Talk:Palestinian homeland

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Per my comment, I moved this to talk:proposals for a Palestinian state. DanKeshet, Monday, April 8, 2002

Dan, rather than a simple redirect -- which might give the impression that "palestinian homeland" = "palestine" (as some advocates maintain), I think it would be more NPOV to provide a disambiguating page. Ed Poor

Sounds like a plan. Also, I've recreated the talk from above on the linked page. We could split the talk out into questions regarding the proposals and questions regarding the concept of a homeland. DanKeshet

Uri, get a grip: I think GayCommunist was just kidding around. He took each "point" and replaced it with its negation. I had briefly considered writing the article in such a way as to attribute each point (and its negation) to its prime exponent, e.g., Arabs or Israelis.

Hmmm, I understand that he was kidding around. The problem being: I'm not allowed to kid around (that's actually called "disgraceful"); why should he?

Anyway, it was just meant to be a framework for a more comprehensive article -- not an eternal summary.

This I understand. In fact, I plan to contributing to such an article, but I'm wary now of an edit conflict :-).

Articles can often be improved more by adding than by deleting "offending" text.

Yes, I know, but this wasn't "offending" text, it was simply nonsense. À mon avis, the discussion should be whether "most" (rather than "some") people recognize the need for a separate Palestinian state; obviously the opposite of that statement (as introduced by GC) is much farther from the truth. --Uri

I think you handled this rather well, Uri. --Ed Poor


Well I thought to start the full article like this:

The concept of a Palestinian homeland is a complex one, involving many of the deeper fears, hopes and aspirations of both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian complex. It has been continuously debated for decades now; it is still to face a debate in the future.

It is difficult to give a strict definition for the Palestinians. From some aspects, some of them are members of Arab groups that stretch far beyond Israel's borders; numerous divisions among them persist, in language, religion and culture. Nevetherless they do pass the crucial test of self-identification; therefore by the way of ethnic nationalism, most aspire for independent statehood.

It is most convenient to describe the Palestinians as the descendants of the Arab inhabitants of the British Mandate of Palestine. As such, they include several main groups:

  1. Arabs that are citizens of Israel ("Israeli Arabs")
  2. Arabs that live in West Bank and Gaza Strip; most are currently under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority
  3. Arabs that live in Jordan and identify themselves as Palestinians; many are refugees (or descendants of refugees) from the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the 1967 Six-Day War. They were granted Jordanian citizenship.
  4. Arabs that live elsewhere, in the Arab world (where they have never received a citizenship) and out of it.

Overall, there are about 4 million people belonging to groups (1) and (2); estimates indicate there are about 5 more million in groups (3) and (4).


I don't understand why most of that doesn't go into Palestinian. DanKeshet
Looking at the older version of the page, that would indeed make sense.
Agreed. In fact, I would take the text beginning "From some aspects, some of them are ..." and put that right at the beginning of the Palestinian article.
One of the problems we face in discussing the "Palestinian homeland" question is the difficulty of defining terms. (In my more cynical moments, I have suspected that the semantic difficulty is being deliberately leveraged for propaganda purposes.) --Ed Poor
Yeah; from my experience so far, most of the semantic difficulties are leveraged for propaganda purposes, which I find unfortunate (or maybe I'm excessively cynical :-). --Uri
Well, that's why most of my edits on the controversial pages (at least recently) have been to clarify the various points of view. I'm not interested in seeing any one POV prevail here on Wikipedia: not yours, Uri; not mine, even though I'm 100% right!; and not the anti-Israel POV of the NY Times and Washington Post dominated US media. There's a major controversy going on, and our readers want to know what it's about. The best way is to let each partisan speak for himself. --Ed Poor

Hi. I guess I was just trying to score a point with Ed, expecting to come back and fix up the article a bit, but then I got caught up in another article somewhere. :)

The point of my "statement" was really that since this was an article on palestinian homeland, the points of contestion (contested by the Israeli POV usually) if they even belonged there, should at least not be framed in a manner "positive" (like, technically, to the Israeli POV.

Although the quesiton obviously has bearing on Israel, I think that Israel's viewpoints should come second (but not unfairly represented!), at least not first.

I added a bit right now, because I felt the article gave a rather artificial picture of the "situation on the ground". I don't feel entirely comfortable with my change, I feel the article perhaps needs to be rewritten or perhaps included in some other more comprehensive article/discusison on the subject. --GayCom


I feel that the content of this article is mostly NPOV IMHO. But it misses the central point, substitue "Palestinian" with "Jewish" and you get a document that could have been issued by a Zionist organisation in the beginning of the 20th century.
The missing (and central) point is that there has already been a Palestinian homeland but it has ever since been replaced by a Jewish one. --BL

