up in 1917/1918. The Palestinians should have signed the UN deal in 1948 which gave them a massive amount of land in the area, but instead along with 5 Arab nations brutally attacked Israel the first day of Israels existence.

In Israel/Palestine, the British did not suck anything out but rather were in possesion of land that belonged to the OTTOMAN EMPIRE that no longer existed. Its a shame the UN did not exist to solve the problems in 1917, but its good the British were there in 1917, which helped prevent the radical elements in the area(on both sides) from completely slaughtering everyone. The Palestinians and Arab countries unwillingness to negotiate and settle things peacefully in 1948 is the most of the reason for the problems we see today!
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Old 10-24-2002, 04:05 PM   #35
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but the arabs that lived in the area after WW1 did not request thei own state, they were happy with what they had. why did the Jewish people that lived in the area want their own state? i realize that they have a right to do so, but they could not just request and area which they originally shared with arabs. i imagine they might have consulted with the arabs there and got rejected, so they turned to the british and they just gave them land. land which did not belong to them. why didn't the christians also request their own state? hell the land was free for all, except for the few tribes that actually LIVED there.

i'm not blaming the Jews, rather bad planning by the british. for pete's sake, anti-semitism was at it's height in Europe at the time, these Jews had to go somewhere safe. and since muslims are semites too and the area had a population of jews, they figured the middle east to be the best place. too bad it had to turn out this way.
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Old 10-24-2002, 04:15 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by ouizy


Well, I think this is just a bit naive. I mean we are talking about all this happening in the 20th century, it was not like the British were colonizing anything.

In any event, I keep reading complaints about how the Jews and the British handled this, but what is the argument for the "Palestinians" of that time to have the land? If there is a valid argument as to why at that time (early 1900's) the "Palestinians" should have had that land I would like to hear it.
it might have not been actual colonisation, but it's not too hard to imagine the tribes that lived there believed to be so.

the arabs never even wanted a state, they were just happy with whatever land they had. they only started their nationalism movement in response to the Jewish state hood call. they used to all live together, then the Jews suddenly wanted to seperate. fo course i'd expect the muslims to do the same. the Jews only wanted to seperated BECAUSE they had been influenced by the Jews from european countries, these european Jews were coming into tribal areas and buying and selling land. they could not settle for simple tribes, they needed states, counties and borders. again different ideas of ownership.
the now palestinians should have state because they want to, exactly the same reason the Jews wanted their state back in the day. nothing about who owns what. the Jews wanted a state and they got it. the Palestinians want a land and they should get one too.
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Old 10-24-2002, 04:25 PM   #37
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CannabalisticArtist,

It seems that STING2 is posting the history of what happened in that area, and instead of responding to the actual facts, you seem to be asking why the other groups Muslims, Christians et al. DIDN'T do everything in their power to take, share, or co-habitate on the land.

You Say:

Quote:
but the arabs that lived in the area after WW1 did not request thei own state, they were happy with what they had.
So why then do they have such a problem now with the way things were solved? It seems they made bad decisions over 80 years ago that are now coming to light. Had they thought it was a good idea, they too would have created a state of their own and prospered.

Quote:
why didn't the cvhristians also request their own state?
Who knows? But have you ever heard of the Vatican? Do you see the Italians blowing themselves up to regain the land the Vatican resides on?

From the tone of your posts it seems the theme is that the Jews did something wrong by doing all they could to claim themselves as a state, instead of looking at the groups you are defending and asking, why didn't they do all they could?

I have to quote STING2 here:

Quote:
The British never blocked emigration to the area by Muslims or Christians from outside the Israel/Palestine area, yet you suggest they should have excluded Jews from moving there?!?! Thats very anti-Jewish if you feel that way.
I would like to read a post that gives some clear response as to what basis and right the current Palestinians have to claim the land (specifically over the Jews), and not simply the negative side of the question which are the reasons why the Jews should not have been allowed to claim the land.

Remember two things:

1. It is not only Jews that live in Israel.
2. The Palestinians have had numerous chances to do what they could to gain land, live in peace, and start to prosper, but have
CHOSEN not to. That is on thier shoulders.
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Old 10-24-2002, 04:54 PM   #38
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ouizy, you still do not get it. i am not posting about what should be done now, i am posting about what happened in the past to perpetuate the conflict. the whole situation now is skewerd from what originally happened. palestinians now want to kill Jews because they simply hate them and vice-versa. they are bred into hating their adversary. it did not start like this as many people think. i do not have a solution to the problem, never did, and do not pretend to have. it's a complicated and delicat situation that has only gotten worse.

