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File: 1698829158349.jpg (20.37 KB, 305x165, 61:33, Spongebob.jpg) ImgOps Exif Google

A lot of the debates on the Israeli-x-Palestine conflict that has recently flared up in a violent way has brought back old academic and popular culture debates on settlers, on colonialism, on the formation of nation-states, and on the idea of legitimacy in the creation of countries as legal entities.

A major issue is that of what makes a territory a "homeland". What makes an area an inherent place designed to be occupied by a certain race, certain religion, and certain ethnicity to the exclusion at worst or detriment at best of other categories of people. It's a sticky issue.

For example, "Palestine" as a territory is popularly thought of as a homeland for Muslim Arab peoples based on Islamic rule through Arabic culture that would either not have Christians, Jews, atheists, et al or would subject them to second-class citizen status in those lands.

In the U.S., the argument is made that this a white European based Christian nation made as a homeland for those peoples to which other groups (such as Muslims, or Black people, or transgender individuals who aren't Christian) are mere guests or such.

>What are your thoughts?

In my opinion, the concept of a "homeland" is not an ethically or legally viable one. Anybody living in a territory ought to have clear-cut civil rights such as the right to bear arms and freedom of speech regardless of their social group status w.r.t. their religion or whatever else. Nonetheless, I would call a "homeland" a practically and rationally viable concept. Historically, it can make sense to view a patch of land as having significant meaning to certain groups with that being given social respect that doesn't involve coercing anybody to do anything. For instance, the national parks associated with English colonial shipping in America ought to preserve educational information, such as protecting buildings for tourists, without this meaning that "being English" as an ethnicity is somehow targeted for political meaning.

P.S. I don't want to use a sad photo of Israelis or Palestinians being hurt or anything related as the OP, so have SpongeBob, I guess.


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>What Is a "Homeland"?

A delusion



I don't know a lot about the conflict, but I was reading a bit about Judaism and watched a short video about the history of the conflict.

Judaism is one of the oldest religions (4,000 years old according to the internet? - I thought I read 6,000...) And they were the first to establish a collective identity that went beyond mere tribal identity. They have a long history of persecution from the religion's inception.

According to my analysis, the State of Israel was established (by Britain?) in order to protect the Jews from the persecution they had experienced since ancient times. I think it was established in Israel, due to its religious significance?

And from the video I watched, the Palestinians/Arabs (?) were just random groups of people who happened to be in the area after all the major fighting in the world began to cease (around the 1700s - early 1900s (?)), with no real cohesive identity at the time, who wanted independance from colonial rule?

(It would be interesting to trace the history of the Arabs/Palestinians back several hundreds or even thousands of years.)

This being the case, I don't see why they couldn't make peace. They both appear to have been persecuted... why not just work something out?

As far as what is considered a "homeland," this would be harder to answer, due to all the fighting between different country and people in the previous centuries. I believe the Palestinians were against giving the Jews Israel because they considered it a continuation of colonialism, but having just experienced the Jewish Holocaust, everyone in the international community believed it necessary to protect them. I think the Palestinians wanted independence, but a good question would be why the Palestinians didn't like the original 1947 UN proposal.

According to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRYZjOuUnlU, after rejecting the proposal, the Palestinians (and other Arab countries? - what does that mean?) fought a war and lost, eventually resulting in Palestinian territory becoming increasingly taken over, over the years until, after more fighting, some peace groups came up with the Oslo Accords, which worked for a little while maybe, but now there is more fighting, it seems.

The simplest definition of homeland in this case, I think, would be what was established in 1947 by the UN (but we would need to take into consideration other factors (i.e.: time lived on the land, location of family, and so on) in deciding what presently constitutes homeland.)

I think things would be clearer if we had more information. This seems to be a complicated subject.


Why do you say that?

If you've no background in studying the geographical area at all, it probably would be best to read something in depth beyond just watching short documentaries, although it does indeed sound like what you linked is helpful.

A lot of interesting books involving the history of Israel as a political entity exist, with maybe "The Much Too Promised Land" and "Righteous Victims" standing out to me. By Aaron David Miller and Benny Morris, respectively. The first is from an American perspective (which is psychologically removed from the conflict via huge distance) and the second is from an Israeli perspective (which is naturally far more intense). I'd recommend a book written by an Arabic author, but I'm kind of tired at the moment and can't recall things too well.


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>Why do you say that?

Because no land was created for anyone or any group in particular. Identities associated with particular homelands are often the product of historical revision or in some cases are just purely mythological. Cultures and ethnicities evolve over time like species and like species,  cultures split off from each other and the dividing line where one culture ends and another begins is often arbitrary and in many cases not even universally recognized between cultures. The idea that any "homeland" "belongs" to any one culture, especially very old cultural identities with old historical narratives about origins in a particular place denies the possibility that other separate cultural identities may historically share the same land as their place of origin as well. Not to mention cultures that may no longer exist after splitting into multiple other cultures who might have come before.


I'm heavily sympathetic to this view.

A "homeland" likely only has a limited practical and ethical meaning while there's no or almost no legal meaning.

People have natural human rights no matter where they happen to live.


Most things in life are not black and white, this is not one of them. Palestine has always (and shall remain) been the "homeland" of Palestinians. Israel has a long history of trying to use genocide to rid the country of the Palestinians, but because they themselves lives through a genocide they are just allowed to go off.

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