Meaning of PALESTINE, HISTORY OF in English

PALESTINE, HISTORY OF

history of the area from prehistoric times to the present. Additional reading The multivolume Cambridge Ancient History provides an authoritative survey of Palestine in all periods of antiquity.The dating of Palestine's early history is linked to Egyptian dating as interpreted by Rolf Krauss, Sothis- und Monddaten (1985). Prehistory and early history are examined by Jacques Cauvin, Les Premiers Villages de Syrie-Palestine du IXe au VIIe millnaire avant J.C. (1978); Lorenzo Vigan, Literary Sources for the History of Palestine and Syria: The Ebla Tables, Biblical Archaeologist, 47(1):616 (March 1984); A.T. Olmstead, History of Palestine and Syria to the Macedonian Conquest (1931, reprinted 1972); Michael Grant, The History of Ancient Israel (1984), a good general account; John Bright, A History of Israel, 3rd ed. (1981); Kathleen M. Kenyon, Archaeology in the Holy Land, 4th ed. (1979, reprinted 1985); and F.E. Peters, Jerusalem: The Holy City in the Eyes of Chroniclers, Visitors, Pilgrims, and Prophets from the Days of Abraham to the Beginnings of Modern Times (1985).Hellenistic and Roman Palestine are the subject of Victor Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews, trans. from Hebrew (1959, reprinted 1975); M. Rostovtzeff, The Social & Economic History of the Hellenistic World, 3 vol. (1941, reprinted 1986); and A.H.M. Jones, The Herods of Judaea (1938, reprinted 1967). The most valuable general modern work is Emil Schrer, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (175 B.C.A.D. 135), rev. ed., trans. from German (1973 ). Other useful works are E. Mary Smallwood, The Jews Under Roman Rule: From Pompey to Diocletian (1976, reprinted 1981); and M. Avi-Yonah, The Jews of Palestine: A Political History from the Bar Kokhba War to the Arab Conquest, trans. from Hebrew (1976, reprinted as The Jews Under Roman and Byzantine Rule, 1984).Studies of the periods of Muslim rule before 1516 include Guy Le Strange (trans.), Palestine Under the Moslems: A Description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500 (1890, reprinted 1975), a collection of medieval Arabic sources; Shlomo D. Goitein, Jerusalem in the Arab Period (6381099), The Jerusalem Cathedra, 2:168196 (1982); and Amnon Cohen and Gabriel Baer (eds.), Egypt and Palestine: A Millennium of Association (8681948) (1984).Among many recent works on Ottoman Palestine, the following are the broadest and most valuable: Moshe Ma'oz (ed.), Studies on Palestine During the Ottoman Period (1975); Amnon Cohen, Palestine in the 18th Century: Patterns of Government and Administration (1973); David Kushner (ed.), Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Political, Social, and Economic Transformation (1986); and Neville J. Mandel, The Arabs and Zionism Before World War I (1976, reprinted 1980).Some useful general studies that cover the 20th century are Baruch Kimmerling and Joel S. Migdal, Palestinians: The Making of a People (1993); Fred J. Khouri, The Arab-Israeli Dilemma, 3rd ed. (1985); Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel, 2 vol. (197987); Rosemary Sayigh, Palestinians: From Peasants to Revolutionaries (1979), a collection of interviews with camp Palestinians in Lebanon; Bruce R. Kuniholm and Michael Rubner, The Palestinian Problem and United States Policy: A Guide to Issues and References (1986), with an extensive bibliography; Pamela Ann Smith, Palestine and the Palestinians, 18761983 (1984); and Ian J. Bickerton and Carla L. Klausner, A Concise History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 2nd ed. (1995).The period of the British mandate is covered by Tarif Khalidi, Palestinian Historiography: 19001948, Journal of Palestine Studies, 10(3):5976 (Spring 1981); Adnan Mohammed Abu-ghazaleh, Arab Cultural Nationalism in Palestine During the British Mandate (1973); Sami Hadawi, Bitter Harvest: A Modern History of Palestine, 4th rev. and updated ed. (1991); Ann Mosely Lesch, Arab Politics in Palestine, 19171939: The Frustration of a Nationalist Movement (1979); Y. Porath, The Emergence of the Palestinian-Arab National Movement, 19181929, trans. from Hebrew (1974), and The Palestinian Arab National Movement: From Riots to Rebellion, 19291939, trans. from Hebrew (1977); Kenneth W. Stein, The Land Question in Palestine, 19171939 (1984); Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 19471949 (1987); Conor Cruise O'Brien, The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism (1986); Dan Horowitz and Moshe Lissak, Origins of the Israeli Polity: Palestine Under the Mandate (1978; originally published in Hebrew, 1977); and Wm. Roger Louis and Robert W. Stookey (eds.), The End of the Palestine Mandate (1985).Among the many studies on the Palestinian Arabs from 1948 to the present, the following are particularly worth consulting: Helena Cobban, The Palestinian Liberation Organisation: People, Power, and Politics (1984); F. Robert Hunter, The Palestinian Uprising: A War By Other Means, rev. and