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28 September 2003

The Head Heeb on Nationalities

Following on from reading about the death of Edward Said (below), I was skimming through the comments on Jonathan (Head Heeb) Edelstein's obituary of him and came upon this very elegantly expressed thing about nationalities (Jonathan responding to something in the comments):
"All nationalities are, at bottom, created. 200 years ago, neither Israelis nor Palestinians existed; today, both do. Both are real not because of any political entity that did or did not exist 2000 years ago, but because a sufficient number of people believe that these nationalities exist and have constructed identities around them. Palestinian nationalism is at an earlier stage of development and as such has less definite boundaries, but that doesn't make it unreal, only embryonic."

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