Sunday, January 29, 2017

Punctuating History And Narratives In The Middle East: Israel Versus Palestine - by Sheri Oz

...Wherever you want to begin telling the story of the Middle East, or from whatever perspective you want to view the PWI, just know that within most of known human history, you can find recognition of an independent Jewish entity that predated almost all countries in the world and therefore is decidedly not a UN creation but a UN-recognized ancient sovereign nation. And absolutely nowhere you look will you find a Palestinian Arab entity by that name or any other, other than the modern state of Jordan that decidedly is a UN creation.

Sheri Oz..
Israel Diaries..
27 January '17..

Here is a way of looking at the history of the so-called Israeli occupation of so-called Palestinian land: History is narratives. Narratives are stories. Stories have beginnings, middles and endings. Human history has no end in sight so nobody knows how this story of our sojourn on Earth is going to end, or even if it will end. Many theories abound, all of them faith-based whether or not they incorporate God or Gods, or Holy Spirits, or vapours or black holes or nano-particles.

We have stories about how it all began and these stories are also faith-based. Every religion and every science has its story of human beginnings on Earth.

And, of course, there are stories within stories.

Israel versus Palestine is a story within the larger Middle East story. It used to be Israel versus The Arabs and then by the late 1980s this turned into Israel versus Palestine. So anyone born after 1980 probably sees the problem with Israel — let me call that the PWI — as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I wonder how many of us born in the 1960s and earlier remember how the PWI used to be the Israeli-Arab conflict. It is merely a matter of punctuation.

By punctuation I mean where we put our full stops, how we divide up our paragraphs and where we consider the story to have begun. (I know the latter two items are not considered punctuation for all you grammar geeks, but allow me some poetic license here, okay?)

Below is a list of possible punctuation marks in history. I think it becomes obvious how that changes the entire narrative.

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