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Please, let's try to keep this article written from a Neutral Point Of View--that will be hard, but it's important to try. An ideal article on this topic should avoid statements which either Israelis or Palestinians would disagree with, unless it is clearly identified which side makes these statements. Old commentary that was here was moved to Archive 1, Archive 2, Archive 3

OK, not bad, but how about where you have 'Arava valley' also should we add the more common name of the 'Jordan Valley' as some people may not know what you mean by 'Arava valley' (if that is the name for the 'Jordan Valley'. We have to treat the material and content from the perspective that someone may not know much about it, so the intro. should be plain and easy to understand without complicated matter. Also 'Lebanon Mountains' I do not think is a very good geographic name, perhaps something like: from the north by the 'Sea of Gallilee', the 'Golan Heights', and the 'Bekaa Valley'. Also the correct Arabic would be 'EL Falastyn', also like 'EL Lebnan'. or 'EL Ourdan' (for Jordan). Always 'EL' for 'the' when describing a geographic area. As for the more detailed descriptions, (the animal/plant life, natural deposits etc.) I think that that should be later on in the article, prhaps under natural resources and animal plant life sections. The More general geographic explanation of the area, should be at the beginning with an explanation about how it may be considered in modern day terms (at least for the intro). So something like 'What was once considered Palestine is now:' or 'The general goegraphic area of what once was palestine is now modern day Israel (including the Occupied West Bank and Gaza)...' Whatever it is that sounds best, the point being that we should again explain in general terms, in terms that most people who may not understand or know much about it, could say oh that is what they mean by that.

As I said before later on in the article we could treat the subject in more detailed ways.

I have sort of an outline plan for the article:

Intro: Much of what we have with some refinement. (main points are that this is the area where the current conflict in the ME is raging, that two peoples have equal rights to this land (both had always lived there, even during the Diaspora of the Jews many stayed there, they never ever all left). Equally so that the Palestinians have also continously lived there.

Later on we break down the article into three main headings, as that is how most people would identify the history:

Heading 1: Pre-history or period up to the fall of the Ottoman Empire... Whatever we may agreee on. I kind of like 'History of Palestine up to the First World War' myself. There could also be a link saying something like 'See also Israel, or Ancient Israel, or the Levant'. As these are seperate topics, at the end of the first heading would allow the reader the chance to check into more history if they want or to read on to the next heading if they want.

Heading 2: could be from the End of the First World War to the end of the British Mandate. In this section we lay out the main conflict, various aggreements and statements, and the partition plan, all the dirty/conflicting stuff.

Heading 3: from 1948 (the establishment of the state of Israel) to present times. In this section we lay out the rest. We could also place here Arab/Palestinian views and Jewish/Israeli views on the conflict and subject.

In each of the 3 main sections we could add sub-sections explaining in more detail specifics on topical items like for example: the animal/plant life, natural deposits, customs, etc., specifcs to the time frame, and the people.

What do you think of that?

What is considered Israel (including the occupied territories and the Gaza strip) is considered by most historians as the actual physical area that was once the state called Palestine.

That's not really precise (Palestine has been a Mameluk and then Turkish province, never an independent state). Maybe the following is better:
Currently, the area of Palestine is divided between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Previously, Palestine was an administrative unit of the Roman Empire, Arab Khaliphate, Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, Kingdom of Mameluks, the Turkish Empire and the British Empire, in roughly similar borders.

The Palestinians of today, are a people who are the direct decendants of all the people who have conquered, lived, and occupied this land. Palestinians are a people who comprise an Arab identity, and are usually, but not limited to, being Christian or Muslim. Their Christian identity can be traced from the time of the earliest Christians and Christianity. Muslim Palestinians, trace their conversion from about the 7th century A.D.

It should be noted and understood that in addition to the Palestinians, there was/is another people who have lived in this area without interuption from the beginning of time, these people are known variously as: Hebrews, Canaanonites [sp], Israelites, and Jews. These people throughout their long history and diaspora, have not only lived in the land of what was once known as Palestine, but other countries in the Middle East (Link here), as well.

There has always been a Jewish and Arab/Palestinian presence in this land.

I'd rather replace (and reorder) the three paragraphs above, so that it reads:
Two peoples are historically associated with the land of Palestine: these are the Jews and Palestinian Arabs.
The Palestinians (most of your text intact)
The Jews lived in this land since immemorable times. It was in this Palestine where they have written the Bible; they were expelled by the Romans in the 1st century A.D. Although most Jews were forced out of their land for thousands of years, they have never given up the hope of returning to it one day.

