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WWhhoo aarree tthhee PPaalleessttiinniiaannss?? 
WWhhyy aarree tthheeyy ffrruussttrraatteedd?? 
AAnndd wwhhaatt ddoo tthhe...
The spread of Judaism
WWhhoo aarree tthhee PPaalleessttiinniiaannss?? 
WWhhyy aarree tthheeyy ssoo uunnhhaappppyy?? 
……aanndd wwhhaatt ddoo tthh...
OOuuttlliinnee 
 BBaacckkggrroouunndd –– wwhhyy sshhoouulldd wwee ccaarree?? 
 HHiissttoorryy –– wwhheerree wwaass PPaal...
Why should we care?
Geography – where is (or was) Palestine? 
Roman empire circa 50 a.d.
Map Room, Doges Palace, Venice. Map circa 1700 
– the eastern end of the Mediterranean is marked “Palestine”
Under the Ottomans - Palestine is an area
States and borders created by imperial powers after WWI
Palestinian currency, 1930 
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1935
In the famous movie “Exodus”, 
Paul Newman is leading a group 
of Jewish refugees to “Palestine”. 
It is set in 1947.
Where is 
Palestine 
today?.. 
In 1948, after 2000 
years, Palestine is no 
longer on the map
Who were the Palestinians? 
- Social structure 
Up to 1948, the area was mostly feudal/agrarian 
• Olives, oranges, sheep,...
Who were the Palestinians? 
- religion 
• Population of Palestine (1914)* 
• 657,000 Muslim 
• 81,000 Christian 
• 59,000 ...
Demography – Who are the 
Palestinians? (ethnicity)
When Israel was created, where did the Palestinians go?
The Nakba 
(Nov 1947 – August 1948) 
• 750,000 Palestinians fled for safety 
• not allowed to return 
• all their land was...
Where are the 
Palestinians today? 
1. West Bank* 2.4 M 
2. Gaza* 1.6 M 
3. Refugees in Lebanon, 
Jordan, Syria 3.5 M 
4. ...
Where are the 
Palestinians today? 
1. West Bank* 2.4 M 
2. Gaza* 1.6 M 
3. Refugees in Lebanon, 
Jordan, Syria 3.5 M 
4. ...
What are their problems? 
•Depends on where they live 
• West Bank 
• Gaza 
• Refugee camps 
• Israel 
• Diaspora
West Bank 
(2.4 million) 
• Under Israeli military occupation since 1967 
• human rights very restricted (Checkpoints, 
pa...
This is one of the Jewish settlement s in East Jerusalem
Gaza 
1.6 million 
• 2/3 are refugees from 1948 
• Gaza taken over by Israel in 1967 
• Israel withdrew in 2004 but still ...
Refugees 
4.7 million 
• 58 camps in Syria, 
Lebanon, Jordan 
• (some in Gaza and 
WB) 
• some not in camps 
• condition v...
Israel 
1.4 million 
• those who stayed in 
Israel in 1948 
• citizens of Israel 
( “Israeli Arabs”) with 
some civil righ...
93% of Israel is now 
“State land”
Bedouin still 
struggling to keep 
their land
Diaspora 
2 million?? 
• many moved to Middle 
East, America and Europe 
• about 50,000 in Canada 
• many have never been ...
What do they want? 
Palestinians want their country back and 
a recognition that what was done to 
them was unfair. 
Which...
How have they tried to 
fight for their rights? 
•UN resolution 194 (Dec. 1948) 
– right of return 
•Gamal Nasser 
•PLO- A...
Conclusion: 
Who are the Palestinians, why are they unhappy 
and what do they want? 
• The Palestinians are an Arab people...
What are the main human rights 
issues Canadians should be 
concerned with? 
1 Freedom for Palestinians living under 
Isra...
What can we do?
What can we do? 
• Recognize this large, long-standing, man-made 
humanitarian crisis
What can we do? 
• Recognize this large, long-standing, man-made 
humanitarian crisis 
• Dare to break the “taboo”
What can we do? 
• Recognize this large, unresolved, man-made 
humanitarian crisis 
• Dare to break the “taboo” 
• Learn m...
WWhhoo aarree tthhee PPaalleessttiinniiaannss?? 
WWhhyy aarree tthheeyy ssoo aannggrryy?? 
……aanndd wwhhaatt ddoo tthheeyy...
7 Frequently asked questions 
1.Why don’t the Arab countries do more? 