STING is posting historical info, i am posting my THOUGHT to what was really happening. you have to take in info from both sides and make your own educated choice on where you stand, not adopt other people's choices blindly. every source is baised so you have to make up your mind. you and sting obviously stand by the Jewish claim, i stand by both because they each have solid claim but against the british at the time because they were a big part of the problem.

also show me were i said that the british should have blocked immigration of jews to israel, i just said that might have been part of the problem. as a matter of fact, i recall from reading a book that the british DID actually try to regulated mass immigration of the jews, it just wasn't very sucessful especially after the holocaust.
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Old 10-24-2002, 05:17 PM   #39
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GOT IT.

I think we have kind of beat a dead horse, but I think there is one thing we can all agree on and you said it:

Quote:
the now palestinians should have state because they want to, exactly the same reason the Jews wanted their state back in the day. nothing about who owns what. the Jews wanted a state and they got it. the Palestinians want a land and they should get one too.
this I can agree with, as long as it comes through diplomatic means.

I will say this one more time, just imagine what it is going to be like when all this is over, the violence has stopped and Israel and Palestine are peaceful neighbors...
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Old 10-24-2002, 08:38 PM   #40
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CannibalistArtist,

When the OTTOMAN EMPIRE broke up in 1917/1918, there were many ethnic groups throughout the region, not just in Israel/Palestine that aspired to have their own state. Jews aspired to have their own state partly because they did not want to be a minority in a Muslim based state. There was a movement for a Muslim state of Palestine before the break up of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE as it became clear that it would lose the war.

The British never gave the JEWS land that did not belong to them! They gave them the land they already owned, or land that was unoccupied, unused by ANYONE and therefor open to anyone to settle it! It was important that the British kept law and order in the area after the end of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE to prevent Anarchy. 30 years later in 1948, the UN came up with the perfect proposal two form two states and the Palestinians rejected it.

You continue to speak as if the Palestinians Muslim were the only ones living Israel/Palestine and that simply is false. Fact is, most of the land was unoccupied and unused and did not belong to anyone. The British never blocked Muslims or Christians trying to settle this unoccupied unused land. It is true that they temporarily blocked Jews from settling there because of the fighting they were having trouble containing. But again that was temporary. I don't have an explanation of why the Christians did not request a state. Maybe they did, but there wasn't enough support among Christians themselves for it.

I've tried to look at this always from an objective and unbiased point of view. By doing research, I've learned to denunk many of the myths that suround the conflict. The one claim I don't accept by Jews is the simple claim to the land from thousands of years ago. But the Jews don't have to state that to have much of the land they have now. They can legally stake their claim on the fact that they settled in unoccupied and unused area's in a land that after centuries was no longer owned by the OTTOMAN EMPIRE because it did not exist anymore. The OTTOMAN EMPIRE did not leave a "Will" or anything to indicate who should inherit unused unoccupied OTTOMAN government land.
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Old 10-25-2002, 12:27 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


They can legally stake their claim on the fact that they settled in unoccupied and unused area's in a land that after centuries was no longer owned by the OTTOMAN EMPIRE because it did not exist anymore. The OTTOMAN EMPIRE did not leave a "Will" or anything to indicate who should inherit unused unoccupied OTTOMAN government land.
the ottoman empire did not even care that much about the area and it's natives. it was ASSUMED by EUROPEAN TRAVELLERS that the area was unused and unoccupied but it was occupied, or else where would the problem be? if the area was truely empty then no one would honestly care if the Jews took it, least of which some tiny muslim tribes. the fact is the european Jews joined the native Jews and tried to blend in with other groups but could not so they requested their own state. this continued seperation, poor communication and the fact that the European Jews cultivated the area extremely well and turned it prosperous made the tensions even bigger and the gap wider between them and whatever tribes that did not like them.
do you realise how different the European Jews were in comparison to the natives? including the native Jews? maps, borders, states, politics made no sense to these people. they were simple tribal people. YOUR western politics did not apply to them, all they could understand was that they lived there, and they had lived there for a long time.
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Old 10-25-2002, 12:32 AM   #42
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Originally posted by ouizy




