(Assignment) Human Culture: An anthropological Perspective Ethnicity certainly has a very important role in the world politics today. According to many scholars, the terms; culture, ethnicity, and conflict are closely linked…
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A close observation of history proves that ethnicity does not always lead to conflicts in society. However, when certain situations arise, conflicts occur out of ethnicity. In fact, nationalism too is the result of this feeling of ethnicity. Nationalism occurs when one group feels that a nation is essential for them. This makes the people assemble their ethnic identity and shared historical experience in national terms. Thus, what happens over time is nationalism born out of ethnicity makes a submissive group into an ethno-political group. On 7th June 2001, Matthew Duss of Center for American Progress reported that Israel- Palestine conflict is still a hot-button issue in the Middle East politics. Here, it seems that a look into the above ideology of Eller will prove how ethnicity is converted into nationalism and then to conflict. For example, until the First Intifida, Palestinians were just a non-nationalist ethnic group. However, the 1967 Arab-Israel war played a major role in converting the passive feeling of culture in Palestinians into an active political force. As the West Bank and Gaza Strip were occupied by Israel, many leaders including Yasser Arafat helped the conversion of Palestinian cultural traits into an active ethno-political group in the Middle East. From the above, it becomes evident that cultural traits are converted to ethnicity when a group begins to acknowledge differences between them and other groups. In addition, this ethnicity is converted into nationalism when an ethnic group begins to mobilize behind the idea of a nation. In simple terms, according to Scholars like Eller, once a group becomes self-conscious about their difference within society, which occurred in Palestinians as a result of the injustice inflicted upon them by their counterparts, there is the initiation of group mobilization. In the case of Israel-Palestine conflict, there are two groups; the Jews and the Palestinians. The Jewish people were already motivated and fully aware about the need to have their own nation as a result of the torture they faced in Western nations. It took some time for the Palestinians to acknowledge their need to have a separate nation as there were prior triggers that promoted this ethnic identity. From the point of group mobilization, the group is not merely an ethnic group; instead, it becomes a nationalist group. Now, a look into the history of Israel-Palestine conflict will justify the ideology. Palestine was a land which had no internal conflicts despite the presence of a multi-cultural society. The presence of Muslims in the population was 86%, that of Christians was 10%, and that of Jewish was 4%. Here, one should remember the fact that despite this multicultural presence, there was no feeling of ethnicity, or was not aroused by any cause. However, by the end of 1800, Jewish settlers from Europe, known as Zionists reached Palestine with the intention to make that place their homeland; still the place was calm for a long time. As Hitler rose to power and Jewish activities were sabotaged in Western countries, more and more Jews reached Palestine openly expressing their interest in making Palestine their homeland. Here, the local populace got concerned, and, as a result, issues broke out. Soon, there was widespread violence throughout the region. As there was more and more violence, UN intervened and proposed an evidently unjustifiable solution; 55% of Palestine for Jews, and the remaining for Palestine. In 1947, war erupted between five Arab nations on the one side
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