How can this be? After all, there never was a Palestinian Arab homeland. Further, never in history was there a Palestinian Arab nationality. No Arab textbook or encyclopaedia or academic journal written before the 1950s even countenances such an idea. There is a Palestinian Arab nationality now, sure, but the Palestinians as a distinct nation is a new idea which never existed until the 1950s, and never was popular even among Arabs until the early 1970s. Further, before the Jewish homeland took form in this area, it was not Arab in any way, shape or form. It was British. And before that, Turkish. RK
Nonsense - this is Israeli propaganda thinly disguised as semantic quibbling. There were people living in a location for centuries, and those people were "displaced" by Zionists. Whether those people had a national movement or identified themselves as "Palestinian" or were classed as a "nation state" prior to being removed is irrelevant to the fact that they were there, and it was their home. And now somebody else is there. Jacob
My sentiments exactly. Granted, there has never been a Palestinian STATE. The Palestinias have always been the conquered people, first by Israelites then Assyrians, Alexander the Great, Egypt, Romans, Byzantine, Muslims, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottoman Empire, British and last Jews. Nevertheless they have culture, folklore and a history like any other people. The concept of a Palestinian state is new, like the concept of a German, Italian, American and Finnish state and springs from the nationalism in the 19th century. And if I'm not mistaken there has been numerous references to Palestinians in the old litterature, I know atleast one scribe from the 12th century mentioning "Palestinians". Just the name; "the Brittish Mandate of Palestine" should at least be a hint.... http://www.palestine-net.com/culture/ --BL
Actually, BL, you are simply replacing one national narrative based on mythical sources (the Jewish narrative) with another (the Palestinian narrative). Unfortunately, the assumptions you make are highly questionable. Your argument is based on the hypothesis that Palestinians are really the ancient Canaanites/Philistines, who were conquered by the Israelites c. 1250 BC., etc. This assumes, however, that this indigenous group maintained a distinctive identity that set it apart from the conquering nations for the past 3,250 years. I would love to see evidence that corroborates that. Furthermore, you are also basing that narrative on the assumption that the biblical narrative of an Israelite invasion, known today as the Exodus from Egypt, is historical, yet even that (or perhaps, especially that) is a baseless claim. And, of course, you are ignoring the effects of intermingling of peoples and cultures in this region. For instance, there was an Arab conquest under Umar ibn al-Khattan in the 7th century, but the Palestinian people today also define themselves as Arab (overlapping identities) as a result of that conquest. Admittedly, part of the peasant population was here before that conquest, but the Palestinian identity includes an Arab identity. In other words, the population we know today as Palestinian is of layered origins, with each conquering ethnic group contributing something to the current makeup of the people. Yes, there certainly were people here throughout history. Some of them may even be able descended from the Canaanites/Philistines (or even Israelites, not to mention Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, etc.). The idea of a Palestinian identity, however, is a relatively modern concept. In fact, it is based as much on colonial boundaries as anything else. 150 years ago, most people who call themselves Palestinians would have defined themselves as southern Syrians. My contention is though that one mythical national narrative should not be refuted with another mythical national narrative. Oh, and the Romans first introduced the name Palestine following the Jewish Revolt of 132-135 AD. Sure "nation state" is anachronistic throughout most of Palestinian history, but I would venture to say that "ethnicity" is too. Danny

First lets see if we can agree on what a Palestinian are as it is essential to the argument. I'd like to define them as Arab inhabitants of what was the Brittish mandate of Palestine and their descendants. Sure, there are exceptions like the bedouin tribes that moved around in both Palestine and what today is the western part of Jordan. But I still think it is the most simple and convenient definition to use.
The last major transfer of people (except for the Palestinian exodus) happened in 135-138 AD something when the Romans expelled a large amount of Jews from Palestine, since then, no historical records show that any major change in demographics has occured in the area. Therefore, we can conclude that most of the Palestinians who fleed in the 1948 war actually had lived there for close to 2000 years. I don't know if they were the first settled population in the land. The Jewish invasion that took place 1250 BC something probably forced a massive delocalization of the inhabitants. I regard the Old Testament's description of the ancient Istraeli history as satisfactory reliable, albeit harsh and one-sided. I haven't seen anything which refutes the biblical stories about Israel as mythological junk.
Yes the Palestinian cultural identity has not been kept intact over the centuries, before the Muslims capture most Palestinians was Christians or believed in primitive religions and it has probably changed many times since. However, they do have some characteristics that unifies them and separates them from other kinds of Arabs (see the link in previous message).
The Palestinian identity that you speak of is admittedly a new concept. But thats another cup of tea altogether and sprung from nationalism. How is this different from any other kind of national identity that exists today? All national identities are artifically created and why should the Palestinians be threated differently from any other group of people?
Maybe the article needs to be renamed to "Palestinian Nation" or something like that because a "homeland" is something entirely different.
Those, who we (at least today) call Palestinians lived in the area, that we called, Palestine. They had a land and they had a home, therefore the Palestinian homeland has existed. Simple eh? -- BL

Sounds simple to me, too. Why not create a new article entitled Palestinian Nation, based on what you wrote above? --Ed Poor
Just to clarify, since Ed addressed his last comment "to Jacob" - the above wasn't written by me, though I largely agree with what that writer says. Rather than a new article, let's simply rename this one? Jacob
Oops! Sorry, you guys think so similarly that I momentarily confused you in my mind. Anyway, I would NOT like to see the Palestinian homeland article renamed or redirected, because "Palestinian homeland" is a term in common use. The purpose of the (proposed) second article would be to talk about a nation as differentiated from the region Palestine: perhaps what the Palestinian Authority will morph into. There's a reason I've split off the Arab-Israeli conflict into so many bite-size chunks; i.e., each individual concept is controversial in its own right and has complicated dependencies on the other concepts. --Ed Poor

An idea that has taken root among many Israelis is that the whole "homeland" issue was concocted as an excuse to justify the total destruction of Israel, due to anti-Semitism, citing quotes by Arab leaders:

How are Arabs meant to be anti-Semitic?
Historical definition of antisemitism—Jew-hatred. Read the first paragraph of anti-Semitism. jScott

Personally, I think you guys have done an admirable job at keeping things clean and I'm happy to see the merger of much of the 'Palestinian State' and 'Proposed State' articles. I for one see no reason for this specific page as it serves no purpose. The philistines who originally lived in the area are long dead and basically when we talk about 'homeland' we're either saying that in modern times the location has been a homeland Arabs who were living in what was considered western Syria prior to the British occupation or that Jews have a biblical tie to the land and yearn to return. Neither of these groups are true Palestinians. littlepedia —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 18:38, 17 September 2007 (UTC)