I will say this one more time, just imagine what it is going to be like when all this is over, the violence has stopped and Israel and Palestine are peaceful neighbors...
things are so different now, it hard to imagine that. a friend of friend of mine died in the recent suicide bombing and i know that crap was done out of pure hate. i just hope one day they get sick of fighting and just put their guns down. we can always hope.
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Old 10-25-2002, 03:47 PM   #43
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CannibalisticArtist,

There are large area's in Israel/Palestine even today that do not have people or business living on them and there are 7 million people there. Of course the land, even unoccupied land has been clearly divided up. At the end of World War I there was less than a million people. Certainly Palestinians Muslims occupied land in the area, BUT NOT ALL OF IT! This is where the Jews came and settled, in unoccupied tracks of land. The conflict came from Muslims who wanted to prevent any Jewish state anywhere in the region, in addition to racism. There were also a minority of Jews that leveled claims to own all of Israel/Palestine. The extremist on both sides created the conflictive environment. The Majority of Jews were happy to settle in unowned, unoccupied land.

This is a fact, and a close look at the population at the time compared to the number of square miles in the area will easily reveal this. Given the fact that most tribes or communities clustered together in certain area's, means the amount of unoccupied land was even greater than simple ratio of population to square miles of land would reveal.

The Palestinians Muslims have no right to claim land that they never occupied or used, or even settled on OVER Jews, Christians or any other group who might be settling on that land. The Palestinians Muslims land, is the land they had used and settled on, but NOT unoccupied, unused land in the region, unless of course they moved and settled there, which they were free to do. The OTTOMAN EMPIRE is not a European country, but they still had owned this land for hundreds of years and maintained law and order there. All the citizens in Israel/Palestine at the begining of World War I, were citizens of the OTTOMAN EMPIRE. That includes the 200,000 Jews living there. In the absense of the Ottoman Empire and any governing body, the ethnic groups of the area each had a right to form their own state. They could claim any land that they had settled. There is nothing from a tribal or western view that would exclusively give Palestinian Muslims a right to land they had yet to use or settle on in the area OVER the rights of Christians and Jews who were living there to settle in those unoccupied area's! The Palestinians also had no right to have exclusive control over who could emigrate from other area's of the world on to land that was former unsettled, unoccupied OTTOMAN government land!
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Old 10-26-2002, 12:55 AM   #44
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In response to STING2
Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
It is a fact that an area of land that now has over 7 million people only had 400,000 back in 1890. I'm refering to Israel/Palestine. In 1890, Israel/Palestine was OWNED by the Ottoman Empire! The land was over 90% Muslim, but there were significant number of Jews and Christians. The Ottoman Empire approved Jewish emigration all the way until its end in World War I. Going back to the population level in 1890, 400,000, what this means is that most of the land was unoccupied. Certainly a Palestinian, Christian, Jew had a right to their house or business and the land it was on, but what about all that empty land to the south or certain area's on the coast, that would be government land, the government being the Ottoman Empire!
The land was NOT owned by the Ottoman Empire but rather was under its jurisdiction . It was privately owned on its most part as a result of the 1858 Ottoman Land Code I'll comment about later. The fact that there were "only" 400,000 inhabitants by 1890 (with a population in its 90% Muslim it makes for 40,000 between Jews and Christians) and therefore a low demographic coefficient resulted, does NOT mean that the land was there for anybody to take. I'm sure you know that the area was mainly rural at the time. People actually lived on it in villages or small farms and cultivated it and even if there might have been areas not permanently occupied but which were actually transitory sites for local nomad tribes, it does not mean that they couldn't be privately owned or that anybody could come in and forward claims on them. Many countries hold thousands of acres of unoccupied land which may be privately or state-owned and nobody in their right mind would deem logical that an alien people could advance a claim on them. OK Palestine was not a country then but the League of Nations' Covenant draft which regulated the future territories formerly under the Ottoman Empire among others is crystal clear: "Certain communities" (Palestine included) "formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone."

