Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 29th, 2009

306.  Turkey and Iran: Same and Different (April 26, 2009)

307.  Siege Attitudes: Sample of Lebanon Civil War Account (April 27, 2009)

 

308.  Modern Day Crusaders: The Ashkenazi Spearhead (April 27, 2009)

 

309.  “Ain Wardet” (Village) by Jabbour Douweihy (Book Review, April 27, 2009)

 

310.  Love: Women in Islam (Part 9, April 27, 2009)

 

311.  China and India Empires: Same and Different (April 28, 2009)

Lebanon and Palestine: Same and Different (April 28, 2009, Part 1)

 

Brief ancient history:

Lebanon is a recognized State by the UN, in 1946 (2 years before Israel). Palestine was partitioned in 1947 between Palestinians and the minority Jews. Currently, all of Palestine is under occupation by this Zionist State called Israel.

Lebanon and Palestine were throughout antiquity under the domination of neighboring Empires such as in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq (Mesopotamia).  The people in the two tiny stretches of coastal lands on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea were mainly mariners, traders, middlemen among Empires, and skilled artisans.

Under the nominal or explicit domination of Empires, Lebanon and Palestine had autonomous administration of their society as City-States that were highly democratic within the city limits as Athens emulated in the 7th century BC. 

The famous City-States from north to south are Ugarite, Tripoli, Jubail (Byblos), Saida, Sour (Tyr), Akka (Acre and Haifa), and Askelan. 

The City-State of Jubeil (inventors of the alphabet) built Saida; Saida built Sour and dominated the sea routes; and Sour built Akka and relayed Saida in sea domination and expanding the trading posts to Spain.  These City-States were the masters of the sea and traded with all Empires and build trading towns; they have resisted many overwhelming sieges, sometimes for years, and occasionally managed not to be entered and devastated.

Every empire that conquered Syria resumed its drive by dominating Lebanon and Palestine.  In general, when more than one empire co-existed at the same period and when the empire in Egypt was powerful enough then it governed the southern half of Palestine while the other empire governed the upper half, including Lebanon.  The strip of Gaza to Yafa was mostly under Egyptian cultural influence.

The coastal strip from north actual Syria to the Sinai was called Canaan. Then, the upper stretch to Akka was called Phoenicia or even Saida (in reference for the main City-State). The Sea People, called Philistines and probably coming from the Adriatic Sea, destroyed Greece fleet, devastated many coastal cities, and conquered Egypt before they were driven out and settle in Gaza and the southern part of Canaan, called Palestine ever since.

Moses (this mythical story) arrived with an amalgam of nomadic tribes and his successors attempted to occupy part of south Palestine.  These tribes worshiped Yahwa, thus, yahoud and Jews for the Latin people.  These tribes under Moses reverted to worshiping the all encompassing God of the Land called El., except a few tribes such as Judea and Benjamin.  During the Roman Empire, Tyr administered the upper half of Palestine.

 

Modern History:

            In the beginning of the 20th century, the military in Turkey deposed the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and started policies focused on Turk Nationhood.  Many in Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine immigrated to Egypt. 

During the First World War famine fell on Lebanon along with a devastating wave of locust; they immigrated to the USA, Brazil, Latin America, and many were dropped in Africa by unethical ship captains. After the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, Britain had mandate over Palestine and Iraq; France had mandate over Lebanon and Syria.

Consequently, the bilingual Palestinians spoke English, and their counterpart in Lebanon spoke French. In 1930, Haifa grabbed the center of trades and many Lebanese flocked to Haifa and Palestine.  The reverse wave occurred when the State of Israel was recognized by a majority of one vote at the UN in 1948.  Lebanon received Palestinian refugees who were installed in camps on the ground that their stay is temporary!

 

In one chapter of “World Adrift” Amine Maaluf said “The western powers are now paying the price for failing to apply their values in the colonies”  The European colonial powers of Britain, France, Germany, and the  Netherlands had no intentions of spreading their moral values to those they considered not worthy of their pearls and gems.

