General Question

seawulf575's avatar

What do you think of when someone says "Palestine"?

Asked by seawulf575 (16779points) 3 weeks ago

There is so much going on between Israel and “Palestine” these days and everyone talks about it. What land do you believe is being described by the term “Palestine”? Is this the same land as is being described when an Israeli uses the term? When Hamas does?

I believe that much of the confusion comes from the definition of that term.

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30 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Depends what time in history. Palestine today I think of West Bank and Gaza.

Palestine region historically I think of the entire region of West Bank, Gaza, and what is now Israel and sometimes including more land depending what time period you go to. The region changed name at different times in history.

Here is a wikipedia, but some people might argue about some of what is written on the wikipedia page. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine_(region) There is several wikipedia pages about Palestine actually. Here is another https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Palestine and that one has links to more.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie That is why I asked the question. I know the historical version and I know what I think of in modern times. I also know what Hamas thinks. I wanted to find out what everyone else thought. With all the pro-Palestinian protests going on, do they agree with the historical version or with the modern day version?

JLeslie's avatar

It’s a good Q. Similar to when I asked how other people define zionism or zionists.

snowberry's avatar

When someone mentions modern Palestine, I think Hamas, because these days that’s what/who runs it. The residents have become tools of Hamas, and if they don’t agree, they’ll be made to pay for their indiscretion. Or they’ll turn into human shields, because apparently that’s all they are good for anyway.

Then there’s the ancient Palestine of history, but that has nothing to do with the Palestine of today.

gorillapaws's avatar

@snowberry “Or they’ll turn into human shields…”

When you have one of the highest volumetrically dense populations on the planet, essentially everyone is a human shield. That doesn’t make them legitimate targets under international law. Those are humans. Some of those kids buried under the rubble might have gone on to compose an amazing symphony that the world will never hear, or cure cancer, or invent a way to help process microplastics, or just raise a family and live a normal life. But we don’t think that way when we call them “shields.” That’s a tool for dehumanizing them and blaming them for being murdered.

When I think of “Palestine” I think of the land that the Palestinian people would be living in if Theodor Herzl had started his settler colonial project in Uganda as he originally wanted instead of in Palestine. Here’s a photo of Netanyahu pointing to it. And incidentally, if President López Obrador held up a map with Mexico that included California and Texas as part of it (while actively occupying it and expanding settlements in the territory) we would probably consider that a declaration of war or close to it.

Demosthenes's avatar

I think of a nation of people whose land once included what is now the state of Israel, but who lost most of their territory when Israel was carved out of it. When I say “Free Palestine”, I mean that I desire freedom from apartheid for all Palestinian people, both those living in the occupied territories and in Israel, and that someday all of historic Palestine will cease to be an ethno-state.

Caravanfan's avatar

Nowadays if I hear someone who is talking or writing actively about Palestine I see someone who hates me.

jca2's avatar

I don’t know that much about the Middle East or the conflict in the Middle East. I do know that when I was little, in the early 1970s, I used to hear about the Gaza Strip, which is what they called it at that time.

I don’t really know that much about the current issues there now, either. I know about the hostages and the kiilling of the aid workers (the World Kitchen workers). I know about the protests here and I can see both sides, even though I know not a whole lot about it. It’s for that reason that I am not really arguing on either side.

If I bring up that I think it’s wrong that they’re blocking bridges and roads, people may assume I’m for this side or against that side, but I would feel that way no matter who is protesting.

seawulf575's avatar

My take on this word is interesting. There was a swath of land that was usually referred to as Palestine. There was no nation, no actual people. It was an area that was referred to. Just like saying the Sahara Desert. There was frequently troubles there between Jews and Arabs. Both had a claim to the area in their minds. Britain controlled this area for a while and in an effort to establish peace, drew up lines to separate those areas that were for Jews (Israel) and those that were for Arabs (the rest). The Arab area was the Gaza Strip and some south and the West Bank.

Since Israel declared statehood in 1948, the Arab nations in the area have been attacking them. Because of those attacks and the resultant Israeli victories, Israel took over the entire area including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. In 1988, Yasir Arafat working with Israel established a Palestinian State consisting of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. This was done in an effort to establish peace in the region. In 2005, Israel pulled all its people out of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and these areas fell under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Shortly thereafter the people in the Gaza Strip elected Hamas to lead them, much to the discouragement of the PA.

