So, with Islam
as its main unifying and driving force, Arabs could get non-Arabs like the
great Kurdish leader, Salah al-Din, to jump on their bandwagon in
furthering the Dar
that these are the people whom Arabs would later massacre, gas, culturally
subjugate, and so forth--now, fellow
mind you--for daring to assert their own identities and demand rights as
such. Before Saddam's gassings in "Arab"
, the Kurdish nationalist, Ismet Cherif Vanly, wrote The
Kampf' Against The Kurds (
1968). The title of the book says it all.
With the 19th century reawakening of dormant ethnic/national identities
accompanying the beginning of the collapse of major empires, Arabs saw
themselves as sole heirs to most of a region ruled largely by the Turks
for the previous five centuries. While diplomats would soon speak of Arabia
for the Arabians, Judea for the Jews,
for Armenians, and
in Arab eyes, there could be no division of "their" pie. There
was no justice in the region other than Arab. And in relation to our
, it had all started this way...
The Arabian general, Khaled ibn al-Walid, conquered the
in 634 C.E. from the Byzantines, and not long afterwards, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari
led the invasion of
via its current, oil-rich, southwestern Khuzestan province.
By Roman times, the
had been renamed
. After the first major revolt of the Jews for independence against their
found in museums all over the world today. After the second revolt in 133-135
C.E., Hadrian got fed up with the Jews' persistence (and Roman losses) and
tried to stamp out their hopes for freedom once and for all. He
renamed the land itself after the Jews' historic enemies, the Aegean
or eastern Mediterranean, non-Semitic Philistines--
Like vultures wanting their share of the kill, some neighboring Arabs
joined the Romans in their assault on the Jews.
Arabs like to claim that they were the aboriginals in the land. In
reality, while the coastal region was sometimes identified by the Greeks
with Philistine invaders, there was no country or nation known as "
The land was known as
and its inhabitants were Judaeans... Jews.
Tacitus and Dio Cassius were famous Roman historians who wrote extensively
's attempt to remain free. They lived and wrote during, or not long after,
the two major revolts of the Jews mentioned above and make no mention of
the land being called "
" or its people "Palestinians." And as can be seen below,
they knew the differences between Jews and Arabs as well.
Listen to this quote from Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus:
Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea...
he commanded three legions in
itself... To these he added the twelfth from
and the third and twenty-second from
... amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and
harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between
So much for Arab "aboriginals"...And remember that it was
which was the chief ally of the Jews in their fight for freedom against
Back to the future...
we have seen, along with the Arab colonialization of Judaea/"
" (along with many other places), Arabs spread into
as well. For Arabs, imperialism and colonialism are only nasty
when they themselves aren't doing such things.
While Khuzestan traded back and forth between Arab and Iranian rule, it
became basically linked to
despite repeated Arab invasions over the centuries from southern
. But, despite this link, Khuzestan, according to the Encyclopedia Iranica
(p.216), became "extensively Arabized" to the point that in
Safavid times (16th-18th centuries C.E.) the province was known as
The Arabs have long remembered this, and Iraqi Arabs under Saddam's banner launched
the long Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s that was largely fought over this
oil-rich and strategically important area.
Earlier, to deal with this problem,
ruthlessly suppressed any manifestations of Arab nationalism. By the early
20th century, a proposal had been put forward to even outlaw the
Now think about this a minute...
, Arabs entered the land of Israel/Judaea/Palestine as settlers, imperial
conquerors, and colonizers. While this fact of life is true for others as
well, Arabs only see in others what they themselves have truly
perfected as they conquered and forcibly Arabized over six million square
miles of mostly other, non-Arab peoples' lands.
As for their claim to "Palestine," when the United Nations
Relief Works Agency--UNRWA--was set up to assist Arab refugees (after a
half dozen Arab states invaded a nascent Israel in 1948 to nip it in the
bud and their attempt backfired), the very word refugee had to be
redefined to assist those allegedly "native" people.
So many Arabs were recent arrivals themselves
into the Palestinian Mandate that UNRWA had to adjust the very definition
of "refugee" from its prior meaning of persons normally
and traditionally resident
to those who lived in the Mandate for a minimum of only two
prior to 1948.