expanded 2nd ed. (1993); Ann Mosely Lesch, Transition to Palestinian Self-Government (1992); Shaul Mishal, The PLO Under 'Arafat: Between Gun and Olive Branch (1986); Don Peretz, The West Bank: History, Politics, Society, and Economy (1986), and Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising (1990); Julie M. Peteet, Gender in Crisis: Women and the Palestinian Resistance Movement (1991); Barry Rubin, The Arab States and the Palestine Conflict (1981); Edward W. Said and Jean Mohr, After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives (1986); Ze'ev Schiff and Ehud Ya'art, Intifada: The Palestinian UprisingIsrael's Third Front, ed. and trans. by Ina Friedman (1990; originally published in Hebrew, 1990); Charles D. Smith, Palestine and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 3rd ed. (1996); and Elia T. Zureik, The Palestinians in Israel: A Study in Internal Colonialism (1979). Glenn Richard Bugh Ian J. Bickerton From 1900 to 1948 In the last years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, the Palestinian Arabs shared in a general Arab renaissance. Palestinians found opportunities in the service of the Ottoman Empire, and Palestinian deputies sat in the Ottoman parliament of 1908. Several Arabic newspapers appeared in the country before 1914. Their pages reveal that Arab nationalism and opposition to Zionism were strong among some sections of the intelligentsia even before World War I. The Arabs sought an end to Jewish immigration and to land purchases by Zionists. The number of Zionist colonies, however, mostly subsidized by the French philanthropist Baron Edmond de Rothschild, rose from 19 in 1900 to 47 in 1918, even though the majority of the Jews were town dwellers. The population of Palestine, predominantly agricultural, was about 690,000 in 1914 (535,000 Muslims; 70,000 Christians, most of whom were Arabs; and 85,000 Jews). World War I and after During World War I the Great Powers made a number of decisions concerning the future of Palestine without much regard to the wishes of the indigenous inhabitants. Palestinian Arabs, however, believed that Great Britain had promised them independence in the Husayn-McMahon correspondence, an exchange of letters from July 1915 to March 1916 between Sir Henry McMahon, British high commissioner in Egypt, and Husayn ibn 'Ali, then emir of Mecca, in which the British made certain commitments to the Arabs in return for their support against the Ottomans during the war. Yet by May 1916 Great Britain, France, and Russia had reached an agreement (the Sykes-Picot Agreement) according to which, inter alia, the bulk of Palestine was to be internationalized. Further complicating the situation, in November 1917 Arthur Balfour, the British secretary of state for foreign affairs, addressed a letter to Lord Rothschild (the Balfour Declaration) expressing sympathy for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people on the understanding that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine. This declaration did not come about through an act of generosity or stirrings of conscience over the bitter fate of the Jewish people. It was meant, in part, to prompt American Jews to exercise their influence in moving the U.S. government to support British postwar policies as well as to encourage Russian Jews to keep their nation fighting. Palestine was hard-hit by the war. In addition to the destruction caused by the fighting, the population was devastated by famine, epidemics, and Ottoman punitive measures against Arab nationalists. Major battles took place at Gaza before Jerusalem was captured by British and Allied forces under the command of General Sir Edmund (later 1st Viscount) Allenby in December 1917. The remaining area was occupied by the British by October 1918. At the war's end, the future of Palestine was problematic. Great Britain, which had set up a military administration in Palestine after the capture of Jerusalem, was faced with the problem of having to secure international sanction for the continued occupation of the country in a manner consistent with its ambiguous, seemingly conflicting wartime commitments. On March 20, 1920, delegates from Palestine attended a general Syrian congress at Damascus, which passed a resolution rejecting the Balfour Declaration and elected Faysalson of Husayn ibn 'Ali, who ruled the Hejazking of a united Syria (including Palestine). This resolution echoed one passed earlier in Jerusalem, in February 1919, by the first Palestinian Arab conference of Muslim-Christian associations, which had been founded by leading Palestinian Arab notables to oppose Zionist activities. In April 1920, however, at a peace conference held in San Remo, Italy, the Allies divided the former territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire. Of the Ottoman provinces in the Syrian region, the northern portion (Syria and Lebanon) was mandated to France, and the southern portion (Palestine) was mandated to Great Britain. By July 1920 the French had forced