Before I start to present my arguments, I would like to thank my opponent. I would also like to request that if you accept this debate, you know what you are talking about and you are not ignorant. Good luck. I'd like to make clear that I am referring to Palestinians in general. The Palestine to which the European Jews of the First Aliyah immigrated was vastly underpopulated, and the land onto which the Jews moved was, in fact, bought primarily from absentee landlords and real estate speculators.In addition to Palestine being an appropriate place for Jewish refugees because of its close connection to their history and ideology, it was also seen as appropriate because of the demographics of the land to which they were moving, or, in their word, returning.Mark Twain, who visited Palestine in 1867, offered this description:Stirring scenes . . . occur in the valley [Jezreel] no more. There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent"not for thirty miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings.... Come to Galilee for that . . . these unpeopled deserts, these rusty mounds of barrenness, that never, never, never do shake the glare from their harsh outlines, and fade and faint into vague perspective; that melancholy ruin of Capernaum: this stupid village of Tiberias, slumbering under its six funereal palms.... We reached Tabor safely.... We never saw a human being on the whole route.Nazareth is forlorn.... Jericho the accursed lies in a moldering ruin today, even as Joshua"s miracle left it more than three thousand years ago; Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and their humiliation, have nothing about them now to remind one that they once knew the high honor of the Savior"s presence, the hallowed spot where the shepherds watched their flocks by night, and where the angels sang, "Peace on earth, good will to men," is untenanted by any living creature.... Bethsaida and Chorzin have vanished from the earth, and the "desert places" round about them, where thousands of men once listened to the Savior"s voice and ate the miraculous bread, sleep in the hush of a solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and skulking foxes. Several Other travelers recorded similar accounts of Palestine prior to the arrival of the Jews of the First Aliyah, who began the process of revitalizing the land and increasing its population by creating jobs and an infrastructure. "There have been two competing mythologies about Palestine circa 1880. The extremist Jewish mythology, long since abandoned, was that Palestine was "a land without people, for a people without a land." (This phrase was actually coined by the British lord Shaftesbury in his 1884 memoir.) The extremist Palestinian mythology, which has become more embedded with time, is that in 1880 there was a Palestinian people; some even say a Palestinian nation that was displaced by the Zionist invasion.The reality, as usual, lies somewhere in between. Palestine was certainly not a land empty of all people. It is impossible to reconstruct the demographics of the area with any degree of precision, since census data for that time period are not reliable, and most attempts at reconstruction"by both Palestinian and Israeli sources"seem to have a political agenda. But rough estimates are possible. The entire population of Palestine (defined for these purposes as current Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip) was probably in the neighborhood of half a million at the time of the First Aliyah in the early 1880s. That same area today supports a population of more than 10 million, and is capable of sustaining a far larger population.Good luck
I thank LaL36 for initiating this interestng topic for debate, and look forward to an interesting discussion.
Firstly, I hope I can live up to his criteria of "knowing what [I am] talking about and not ignorant." If after my first argument, he disagrees, with my self assessment on these criteria, I'll bow out in place of a worthier opponent for him--with apologies for any waste of his time.
- Know what I am talking about:
- Though new to research on this issue, I will only present arguments that seem based on good research.
- not ignorant:
- This seems to me a different criterion (based on reading the comments) that has more to do with prejudice or bigotry than with a particular amount of knowledge. I humbly submit that as an agnostic multiculturalist, I hope am not so subject to this type of bias that I would be called "ignorant."*
Secondly, we should agree on some definitions and the normal rules of debate--no new arguments in last round; no semantics and name calling, etc.DEFINITIONS
- "Displaced person"
- "A displaced person (sometimes abbreviated DP) is a person who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration." [1.1]
- "Forced to leave"
- People who leave when they would rather stay can be said to be "displaced."
- Since we are talking about displacement of people from "[t]he Palestine to which the European Jews of the First Aliyah immigrated," this may be broadly defined to include both Arab and non-arab, Muslim and non-Muslim. Presumably Jewish inhabitants of Palestine who preceded the First Aliyah will be a complication of the discussion that Pro and Con can figure out in a mutually agreeable fashion.
- Explicitly we will NOT be limiting our discussion to Arabs living in Israel and the Occupied Territories at present as the definition of a "Palestinian." Obviously many people were displaced to other places and there are those who consider themselves Palestinian all over the Middle East [and the world.] Hopefully this will not be a point of much difficulty.