Palestine, is a name that was given to the Holy Land by the Romans during the period of the Roman ocupation of the region in 70 A.D. The name Palestine, derives from the biblical Philistines, who occupied the region of the southern coast of the land of Israel.

The name "Palestine" originates in Palestina, the name given to this land by Romans to replace the older Judaea following the Jewish revolt of A.D. 70. The name Palestine, derives from the Philistines, who, as the Bible says, occupied the southern Mediterranean coast of Israel. By the time of the renaming, the Philistines ceased to be a separate ethnic group, and the name was chosen specifically to opress the Jews.

The history of this part of the world, being the subject of a conflict that continues to this day, is heavily disputed; there are indeed few statements concerning its history which would be agreed with by both Israelis and Palestinians. This article attempts, however imperfectly, to present both sides equally and fairly.

That is the main part of what I would like to see, please note that links have not really been included yet. My suggestion would be that once we agree (if we can) on the intro. we add the links, and wherever we leave off, explain that the revision is on-going. I do not want to rewrite much of what was once a fairly accurate article, however, I want us (and others who have an interest)to agree on the content before we post. Let me know what you think, sorry it took so long for such a small revision, but I wanted to be sure it was unbiased. There can also be made mention through links, specific subjetcs on Israel, Jews, Palestinians, etc...

Remember that the intro. just should give a basic overview, of the subject, details can be added later on in the article.

Hoping this meets your expectations somewhat...

Your writing was very good. A point which I felt was important is the fact of Palestine's being a separate land (with distinct geographical/zoological/botanical features). This land was in most cases a single administrative unit, but it was never independent (since at least 50 B.C.). What do you think about it? --Uriyan

Joseph ==================================================================== Thanks Uriyan for your patience and time (please see comments above) I feel that if we take our time, and work these things out, we could have a realy good article, that most people could understand and agree with. Also I feel that one of our main guidelines and principles should be, that we should look at the subject from these two points of view:

1) What is in the best interests of the reader, how would they look at it? How would they understand it? There is no point in placing material that only a Jewish or Palestinian scholar or person would know or understand. We should go from broad to specific...

2) What is the most current view? What is it, that is most commonly accepted as the facts for a certain chain of events or subjects. For example I have never heard of 'Arava Valley'. Sorry for my ignorance. But do you see where I am going with this, I want the article to encompass the subject from a distinctly matter of fact way. Later on at the end of a heading or subheading, you place a 'See Also link:' In the library world see also's are the way complicated subjects are handled, that way a novice or experienced user will both find what they need when doing research.

Waiting for your next reply, sorry it took so long.


Well, first of all my first name is Uri, so you can call me that :-). The points that you bring are important. I think that you're right in proposing to separate the pieces of information (indeed, perhaps the introduction should only say that "Palestine is a land situated at the northern part of East Mediterranean") and expand later on in the body of the article. So perhaps we should need yet another heading on "Geography of Palestine" or something of this sort.

The "Arava Valley" (translation/transliteration of Hebrew emeq ha-a'rava), is a wide valley that is a continuation of the Jordan Valley to the south. This was a bad choice of name (even though it's used in some English sources, most of the English public does not know the name). In general, I think that it's best to stick to the English names, as Wikipedia is an English encyclopedia.

P.S., please see my comments at Talk:Ariel Sharon. Uriyan

=========================================================================== Ok Uri, thanks for that, my friends sometimes call me Joe for short. I have added some comments to Ariel Sharon Talk. Also feel free to make changes to editorial style, however, not to specific content, I will work with you to make all issues on Israeli/Arab pages better, more professional, and easier to understand. I regret now, that I made unilateral changes earlier on when I first started some months ago. Feel free to start the intro. for Palestine, keeping in mind points I have made, I will mention any problems in talk here after I review with you. I am working on some articles in my spare time specifically on the 1914-1948 and 1948-1967 period. Thanks again for your help in this, it is turning into a lot of work.


BTW: have you geard of Gush Shalom? I would like to add a page for them...

Hi Joseph. I appreciate your cooperation a lot. I've started to write an intro which I think to be generally better than the existing one (geography rather than politics), but it'll probably take me some more days to post it. One thing that I don't feel comfortable, though, with the choice of name - I feel that e.g. Holy Land would be better. Palestine is a name alien to Jews, while "Holy Land" is relatively neutral. What do you think about it?

I've heard of Gush Shalom, they're one of the more radical peace movements here in Israel, led by Uri Avneri. You can find their site at http://www.gush-shalom.org/english/. Note however that most Israelis don't take them seriously, Peace Now is more popular (as far as I can tell, I'm not affiliated with them).

