It's Always Best To Know All Sides Of An Issue - And Response

  • Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The 19th century English philosopher John Stuart Mill said, “He who knows only his side of the case, knows little of that.” What he is saying, in essence, is that if you do not know all sides of an issue you know nothing. Nothing could be more true when it comes to understanding the history problems between Palestinians and the Jews from 1918 to the present. You can find out a lot from a text book by Black and Helmreich, entitled Twentieth Century Europe A History. The book is no spring chicken, it has been around a while and was published in several editions. You do not need to read it all, just the part about the peace treaty (Treaty of Versailles of 1919) and, the Balfour Declaration and the Sykes-Picot Agreement of about the same time. It was said at the time that "World War I is the war to end all wars.” It did not quite work out that way. Rather it became the mother of all wars since the end of WWI because every war in Europe and the Middle East can list as its cause the treaty and/or those ancillary documents.

The study of history is basically the study of the cause and effect of an event or events. What you get out of a university major in history is an outline for the most part and it is your responsibility to fill in the blanks on an issue in which you want more depth. So, what is the cause of the Israeli - Hamas war? Most people do not have a clue.

First, the United States never ratified the Treaty of Versailles. It was thought too punitive. Secondly, the Balfour Declaration gave away an occupied land, then called Palestine, with nothing said to the Palestinians that lived there. At the time of the Declaration the population was 10 percent Jewish and 90 percent Palestinian. Third, the Sykes-Picot Agreement did a bit of rearranging of the Islamic countries to the east of what is now Israel, again without consulting the people or the leaderships of the countries that they were rearranging.

The movement of Jews into Palestine began, in reality, because of what are called the Russian Pogroms which were riots in cities and towns between the Jewish and non-Jewish people. That started the Zionist movement which was begun by Theodor Hertzl in the 1890s. Of those who left Russia, some went into Israel and others went into Eastern European states. The input of Jews into Palestine increased greatly with the ascension of Hitler.

The Black and Helmreich book is not going to answer all questions so I suggest you do further reading. Use your internet to find out sources. Aside from what is on Wikipedia concerning the Sykes-Picot Agreement I know of three books. One is by Sykes' son, another that I think is by his grandson, and an intensive tome which is entitled Redrawing the Middle East Sir Mark Sykes, Imperialism and the Sykes-Picot Agreement by Michael D. Berdine. Berdine, in my opinion, is not a good writer, it almost wore me out to read it and it is very expensive and only available in hardbound. (It will cost somewhere between $80 and $100.)

Raleigh Perry

* * * 

Kudos to Mr. Raleigh Perry on his brief but exceptionally informative letter on Palestinian history.  For me, it was a lesson in history of which I was basically unaware.

So I have to ask: why does Mr. Perry's statement not apply to the MAGAs?  

I have encountered and exchanged viewpoints on this forum with too many MAGAs that will never examine any other side of an issue or any other viewpoint.

Instead of MAGAs doing some research on different sides of an issue, they wallow in Trump's, Greene's, ludicrous rants. They consider Fox, Brietbart, OANN, as the only news sources that should exist, since those media only report the "truth" based on "facts".  Anything else is "fake news".

Joe Warren

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