Middle East: A History

So, I am going to be teaching my students World and US History.  I decided that the only way I can be a relevant teacher and actually educate them well is to be well educated on their history and current events.  So here is some of what I’ve been learning (or relearning in some cases):

Middle_East98The Middle East is one of the most volatile places in the world.  Everyone is vieing for the same land and everyone is playing dirty to get it!  We are going to focus on the Israelis and Palestinians (since this is who I will be around).  Okay so, the small land we know as Israel used to belong to the Palestinian people.  They lived on that land even before the Ottoman Empire took control of the Middle East.  They actually started settling in the land during the Roman Empire’s rule in 70AD when the Jews were actively driven from the land (so basically since the beginning of modern history).  Unfortunately for all of the people in the Middle East, the Ottoman Empire sided with Germany during WWI (bad idea).

When the Central Powers lost the war, the Ottoman’s lost their land.  Great Britain and France (in the “infinite” wisdom – idiots) carved up the Middle East (much like they did Africa) and split it up between them – I don’t think the French understand 50/50 though because the British Empire had a TON more land than they!  Anyway …

When the French and British carved up the land they did not take into account the people groups living on it and thus ww2-newspaperbegan the battle for land, prosperity, and cohesion between and among the people living in the Middle East.  Egypt and Turkey quickly gain their independence but the rest is still being ruled by people who don’t care enough to even try to understand their plight.  Idiots!

Then World War II happened.  Yes, I think the Nazis are bad people and what they did to the Jews (and others) was wrong no matter how you try to spin it!  I 100% agree that no one should be exterminated or tortured or otherwise destroyed for any reason (I’m anti-capitol punishment).  The Jewish people definitely needed a place to call their own.  They have been persecuted since the time of Abraham (the first Jew).  They have survived many exiles, the diaspora, mass extermination, persecution from almost every other people group, and more.  They are an amazingly strong willed people who deserve our respect and our help in creating peace.  But

The big BUT:

No amount of persecution, exile, hatred, or bloodshed gives any person the right to do the same thing to another person (did I mention I am against capitol punishment?).  What I mean by this is that no one can rightfully say that because I was hurt I can hurt you!  Why am I saying this?  The Jews told the people living in the land now known as Israel that the land was now theirs.  Basically they kicked the current land owners out because they needed a place to go.   And most of the Jews moving into the area did not experience the Nazis, exiles, etc firsthand – nor did the people living in the area cause the pain of the Jewish ancestors.

slaveryThis would be like my black friends coming up to me and saying that because at one point in history black people were slaves to white people, I owe them a new car.  Well, I didn’t enslave anyone and my friend was never enslaved … so I own them nothing for that time in history (except my efforts to make sure nothing like that ever happens again).

Now don’t think I’m sitting here siding with the Palestinians … that isn’t it.  I’m just saying that the Jews took over their land without really having a right to do it (I am not talking religion here).  Now since this time (May 14, 1948) the Palestinians have been retaliating against the statehood of Israel.

The Intifada (Palestinian Uprising) was a bad way to go about trying to get back your land.  These rebellious acts against Israel started in 1987 and have only caused more bloodshed and unrest in the area.  It hasn’t helped the Palestinians get back their land and it hasn’t helped either side trust or respect the opposite.  It has also created a need to greatly restrict the movement of the Palestinians – especially those living outside of Israel in the disputed territories (the West Bank and Gaze Strip).  This restriction has made it safer to travel but as created a WWII ghetto effect on the area.

The Palestinians live in Refugee Camps that were first formed in the creation of the state of Israel.  I mean, come on America, we couldn’t even give them REAL houses or cities or anything?!  Good night!

Anyway, the current climate of the area is unrest and distrust.  There are very few people working toward a unified or at least peaceful resolution to the conflict.  Things have been easier to deal with when Palestine was given the right and opportunity to govern itself though the Palestinian Authority (formerly the Palestinian Liberation Organization).  But even with the forming of this political group there is very little resolution being made between the two people justice-scalesgroups.

Who is right?

Who am I to answer that?

All I know is God has lead me to these people and I will do everything I can to help them know Him better and create peace in their own lives – even if it never comes for the land!

More history lessons will come as I learn more about the area!


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