* I'll note for the record, and for evidence against charges of "ignorance," that the title of the debate includes a mixing of religious and ethnic descriptors.
- "European Jew"
- Since whether someone is Jewish or not can relate to either ethnicity or religion, I will ask Pro to provide his definition.
- Since we are discussing displacement from the time of the First Aliyah, I hope we can agree that this designation will apply to Jewish [either ethnically or religiously, or both, as we end up agreeing] persons whose ancestors were not from Palestine, the Middle East, Asia, or Africa. This intentionally includes the Americas and Australia as most non-idigenous persons from those continents are from Europe. [Perhaps we can discuss this offline as I think the intention of this definition is fair to the intention of the framing of this debate.]
"European Jews" could be considered either an ethno-geographic or a religious-geographic designation.
"Palestinians" in the terms of this discussion as set out in Pro's first argument might mix a current political designation with a historical political designation. The current political designation would normally include almost exclusively arabic individuals, most of whom are Muslim. The historic political designation of Palestinian as someone living in Palestine [pre-1948] includes people of several ethnicities and religions, including many who are Jewish. [My capitalization will likely be somewhat erratic and not meant to indicate levels of respect.][1.1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
You didn't need to prove you weren't ignorant you could save the charecter space. I want to make clear that I am referring to the accusation. Many people accuse that Palestinians were displaced by European Jews. Let's get on to the debate.
Again thank you to LaL36 for the opportunity to debate this interesting and contentious topic.
As I understand the Con side, his main argument seems to be the following:
- Palestine was sparsely populated, and therefore the people of Palestine could not be said to have been displaced by the people who came from all over the world to settle and "improve" the land.
WHERE WE AGREE:
First, I want to make it very clear that I completely agree with the following statement byCon:
- "In addition to Palestine being an appropriate place for Jewish refugees because of its close connection to their history and ideology, it was also seen as appropriate because of the demographics of the land to which they were moving..."
I would add: shame on the United States, Britain and other supposedly civilized nations that refused admittance to these refugees--almost as much as one condemns those who inflicted the tyranny and bigotry on Jews around the world, and in some places continue to do so to this day.
I do not in the question the legitimate desire of the people who have created and continue to populate Israel to have a homeland, nor do I question their historical/geographic choice of homeland.
Second, we are in general agreement on the definitions mentioned in the first round.
Third, I accept Con's population numbers for the time of the First Aliyah, stated as:
- "The entire population of Palestine (defined for these purposes as current Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip) was probably in the neighborhood of half a million at the time of the First Aliyah in the early 1880s."
Lastly, in response to one of the comments, I will not be arguing that even one Palestinian being displaced proves my point. I must show "meaningful displacement," which I won't define because it's a vague term that the voters can use their best judgement on.
My basic argument is simple:
There was a coherent population of non-Jewish people in Palestine prior to the creation of the nation of Israel. There were enough of these people who left under duress and whose descendants no longer live in the areas where the former people of Palestine lived that one could fairly say that they and their descendants have been displaced.
Part of my argument is that population density alone (above a certain minimum) is not enough to argue against calling the movement of people under duress displacement.
For example, the population of Hawaii in the years between the time of Captain Cook’s in 1783 arrival and its colonization by the United States (we’ll use 1900) went from between 250,000 - 800,000 to less than 50,000 full or partial native Hawaiian. [2.1]
Would Con use these demographics to argue that the native Hawaiian people and culture were not displaced?
This is just one example that I researched. Off the top of my head I could think of a number of other peoples that I would argue have been displaced whose populations and territories are comparable to that of the Palestinians. The many distinct Indian nations of the Americas could produce a number of examples. One would exclude the larger empires like the Incas and Aztecs, however smaller nations all over the Americas would qualify.
It would be my contention that if one were to perform the simple thought experiment of reversing the situation, many who argue against calling this a case of cultural and national displacement would be on the other side of the argument.
Sorry I waited last minute. Thank you to my opponent for his response. My opponent has provided no proof of those Palestinians being displaced he only proved that Hawaiians were displaced.
"There was a coherent population of non-Jewish people in Palestine prior to the creation of the nation of Israel. There were enough of these people who left under duress and whose descendants no longer live in the areas where the former people of Palestine lived that one could fairly say that they and their descendants have been displaced."