Quote:
At the end of World War I the Ottoman Empire was no more. Suddenly there was no government or country. Certainly indviduals have a right to the land that live on, where their house or business would be, but most the land in the area was unoccupied land formely owned by the government of the Ottoman Empire. The end of the Ottoman Empire meant that unoccupied formely Ottoman government land became available to ANYONE willing to colonize it.
This is a misconception. As I've already said most of the land was indeed privately owned - this means that even if the entity under whose jurisdiction the land was, ceased to exist - nobody outside Palestine had any right whatsoever to appropriate and much less colonise that land. Military action does not entitle victors to expropriate private property. What may happen after an armed conflict is that the said land passes under the victorious power's jurisdiction which was NOT the case with Palestine. Palestine did not become part of the British Empire nor it was put under British jurisdiction - it was a declared a Mandate . The Mandates system was a transitory solution devised at the end of WWI to deal with colonial areas throughout the world and actual portions under the conflict losers' jurisdiction which had been annexed by them at some time or other and were inhabited by distinct ethnical, cultural groups which had a common background and a "national" identity linked to the places they lived in. This was the case of places which later became Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, etc. Since the situation of the latter and that of colonies was not analogous, the Mandates system classified areas as A, B and C-Mandates. A-Mandates were areas which were considered evolved and organised enough to become independent states in the near future. Palestine was classified an A-Mandate. It was clearly specified that the role of the Mandatory power for an A-Mandated area was specifically limited to "the rendering of administrative advice and assistance" in order to help the future nation to organise itself towards independence. This means that the Mandatory power, in this case Great Britain had no right whatsoever to arrogate to itself through the Balfour Declaration, the prerogative to pledge to the Zionist Organisation a land that was not theirs to give away. Furthermore, during the 25-year period in which they acted as Mandatory for Palestine they violated the spirit of their mission which was as I said, exclusively of a supervisory and advisory nature to aid the local population in the constitution of an independent state, in the same manner as it was done with Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, by riding roughshod over the local population's will by encouraging the installation of an alien people in Palestine with the goal of establishing a "Jewish national home". It must be noted that it was explicitly indicated in Article 22 of the League of Nations' Covenant establishing the Mandates system that "the wishes of these communities (those living at the time in the mandated territories) must be a principal consideration". A similar recommendation was present in President Wilson's post-war 14 points.

Furthermore it must be observed that the people in this and other areas under the former Ottoman Empire which later became Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan actually helped the allied powers during WWI against the Ottoman rule since they did not identify themselves as "Turkish" or "Ottoman" even if they had been ruled by them for several hundreds years, but rather as nationals of the areas where they lived. In fact in exchange for their help they were promised independence after the end of the war. Whilst this promise was fulfilled in the cases of the mentioned states it was not in the case of Palestine. BTW the war ended in 1918 and the Balfour Declaration which favoured the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine was drafted the year before when Palestine was still under Turkish occupation and even if the fall of the empire was impending the British had not yet been granted any authority over that land. In fact the Mandates system devised at the League of Nations' Covenant was passed in 1919 and Great Britain was not assigned the Mandate of Palestine until 1920.

Quote:
The British may not of handled the situation from 1917 to 1947 in the best way, but the fact of the matter is, in the absense of the Ottoman Empire, states had to be formed in this area, and certainly Jews, as well as Muslims and Christians had every right to create their own states based on the land they were living on.
As you say local people had every right to create their own states based on the land they were living on. Jews were a minority in Palestine. In fact the "thousands of Jews" living in Israel at the time of WWI amounted to a bare 10% of the total population of Palestine, as multiple sources report including the officially appointed American King-Crane Commission of 1919 which clearly specifies that "it is to be remembered that the non-Jewish population of Palestine is nearly nine-tenths of the whole". It is also fact that many of those Jews had cohabited with the Arabs in peace for generations and were not particularly interested in creating a "Jewish independent state" as they did not see any need for it. It is also fact that there was not any movement in Palestine on part of the existent Jewish population to bring up the case for a Jewish State at the end of WWI when the independence of Palestine was a major issue since Palestine had been declared an A-Mandate i.e. candidate for independence in the short-term .

The idea of a Jewish national home was born in the bosom of a non-Palestinian Jewish entity - the Zionist Organisation - which clearly did not represent the will of the Jewry in general. In fact many Jewish people living in different countries around the world who had done so for generations and felt completely integrated in those societies were completely against the idea of the constitution of a Jewish national home since they saw that this initiative might jeopardise their current status in the countries were they lived, as it was possible that with the existence of a Jewish State they could start being considered foreigners in their own countries. This preoccupation was explicitly expressed by Lord Edwin Montagu - a Jewish member of the British Cabinet at the time of the Balfour Declaration. Also many representatives of Jewish religious groups were opposed to the concept of a Jewish state since they believed that it linked their condition of Jews - a status related in their eyes exclusively to faith - with secular motivations they considered extraneous to the Jewish faith.

