Probably the most contentious-and politicized-issue in history has to do with the origins of the nation of Israel. That's because the heart of the historical debate is who is the “rightful” owner of the land: The Israelis or the Palestinians? Believe me, I lived in the Middle East, and this issue can easily set people off for hours.
Some say Jewish residents of Israel are recent arrivals whole stole the land from its rightful Palestinian inhabitants. Opponents say that Jewish residents have a rightful 5,000-year-old claim to the land, and opposition to Israel has its roots in anti-Semitism.
David Brog has decided to tackle this issue head-on in his new book Reclaiming Israel's History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace. He admits to Israel's “sins both large and small,” but argues that in any fair-minded analysis these have been far outweighed by Israel's commitment to Western values, including freedom, democracy, and human rights.
In this episode we discuss
The presence of Jewish people in the Land of Israel for over the last 3,000 years and their movement to Europe and beyond
How modern Jewish immigration to Palestine did not displace Arabs but instead sparked an Arab population boom
The creation of Israeli and Palestinian identity in the modern-era and how national identity gets politicized
What the right and left get wrong about the Israeli-Palestinian debate
How lives are literally at stake based on whether the history of this region can be recovered
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
David's book: Reclaiming Israel's History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace
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