Sunday, August 16, 2020

Palestinian Depopulation

White looking for something else, I ran across this NYTimes article from 1985, explaining that Palestine was nearly empty in the 19th C, and that Arabs generally started moving in during the first two decades of the 20th C. After the Jews had come with modern technology and farming techniques, improving the place.
Why the tumult over the Peters book? Perhaps it is because it destroys the politically charged myth that Arabs have lived in Palestine in large numbers ''from time immemorial.''
I don't know if the NYT could run that now. Also worth mentioning is that the group that currently calls itself "Palestinians" were not prosperous landowners before 1948 who had their olive groves stolen from them by invading Israelis.  They were largely renters, with the landlords living in Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey.

Mark Twain visited in the 19th C and described it as an empty desert.


Texan99 said...

Another good history: The Claim of Dispossession, Jews attempting to return to Palestine bought land from its absentee Arab owners, then found they had to make separate financial arrangements to buy off the poorer Arab tenants, whose landlords took the sales price and ditched the tenants without a second thought. The Arab world doesn't have much room to talk when it comes to cruelty toward Palestinian Arabs.

Sam L. said...

I've said it before, and "once more, with feeling", the Palis NEVER miss a chance to miss a chance. Poor, poor, miserable them.

Zachriel said...

Assistant Village Idiot: Why the tumult over the Peters book?

Peters' book was largely rejected due to voluminous errors, including statistical problems and cherry-picking of data.

Meanwhile, genetic analysis of the y-chromosome shows that Palestinians have deep roots in the area, an origin which they share with Jews of the Diaspora.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

In the area. Yes, they are arabs. No one was claiming they came from Des Moines.

However, I will check up on what was subsequently said about the Peters book. It may, in fact, have been bad.

Zachriel said...

Assistant Village Idiot: Yes, they are arabs

Not just Arabs, but closer related by the male line to other people with roots in Palestine, such as the Jewish population, than to most other Arab groups.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Which would of course be significant evidence for Jewish presence in Israel. That swings both ways.

At a quick read, Finkelstein's takedown of Joan Peters' book seems to have a great deal to be said for it. He dealt her a stunning blow. This ultimately has to be weighed against his own biases, suspected from the beginning because of his Maoist past, and eventually leading to his admiration for David Irving's work.

Overall, I think more than half a point for you.

Zachriel said...

Assistant Village Idiot: Which would of course be significant evidence for Jewish presence in Israel.

That’s right. Palestinians and Jews represent closely related patrilineal groups. Divergence is estimated to have occurred in the late Neolithic.

Zachriel said...

Hammer et al., Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes, PNAS 2000.

mc23 said...

Palestine may have been sparsely populated but in 1900 the Palestinians were still 90 to 95 percent of the population.

Ben Gurion said of the Palestinians in 1948 that “The old will die and the young will forget.”
If it wasn't for the West Bank and Gaza he may have been correct.

Ben Gurion thought the West Bank and all of Jordan was part of Israeli but he took a long term view and decided not to seize the land even when he could have.