On another account, regarding the status of the lands, the knowledge of some facts may prove useful. In 1858 the Turkish authorities passed the Ottoman Land Code. This new law indicated that agricultural land under the jurisdiction of the Empire required from that point on registration in the name of individual owners. Most of the land in rural Palestine had never been registered previously since it had formerly been treated according to traditional forms of land tenure, generally of communal usufruct. Peasants had never held titles to their land, but by the tenure system were implicitly recognised the right to live on them, cultivate and pass them on to their heirs. These provisions were never informed to or at least understood by peasants who had never had the need of holding any title to be able to live and labour on the land. In fact keeping most of the peasantry in the dark was in the interest of the Turkish upper classes since it allowed many of their members, under the provisions of the 1858 law, to register large areas of land as theirs. In any case the situation did not change for the peasants since they were allowed to continue inhabiting and cultivating the lands as they always had. Some other lands were not registered, which does not mean that they were unoccupied but rather that the inhabitants weren't aware of the need of doing so since as I said, it had never been that way. These lands were considered to be owned by "absentee landlords". Towards the end of the XIXth century some of these lands were purchased by incipient Jewish organisations (like ICA headed by Baron Maurice de Hirsch) whose aim was to facilitate the settlement of Jewish autonomous agricultural colonies in different parts of the world. In the case of Palestine this land was bought, with the approval of Turkish authorities, from "absentee landlords" (i. e. the Turkish state who acted "on their behalf") and even from actual Turkish ones. This wouldn't have constituted much of a problem if Jewish settlers hadn't been bound to agree with their mentors that the land they would come into possession of could never be re-sold or even leased to non-Jewish eventual purchasers/lessees and that only Jewish labour had to be employed in those settlements. This implied that Palestinian Arab peasants who had lived in the said land for generations under the tenure system and therefore naturally saw it as their own, were forced to leave. However this late XIXth century event was somewhat isolated in the sense that the idea then was not to expand Jewish establishment in Palestine in particular but rather to grant Jewish families the possibility to start agricultural businesses in the same manner as it was being done in other parts of the world. Furthermore while Turkish authorities had been more than helpful in evicting Palestinian Arab peasants from the purchased lands, they were not too keen on allowing indiscriminate non-Arab immigration.

At the end of the XIXth century the initiative of promoting Jewish settlements all over the world evolved into the idea of creating a Jewish national home under the newly created Zionist Organisation. The alternatives primarily considered by the Zionists as possible "Jewish national homes" were Palestine and Argentina. The latter was soon dropped since there was no possible way to back any claim on Argentinian soil, so their goal became Palestine on the grounds of a "historical connection" which bonded Jews to Palestine since it had been their homeland over 2000 years before, previous to their dispersation or "diaspora". This claim which could have never been given any serious consideration for its lack of any basic logic, however succeeded in prospering because of the sort of endorsement the Zionist Organisation had. In fact it received the support of rich and influential Jews all over the world who even constituted a Jewish National Fund with which to finance the operation of achieving the goal of a Jewish state. The fact that it was backed by influential people allowed Zionist authorities to lobby in favour of their cause at high governmental levels in countries such as France, the US and mainly Great Britain. As a result of this lobbying they obtained in 1917 the Balfour Declaration from the British government which openly favoured the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine, an initiative that was to gain foothold in Paris two years later and actual development under the British Mandatory from then on until the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The Palestinian Arabs have always made a point regarding this declaration in that Palestine did not belong to the British for them to have any authority to give it away to whom they wished.