P.S. Thank you for your kind words at my Talk page. Uriyan

No it is not all right, the reason I got involved was because it was refered to as Palestine, but I see now that there is no room for the Palestinian position. Right now I am a bit upset perhaps I should not write, but Palestine is the name, if you want to create a 'Holy Land' page, create one, but I feel it is a wate of time, RK will come and dispute the whole article.

Why is there not allowed any mention of my point of view, the Palestinian point of view like:

There has always been a Palestinian/Arab presence in Palestine: For all the invasions and changes in its rulers, the core of Palestine's population has been etthnically stable for millennia, posessing for the last thirteen hundred years a culture that has been unambiguously Arab. Many popular images of the Zionist movement portray the land as desolate or empty of a vibrant people and culture. Golda Meir announced that they never existed as evidenced in this famous quote "There was no such thing as Palestinians...It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist." This kind of propaganda could never have been really convincing outside Israel because so many people - travellers, merchants, missionaries, and soldiers - had actually seen the Palestinians and knew that they existed even if they did not know much about them.

There are now somewhere between 6.5 - 7 million Palestinians worldwide, some live as a minority in Israel proper, some live in the West Bank and Gaza portions of Palestine, most are refugees in many parts of the world (mainly the Middle East, Europe, and North and South America) living a life of diaspora, as displaced persons. Few Palestinians have assimilated to their host countries. Most feel too strong, a sense of identity, with their Palestinian nationalism.

In 1948 Palestine ceased to exist politically, however, its people remain a vital and integral part of the land, known variously as: 'the Holy land', Israel, Palestine, etc. They remain Palestinians awaiting their political and national rights. I know that it is a waste of time now, I will have to try to edit and fit my text the way I see fit, because the Palestinian views will never be allowed, only Zionist propaganda. I am sorry URI, but if there is real change I will go back to cooperation otherwise, we do not agree, especially with RK.

Joseph (March 6, 2002)

I removed the following disclaimed from the main entry. "The Palestinians dispute most of the contents of this article, as it represents mainly the view of a single side, that is one of Israeli Zionists." I removed this sentence for the following reason:

The Palestinian community is well known for disputing much of ancient and modern history regarding this subject. A great many Palestinians literally believe that much of history, ancient and present, is a hoax by "the Jews", or the Western powers of the world. In many Palestinian elementary schools, middle schools, high school, and Islamic seminaries, they teach that (a) The Biblical nation of Israel never existed, (b) The Jews really came from Yemen, (c) There really are no Jews; most "Jews" are really Kazars who are trying to steal Palestinian land; (d) There was no Temple in Jerusalem, ever, (e) There was never any Jewish presence in the land of Israel, ever, (f) The Holocaust didn't happen, of if many Jews did die, it was greatly exagerrated, (g) that "the Zionists" have a secret plan to rule the world. Among Palestinians these are not the views of a tiny number of extremists; these are fairly mainstream views. As such, it should not be surprising that some of them view everything in Wikipedia as distorted by "Zionists" (whom Palestinians erroneously believe to be monolithic.)

The question is, is there good reason to believe that a great amount of the current article is a lie, or distorted to the point of needing such a widespread disclaimer? I note that no other Wikpedia entries have such disclaimers. The Wikipedia community should just follow the standard Wikipedia editing protocol. If someone has a concrete reason for believing that a statement needs to be changed, put forth the new version, with valid historical references, and explain why. This shouldn't be a battleground accusing "the Zionists" of being liars. RK

Hello, Joseph. First of all, to maters of principle: in Wikipedia, we write encyclopedia articles that are objective and neutral. There should be only one article for each subject; that's why you can't claim "you have the article about Israel to spill your truth on". There can be only one article covering the history of Mandatory Palestine, and if we beleive there are several versions of these facts - they should all be combined into that article. That is the reason why I chose to cooperate with you - but I can do it only if you recognize that there's more than one "truth".

Secondly, as to the choice of name. You would most certainly be offended if I created an article called "Eretz Israel" (or "Land of Israel"), because it is a name alien to you and your people. In the same manner, Palestine is a name alien to me and my people. "Holy Land" is a compromise, and while it is not the way we both usually call this land, it would offend noone.