2.Why don’t the Palestinians just ‘suck it up?” 
3....
If you want to know more…. 
1.Give me your email address, I will send you some ideas 
for books/articles/films you might f...
Who are the Palestinians, why are they frustrated and what do they want?
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Who are the Palestinians, why are they frustrated and what do they want?

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A description of the Palestinian people, where they are today, and why they are unhappy

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Who are the Palestinians, why are they frustrated and what do they want?

  1. 1. WWhhoo aarree tthhee PPaalleessttiinniiaannss?? WWhhyy aarree tthheeyy ffrruussttrraatteedd?? AAnndd wwhhaatt ddoo tthheeyy wwaanntt,, aannyywwaayy?? Peter Larson Chair National Education Committee on Israel/Palestine National Council on Canada-Arab Relations (NCCAR)
  2. 2. The spread of Judaism
  3. 3. WWhhoo aarree tthhee PPaalleessttiinniiaannss?? WWhhyy aarree tthheeyy ssoo uunnhhaappppyy?? ……aanndd wwhhaatt ddoo tthheeyy wwaanntt?????? aannyywwaayy?? Peter Larson Chair National Education Committee on Israel/Palestine
  4. 4. OOuuttlliinnee  BBaacckkggrroouunndd –– wwhhyy sshhoouulldd wwee ccaarree??  HHiissttoorryy –– wwhheerree wwaass PPaalleessttiinnee??  DDeemmooggrraapphhyy –– wwhhoo wweerree tthhee PPaalleessttiinniiaannss?? HHooww mmaannyy aarree tthheerree ttooddaayy??  GGeeooggrraapphhyy -- WWhheerree ddoo tthheeyy lliivvee ttooddaayy??  IIssssuueess -- WWhhaatt aarree tthheeiirr pprroobblleemmss??  PPoolliittiiccss –– WWhhaatt ddoo tthheeyy wwaanntt??  CCoonncclluussiioonnss
  5. 5. Why should we care?
  6. 6. Geography – where is (or was) Palestine? Roman empire circa 50 a.d.
  7. 7. Map Room, Doges Palace, Venice. Map circa 1700 – the eastern end of the Mediterranean is marked “Palestine”
  8. 8. Under the Ottomans - Palestine is an area
  9. 9. States and borders created by imperial powers after WWI
  10. 10. Palestinian currency, 1930 Encyclopedia Britannica, 1935
  11. 11. In the famous movie “Exodus”, Paul Newman is leading a group of Jewish refugees to “Palestine”. It is set in 1947.
  12. 12. Where is Palestine today?.. In 1948, after 2000 years, Palestine is no longer on the map
  13. 13. Who were the Palestinians? - Social structure Up to 1948, the area was mostly feudal/agrarian • Olives, oranges, sheep, goats • Lots of small villages, absentee landlords • 20% lived in a dozen cities (Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Nablus…) with educated urban population Palestinian orange harvest, Jaffa, 1920
  14. 14. Who were the Palestinians? - religion • Population of Palestine (1914)* • 657,000 Muslim • 81,000 Christian • 59,000 Jews _____________ TOTAL 800,000 million * est. J. McCarthy Population 1931 •760,000 Muslim •91,000 Christian •174,610 Jews ____________ •1,026,000 * British Census, 1931
  15. 15. Demography – Who are the Palestinians? (ethnicity)
  16. 16. When Israel was created, where did the Palestinians go?
  17. 17. The Nakba (Nov 1947 – August 1948) • 750,000 Palestinians fled for safety • not allowed to return • all their land was confiscated by Israel (without compensation) and held “for the Jewish people” • They call this “the Naqba” (the disaster”)
  18. 18. Where are the Palestinians today? 1. West Bank* 2.4 M 2. Gaza* 1.6 M 3. Refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria 3.5 M 4. Israel 1.4 M 5. Diaspora 2. M Total 10.9M * - More than one million of the people now living in the WB and Gaza are refugees from what is now Israel.
  19. 19. Where are the Palestinians today? 1. West Bank* 2.4 M 2. Gaza* 1.6 M 3. Refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria 3.5 M 4. Israel 1.4 M 5. Diaspora 2. M Total 10.9M * - More than one million of the people now living in the WB and Gaza are refugees from what is now Israel.
