Palestine and Middle
East Quiz I - Answers
Palestine and Middle
East Quiz I - Answers
Some of these facts are surprising.
If you score 9 or 10 and did not guess at the answers, your knowledge
of the Middle East is certainly exceptional. If you score 4-8 without guessing,
your knowledge is average, and you have probably learned something taking the
If you scored less than 4, keep an open mind about the Middle East, Israel
and Palestine. Not everything you read may be true.
1-d 2-b 3-a 4-b 5-e
6-e 7-c 8-d 9-a 10-b
Full Answer Key:
1. The area of Israel without the West Bank and Gaza is 22,072 Sq km or 8,522
square miles. Israel
is smaller than Egypt (1002,000 Sq. km; 387,000 Sq mi. ), Iran 1,628,750 Sq km
628,860 Sq mi.) Jordan
(89,342 Sq. km; 34,495 Sq mi) France (640,294 Sq km; 247,219 Sq mi) or New Jersey
Sq km; 8,722 Sq mi). Israel is not a dangerous expansionist country that threatens its
Country areas are given
2. Jews constitute about
0.2% of the world population and are not a powerful and sinister group. The
world Jewish population was
estimated at under 13.5 million by different researchers. The total world
in 2009 was over 6 billion.
The League of Nations
Mandate for Palestine declared that Palestine was to be the national home of
the Jewish people, giving the Jews a national home secured in international law
and fulfilling the goals of the first Zionist congress. Israel is the successor
state to the mandate. Israel is therefore not an "illegitimate state" as
Palestinian supporters often claim.
preamble to the mandate
The Balfour Declaration:
Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be
responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on
November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted
by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national
home for the Jewish people,...
4. In the mid-19th century Mark
Twain and others usually reported that Palestine was an arid and depopulated
wasteland. In Innocents Abroad, Chapter 46, Twain wrote of his visit to Dan, in
relatively high praise:
Here were evidences of
cultivation -- a rare sight in this country -- an acre or two of rich soil
studded with last season's dead corn-stalks of the thickness of your thumb
and very wide apart. But in such a land it was a thrilling spectacle. Close
to it was a stream, and on its banks a great herd of curious-looking Syrian
goats and sheep were gratefully eating gravel. I do not state this as a
petrified fact -- I only suppose they were eating gravel, because there did
not appear to be any thing else for them to eat.
In Chapter 48, Twain describes a visit to Magdala near
MAGDALA is not a beautiful place. It is thoroughly Syrian, and that is to
say that it is thoroughly ugly, and cramped, squalid, uncomfortable, and
filthy -- just the style of cities that have adorned the country since
Adam's time, as all writers have labored hard to prove, and have succeeded.
The streets of Magdala are any where from three to six feet wide, and
reeking with uncleanliness. The houses are from five to seven feet high, and
all built upon one arbitrary plan -- the ungraceful form of a dry-goods box.
The sides are daubed with a smooth white plaster, and tastefully frescoed
aloft and alow with disks of camel-dung placed there to dry. This gives the
edifice the romantic appearance of having been riddled with cannon-balls,
and imparts to it a very warlike aspect. When the artist has arranged his
materials with an eye to just proportion -- the small and the large flakes
in alternate rows, and separated by carefully-considered intervals -- I know
of nothing more cheerful to look upon than a spirited Syrian fresco. The
flat, plastered roof is garnished by picturesque stacks of fresco materials,
which, having become thoroughly dried and cured, are placed there where it
will be convenient. It is used for fuel. There is no timber of any
consequence in Palestine -- none at all to waste upon fires -- and neither
are there any mines of coal. If my description has been intelligible, you
will perceive, now, that a square, flat-roofed hovel, neatly frescoed, with
its wall-tops gallantly bastioned and turreted with dried camel-refuse,
gives to a landscape a feature that is exceedingly festive and picturesque,
especially if one is careful to remember to stick in a cat wherever, about
the premises, there is room for a cat to sit. There are no windows to a
Syrian hut, and no chimneys. When I used to read that they let a bed-ridden
man down through the roof of a house in Capernaum to get him into the
presence of the leader, I generally had a three-story brick in my mind, and
marveled that they did not break his neck with the strange experiment. I
perceive now, however, that they might have taken him by the heels and
thrown him clear over the house without discommoding him very much.
Palestine is not changed any since those days, in manners, customs,
architecture, or people.
As we rode into Magdala not a soul was visible. But
the ring of the horses' hoofs roused the stupid population, and they all
came trooping out -- old men and old women, boys and girls, the blind, the
crazy, and the crippled, all in ragged, soiled and scanty raiment, and all
abject beggars by nature, instinct and education. How the vermin-tortured
vagabonds did swarm! How they showed their scars and sores, and piteously
pointed to their maimed and crooked limbs, and begged with their pleading
eyes for charity! We had invoked a spirit we could not lay. They hung to the
horses's tails, clung to their manes and the stirrups, closed in on every
aide in scorn of dangerous hoofs -- and out of their infidel throats, with
one accord, burst an agonizing and most infernal chorus: "Howajji,
bucksheesh! howajji, bucksheesh! howajji, bucksheesh! bucksheesh! bucksheesh!"
