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Nationalism In The Middle East Essay

1561 words - 6 pages

The study of international relations is very broad and complex. It is the study of nations and states and how they are formed. It is also the study of measures, such as revolutions and wars, that create different nations and states and the reasons behind such measures. One important concept in international relations is the view of nationalism. Nationalism is a part of every nation and state and thus is relevant to each country. An important geographical area where nationalism relates directly to the events occurring today would be in the Middle East where nationalistic views of two different nations, that of Jews and Arabs, coincide to create a very volatile conflict that has run its course for nearly a whole century.
     A “nation” is defined as a group with a common culture, language, folkways, and values. A “state” refers to a government in control of territory and population. For example, Israel is a state and a nation since it consists mainly of Jews. However, Palestine is a nation because it consists of Arabs with a common culture, but not a State, since the International community does not recognize it as one. Nationalism is the view that a nation and state in a specific area should coincide. It is the view that says that a specific group with a common culture should be allowed to form its own state and thus its own form of government to govern itself. Thus, nationalism is related to every country and so is very important in the study of International relations.
The most damaging weakness in Nationalism is that Nationalism may cause a culture to consider itself superior to all other cultures. This in turn may be used as a justification to eliminate other groups. A prime example is that of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. But, on the other hand, this superior attitude towards other cultures could cause severe tension between whoever is involved, and in turn cause the inferior country to lash out causing a conflict or in this case war. Thus, nationalism is one of the important causes of revolutions, borders, and wars even in the world today.
     An important geographical area where the affects and causes of nationalism can be seen with clarity is the Middle East. The history of the Middle East is long and very complex relating back to more than three thousand years. The main conflict in the area today is between Jews and Arabs. This is a long-run conflict that has many problems to overcome. However, to understand these problems, we must first try and understand the history of how the problems came to be.
The current problems in the Middle East relate back to more than an entire century. In the year 1895, a Jewish captain in the French army named Alfred Dreyfus was tried for spying for the enemy Germans. The French newspapers proclaimed Dreyfus as, "the Jew traitor". Dreyfus after being tried and convicted, was sentenced to Devil's Island prison to serve his sentence. However,...

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