As soon as the Mandate for Palestine was established, the British, in compliance with the terms they had agreed upon the Balfour Declaration with the Zionist Organisation, opened the gates of Palestine to massive Jewish immigration against the wishes of the local population. This settlement had a clearly colonisation profile since the idea was to be able to establish, by replacing native people with immigrants, an increasing amount of Jewish population related to the total figures in order to be able to forward in the future a claim for statehood. To this end Jewish organisations busied themselves in the indiscriminate purchase of lands from "absentee landlords" for the settlement of immigrant Jews. This operation actually succeeded in evacuating large portions of Palestinian territory from Arab Palestinians since it pushed Arab inhabitants away from the land they had lived in for over 1200 years with no hope whatsoever of retrieval since the condition of no resale to non-Jewish purchasers held on more strictly than ever and the precise indication that only Jewish labour had to be employed prevented them from at least remaining as employed labourers. As it should be clear by now these lands were certainly not unoccupied, as even official British reports of the time explicitly state (1), but rather were by force with the aid of the Turkish authorities on a first stage and of the British Mandatory soon after WWI until 1948. While it's true that most Jewish immigrants ended up living in urban centres as opposed to rural ones, and therefore it was not explicitly needed for locals to be displaced in order to allow for immigrant establishment, it is noted that certain areas in large cities like Jerusalem, formerly Arab quarters, were torn down by the British Mandatory on the excuse of modernisation and destined later to the building of Jewish quarters as a retaliation technique for the Palestinian uprisings in demand for self-determination. Years later, Zionist terrorist activities performed mainly by the Irgun (attacks which included the ravaging of Palestinian villages during the WWII years and later) succeeded in kicking out more Palestinian Arabs of their lawful property, and literally put them in the condition of refugees unable to return to their property as it ended up being confiscated under the pretext of considering the proprietors "absentee". This is not to mention the hundreds of thousands refugees created after the1948 and 1967 conflicts. The fact that they fled did not entitle Israel to appropriate their lands since military conquest does not abolish private rights to property as a result of which it does not entitle the victor to confiscate the homes, property and personal belongings of the civilian population. It is natural that civilian population may panic during armed conflicts and therefore leave their property in search for safety. When military action subsides it is logical that they are allowed to go back to what is legitimately theirs. This is something Israel had committed to allow back in 1949 at Lausanne and never complied to in the same way that it did not comply to UN Resolution 242 in 1967.

(1) One of Britain's High Commissioners for Palestine during the Mandate, John Chancellor, recommended total suspension of Jewish immigration and land purchase to protect Arab agriculture on the grounds that "all cultivable land was occupied; that no cultivable land now in possession of the indigenous population could be sold to Jews without creating a class of landless Arab cultivators".

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Why should any Jew be forced to live in a Muslim state when he has been living on certain land all his life. The UN compromise of 1948 was fair and gave the Jews the land they were living on and the "Palestinians" the land they were living on. The Israely state was cut into 3 parts and the "Palestinian state was fully connected. A fair agreement that Israel accepted. The "Palestinians" and 5 Arab countries did not and brutally invaded Israel to wipe it from the face of the earth on the first day of its independence.
A Muslim state? What else do you expect if the vast majority of the people living there were Muslim? In addition, no-one forced the Jews to go to a place where most of the population was non-Jewish. If they chose to live there they necessarily had to get used to the idea that they were a minority. On what grounds could they demand a separate state? I mean the US is in its majority Judeo-Christian, do you think it would be logical for the Muslim minority in the US to demand a piece of the country because they shouldn't be "forced to live in a Judeo-Christian state"? They chose to go there, they have to abide by the rules of the majority - if they don't like it they are free to go elsewhere.

The Israeli state was not cut into 3 parts - Palestine was. One of the parts became Israel. Re the "fair agreement": The partition of Palestine was already put forward by a British commission led by Sir Robert Peel in 1937 and by 1939 it was the same British government who recognised that it was an impracticable plan not only because Palestinians could never come to accept a proposal that deprived them of part of a land legitimately theirs but also because Zionists were not prepared to accept it either on the grounds that they claimed the whole of Palestine and even more to establish the site for the Jewish State. At this time, after unsuccessfully trying to reach an agreement with both parties, Great Britain drafted a White Paper by which it declared the unworkability of the partition plan and established its future policy in the area which postulated its intention of helping to conform an independent unified Palestine, with a Palestinian Arab majority, in 10 years. The creation of a unified Federative Palestinian State was again brought up at the UN in 1947 but the proposal was overridden by a formula which had been already declared unworkable 8 years before.

