Thursday, July 08, 2010

This Land is Whose Land...

Lumo -

Pig, whether you like it or not, Israel is both a Jewish state and the only Jewish state. It's very clear that it means much more for the Jews than it does for the non-Jews, and this is true even for average Jews who live in other countries. The Israel-Jewish relationship is not "peripheral" by any stretch of imagination. In the same way, Israel is not "peripherally related" to Jewish kingdoms and tribal states that existed millennia ago; Israel is their modern continuation - something that may be hard to understand for someone whose national history is only 234 years old but something that is nevertheless true and important for historically rich places such as the Middle East.

jpd -

Pig, whether you like it or not, Ireland is both a Irish state and the only Irish state. It's very clear that it means much more for the Irish than it does for the non-Irish, and this is true even for average Irish who live in other countries. The Ireland-Irish relationship is not "peripheral" by any stretch of imagination. In the same way, Ireland is not "peripherally related" to Irish kingdoms and tribal states that existed millennia ago; Irelnd is their modern continuation - something that may be hard to understand for someone whose national history is only 234 years old but something that is nevertheless true and important for historically rich places such as Europe.

Let's take a look at some of my family ancestral homelands with a bit more than 234 years of history. Twenty-one hundred and sixty years ago, Rome conquered Palestine at which time the principal local groups were Samaritans and Jews. At that time Czechia, England, and Ireland were all Celtic homelands. After revolts and struggles, the Romans eliminated the Samaritans and scattered most of the Jews. A couple of hundred years later there were no Jews left in Jerusalem - Christianity had triumphed. By that time Celts still controlled England and Ireland, but Germans had pushed them out of Czechia.

Jews did not return to Jerusalem until after the Muslim conquest around 700 CE. By that time Slavs were pushing the Germans out of Czechia and Germans were making inroads in England. Jews remained a tiny minority in Palestine until the well into the twentieth century, at which time European Jews began a major encroachment.

This will be hard for you Lumo, but try to imagine how you would feel today if in 1947 a bunch of descendents of Celts from all over the world, supported by foreign money and weapons, had showed up in Czechia and reclaimed it as their historic homeland, instituted their Druidic religion and their Celtic language, and disposessed the local Czechs.

Of the four countries we considered, by the twentieth century only Ireland and Palestine had populations genetically descended from those of our 67 BCE starting point. In both cases the inhabitants had changed religions and even languages in the meantime. In the mid twentieth century, the local Palestinians were robbed of their country by invaders from Europe, invaders who were their distant cousins but who had not lived there for almost twenty centuries.