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At the Feet of The Mother

Arabs and Jews: Some Notes on the History

Let’s try to look at the history of it dispassionately and rationally cutting the clutter of sentiments and stories about claims and counter claims, without prejudices and biases.

The Palestinians claim to be the original inhabitants of the land obviously before Judaism Christianity and Islam came into existence. Abram or Abraham is the common forefather of all these three major religions that developed in this area out of the common stock of tribes, call it by whatever names. This makes them cousin brothers who at some point of time followed a different course. In terms of their religious birth, it is not difficult to see that Judaism came first and is the eldest. Christianity came next and can be seen as a breakaway from the Jews. Can we deny that Christ was a Jew by birth and one of his tasks was to bring reforms in the land and the people among which he was born? That is why we find Jerusalem mentioned a number of times in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Next came the youngest of brother, Islam. The three brothers following a different way of life could not stay together. There were fights and conquests and defeats and reconquests. As a result of these the brothers set out on different courses. Christians were eventually largely pushed out as their gospel of love could not eventually stand before the gospel of force. They went towards Europe while the brotherhood of Islam spread to the Middle East and Africa. What about the Jews. They were simply outnumbered and persecuted by both the younger brothers who had risen from the same common stock of people who lived in that area. They had the same grandsire whom they all acknowledged but could never harmonise between each other. So, the eldest of them, the Jews travelled far and wide but were welcome nowhere except India where alone they were never persecuted. These are all facts of history though presented in a simplified way. 

We can pause here and ask what should the two younger brothers do if the eldest who could never find a home for themselves chose to return to the area where their roots lie and their brothers live? 

The brothers didn’t want to accept them but the God or destiny or the spirit of noble Abraham moved by compassion decided otherwise and the nation of Israel came into existence. Well, the brothers continue to fight for the land, each claiming it to be theirs. The difference however is that the people of Israel were happy to have found their home but the people of Palestine and the Arab world in general was unhappy at this turn of destiny. In their heart of hearts, they do not accept them still. Israel challenges their idea of a flat uniform world. It is seen as an anomaly and an aberration, a contradiction to the idea of a Caliphate that is deeply embedded in the psyche of the world of Islam. That is how it stands today. As far as Israel is concerned it is happy to be there regardless of the hostility all around. Millenniums of persecution has turned them into a resilient as well as hardy people who instead of playing the victim card chose to use their intelligence and raise their life. Instead of trying to convert others they focused on improving their lot. Instead of conquering other lands they tried to till their own. Yes, they have intruded into Palestine which is right now a strange no-man’s land which has the potential to become a bridge between Arabs and Israel which is the direction towards which things were turning. But the hard-core elements in the Arab World would not allow it. Perhaps God has kept this no-man’s buffer zone with another purpose, to become a bridge between the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. Let us see. Time will tell.

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