Israeli / Palestinian declarations of independence

  • The two declarations are similar in some respects in regards to their structure: both open with a historical argument that their “people” have a historical claim to the land of Israel; that it is both historically and culturally “theirs” based on history. In both cases, the documents then move on to diplomatic treaties that would seem to support their claims, and finally end by welcoming all other members of their ethnic group into the new state – for Israel, the Jewish diaspora, and for the Palestinians, all Arabs.
  • Both invoke and mention religion – the Israelis note that it is the sabbath and use to Torhic events to justify their claims, in addition to treating their ethnicity and religion as being the same. The Palestinians invoke God at the beginning, but cast their land as having been a place of many religions, as though to imply their quest for independence is not merely religious in origin.
  • In both documents the authors define themselvesĀ  in both religious and ethic terms, though for the Jews these aspects are treated as one and the same (they invite members of the “Jewish Diaspora” to come immigrate to their state) and for the Palestinians they are treated as separate, with an emphasis on ethnicity, as the authors refer to themselves as “Palestinian Arabs” and say that all Arabs are welcome in their state.
  • The Israelis do not mention the Palestinians in their document – they more or less seem to ignore their “foes” existence, perhaps so as not to legitimize them. The Palestinians refer to the Israelis as such, thus identifying their enemy as the forces of a specific state and not Jews or Judaism in general, though they are clearly embittered by the presence of Israeli forces in what they see as their land.
  • The Israelis say that they want to have friendly relations with other states while not mentioning the Palestinians – this could mean that they would like to cooperate with a completely separate Palestinians state. It could also mean that they are deliberately ignoring the existence of an Arab people with legitimate claim to the land in Israel – it is perhaps deliberately unclear. Meanwhile, the Palestinians want the Israelis specifically removed – this may simply mean they want political autonomy, or it may mean they want to remove all Jews. For both documents, their intent towards each other is not abundantly clear.

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