Which country came first, Israel or Palestine?
Well, the land in question was first known as the Kingdom of Judea, hence why Jews are called what we are. It was led by King Saul, then King David, and then King Solomon. During the reign of King Solomon’s son, the kingdom of Judea split into two kingdoms, one was named Israel.
Eventually, the Roman Empire conquered the Jewish State and after some major revolts against the empire by the Jews. The second revolt occurred in 135 AD. In retaliation for the revolt, they exiled yet more Jews, took many more to Rome as slaves, outright banned us from Jerusalem.
But the idea of returning to Israel with Jerusalem as our capital became staunchly embedded in Jewish Culture.
As of today, Jews are the only ethnoreligious group who had a sovereign, independent kingdom embracing what is currently called Israel, a land we once had at the time of the Romans. We have land with the same capital we used 2000 years ago, with the same language and religion being practiced.
But I hate seeing this as an argument as to why Palestinians don’t have a right to self-determination or a state of their own. Many migrated from north-western Arabia into the Levant during the Byzantine period. They’ve been living there and continuously for near 1800 years—who are we to disenfranchise such a people with a connection like that?
I see so many answers here about how Palestinians don’t exist or shouldn’t have rights, and frankly, it’s unsettling to see the lack of compassion. Palestinians did not identify as a unique people group for a while, but they found a unique identity. All ethnic groups at one point began to distinguish themselves from their neighbors, and Palestinians happened to form theirs slightly later. This obsession and bigotry flung at Palestinians help nobody.
Palestinians and Israelis need to think of each other as people with thoughts, feelings, a history, and a future. We need to understand what we’ve both been through and grapple with our pain together.
This conflict is about working together, how two peoples who have valid connections to the same land must share it.
The Palestinian people should have every much of a right to self-determination as Jews do. Currently, Palestinians are denied the right to return, but I believe the only way to do this is through a two-state solution. Sadly, Israel having open borders is just not a realistic option at the moment.