Faysal to give up his newly founded kingdom of Syria. The hope of founding an Arab Palestine within a federated Syrian state collapsed and with it any prospect of independence. Palestinian Arabs spoke of 1920 as am an-nakba, the year of catastrophe. Uncertainty over the disposition of Palestine affected all its inhabitants and increased political tensions. In April 1920 anti-Zionist riots in the Jewish quarter of Old Jerusalem led to the death of 5 Jews and the wounding of more than 200; 4 Arabs lost their lives and 21 were injured. British authorities attributed the riots to Arab disappointment at not having the promises of independence fulfilled and to fears, played on by some Muslim and Christian leaders, of a massive influx of Jews. Following the confirmation of the mandate at San Remo, the British replaced the military administration with a civilian administration in July 1920, and Sir Herbert (later Viscount) Samuel, a Zionist, was appointed the first high commissioner. The new administration proceeded with the implementation of the Balfour Declaration, announcing in August a quota of 16,500 Jewish immigrants for the first year. In December 1920, Palestinian Arabs at a congress in Haifa established an executive committee (known as the Arab Executive) to act as the representative of the Arabs. It was never formally recognized and was dissolved in 1934. However, the platform of the Haifa congress, which set out the position that Palestine was an autonomous Arab entity and totally rejected any rights of the Jews to Palestine, remained the basic policy of the Palestinian Arabs until 1948. The arrival of more than 18,000 Jewish immigrants between 1919 and 1921 and land purchases in 1921 by the Jewish National Fund (established in 1901), which led to the eviction of Arab peasants (fellahin), further aroused Arab opposition, which was expressed throughout the region through the Christian-Muslim associations. On May 1, 1921, anti-Zionist riots broke out in Jaffa, spreading to Petah Tiqwa and other Jewish communities, in which 47 Jews and 48 Arabs were killed and 140 Jews and 73 Arabs wounded. An Arab delegation of notables visited London in AugustNovember 1921, demanding that the Balfour Declaration be repudiated and proposing the creation of a national government with a parliament democratically elected by the country's Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Alarmed by the extent of Arab opposition, the British government issued a White Paper in June 1922 declaring that Great Britain did not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded in Palestine. Immigration would not exceed the economic absorptive capacity of the country, and steps would be taken to set up a legislative council. These proposals were rejected by the Arabs, both because they constituted a large majority of the total mandate population and therefore wished to dominate the instruments of government and rapidly gain independence and because, they argued, the proposals allowed Jewish immigration, which had a political objective, to be regulated by an economic criterion. From the Arab conquest to AD 1900 The rise of Islam The successful unification of the Arabian Peninsula by the first caliph, Abu Bakr (AD 632Aug. 23, 634), made it possible to channel the expansion of the Arab Muslims into new directions. Abu Bakr, therefore, summoned the faithful to a holy war (jihad) and quickly amassed an impressive army. He dispatched three detachments of about 3,000 (later increased to about 7,500) men each to start operations in southern and southeastern Syria. He died, however, before he could witness the results of these undertakings. The conquests he started were carried on by his successor, the caliph 'Umar I (634644). The first battle took place at Wadi al-'Arabah, south of the Dead Sea. The Byzantine defenders were defeated and retreated toward Gaza but were overtaken and almost annihilated. In other places, however, the natural advantages of the defenders were more effective and the invaders were hard pressed. Khalid ibn al-Walid, then operating in southern Iraq, was ordered to the aid of his fellow generals on the Syrian front, and the combined forces won a bloody victory on July 30, 634, at a place in southern Palestine that the sources call Ajnadain. All of Palestine then lay open to the invaders. In the meantime, the emperor Heraclius was mustering a large army and in 636 dispatched it against the Muslims. Khalid concentrated his troops on the Yarmuk, the eastern tributary of the Jordan River. The decisive battle that delivered Palestine to the Muslims took place on Aug. 20, 636. Only Jerusalem and Caesarea held out, the former until 638, when it surrendered to the Muslims, and the latter until October 640. Palestine, and indeed all of Syria, was then in Muslim hands. After the surrender of Jerusalem, 'Umar divided Palestine into two administrative districts (jund), similar to the Roman and Byzantine provinces: they were Jordan (al-Urdunn) and Palestine (Filastin). Jordan included Galilee and Acre and extended east to the desert; Palestine, with its capital first at Lydda and later at Ramlah (after 716), covered the region south of the Plain of Esdraelon. 