Thirdly, as to the part of the article that we've been debating (it has a heading beginning with the words "There has always been a Palestinian/Arab presence in Palestine"), it uses 6 paragraphs to explain 3 points:

  1. Palestine has been ethnically stable for millenia.
  2. Zionists are liars
  3. There are 6.5-7 million Palestinians worldwide

Point #3 is factual and could be integrated into an article (e.g. Palestinian). Point #1 is very vague - how does one define "ethnically stable"? In the millennial range, the only thing that I could say is that the region is occupied by Semites (Jews included), and you don't bring any facts to explain yourself further. As to Point #2, you skipped the part of proving that the land wasn't desolate, and rather switch to "uncovering the Zionist propaganda". Note that I'm not taking a position in this argument - it's irrelevant whether it was or was not desolate, but you need proof no matter what you try to prove! Because you prefer to make far-going statements that offend many people yet do not bring any relevant facts, this fragment is a piece of Palestinian propaganda in its own right, and as such unacceptable to an encyclopedia.

If I were writing this fragment, I would first provide information about the ethnical build-up of population and the land's economical life throughout the history (which is factual). Then I would write a paragraph about the Palestinian people's struggle for national liberation (which is also factual). And only in the section titled "Commentary" I would provide my thoughts about propaganda (which are an opinion).

You ask "What does the Holocaust have to do with Palestine?", and I answer: the Holocaust was a major event in the Jewish world, which changed the way Jews treat Zionism. You cannot separate the Holy Land from the rest of the world, and you cannot separate it from the Jews, for whom it is as much a homeland as for you.

If you recognize that there's more than one view of the truth, and that not all people must accept yours(this is particularly important in Wikipedia, which is a tool for education), I will protect your right to state your view as such. But if you deny the other people's right to state their opinions, in the same way as you state yours, you will only be pushing your own, subjective, view of the things, and I will have to resist that. The choice is in your hands. Uriyan

Part of the problem is that Palestine has several different meanings: geographical, historical, political, etc., each of which has different connotations for the people involved in the conflict. Furthermore, the definitions are so intertwined that no one has, as yet, succeeded in untangling them (and I mean politicians, journalists, historians, etc., and not just Wikipedians). Here then, is my attempt. If people think that this this is more or less the right direction, I will continue with Geography, then History, then People. Danny

Mister RK.I could search the libraries here and find source material for you, I could also give you ISBN #'s of books, names of authors, etc, etc, etc... You will never believe them, you do not even listen to any points that I make.

The problem, Joseph, is that you do not make any points. You just shout that everyone in the entire world is a "Zionist liar", and that only you have "the truth". Your lack of methodology indicates that you are basing your facts on emotional outburts, rather than historical documentation. RK

Whatever, I put up some entries earlier for URI to check out, also I suggested some new publications, one in particular called Culturgrams [sp]... I suggest you read these, and learn the truth, the real truth.

A quote from a website, in of itself, means nothing in a historical debate. Anyone can write anything on a website. I can even show you many, many websites that "prove" that the world is flat. Does this constitute valid scientific or historical truth? No. RK

I had no assistance from anyone in furthering my education. We came to this country as refugees from a war that was started by Israel, I know, it was not Israel's fault right... They had to attack right, I know the story, more lies, I was there as a child, and I remember, believe me...

Please, re-read the emotional outburst you just made. Dispense with the paranoia and self-pity. As long as you are controlled by your rage, you will not be able to work with history-minded individuals in a productive fashion. RK

You can say what you want, you can do what you want, but leave me alone... I will listen and address those that address me, as is appropriate. One more thing please, post at the bottom, I find it hard to follow where you post comments now, and also find it confusing. I know the truth about Palestine, and until it is posted I will not be content or quiet.

No one accepts that your claims are true, simply because you claim that you "know the truth". History books are not written by those who shout the loudest. You need to be objective, that's all we are asking. RK

Many historical texts alluded to or quoted in the artilc are considered by some people to be "Zionist lies". This phrase is be an ad homenim against Jewish people. If there is genuine historical reason to cast suspicion on a document, that's fine by me. Sometimes such suspicion is genuinely warrented. But there needs to be solid grounds for doing so, and not just a general suspicion that "the Jews" control the publication of most of the world's books. RK

Finally, to Michael Tinkler, a bit on the nomenclature. Philistine - Palestine - Falastyn are actually a lot more similar than they seem. In Hebrew, P and F are interchangeable. They are written with the same letter, which is used as an explosive (P) or a fricative (F) depending on its position in the word. Add to this the fact that the Hebrew and Arabic alphabet do not have vowels, so people actually make an educated guess as to how the word should be read. In effect, all three words can be written the same way (though modern Hebrew has found ways of distinguishing between all three).

