Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nations, Institutions, and Symbols

After a short tour through Mondoweiss, it has come apparent to me that anti-Zionists in the West are very persistent in their arguments about the illegitimacy of the national cause of the Jewish people (i.e. Zionism) as compared to the national cause of the Palestinian Arabs. In an attempt to counter their arguments, I will present to you a short overview of the institutions and symbols of the these two national movements.

But first, I want to say the following:

While I view the Palestinian people as a real people with a common heritage and history deserving of at least some part of the historic British Mandate of Palestine, their national consciousness has come after the modern Zionist movement. But this is common to all national movements. The main aim of this post isn't to show that the Palestinian national cause isn't as real as other national movements. My aim is to show that Jewish nationalism isn't anymore artificial than the Palestinian one by virtue of its followers realizing it, building it, and expressing it sooner than the latter. I'm hoping to show anti-Zionists why the creation of the State of Israel was natural result of a real people expressing themselves and fighting towards self-determination.

And now for the overview:

I. Institutions

Political and Infrastructure - I'm admitting ahead of time that my selection of organizations/institutions is debatable (some more than others). My criteria is that the organizations were significant vehicles or advocates within their movements.



World Zionist Congress (1897-present)

Jewish National Fund (1901-present)

Jewish Agency (1929-present)

Assembly of Representatives/Knesset (1920-present)

Palestinian Arab Congress (1919-1928)

Arab Higher Committee (1936-1948)

Palestine Liberation Organization (1964-present)

Palestinian National Authority (1994-present)

Education - I picked the top three based on size, prestige, and date of establishment. Not scientific.



Technion (1914)

Hebrew University (1918)

Tel Aviv University (1956)

Islamic University of Gaza (1978)

Birzeit University (1953*)

Al-Quds University (1984)

*1953 is when the institution began offering first-year university level courses.

II. Symbols and Documents



Declaration of Independence

National Anthem (adopted)



Hatikva (1897)

First Zionist Congress (1897)


Fida'i (1996)

PLO (1964)

If I missed any important institutions, symbols, or documents, please write below in the comment section.