Tuesday, January 19, 2010

March 13th is Palestine Culture Day!

The PA weekly cabinet meeting declared March 13th to be Palestine Culture Day, where they can celebrate the many examples of historical Palestinian Arab culture that come to mind.

For example....um.....

To be fair, various cities in Palestine did create their own cultural niches before the 20th century.

Hebron is known for glass blowing. Bethlehem is known for olive wood carving. Nablus is known for soap. Different towns were known for their distinctive clothing.

But none of these examples are "Palestinian," rather they were local arts that are now labeled "Palestinian" because historically there was no Arab idea of Palestine as a distinct nation. Today's Palestinian Arabs, very aware that they have no distinct cultural history as a people, work very hard to brand any local cultural variations as "Palestinian" even though the word was all but meaningless to local Arabs a mere hundred years ago. They certainly didn't consider themselves "Palestinian."

This is why the PA must keep pushing such festivals. They are trying to retroactively create a people, and to be a people you must have a culture.