No one name has ever really been applied to the country. In biblical times, areas were simply named after the mythical ancestor of the tribe that inhabitated the region or the nearest city, and this convention survived well into modern times. There was a tribe of Judah and an eponymous territory, along with Benjamin, Zebulon, Ephraim, etc., for a people that simply called itself Children of Israel (itself a name for Jacob--House of Jacob also appears in the Bible). It could also be called Canaan after a legendary descendant of Noah's son Ham, who was believed to be the forefather of the indigenous peoples. In the article, I spoke briefly about how the Romans renamed the country Palestine after the Philistines. That word originates with the Semitic root P/L/Sh, meaning invader. In fact, it concurs with modern theories that the original Philistines of the Bible invaded the country from the Greek islands shortly before the Israelite invasion.

Sounds like a very accurate description to me. RK

While the Roman name survived in Latin literature, most Christian texts simply called the country the Holy Land (Terra Sancta). This was unacceptable to the Muslims, for whom the foremost holy sites, Mecca and Medina, were located in Arabia. They simply referred to the different regions of the country by the names of nearby cities (interestingly enough, though, they followed the Christian convention in Jerusalem, which they renamed al-Quds, "the Holy"). The Crusaders followed this method by naming their kingdoms Jerusalem, Edessa, etc. It was only in the past 150 years, when Europeans began taking an academic interest in the country, that an "unbiased name" was sought to refer to the geopolitical entity. While some (for instance Kenyon) continued to refer to as the Holy Land, Palestine gradually came back into vogue and was adopted by the local Arab population, albeit with their own pronounciation.

(By the way, as an example of Arab prononciation coming into vogue, it is interesting to consider the West Bank city of Nablus. In biblical times, this was the city of Shechem, which was renamed Neapolis by the Romans. Because Arabic lacks the P sound (Falastyn, rather than Palastyn), the name became Neabolis, which eventually evolved into Nablus.

The Jews considered several options for their new state-in the-making, including Zion and Judea. Judea, however, referred to a specific region of the country south of Jerusalem, while Zion is actually a hill in Jerusalem. The name Israel was chosen to serve as a link with the past and encompass all Jews as the "Children of Israel." Meanwhile, the Palestinians kept the name introduced by the Europeans.

Finally, I think it is one of the little ironies of history that the Romans changed the name of the province they conquered from Judea to Palestine. If they hadn't, the struggle for political hegemony would be between the Jews and the Judeans, and in Hebrew and Arabic both words are identical. Danny

You are right, and the only reason I got involved was that a library journal I was reading mentioned Wikipedia and Nupedia some time last year... When I naturally did a search for Palestine, what I found was clearly unacceptable, nor unbiased, nor objective. I thought it needed improving, so I jumped in and wrote, that was not the best solution, but I was really upset the first time I read the article and the blatant attempt to change history. I appreciate your attempts at correcting the article.

Joseph (Palestinian Refugee)

Mister/Miss RK. You seem to be the one who rants and raves, all the time. Again you did not read my message correctly, oh well, perhaps you never will, whatever. I said earlier that "Whatever, I put up some entries earlier for URI to check out" which means Uri as in Uriyan, not URL . Here are some of the authors and titles I asked him to check out, you as well, if you want to see the other side:

The Encyclopedia of the Palestinian People by Issa Nakhleh

Encyclopedia of the Palestinians - edited by Philip Mattar

The Arab-Israeli dispute by Don Peretz

Beseiged bedfellows: Israel and the land of Apartheid by Benjamin A. Joseph

Creating Facts: Israel. Palestinians, and the West Bank by Geoffrey Aronson

The Intifada: causes and effects by Aryeh Shalev

Resignation or revolt?: socio-political development and the challenges of peace in Palestine by Cristopher Parker

The Fateful Triangle: Israel, the United States, and the Palestinians by Noam Chomsky

All that remains: The Palestinian villages occupied & depopulated by Israel in 1948 By Muhammad A. Khalidi

Before their Diaspora: A photographic history of the Palestinians, 1876-1948 By Walid Khalid

The Fifty Years War: Israel and the Arabs By Ahron Bregman and Jihan El-Tahri

Also there are these:

Whose Promised Land? By Colin Chapman

The Middle East Conflict: From 1945 to the present (a bit dated only goes to 1982, but still relevant)

The Origins of the the Arab Israeli Wars By Ritchie Ovendale

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Culturegrams [sp] new, published by Gale group.

Read, then talk

Finally I ask you have you ever been there?? Were you born there?? Did you lose family there?? Unless you are there, you canot say what goes on. I say I know because I was there, I saw, and I will never forget... Believe me the truth will come out one day, I may not see it, but my children will bear witness, and if not them their children will. Justice will come, it may take a long time however...And many more lives, tragically. Now do two things: 1) Leave me alone. 2) Address all inquiries at the bottom. I hate the indents...