So my view of the definition of Palestine is what is recognized by most of the rest of the world: The Gaza Strip and the West Bank. And this area has been left to their own devices. Hamas, on the other hand, views “Palestine” as being everything “From the river to the sea”...the old interpretation of “Palestine”. Therefore their actions are an effort to commit genocide against Israel. It is this difference in definition (which has been built over the decades) which continues to be the source of strife in the area.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 I can certainly see why you’re confused about the intentions behind people opposing the active genocide of the Palestinian people. It’s like you got the history from a coloring book…

flutherother's avatar

“Palestine” makes me think of the past and of people tending their sheep or growing olives with little regard for government, borders or religion.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws This is a general question. Personal attacks are not acceptable.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 I’m not attacking you, I’m attacking your narrative that is utterly simplistic and one-sided like it was written by a Christian Zionist and further dumbed down for kids.

Caravanfan's avatar

@seawulf575 And since when do you shy away from personal attacks anyway?

mazingerz88's avatar

@gorillapaws What would be the narrative of a non-Zionist and not one-sided Christian?

seawulf575's avatar

@Caravanfan I put this question in General for a reason. Personal attacks are not acceptable.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws If I took offense, it was a personal attack. That’s how it works these days, right? As for your attacks, I notice you can’t actually debunk a single thing I said, you just don’t like it since it goes against the narrative that supports the ACTUAL genocidal maniacs in the story…the ones you support. So you attack me. I’m not really surprised, but am trying to keep things on topic. Why aren’t you?

Blackberry's avatar

How would a bunch of people miles away know where the land is?
As far as the word, I think of the people….land doesn’t mean anything…it’s just another resource that’s taken by the bigger fish.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackberry I think similar to this sometimes. I want my people to live, and so sometimes I think having a state (Israel) in that hot bed mess of the Middle East where we are hated isn’t worth it. I have said before maybe it would have been better if we had been given half of Alabama.

Some people argue that a secular democracy is good enough and Jewish people can live in any country. Except when we look at the antisemitism throughout history, having a country is what makes a lot of Jewish people feel safer. Israel is where they we are from. They can prove it through carbon dating and DNA.

seawulf575's avatar

@blackberry “How would a bunch of people miles away know where the land is?” It is simple: the whole world pretty much agreed to split up that area, giving some to Israel and some to the Arabs that lived in that area. That was done in 1948. in 1988 Yasir Arafat declared a Palestinian state, but refused to give it’s boundaries. But the UN agreed with giving them the boundaries following the 1967 war, which made it both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. And the rest of the world pretty much went along with that definition, including Israel.

But think about that for a moment. Let’s say I decide to declare a new state that hasn’t existed before, but I don’t want to tell people where it is or how far it extends. Let’s say I decide I want to create the Carolinian state but don’t want to state the boundaries. I could then believe it extends from Maine to Florida and over to Missouri. By doing that, I could then commit any crimes against peoples in that area and just claim I am trying to keep them from taking my land and killing off all Carolinians living with me.

Another consideration that your comment brings is one I’m actually open to discuss: why should the UN exist at all? Or NATO? After all, why should they have any say in what happens half way around the world?

Demosthenes's avatar

Genocide apologists always defend genocide by saying “there were no people there!” It’s that dehumanizing “made the desert bloom” argument. The only way you can justify Israeli settler-colonialism is by pretending the land was unused and unoccupied before the establishment of the Israeli state, and the establishment of said state didn’t involve expelling people from their land. Much like how the U.S. was empty and unsettled when the Europeans arrived.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes Some parts of Israel were fairly barren, but I actually agree that making it sound like no Palestinians were displaced is just simply untrue. The Israelis did build up the infrastructure that exists today though, they were the ones there, and I wouldn’t doubt that plenty of Palestinian Israelis are part of that production.

Are you saying Jewish people aren’t originally from the Middle East and Israel? How can they be occupiers and colonizers? Weren’t the Jews in the Middle East colonized, occupied, murdered, expelled, etc? I don’t see how they are different than the Palestinians. Even if you don’t accept European Jews as being from Israel (although genetic tests show we are) what about the Middle Eastern Jewish people? Over half of Israeli Jews are “brown” many of whom spoke Arabic, some still do generations later.

I wonder how you would feel about returning land to Native Americans. Would the Native American be a colonizers after having been expelled from their lands and then getting some back?

seawulf575's avatar

@Demosthenes When Israel first declared statehood, they had mostly desert. Most of the good land was given to the Arabs. And even then the Arabs weren’t satisfied with Israel being there. 5 Arab nations attacked Israel and got their asses handed to them. That is how Israel ended up with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It was only through peace efforts that Israel gave up this land. It was their side of the peace deal. The deal the Arabs never wanted to abide by.