The indigents were to be enslaved, exploited, and humiliated; the indigents who adopted the western values of equality, liberty, and democracy were persecuted and harassed and imprisoned; the colonial administrators negotiated with the conservative conformists who were ready to strike deals and cohabit with lesser human rights.  Dictators in Europe are abhorred but readily accepted in under-developed States.

Human values had different quality and flavors according to the whims and interest of the exploiting colonial powers.  Britain used astute diplomatic policies to subjugate their colonies more frequently than France did; France of the French Revolution had no patience negotiating and communicating with their colonial people and never skipped an occasion to stating its true purpose for domination.and exhibiting arrogant military posturing.

            The colonial powers installed infrastructures that were appropriate for exploitation of the colonies; they established the required administrations for smooth and efficient exploitation.  The other administrative offices for legislation and justices were carbon copies of the ones in their homeland but these codes could be disposed off and trampled at the first occasion that short sighted interest called for swift and immediate actions.

 

Contemporary history:

Current Lebanon was created by France during its mandate period and cut out from Syria; it is now a recognized State by the UN since 1943.  Palestine was divided but the Zionist movement conquered the allocated portion for the Palestinians by the UN in 1948. 

The Palestinians are now located in the West Bank of the Jordan River and in Gaza where Israel has built 150 Jewish-only colonies and increasing every year. 

The Palestinians who fled their towns and villages in the State of Israel are refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.  The UN resolution 193 demands the repatriation of these Palestinians to their hometowns but Israel has been rebuffing that resolution since 1948.

Lebanon suffered many civil wars and calamities for not being capable or unwilling of absorbing the Palestinian refugees; Israel has waged four devastating wars against the State of Lebanon on flimsy pretexts based on the Palestinian resistance trying to regain their rights for a homeland.

“Instantaneous Expediencies” (April 29, 2009)

 

 We are experiencing a form of policies in the developed nations that is emulating the urges of its citizens for Instantaneous Expediencies related to desires, wishes, demands, acquisition, communication, gathering of intelligence, information, orders, and delivery around the world. 

Our current development is characterized by accelerated paces in sciences, technologies, and communication, and delivery of our wishes either through the net, the phone, or airplanes within days if not seconds.

If we understand that human history progressed in major three phases of change and dissemination of intelligence of the changes in science, technologies, social and political organization, traditions, and cultures then we might grasp our current problems and how to find common denominators for resolutions.

 

There was a time when dissemination of information among the tribes was very slow and the changes taking place among tribes were even slower so that the world was at peace of rivalries and greed. 

The next phase of settled communities in urban and agricultural regions experienced accelerated changes in many ways of progress but the dissemination of this intelligence was very slow and the identities of each region developed through traditions, customs, and myths. 

By the 16th century and as the Portuguese and Spanish circumnavigated the oceans and discovered many maritime routes for trade and exploitation and met with various ethic groups then the third phase of human development occurred. 

This third phase was characterized by the dissemination of ideas, sciences, and know-how progressed at a higher pace than the actual social and political changes in the European nations and thus, the world communities exhibited some kind of generalized uniformity in dwelling designs and forms of political and social organizations and structure.

 

The world is faced with a bunch of catastrophic problems from financial and economical difficulties, to environmental disasters that will not spare the next generation, to the emergence of potential superpowers with larger middle classes that can afford and demand all the consumer goods that the west has enjoyed for over a century, and to extremism in religions and nationalism to name just a few. 

All these cataclysmic problems require global resolutions but solutions and decisions are done on national basis as Amine Maluf stated in “A World Adrift

 

After the disintegration of the communist Soviet Union in 1989, Europe and particularly the US realized that they could dominate the World economically and militarily. 

By 2001, the US Bush Junior administration of neo-conservatives could no longer resist to test the notion of Instantaneous Expediencies

The US administration had the urge to put in practice its power of perceived world police force.  In no times, the administration delivered its summons to the European Union and the UN to adhere to the US plans of invading Iraq.  The material potentials were there but the moral value and culture of the US administration were fidgeted in another era of staunch nationalism and religious zealotry.

William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) wrote “Man has survived because he was too ignorant to know how to realize his wishes (desires).  Now that he can realize his wishes, then he must either change them or perish“.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

April 2009
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