Re the "brutal" invasion of Israel in 1948: it is important to put this conflict within its right context. The 1948 conflict was the result of a 30-year policy in the area which systematically made a point of ignoring Palestinian claims to a land legitimately theirs and which instead of being amended in an international forum like the UN ended up by being endorsed even if it was clear that it created an unfair situation for the Palestinian Arabs. In addition, it must be noted that the Zionist forces did call for the conflict when during the period which spanned from the passing of the partition plan in November 1947 until the termination of the British Mandate in May 1948, Jewish paramilitary forces attacked and occupied areas the UN had allotted to the Arabs, as even Israeli sources describe. In fact almost every source describes that these forces, mainly the Irgun, resorted to terrorising tactics which brought about the exodus of thousands of Palestinian Arabs in fear. The intervention in Palestine of five Arab nations (much less equipped and trained than Jewish forces) later on to defend Palestinian Arab rights ended up in Israeli unlawful occupation of territories never assigned to them. In all fairness it has to be said that if the Arab coalition had won this conflict they would have more than probably retaliated on the Jews by expelling them from Palestine, confiscating their property, etc as the antagonism between both people (which stemmed exclusively from this conflict and was not ancestral at all, as both British and American official reports of the 20s and 30s state) was already well installed. In fact after their defeat they proceeded to expel a total of 200,000 Jews from the five individual states combined.

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The West Bank and Gaza(taken control of in the 1967 war) are a different story but it should be noted that Israel has agreed to withdraw from these territories once a peace treaty is signed, just like they did with Egypt back in 1979. Israel has NEVER annexed the West Bank and Gaza and has no intention of doing so.
If putting the West Bank and Gaza under the jurisdiction of Israeli law is not annexing those territories I don't know what is. The UN Resolution 242 of 1967 directs Israel to withdraw from those territories and to allow Palestinian refugees back. Israel has ignored this resolution to date.

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Israel is a democracy and a country of laws as is the USA. Its this fact about the USA that helped lead the civil rights movement for African Americans to victory in the USA. You think the Palestinians have it rough, think about what African Americans have had to go through to achieve civil rights. Yet, they succeeded in their goals with non-violent action because the US laws, government, and population were suceptible to such action unlike dictatorships. Non-violent action is the only way Palestinians will succeed in their goals as well. Israel is a democracy with a well educated citizenry and would respond in kind to non-violent action and peaceful negotiation, but it does take time and patience, but its the only way Palestinians can achieve their goals.
To judge the current episodes of violence simply as unprovoked "Palestinian violence" is to refuse to acknowledge what triggered them in the first place and to ignore that there also was Israeli violence which was most of the time more akin to offensive than to defensive tactics. In this scenario it is more than obvious that a "passive resistance" in the Luther King pattern would have never worked even if Israel is a democracy. Why? Because in the US neither Republicans nor Democrats were inherently by ideology contrary to granting equal rights to the Afro-Americans. In Israel conversely one of the two main parties, the Likud, has always been, in the spirit of early Zionism, clearly opposed to the existence of a Palestinian Arab State, and it is notorious that its leaders have always entertained the goal of holding the whole of Palestine as Israel's national soil.

As I've already said, even if non-violent action is the logical approach, how do you convince people who have been done away of what was lawfully theirs in the first place, who have been militarily occupied for 35 years, who have been forced to flee from their soil, who have seen Israel ride roughshod over every agreement they signed starting right back in 1949 at Lausanne when they agreed to let Palestinian refugees back and never did, to the 1993 Declaration of Principles which included the passing over to the Palestinian Authority certain territories, the redeployment of Israeli troops, the removal of Israeli settlements from the said areas, the creation of an independent Palestinian State in 1999, etc and most of it was never respected? Maybe if the cause of the present situation was analysed further instead of making judgements on the present results exclusively i.e. putting things into their right context it could help not only to a better understanding of the problem but towards devising more effective solutions.

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Just like the claims of a massacre at Jenin were false so are most of these claims of IDF abuses. There were claims by some Muslims and organizations that reached 7,000 dead in Jenin. After a complete investigation it was found that only 48 had died. This would not have happened if the terrorist had 1. given up 2. not decided to base themselves in the center of a refugee camp.
False claims? Children who were found dead under the remnants of bulldozed houses were terrorists? Who bulldozed the houses? The number of 48, which is not proven either since even if the UN settled on that finally inexplicably since Israel did not allow immediate inspections of the area and could have easily cleared away evidence of a greater massacre, is however by no means "small" considering that the deaths were not by accident but inflicted by a deliberate action. There's no doubt that Israel would have raised hell if "only" 48 of its own civilians had died in similar conditions, not to mention that the IDF would have certainly refrained from bulldozing houses where suspect terrorists were inside if the civilians in them had been Israelis held as hostages. There is no way that the IDF's action in this case can be justified under any light since the fact that a particular group should use civilians as shields is no excuse to massacre innocent people.
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Old 10-26-2002, 12:59 AM   #45
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Originally posted by STING2
Jews coming from Europe consulted with the british about settling on unoccupied land in Israel/Palestine because after 1917, the British were the only legal authority in the area and controlled trade and immigration to Palestine. Before the Jews had been asking the Ottoman Empire because after all it was Ottoman land they were moving on to. NO country existed in Israel/Palestine so there was no one to legally consult with except the British who now controlled the area. Again, with the end of the Ottoman Empire, the unoccupied area's of what is now Israel/Palestine became available to anyone on the planet.

