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Monday, February 24, 2014

Part II When Arabs Came Into Palestine and How They Did It

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                       

                                      Beduin Tent in Palestine 1930

Background:  From 1845 to 1863, a group of prominent Muslim landholding families lived in Jerusalem and used their money to gain control of "all the municipal offices."  They held certain villages or groups of villages in a type of serfdom."  By the end of the 1800s, they held the political power and had names like al-Husayni, al-Khalidi and al-Nashashibi.  They had the lands from the indebtedness of their fellahins, so had huge landholdings which they never sent anyone  to see and never farmed.  Such landowners later sold their land to Jews who had to pay exorbitant prices they had asked for, but they paid as the land meant everything to the Jews. The landowners made out very well and the fellahin wasn't likely to do that  in the first place.

While the first wave of Jewish immigration from Russia took place in 1882 in the 1st Aliyah, the fellahins' travels  had not changed  When debts got too big, the fellah would take his bundle of bedclothes, his cooking pan and water can, a small water jug and his shoes and load them all on his one ass and wife and leave at night when it was dark.  He would cross the Jordan valley until he reached Hauran in Syria or Ajlun in Jordan, where he would find a good place to hide from people he owed money to..  Many became the Bedouin to escape the indebtedness to become a member of a nomadic tribe.  The land was left without owners, workers, and became mahlul, a type of state-owned land.

The Bedouins plundered and and stole whatever they could.  The Ottoman Empire's government was very corrupt along with its feudal system.  A German historian, Doughty, who wrote of his travels in the region, wrote that in 1876,  he had found a desert that was devoid of but a few human lives at the time that the Jews had begun to build their settlements on the semi-abandoned territory where one day the Arab propaganda would claim that Jews had crowded out and displaced  the Arabs,  rendering  the Palestinian Arabs landless, which was just not true to facts at all.

 These Arabs  who roamed in the 1800's were not indigenous to the land and didn't stay on the land, yet they were called the original settled Arabs when the arriving Jewish immigrants united with Jews who never had left their land.

The former Jewish land once called Judah, then Judea, and even later called Palaestina and Southern Syria, a once fertile land that had become barren and swampy,and  laid waste for ages, held a  people who had died off with few recalling the great Jewish history.   Many of these Muslims were imported from Turkey and other lands who the Turks had brought to protect against the wandering Bedouin tribes, like landed pirates who would attack the settled multi-ethnic populace.  Each new conqueror brought his own population with him as a police force while other thousands went in and out from lands as far away as the Caucasus.  Sometimes it was the government who imported immigrants.  For instance, the Circassian and other colonists were planted on the frontier of settlement from 1870 and afterwards.

In 1860 about 200 tents of the Wulda tribe came across the Euphrates River and settled about 30 miles south of Aleppo, Syria.  Kurds, Turkomans, Naim, and others arrived in Palestine around the same time as the Jewish immigration waves began.  18,000 tents of Tartars, the armies of Turks and Kurds, whole villages came in 19th century of Bosnians and Moors and Circassians and Algerians and Egyptians.  It wasn't just the Syrian Arabs entering the land, but the whole surrounding areas looking for jobs and a chance to get rich off of the Jews.

Later, Circassians, who are Muslims,  were hired by the Jews to help guard their land from the nomadic invaders. They were said to be good horsemen.   Circassians and Jews were in my 9th grade English class in Israel.

This whole group which was a mixed bag of nationalities, and were then counted as original settled Muslims in Palestine by the British, when in fact they were new immigrants themselves.  The families would then say they had family ties for thousands of years there. that was historically very inaccurate.

The land called Palestine was never a nation at all and was not these migrants' ancestral homeland.

Resource: From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice history knowledge