Joseph (Palestinian Refugee)

First of all, I'd like to propose to divide this (rather large) article into several parts:

I understand your desire to promote your view above all others, but Wikipedia was not designed for this purpose. In the articles themselves, you must stick only to facts and truths, which must be objective. You can spill your own feelings at a section named "Commentary", however. See neutral point of view for explanation why this is necessary. On my behalf, I can do the same with statements regarding Israeli positions.

As to books, not everything that is written in books is true. So you can't just write Chomsky's opinions in the body of the article and claim them to be objective facts. However you can refer to facts from whatever source you like, provided that you mention the source in the case that the fact is not common knowledge, and you can refer to opinions provided that you disclaim whose opinion it is (e.g. "Noam Chomsky believes that ..."). And of course in the case that you make a far-going statement that happens to offend a lot of people (e.g. "Zionists are liars"), you'd better provide a lot of solid facts to prove your point. --Uriyan

I vote for breaking this monster up the way Uriyan proposes. As for the NPOV issue.... I think we have all broken this one once or twice in the past, but the complete deletion of an entire article and replacement with another is way over the bar. This is not to say that certain other persons who also have an emotional stake in the article are not also guility of lessor crimes against NPOV. This is mostly done by the choice of which information to present and which to not present. I can't go into specifics right now, but I would just like to say is that we all must be careful due to the sensitivity on both sides of this issue. This is serious stuff here - people are dying over two seemingly hopelessly opposing views of history in the Israel and adjacent lands right now. --maveric149

I second Uri's proposal. And I am also willing to read what Jospeh has to offer. But it has to be point by point, with a NPOV discussion on each point. We should not junk the entire article, and we should especially take care not to accept a historical claim just because it can be found printed in a certain number of books. (e.g. i can literally find more than a dozen 20th century books printed in the modern day Arab world which teach that Jews murder Christian babies and eat their blood for Passover - but this doesn't prove that such a claim is true. Rather, it only illustrates the extent to which both anti-Semitism and conspiracy theory has taken over a substantial segement of the Arab public sphere.) Historical claims that counter the prevailing view can be taken seriously, but they need to examined critically. RK

This page is getting way too long -- too long for some browsers to edit at all. Other than the last few posts, is there any talk in here that is currently valid? I would like to create a few talk archives for the out-of-date talk. --mav 11:15 Jul 31, 2002 (PDT)

Not really (my discussions with Joseph about NPOV are nostalgic, though). I agree to removal of most all discussion to old talk. --Uri

OK that is enough archiving for me now. I thought I could make a logically cut archive 4 but I can't distinguish what of the above is current talk and what is old stuff. Somebody from the above discussion will have to make an archive 4 -- this page still is way too long and does need it. However, this page should now be editable by all browsers. --mav

Here are some rhetorical questions placed in the wrong location (Talk:Palestine/Commentary[?]) by an anonymous poster ( on April 20. Hopefully the people that talk here know where to place it in the archives; I got lost in them. And anyway, maybe somebody wants to respond to them ^_^. — Toby 20:57 Aug 1, 2002 (PDT)

I want to know: When the roman general Tito took away the jewish people of Palestina, wht % of them went away from his land. - When the Catholics Kings of Spain (Isabel y Fernando)gave the order to the jewish people to go away from Spain, ¿why most of them went to the actual Turkey, and not to Palestina, both of them were part of the Otoman Empire?. - In 1930, what % of palestinian people were living there and what % of jewish people?. - What were the reasons of the ONU, to created the Stat of Israel. Please send me an objetive answer to: agusnico@adinet.com.uy and if you can, send it in spanish, because as you see my english is very poor. Thank you.

I removed the following 2 paragraphs, since they really belong to the discussion at [[Proposals for a Palestinian state. --Uri

In the Camp David Accords of 2000, that would provide a final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak proposed the expansion of Zones A and B to almost 95% of the population and over 70% of the area of West Bank. Sections of East Jerusalem would have Palestinian administration but Israeli sovereignty. However, Yasser Arafat did not agree to these proposals. Critics claim that Barak's offer did not give room for a viable state as the territory would not be contigious but fragmented by multiple Israeli security zones, highways and settlements. As a result, Palestinians would not able to move freely within the territory. In addition, the water division issue, the external borders issue and air space issue remained unresolved. Finally, Palestinians point out that the Israeli settlments in the West Bank are considered to be illegal under international law, and Barak's proposal would allow more than 80% to remain in place.

To this, Israel replies that the freedom of movement by the Palestinians would by guaranteed via a series of corridors and passes (although Israel would be able to close them, in the case of an emergency). As to the questions of water division and external borders, Israel holds it that the total division of the land, which is in all places less than 80 kilometers wide, is an impossible fallacy, and the Palestinian refusal to understand that originates in their desire to manoeuver Israel into indefendable borders.