I'm aware that other area's were considered for a Jewish homeland, but it made sense to settle them and give them a homeland in unoccupied area's where no country at that time existed and where several hundred thousand Jews were now living as of 1917.

Only the radicals who wanted to claim Palestine all for themselves were opposed to Jewish movement into unowned, unoccupied area's. Even with 7 million people today there is still much unoccupied land in the area. Back in 1948 there were only a total of 2 million people in the area, so claims that people were being crowded out are unfounded.
The British were not yet an authority in the area at the time of Zionist negotiation with them. As I've already said British authority in the area was limited by its mandatory powers which were to help the local population to conform an independent state. They had no right whatsoever to make decisions contrary to the will of the local population. There was no country at the time but it was agreed that there would be one in the near future. As I've already said the "unoccupied areas" either were private property in the western sense of the concept i. e. they were registered under someone's name or else were tenured lands. If there was hypothetically "non-owned land" the British Mandate had no right to assign it to the Jews or to anybody else without the prior consent of the local population through their leaders.

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There were scattered tribes here and there of course. Some were Palestinian Muslims, others were Christians, others were Jews. What right do Palestinian Muslim have to claim all the unoccupied unused land in the area, ABOVE Jews and Christians!? They don't have any rights above Jews and Christians that had been living there for centuries as well. Jews and Christians living in the area just as long as the Palestinian Muslims, however smaller their groups may be have just as much right to form a state as Palestinian Muslims do.
They did not claim anything "above" the Jews and Christians but rather with the Jews and Christians who already lived there. As I already said, there were no separate Arab, Jewish and Christian movements originated in Palestine to claim three separate states, but rather a national movement which encompassed all the inhabitants of the area towards independence. In any case the Muslims were 90% of the population, if anyone should have been granted any sort of preferential treatment it would have to have been them since they were the majority. As you mention later Jewish immigration started at the end of the XIXth century which means that except for a very small group of Jews which had been living in Palestine for many years many of them were new to the area. Hardly could their claims be equal to those of people who had been living there for twelve centuries.

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When I say unoccupied land, I'm talking about the land, which is much of it, was NOT worked on by ANYONE or anyones to inherit it.
There was hardly any land in this condition.

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The British were only in the area for 30 years, and there would be a Jewish state or at least an attempt at one with or without British control of the area. Remember, the OTTOMAN EMPIRE allowed Jewish emigration to the point that at the time of its break up, there were over 200,000 Jews living in Israel/Palestine before the British ever entered into the area.
No, it wouldn't since the commitment to favour the creation of a Jewish national home is the result of a Zionist negotiation with the British which resulted in the drafting of an official British document: the Balfour Declaration of 1917. There had been immigration at the times of the Ottoman Empire but not on a sufficient scale to guarantee the creation of a Jewish State. Even after the end of the Mandate in 1948 considering the massive immigration both the legal allowed by the British and the illegal, the total number of Jews conformed 35% of the total population of Palestine. The figure of 200,000 by the end of WWI is erroneous. British official statements of 1919 estimated a total population of 700,000 of which 580,000 were Arab Palestinians and 60,000 Jews. As I mentioned before, on the same year the American King-Crane Commission also made mention of a population nine/tenths non-Jewish. In order to have 200,000 Jews in this scenario there should have been a total of 2,000,000 inhabitants which was the number approximately reached in 1948 after the massive immigration Palestine was subjected to during the previous 30 years.

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The British never decided where anyones actual home should be!
Didn't they? Text of the Balfour Declaration:

"Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you on behalf of His Majesty's Government the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to and approved by the Cabinet:

'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.'

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.
Yours sincerely,
Arthur James Balfour".


If this isn't deciding where anyone's actual home should be I don't know what is.
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