  20. 20. What are their problems? •Depends on where they live • West Bank • Gaza • Refugee camps • Israel • Diaspora
  21. 21. West Bank (2.4 million) • Under Israeli military occupation since 1967 • human rights very restricted (Checkpoints, passes, etc.) • Ever shrinking territory (e.g. Jordan Valley) • New Jewish settlements • Israeli control and distribution of water • Jews under different laws Map: The Economist
  22. 22. This is one of the Jewish settlement s in East Jerusalem
  23. 23. Gaza 1.6 million • 2/3 are refugees from 1948 • Gaza taken over by Israel in 1967 • Israel withdrew in 2004 but still blockaded by land, sea and air • economy blocked • Elected Hamas government in 2006, but west refused to recognize • stuck on 360 km2, (15% of Ottawa territory)
  24. 24. Refugees 4.7 million • 58 camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan • (some in Gaza and WB) • some not in camps • condition varies from country to country UNRWA definition: “anyone whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict."
  25. 25. Israel 1.4 million • those who stayed in Israel in 1948 • citizens of Israel ( “Israeli Arabs”) with some civil rights (e.g. right to vote) • own only 3.5% of land • live in dozens of small (poor) Arab towns • Face severe discrimination and poverty
  26. 26. 93% of Israel is now “State land”
  27. 27. Bedouin still struggling to keep their land
  28. 28. Diaspora 2 million?? • many moved to Middle East, America and Europe • about 50,000 in Canada • many have never been to Palestine • main centers in Canada: Toronto, London, Montreal, Vancouver
  29. 29. What do they want? Palestinians want their country back and a recognition that what was done to them was unfair. Which way forward? •a two state solution – two equal states with secure borders •a one state solution – a democratic secular state with equal rights for all What no representative Palestinian body asks for!!: Kill the Jews, get rid of them, throw them into the sea, send them back to Europe, etc. etc.
  30. 30. How have they tried to fight for their rights? •UN resolution 194 (Dec. 1948) – right of return •Gamal Nasser •PLO- Armed struggle •Passive resistance •Terrorism •Negotiations •Legal tools •Appeal to UN (2012) •BDS
  31. 31. Conclusion: Who are the Palestinians, why are they unhappy and what do they want? • The Palestinians are an Arab people who have lived in an area called Palestine for the last 2000 years. • They are unhappy because they were chased off their land in 1948 and don’t have the right to return. While some remain in Israel, most are now dispersed in Gaza, in the West Bank, and in many other countires. • They want the same thing as most of us – a country, land, a house, economic opportunity for themselves and their kids. • For the last 64 years they have tried every possible method – from direct negociations, to UN votes and even individual acts of terrorism. But so far, they have not been successful.
  32. 32. What are the main human rights issues Canadians should be concerned with? 1 Freedom for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. 2 Equality for Palestinians living inside the Jewish State of Israel 3 A fair solution for the refugees (repatriation, or resettlement and compensation) 4 Protecting the human rights of Jews living in Israel today
  33. 33. What can we do?
  34. 34. What can we do? • Recognize this large, long-standing, man-made humanitarian crisis
  35. 35. What can we do? • Recognize this large, long-standing, man-made humanitarian crisis • Dare to break the “taboo”
  36. 36. What can we do? • Recognize this large, unresolved, man-made humanitarian crisis • Dare to break the “taboo” • Learn more • Encourage our government (and opposition parties) to promote a fair solution based on Canadian values of human rights for all
  37. 37. WWhhoo aarree tthhee PPaalleessttiinniiaannss?? WWhhyy aarree tthheeyy ssoo aannggrryy?? ……aanndd wwhhaatt ddoo tthheeyy wwaanntt,, aannyywwaayy???? Thank You! Peter Larson Chair National Education Committee on Israel/Palestine peter.larson@nccar.ca
  38. 38. 7 Frequently asked questions 1.Why don’t the Arab countries do more? 2.Why don’t the Palestinians just ‘suck it up?” 3.Isn’t Israel a democracy? (At least its better than its neighbours, isn’t it??) 4.Why do you focus on Israel when there are so many other problems in the world? 5.Why is the Harper government so pro-Israel? 6.The Arabs and Jews have hated each other forever. Will it ever end? 7.OK – I agree its unfair. But I’m not an activist. What can I do?
  39. 39. If you want to know more…. 1.Give me your email address, I will send you some ideas for books/articles/films you might find interesting. 2.Sign up for my biweekly email 3.Think about coming with me to see for yourself. •Thanks. •Peter Larson, peter.larson@sympatico.ca

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