British Mandate of Israel – OOPS! – Palestine
I’m killing myself trying to think how we Israelis can get out of this stupid debacle we are in whereby Arabs are now calling themselves Palestinians in order to get people around the world to march along the streets with fantastic posters on their behalf that say
— Brighton BDS (@BrightonBDS) November 29, 2015
Masses of concerned right-thinking (meaning left-thinking) people parade the streets at intervals screaming for Israel to stop the so-called occupation of so-called Palestine.
And what can we Israelis do aside from try to shout them down with things like: “There never was a sovereign nation called Palestine!” And then we go on and on giving a history lecture nobody wants to hear (who listened to history class in high school? And we think people are going to listen now? Heck, there are some Americans who still don’t know lots of important stuff about Canadian history and Canada’s their next-door neighbour! Sorry, Americans, I’m only using you as an example of how people didn’t pay attention in history class.)
Anyway, we give history lessons to which people have neither the inclination nor the patience to pay attention and with that we certainly cannot compete with gleeful and passionate demonstrations during which everyone chants:
— newmatilda (@newmatilda) October 26, 2015
— Free_Palestine (@JeSuis4Peace) October 27, 2015
I mean, who can resist a good demonstration even if you don’t really know what you’re talking about!
Then suddenly my friend Steve Blowers puts up this innocuous comment on my Facebook page as part of a discussion about the fallacy of “Palestine” and suddenly lights went off in my head. Here is what Steve wrote:
And I suddenly got this funny picture in my head of all these Arabs and everyone demonstrating in the streets with placards that read:
No, eh? Doesn’t quite work, does it!”
What would everyone do if the Mandate had been called the British Mandate of Israel?
Of course, we know why the Brits didn’t call it that – they had promised the very same land to both the Jews and the Arabs. Now if they had called the Mandate “Israel”, the Arabs would not likely have believed that the Brits really intended to give it to them, would they have? And then the Arabs would likely not have been so enthusiastic about helping the Brits in their war against the Ottomans, would they have been? And then . . .. But here I go again – giving you the history lesson you never wanted.
Maybe, instead of calling Israel Israel, we could have kept the name, Palestine, and then we Jews would still have been the Palestinians. Yeh right! And the Inuit should have kept letting people call them Eskimos! And the Blacks in the States should have let people keep on calling them Niggers! As if names and labels matter! Right?
I do like the idea of the British Mandate of Israel.
Oh well! Why should things be simple or logical when you can make them complicated and misleading and make sure people argue about your true intentions for generations to come!
First published on Times of Israel blogs.