Editor, Daily Nexus,
I was in a history class the other day. We went around the room introducing ourselves, and what I heard irritated me quite a bit. One of the students, probably in her 20s, said she was born in Palestine. “Oh, really,” the professor said. “Where in Palestine?”
I laughed. This wasn’t the first time I’d heard a teacher and student exchanging these words, but they still get me every time. Palestine has not existed for almost 55 years. Even then, it was not a country, just a British-owned territory called the British Mandate of Palestine. When Israel became a state in 1948, it took only 13 percent of the original Mandate, while the neighboring Arab countries took the rest. Palestine ceased to exist.
One must ask then, how is it that the professors and students still carry out this conversation? There can be several reasons. One might be that they simply don’t know this information, which I find highly unlikely. Some people may not agree, but these professors are highly educated and do know most of the facts I am presenting. The other, more likely reason is that they refer to Israel, or parts of Israel, as Palestine. In doing so, they forfeit Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign country.
In Palestinian textbooks and maps, for example, all of Israel is included in their future country of Palestine: “From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.” Perhaps this is what they mean by Palestine. Or perhaps it is also all of Jordan, which houses about 30 percent of the Palestinians, more than any other region. If that is the case, I am from Palestine too, born and raised in Tel Aviv. Next time someone under 50 says they are from Palestine, think of it as them saying they are from Constantinople or the Holy Roman Empire. Maybe we should all just forget this whole business and say we’re from Pangea.