My opponent provides no proof to this. There are even more Palestinians inside the state of Israel now.
My opponent uses false comparisons and compares Hawaii and says that since Hawaiians were displaced so were Palestinians. I don't find Hawaii relevant.
Again, thank you to LaL36 for initiating this debate on such an interesting topic. I’ve learned a lot in the last few days.
Population Dynamics and Proportionate Populations
While my esteemed opponent correctly points out that I have not yet provided statistical evidence for displacement, and I intend to do that, a key problem for Con’s argument is that it seems to treat the population of Palestinians as somehow less dynamic than the population of Israelis.* (Also, less dynamic than the population of other residents of the Middle East, and perhaps the world, though I won’t try to prove the latter.)
Demographics of Palestine/Israel [3.1, 3.2]
According to procon.org, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization, there were approximately the following proportions of Jew/Arabs in these years:
||Israel / Palestine: Arab / Jewish Population (1914-2005)
% of Jews to Total
This table clearly shows that the proportion of Arabs in Israel/Palestine has decreased significantly since the time of the First Aliyah. From over 90% of the Arab/Jewish population, Arab proportion of the area population decreased to less than 30% after the 6 Day War. While Arab population in Israel/Palestine has increased both in raw numbers and in percentage since then, this table only tells part of the story.
- Where in Israel/Palestine people live is just as much an indication of displacement as the raw overall decrease in the proportion of Arabs to total population.** Arabs, who used to live all over Palestine, are now more likely to live in the Occupied Territories than in the geographic areas of their ancestors.[3.3]
Though there may be more Palestinians in Israel than there were in Palestine, there are also many more Palestinians and descendants of Palestinians in places where there used to few, if any. [3.4]
There is little question that tens or hundreds of non-Jewish residents of former Palestine fled their homes in 1948, in 1967 and other times in the last 60 odd years.[3.4]
This information counters my opponent’s argument that “there are even more Palestinians inside the state of Israel now.”
[We should note that we have not even discussed the exodus of 1948 or that of 1967. While the motivation of those Arabs fleeing those two wars are a matter of controvers, they still fit the definition of displacement that we agreed to earlier.]
1. Hawaii as a Valid Example
Though not an expert on debate rules, I believe my opponent’s response to my Hawaii example qualifies as a “drop.” Hawaii was only used as an example to show that population density alone is not enough to disprove displacement. As I stated,
“This is just one example that I researched. Off the top of my head I could think of a number of other peoples that I would argue have been displaced whose populations and territories are comparable to that of the Palestinians. The many distinct Indian nations of the Americas could produce a number of examples. One would exclude the larger empires like the Incas and Aztecs, however smaller nations all over the Americas would qualify.”
2. Thought Experiment of Reversing the SituationAs I stated at the end of R2:
- Therefore, it is fair to conclude that we have now agreed that population density alone is not enough to be the determinant on labeling displacement of a people.
Since Con has not produced a counter argument before the final round, the reader should assume this argument is accepted. The thought experiment situations that come quickly to mind are extremely painful and I will therefore leave them out. [I sincerely hope this is enough of a discussion of this point.]
- “It would be my contention that if one were to perform the simple thought experiment of reversing the situation, many who argue against calling this a case of cultural and national displacement would be on the other side of the argument.”
REFERENCES [3.1] http://israelipalestinian.procon.org...[3.2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3.3] http://en.wikipedia.org...;[3.4] http://en.wikipedia.org...;* I am not familiar enough with cultural and political designations in Israel and the Occupied Territories, and am using this expression only for the sake of this argument, which was predicated on “European Jews (Israel).” I doubt that the term Israeli only refers to Jewish people (in either the religious or ethnic sense.) Apologies in advance for any cultural ignorance exhibited--this applies to references to Arabs and Palestinians, Muslims and non-Jewish residents, etc. I am happy to be educated on the topic. However, for this debate I will request an advance pardon with the promise to educate myself.** I will make the argument now with a citation, and provide the data in Round 4 if requested. I'd like to get this posted before Sunday gets much later so that my opponent has at least part of the weekend in which to post his response.
LaL36 forfeited this round.
Unfortunately my esteemed and worthy opponent was unable to post his final Argument.
Therefore I rest my case on my previous arguments, and respectfully request a vote for Pro.