A map of Barak's proposal may be found here: [1] (http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/maps/finalstatus/2000campdavid.jpg)

Ed Poor suggest this addition:
There is considerable and apparently intractable disagreement over whether Jordan is or ever was part of "Palestine".

This is phrased poorly. Everyone agrees that the nation of Jordan is about 78% of the British Mandate of Palestine. (Only a lunatic or liar could claim otherwise!). The debate is over whether this fact matters at all in the present day dialogue between the Palestinians and the Israelies. RK

Thank you. My phrasing was handicapped both by my historical ignorance and my desire to write neutrally on Palestine despite being a strong advocate for my own POV (i.e., Gaza and WB belong to Israel & let the so-called "Palestinians" immigrate to Jordan and try fomenting rebellion there!!). I am trying an experiment to see if someone having such extreme opinions as I do, can nevertheless mediate edit wars. The question is, can I avoid taking sides despite being on a side? --Ed Poor

This section is now redundant, because I copied it into History of Palestine. --Ed Poor

Historical overview The term Palestine originates with the Philistines, who inhabited the southern coast of the region in biblical times. It went into disuse with the disappearance of the Philistines c.1000 B.C., but was reintroduced by the Romans following the Second Jewish Revolt ("Great Revolt") of Bar Kochba of 132-135 A.D in the province of Judea. Historically, there was a clear distinction between Philistine and Judean territories, however, the Romans adopted the name for the province in an effort to erase any memories of the Judean rebels they defeated: similarly, Jerusalem, Palestine's historic capital, was renamed Aelia Capitolina.

For nineteen hundred years since that time, the region was subject to successive waves of invaders, each of which left some mark on its people and landscape. This can be attributed to Palestine's strategic location at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, and its unique religious status as a Holy Land" to the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

In 1917, the British captured the region from the Ottoman Empire and called it Palestine, after the longstanding Roman name for the area. This came at a time of renewed interest in the country among the European powers, Arab nationalists, and Jewish Zionists, who sought to reestablish their ancient homeland there. Competition between the latter two groups came to a head immediately after World War II, when Zionist claims gained greater urgency after the murder of almost six million Jews in the Holocaust. The Zionists demanded an independent homeland to absorb the Jewish refugees from Europe; the local Arab population, by now called Palestinians, argued that they played no role in the Holocaust, so the refugee problem should not be resolved at their expense.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to partition what remained of the British Mandate of Palestine into two states: one Jewish, and one Arab. The proposal was rejected by the Palestinian Arabs and the surrounding Arab states but accepted by the Jews. Less than five months later, the Jewish population declared its independence as the state of Israel, and the first of a series of wars rocked the region. Large numbers of Palestinian Arabs fled, while others were expelled from their homes during the fighting in what is called in Arabic the Naqba, or "Tragedy." Israel managed to maintain its independence and even expand its borders, but a new refugee problem, this one of Palestinian Arabs, was created.

What remained of the territories allotted to the Arab state in Palestine was occupied by Jordan (the West Bank) and Egypt (the Gaza Strip) from 1948 to 1967, when Israel occupied those areas in the Six Day War. Since that time, the Palestinians have struggled to assert their own independence, either in all the territories of Palestine or in the West Bank and Gaza. To date, efforts to resolve the conflict have ended in deadlock, and the people of Palestine, Jews and Arabs, are engaged in a bloody conflict.

In current usage, then, the term Palestine describes the geographical area, the geopolitical unit in its colonial boundaries, or, most frequently, the proposed state of the Palestinian people.

Do Israeli Jews really call Palestine Eretz Yisrael? Do they refer to it that way when talking about Palestinian Arabs? Or is this some sort of loaded terminology implying that Israelis don't recognize the existence of Palestine? -- Zoe
Yes, the do call it Eretz Israel, when talking about the geographical entity, rather than the country. It would make perfect sense in Hebrew to say that Eretz Yisrael is home to two states: Israel and Palestine. It is most commonly used when talking about the region historically: the Crusaders conquered Eretz Yisrael, the Ottoman rulers of Eretz Yisrael, the British Mandate over Eretz Yisrael, etc. etc. Danny

Zoe writes "Do Israeli Jews really call Palestine Eretz Yisrael? Do they refer to it that way when talking about Palestinian Arabs? Or is this some sort of loaded terminology implying that Israelis don't recognize the existence of Palestine?"

