Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Elder - The disappearance and reappearance of Palestinian Arab nationalism, 1949-1968

Elder of Ziyon..
27 December '11..

Palestinian Arab nationalism effectively sprung out of thin air in 1920. Up until then, with very little exception, it was subsumed under the desire to be a part of "Greater Syria" which would include all of Palestine - and leave no room for a Jewish state.

As soon as the ink dried on the San Remo resolution, Palestinian Arab leaders changed their tune, and embraced the idea of an Arab Palestine that would, again, ensure that no Jewish state would ever exist.

After 1948, the desire for a Palestinian Arab state disappeared again. Palestinian Arabs in the west bank of the Jordan became citizens of that country; those in Gaza saw their land occupied by Egypt. Neither of them showed the slightest interest in their own state - the desire just disappeared.

What replaced it was a return to 1919's Syrian-style pan-Arabism, and the person they believed could help them was Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Here is an interesting AP story from 1957:

Yes, Palestinians in Gaza in 1957 wanted to be under the administration of Egypt - not to have their own country!

In fact, Jordan's King Hussein's major problem during that time was the threat from Nasser, who incited Jordanian Palestinians to revolt against him and even to assassinate him, so the entire Arab world could be Nasserist.

What happened to their vaunted nationalism? Where was their desire for an independent state that their leaders spoke about so eloquently during the 1940s?

It is apparent that the desire for a state was far less than the desire to destroy Israel, which was Nasser's selling point to them. "Liberating Palestine" meant liberating it - from Jews.

(Read full "The disappearance and reappearance of Palestinian Arab nationalism")

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