Palistine was never a nation. The areas of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golian Heights were parts of the nations around Israel that were conquired in wars started against Israel. I'm always wondering why people think the Palastinians ever had a nation to start with. Their land was from 3 different nations, not one.
In political science, a nation
means a group of people who are recognized as having enough commonalities to potentially form a state. A state
typically refers to a collection of people holding territory, sovereignty, and (less uniformly) some concept of defense. With that... In my limited understanding:The Roma
have not had a state, but they have been known for a distinctive identity as a people for centuries. Likewise, most of the Jews that now live in Israel immigrated from groups that have spent centuries as minorities in other regions.
are a recognized ethnic group (many would say "nation"), but they are parceled out among at least three modern states (Turkey, Syria and Iraq). I don't know offhand what, if anything, they managed to hold as a state before that... The US has been more or less happy to use them as a sort of counterweight to Bathists etc. in Iraq (if a historically quite expendable one), and more recently to leave their semi-autonomous status intact - so apparently they have provisional international standing... The Uighurs
(Turkmens?) did have a recognized country, known as East Turkmenistan, in what is now more or less Xinjiang, China - but who else is complaining... And the Tibetans
are generally recognized as a nation, but now they don't have much of a state (unless perhaps you count the government in exile).Palestine?
There were some back and forth in the region up until colonial times, which I couldn't explain without looking it up... The Palestinians did live on that land before modern Israel, give or take the influence of British colonialism sweeping through (were there others?).USA...
Most of the land of the present United States originally was occupied, for quite some time, by Native American tribes. If the Palestinians' land, according to this, belonged historically to others, well doesn't ours as well?
So bluntly... When you say "never a nation" (and I think you mean "never a state
"), I don't see how that leads automatically to any conclusion. I don't think the discussion should be all about reverting strictly to the 1940's or some other point, nor about only favoring those with the "right" sort of international recognition - or the right sort of weapons. There must be some other ways of imagining how to go forward.
I'm inclined to think that a nation
(i.e. a distinctive people) being denied security, equality, infrastructure and land on top of it all, in the region where most of its recent history lies, is a non-starter. So I thought Obama was onto something about pushing to freeze the settlements. I do get the impression Israel has a strong lobby and it is kind of a convenient symbolic focus for American fundamentalists, as well... Biblical references, plus a country that seems to act more stubborn than American rightists can get away with consistently? It's also obviously a busy sink for defense contract money. Perhaps a romantic and brave people (and there are many of those around) with some interesting cultural effects on the US -- but not a moral paragon.