'Umar lost no time in emphasizing Islam's interest in the holy city of Jerusalem as the first qibla toward which, until 623, Muslims had turned their faces in prayer and as the third holiest spot in Islam. (Muhammad himself changed the qibla to Mecca in 623.) On visiting the Temple area and finding the place suffering from neglect, 'Umar and his followers cleaned it with their own hands and declared it a sacred place of prayer. Under the Umayyads, a Muslim dynasty that gained power in 661 from the Meccans and Medinans who had initially led the Islamic community, Palestine formed, with Syria, one of the main provinces of the empire. Each jund was administered by an emir assisted by a financial officer. This pattern continued, in general, up to the time of Ottoman rule. For various reasons, the Umayyads paid special attention to Palestine. The process of Arabization and Islamization was gaining momentum there. It was one of the mainstays of Umayyad power and important in their struggle against both Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula. The caliph 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (685705) erected the Dome of the Rock in 691 on the site of the Temple of Solomon, which the Muslims believed had been the halting station of the Prophet on his nocturnal journey to heaven. This magnificent structure represents the earliest Muslim monument still extant. Close to the shrine to the south, 'Abd al-Malik's son, al-Walid I (705715), built the Aqsa mosque. The Umayyad caliph 'Umar II (717720) imposed humiliating restrictions on his non-Muslim subjects, particularly the Christians. Conversions arising from convenience as well as conviction then increased. These conversions to Islam, together with a steady tribal inflow from the desert, changed the religious character of Palestine's inhabitants. The predominantly Christian population gradually became predominantly Muslim and Arabic-speaking. At the same time, during the early years of Muslim control of the city, a small permanent Jewish population returned to Jerusalem after a 500-year absence. 'Abbasid rule Umayyad rule ended in 750. Along with Syria, Palestine became subject to 'Abbasid authority, based in Baghdad, and, like Syria, it did not readily submit to its new masters. Unlike the Umayyads, who leaned on the Yemeni (South Arabian) tribes, the 'Abbasids, in Syria, favoured and indeed used the Qays (North Arabian) tribes. Enmity between the two groups was, therefore, intensified and became an important political factor in Palestine. Pro-Umayyad uprisings were frequent and received Palestinian support. In 840/841 Abu Harb, a Yemenite, unfurled the white banner of the Umayyads and succeeded in recruiting a large number of peasant followers, mainly among the Palestinian population, who regarded him as the saviour whose appearance was to save the land from the hated 'Abbasids. Though the insurrection was put down, unrest persisted. Under the 'Abbasids, the process of Islamization gained momentum. The 'Abbasid rulers encouraged the settlement and fortification of coastal Palestine so as to secure it against the Byzantine enemy. During the second half of the 9th century, however, signs of internal decay began to appear in the 'Abbasid empire. Petty states, and some indeed not so petty, emerged in different parts of the realm. One of the first to affect Palestine was the Tulunid dynasty (868905) of Egypt, which marked the beginning of the disengagement of Egypt and, with it, of Syria and Palestine from 'Abbasid rule. During this period Palestine also experienced the destructive operations of the Qarmatians, an Isma'ili Muslim sect that launched an insurrection in 903906. After a brief restoration of 'Abbasid authority, Palestine came under Ikhshidid rule (935969). Negotiations, violence, and incipient self-rule The late 1970s was a period of more active negotiation on Arab-Israeli disputes. The Arab states supported Palestinian participation in an overall settlement providing for Israeli withdrawal from areas occupied since the 1967 war and establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The U.S. position toward the Palestinians showed signs of softening. In March 1977 U.S. President Jimmy Carter spoke of the need for a Palestinian homeland, and he later stated that it was essential for the Palestinians to take part in the peace process. The Israeli cabinet continued to reject the participation of the PLO in the peace process but agreed not to look too closely at the background of Palestinians who might become members of delegations from Arab countries. The Camp David Accords and the PLO In November 1977 the Egyptian president, Anwar el-Sadat, initiated peace negotiations that led to the Camp David Accords in September 1978 and the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty signed on March 26, 