Monday, October 02, 2006

Such a Small Piece of Land - So Much Blood

The following link is an incredible visual representation of all the empires, kingdoms and countries which have laid claim to the lands now occupied by the State of Israel. Advertised as "5,000 years of history in 90 seconds", we can see by the ebb and flow of ownership of this mere 8,000 square mile territory that it has always been a hotly contested region.

Maps of War

I have ripped this off the What Fresh Hell Is This? site, which is okay because this blogger acknowledges ripping it off the site.

My question is why has so much blood been spilt over such a small, largely unfertile piece of land? Apart from hereditary notions of a Jewish homeland, why have the Egyptians, Hittites, Greeks, etc., etc., etc., fought to possess this small corner of the globe?

My feeling is that it has nothing to do with the intrinsic, economic worth of the land: it has more to do with consolidation of empires. I mean, what is the point of controling the Nile, the gateway to the continent of Africa, if you have a non-tribute state right on your doorstep?

So, without descending into a debate on the Palestine/Israel or Crusader issues, what are your views?


Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

I don’t think the land was always so desolate - I had read about a climate change that turned much of that region from a hotbed of agriculture to a sand pit in a very short span of time, but dammit, it is our sand and we'll kill anyone that says different.

Guess it is a homeland kind of thing. For instance, Chicago sucks, but you meet flat-heads from Chicago and they act like the place is Eden. I wouldn’t fight them for that POS either.

11:03 PM  
Blogger fairscape said...


I would think just about every part of the world has passed through one set of hands after another,not just Israel. Just look at a serial map of Europe. Why Poland has even disappeared during one period. Boundaries are artificial. Around here they say if you want to know where your property line is ,just go out and look at your lawn right after your neighbor has mowed his.

1:03 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

FS: That woudln't work for the Israelis - no lawn...

11:09 PM  
Blogger SC said...

Amazing. I'm going to rip that off as well Nanuk. (I think one of the links may be broken by the way.)

I have a fascinatingly uninteresting theory about this issue. When humans first wandered out of Africa some eighty thousand years ago, they may have followed the Nile up to the Mediterranean and some of them may have followed the coast up through Israel, thus avoiding the Syrian Desert. Over the centuries, ownership of this area of land must have been highly prized.

That'll be twenty quid.

Obviously we still need to find an explanation for how they managed to cross the Suez Canal...

10:37 AM  

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