Many Jews, both non-Israeli and Israeli, always call this land "Eretz Yisrael"; this term literally means "The land of Israel", which is distinct from "Medinat Israel", Hebrew for "The State of Israel". Many Jews have always referred to the land of Israel this way, even centuries ago. This obviously has nothing to do with anyone's views on the Palestinians. Further, Jews have never referred to all of Palestine as "Eretz Yisrael"; they have only used this term to denote the small part of Palestine that was once the Biblical kingdom of Israel. RK

Consider this passage: 'The Romans ruled Judea through local client Kings from 63 BC to 66 CE. In 70 CE the Romans destroyed the northern Kingdom of Judea; they re-imposed the name "Palestina" as a way to humiliate its inhabitants, and to erase the Jewish identity of the land. Despite Roman efforts an encouraging assimilation, many Jewish citizens of the Roman Empire remained attached to the land.'

This - and the parts talking about "independent republic" - are wrong to the exent that they are unthinkingly sticking later concepts on over the top of the ones that were actually there. "Jewish citizens of the Roman Empire"? There were a few, like Paul/Saul, but mostly Jews just weren't citizens. They were subjects, when not slaves or worse. I would venture to suggest that the only Jewish citizens were cosmopolitan enough that they weren't attached to the land at all. Similarly, Rome rarely bothered with symbolic humiliation when it had imposed real physical destruction, and it would have been local misunderstanding that interpreted other things as being done in order to humiliate rather than being merely incidentally humiliating. (Think of "sowing fields with salt", that was done to Carthage; that was experienced as a symbol, but done for a solid reason by its perpetrators.) And so on.

So I think these parts should be rewritten to describe what happened more than what was understood by its inheritors, and understood from a later perspective at that. PML.

I changed "citizens" to "subjects", which might be better. Please make lots of changes to fix these kinds of problems - it sounds like you have some expert knowledge on the subject, so you'll certainly do a better job than me. be bold! :) Martin

Just speaking historically, this paragraph has confused about 1,000 years of history. To start with, there was no northern kingdom of Judea: there was a kingdom of Israel, called the Northern Kingdom because of its location vis a vis Judah (not Judea), which fell to Assyria in 722 B.C. The country was renamed after the Second Revolt (132-135), led by Bar Kosiba (or Kochba), not after the Great Revolt (and I am not even gonna start arguing about when it actually ended: Jerusalem fell in 70; Masada in 73--cases can be made for both). The whole bit about citizens/subjects is misinformed, while the statement "I would venture to suggest that the only Jewish citizens were cosmopolitan enough that they weren't attached to the land at all" is contentious and anachronistic. What does "attached" mean? Why is disattachment "cosmopolitan," except in some contemporary notion? What distinctions are being made between Jewish subjects who lived in Judea (the minority) and Jewish subjects who lived throughout the empire (the majority)? And that is just for starts... Danny

I just found this page and must say I am appalled at the disinformation it spreads. I am not Israeli, not even Jewish, but for the sake of historical accuracy and honesty you cannot say "much of the information on both sides is propaganda" - there are facts, there are historical documents, there are realities you can refer to. The very use of the term "occupied" territories is not neutral: "disputed" is what they literally are. The origins of the name "Palestine" refer to a geographical area, not an ethnic identity or precise population - by admission of Arabs first and foremost. The issue of refugees is also being described as a consequence of Israeli action instead of the policies of those states that so-called "Palestinians" were coming from: Egypt, Syria, Jordan. It wasn't called "transjordan" for nothing. The mere fact that Palestinian Arabs disagree with a fact doesn't make it any less of a fact. Israel was attacked instantly after declaration for no reason at all. In 1967, the war started with an aggression by Egypt based on a lie, that Syria spread as reason for conflict - they alleged they had been informed by Moscow of Israeli plans for invasion. The Arab media continued to lie about the defeat of the Egyptian air forces by painting it as victory, until the Prime Minister was forced to resign when it became evident it wasn't so. We're seeing the same lies today with Arab sources denying that the Baghdad regime has fallen. It is completely inaccurate to paint everything that is being written on the Arab-Israeli conflict as "propaganda". Arabs themselves have pointed out the total misinformation of the Arab media and sources on this. It's not a matter of partisanship or disagreement - if you want to keep this neutral, just keep it as short and succinct as possible with only statements of fact, not skewed judgements implied by use of politically charged language.

I removed "(The name [Palestine] is considered by most Jews to be offensive and anti-Semitic.)" since it is complete rubbish. This is not the opinion of most Jews. Nor was it historically true; consider the enthusiastic use of the name by Zionists during the period 1890-1948. Some even called themselves "Palestinians" before going there. --bdm

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