1979. Provisions of the accords (named for Camp David, Md., U.S., where they were negotiated) included the establishment of a self-governing authority in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and a transitional period of not more than five years, at the end of which the inhabitants would become autonomous. The Soviet Union during the time of the peace negotiations recognized the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians and in 1981 extended formal diplomatic recognition. The nations of western Europe announced their support of PLO participation in peace negotiations in June 1980. The PLO continued to seek diplomatic recognition from the United States, but the Carter administration honoured a secret commitment made by the former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger to Israel not to deal with the PLO so long as it declined to renounce terrorism and to recognize Israel's right to exist. Palestine and the Palestinians (194867) The partition of Palestine and its aftermath If one chief theme in the post-1948 pattern was embattled Israel (for greater detail on the history of Israel, see Israel, history of) and a second the unremitting hostility of its Arab neighbours, a third was the plight of the huge number of Arab refugees. The violent birth of Israel led to a major displacement of the Arab population. Many wealthy merchants and leading urban notables from Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem, disproportionately Christian, fled to Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan, while the middle class tended to move to all-Arab towns such as Nablus and Nazareth. The majority of peasants ended up in refugee camps. More than 350 Arab villages disappeared, and Arab life in the coastal cities (especially Jaffa and Haifa) virtually disintegrated. The centre of Palestinian life shifted to the Arab towns of the hilly eastern region later called the West Bank. Like everything else in the Arab-Israeli conflict, population figures are hotly disputed. About 1,300,000 Arabs lived in Palestine before the war. Estimates of the number of Arabs displaced from their original homes, villages, and neighbourhoods during the period from December 1947 to January 1949 range from about 520,000 to about 1,000,000. Some 276,000 moved to the West Bank; by 1949 more than half the prewar Arab population of Palestine lived in the West Bank (from 400,000 in 1947 to more than 700,000). Between 160,000 and 190,000 fled to the Gaza Strip. More than 20 percent of Palestinian Arabs left Palestine altogether. About 100,000 of these went to Lebanon, 100,000 to Jordan, between 75,000 and 90,000 to Syria, 7,000 to 10,000 to Egypt, and 4,000 to Iraq. The term Palestinian Henceforth the term Palestinian will be used when referring to the Arabs of the former mandated Palestine, excluding Israel. Although the Arabs of Palestine had been creating and developing a Palestinian identity for about 200 years, the idea that Palestinians form a distinct people is relatively recent. The Arabs living in Palestine had never had a separate state. Until the establishment of Israel, the term Palestinian was used by Jews and foreigners to describe the inhabitants of Palestine, but it was rarely used by the Arabs themselves; mostly they saw themselves as part of the larger Arab or Muslim community. But after 1948and even more so after 1967for Palestinians themselves the term came to signify not only a place of origin but, more importantly, a sense of a shared past and future. The Arabs of Palestine, and then of the West Bank and Gaza only, began widely using the term Palestinian to indicate the nationalist concept of a Palestinian people and, after 1967, of a Palestinian state. The Arab-Israeli war of 1967 and its consequences In the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, Israel dispatched the combined forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan and also overran large tracts of territory, including East Jerusalem, the West Bank (known to Israelis as Judaea and Samaria), and Gaza. Israel's victory gave rise to another exodus of Palestinians, with more than 250,000 people fleeing to the East Bank of Jordan. However, roughly 600,000 Palestinians remained in the West Bank and 300,000 in Gaza. Thus, the 3,000,000 Israeli Jews came to rule some 1,200,000 Arabs (including the 300,000 already living in the State of Israel). Israeli Arabs In the years following the 1967 war, circumstances changed dramatically for Israeli Arabs. As a result of their resumed contact with the Palestinians of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, they began to recover from their long period of inactivity. Following the Arab-Israeli war of 1973, Arab Israelis took a greater part in Israeli institutions. They also were significantly affected by Israel's economic prosperity; by the 1980s the Arab economy had gained some autonomy, as Arabs moved from unskilled work to business ownership.

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