Israel pulled some 10,000 Israelis living in the Gaza Strip out…displaced them…to turn the entire thing over to the Arabs again. Yet that is conveniently forgotten in the rush to hate Jews and support terrorists. If you want to see an honest-to-God genocide apologist, look in the mirror. It is Hamas that has, as part of their charter, the goal of killing all Jews and taking over Israel’s land. You know…all the stuff you say you hate Israel for, Hamas is trying to do.

Demosthenes's avatar

If you are carving a new state out of inhabited land and kicking people out of their homes and relegating them to second-class status and severely limiting their freedom, you are colonizing and occupying. It doesn’t matter if you can trace your ancestry to that land hundreds of years back. I am not denying where Judaism originated or that there were Jews in Palestine prior to the formation of Israel. That does not justify the preservation of a Jewish ethno-state and the expulsion of Palestinians. Most of my distant ancestry can be traced to Andalusia. Doesn’t mean I will be justified in going to Malaga, kicking a Spaniard out of their house, and say “it’s okay, I’m from here”.

And I don’t care what Hamas is trying to do. I care what Israel is actually doing now because they have the ability to do it with American support. Hamas can say a bunch of crazy shit. It has nothing to do with my opposition to Israeli apartheid and my support for the freedom of the Palestinian people.

mazingerz88's avatar

^^You don’t care what Hamas is trying to do? You sound like an anti-semite. A lucky one who has no reason to kick a Spaniard off Malaga.

Pandora's avatar

Location middle east, some nomadic people, and on holy land. Desert, dry and hot. Political nightmare. Endless wars for land I wouldn’t waste spit on. Lots of suffering and more suffering to come.
I don’t think that any description or term would ever or will ever fix things.

JLeslie's avatar

@Demosthenes Have you been to Israel?

I don’t think the Jews deserve Israel because we were there first or for thousands of years, but Palestinians seem to think they deserve all of Israel, Gaza, and West Bank because they were there. What’s the difference? Both groups were living there. Lines were drawn to give each group land. Where should a Jewish state be? Nowhere? I know you will say yes nowhere, but why not Jews and why yes Jordanians, Iraquis, Italians, Saudis, French, and so on.

I was in a presentation today given by an expert on the ME, he is married to an Iranian woman and his BIL is from Iraq. After the presentation an Arab man in the audience wearing a hat that had a Palestinian flag and something written in Arabic asked the presenter why did he think Israel had been very successful economically compared to other ME countries. The answer given was, “mostly because of the government.” He did mean Netanyahu, he meant the overall structure and freedoms given to the people. He also asked if the presenter thinks the peace talks will lead to a deal with Saudi and EAU, etc. The answer was yes.

I think the Palestinians are in a losing position trying to continue to take down Israel. Or, I should say having Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran trying to take down Israel. The people suffer.

mazingerz88's avatar

@JLeslie Anti-semites or those who probably don’t know yet that they’re being anti-semites imo do not care if Israel is economically successful.

I have this feeling that very
same success is one of the reasons why pro-Hamas protesters here think Israel is the villain and Hamas is the underdog that deserves all their symphaty and support.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a typo above, it should say, he did NOT mean Netanyahu, it was obvious he had some problems with Netanyahu.

@mazingerz88 Do you mean the Arab guy was suspicious of how Israel did so well? Like ill gotten gains? Or, you are just speaking in general.

I do agree that Israeli and Jewish success is something that is demonized by antisemites. I watch The View every day and they are highlighting Jewish Month, or whatever it is called, like they do Black History Month, and Latin American Month. I was like WTH, we have a month? I don’t remember Jewish month at all and have always said I don’t think I want one. People hate us for our success. There are plenty of poor and struggling Jewish people, but people only pay attention to what confirms their bias.

seawulf575's avatar

@Demosthenes “If you are carving a new state out of inhabited land and kicking people out of their homes and relegating them to second-class status and severely limiting their freedom, you are colonizing and occupying. ” This is an interesting claim. Many Arabs did, indeed, get uprooted from Israel shortly after they declared statehood. But it wasn’t because the Israelis threw them out for being in land that was now Israel. They got thrown out because immediately after Israel declared statehood, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebannon, and Syria attacked the new state. So yeah, Arabs have decided to eliminate Jews and destroy the new country and as part of that Israel gets rid of Arabs from their land. That makes perfect sense. Why would you leave potential enemies inside your land? Once again, you are ignoring the evils done by the Arabs but are trying to hold Israel accountable for all of them; trying to make it seem that Israel just did these things out of the blue without any provocation.

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