Territorial disputes: the Israel-Palestine difference (Part 1) [Post 41]

The Israel-Palestine difference is one of the longest-running TERRITORIAL DISPUTE (arguably, the longest). Arguments about the rightful sovereign of Jerusalem and surrounding areas have been present for generations. See for example Genesis 14: 18-20 in which Jerusalem (or Salem) has already enemies. Since Biblical times the region has been centre of disputes in relation to the rightful settlement of different populations. Should these agents go back to Biblical times in order to prove the current legitimate occupancy of the territory?

As with the previously reviewed TERRITORIAL DISPUTES, the following posts will introduce: different academic and non-academic views; the current situation; the views of the inhabitants (because in any case they are the ones who will live the consequences of any decision); coverage by the media including all parties in the dispute; the ideal methodology to solve the difference (what I call Egalitarian Shared Sovereignty); its application to some controversial elements; and some conclusive remarks.

The following paragraphs will introduce the historical background. The Israel-Palestine difference has been present for generations. The paragraphs below centre the attention only on the more recent history (since World Word I) because the reader may easily find a wide variety of academic and non-academic sources about it if he/she is interested in learning more about the dispute and have an educated opinion.

In doing this research I have had access to many books, journal articles, newspapers, and many other sources (academic and non-academic). I will present some of them in later posts. In order to present the account today, I decided to use “Truth against Truth. A Completely Different Look at the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” by Uri Avnery. I have to concede it may not be an academic and the references upon which the publication is written are not always offered by the author. Yet, the text offers an unusually balanced view about the recent history behind the dispute and, in any case, a thought provoking one. I am indebted to one of my Reddit readers for facilitating this source. The link to the complete text below.

Truth against Truth. A Completely Different Look at the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Uri Avnery

“The core of the conflict is the confrontation between the Israeli-Jewish nation and the Palestinian- Arab nation. It is essentially a national conflict, even if it has religious, social and other aspects.”

“The Zionist Movement was, essentially, a Jewish reaction to the emergence of the national movements in Europe, all of which were more or less anti-Semitic. Having been rejected by the European nations, some of the Jews decided to establish themselves as a separate nation and, following the new European model, to set up a national State of their own, where they could be masters of their own fate.”

“Traditional and religious motives drew the Zionist Movement to Palestine (Eretz Israel in Hebrew) and the decision was made to establish the Jewish State in this land.”

“Palestine was not an empty land – not at the end of the 19th century nor at any other period. At that time, there were half a million people living in Palestine, 90% of them Arabs. This population objected, of course, to the incursion of foreign settlers into their land.”

“The Arab National Movement emerged almost simultaneously with the Zionist Movement, initially to fight the Ottoman Empire and later the colonial regimes built on its ruins at the end of World War I. A separate Arab-Palestinian national movement developed in the country after the British created a separate State called “Palestine”, and in the course of the struggle against Zionist infiltration.”

“Since the end of World War I, there has been an ongoing struggle between two national movements, the Jewish – Zionist and the Palestinian – Arab, both of which aspire to accomplish their goals – which are entirely incompatible -within the same territory. This situation remains unchanged to this day.”

Truth against Truth. A Completely Different Look at the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (link to the complete text)

To the reader, following two of our previous posts of this series about TERRITORIAL DISPUTES:

a)   What are the issues at stakes in this a territorial dispute?

b)  Which remedy could be used to solve this particular territorial dispute?


For reference to these questions see:

POST 9: Territorial disputes: issues at stake

NOTE: This post is based on Núñez, Jorge Emilio. 2017. Sovereignty Conflicts and International Law and Politics: A Distributive Justice Issue. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Jorge Emilio Nunez

Twitter: @London1701

23rd April 2018

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