I never was in a storm like that before....
We are camped in this place, now, just within the city
walls of Tiberias. We went into the town before nightfall and looked at its
people -- we cared nothing about its houses. Its people are best examined at
a distance. They are particularly uncomely Jews, Arabs, and negroes. Squalor
and poverty are the pride of Tiberias. The young women wear their dower
strung upon a strong wire that curves downward from the top of the head to
the jaw -- Turkish silver coins which they have raked together or inherited.
Most of these maidens were not wealthy, but some few had been very kindly
dealt with by fortune. I saw heiresses there worth, in their own right --
worth, well, I suppose I might venture to say, as much as nine dollars and a
half. But such cases are rare. When you come across one of these, she
naturally puts on airs. She will not ask for bucksheesh. She will not even
permit of undue familiarity. She assumes a crushing dignity and goes on
serenely practicing with her fine-tooth comb and quoting poetry just the
same as if you were not present at all. Some people can not stand
At Ein Dor (Endor) Twain recorded
in Chapter 51 of Innocents Abroad:
Arriving at the furthest
verge of the Plain, we rode a little way up a hill and found ourselves at
Endor, famous for its witch. Her descendants are there yet. They were the
wildest horde of half-naked savages we have found thus far. They swarmed out
of mud bee-hives; out of hovels of the dry-goods box pattern; out of gaping
caves under shelving rocks; out of crevices in the earth. In five minutes
the dead solitude and silence of the place were no more, and a begging,
screeching, shouting mob were struggling about the horses' feet and blocking
the way. ''Bucksheesh! bucksheesh ! bucksheesh! howajji, bucksheesh !" It
was Magdala over again... Dirt, degradation and
savagery are Endor's specialty. We say no more about Magdala and Deburieh
now. Endor heads the list. It is worse than any Indian campoodie. The hill
is barren, rocky, and forbidding. No sprig of grass is visible, and only one
tree. This is a fig-tree, which maintains a precarious footing among the
rocks at the mouth of the dismal cavern once occupied by the veritable Witch
Not all travelers at all
times recorded unfavorable impressions. Some wanted to impress the public
with the possibilities if settlement and development, some were awed by the
"holiness" of the holy land. But the statistics show rampant, poverty and
illiteracy and depopulation. This is suggested by photographic evidence too,
as late as the early 20th century.
Before the advent of the Zionists, small communities of Jews
lived at the tender mercies of their Muslim neighbors and enjoyed precarious
support from the Ottoman government, often bought with bribes. The
condition of Jews in Jerusalem in Medieval times did not improve until
late in the 19th century. The
of Safed suffered a deportation order and the
Bishara Doumani, (Beshara Doumani, "Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and
Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900" Publisher: University of California Press,
1995) a Palestinian author interested, if anything, in magnifying the Arab
Palestinian economy and community in 19th century Palestine, describes the soap
industry of Nablus. Evidently, this was the greatest industry of Palestine in
the largest and most prosperous town. About 20,000 people lived in this city in
the 1880s. During the day, the town was filled with farmers and others buying
and selling. At night, according to Doumani, the town was empty. This pattern is
typical of a medieval European market town. The soap "industry" was based on
pre-industrial techniques ;
5. Palestinian Arabs often claim
descent from various ancestors, which they argue would give them precedence in rights over
the land, supposedly. This is as logical as the Saxon population of England
expelling the descendants of the Normans, the American Indians expelling
Americans or the Egyptian Copts expelling the Arabs who invaded many centuries
ago. In fact, Palestinian Arab origins are various:
The Nusseibeh family claim to
have come with the Arab invasion under Omar (about 640 AD);
The Dajani claim descent from
an Arabian knight;
The Husseini family probably
came with Turkish invaders;
The Nashashibi family are
descended from Bowmen of Salah Eddin.
Izzedin Al Qassam, The
Palestinian national hero, was born in Syria.
6. Palestine never had a
capital city, as it was never an independent country. The area only achieved
independence under the Jews, who made their capital in Jerusalem in ancient and
modern times. After the Roman conquest, there was never any independent state in
the Levant until the 20th century.
Authority Law is a continuation of Jordanian law, and provides for the death
penalty for sale of land to Israelis.
sales in Israel are open to all.
8. Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi an
Arab resident of mandatory Palestine, denied the existence of Palestine. Before
1948, most Arabs were uninterested in Palestine as a separate country. Local
residents often favored union with Syria.
9. The infant
mortality rate among Israeli Arabs ("Israeli Palestinians") is about 7.7 per
thousand, while that among Jewish Israelis is among the lowest in the world,
about 3.1 per thousand. This difference has been attributed to deliberate Israeli policy, but
Israel has been working hard to close the gap, which is partly due to
consanguinous marriages and partly due to poor access of un-liberated Bedouin
nomad women to prenatal and perinatal care.
Comparison figures - The infant mortality rate of Israeli Arabs is the
lowest it has ever been since public heath records were kept. It is slightly less than that in oil-rich Qatar
(8.2 by U.N Estimate), less than half that in Saudi
Arabia (18.8 by U.N. estimate) and less than in Syria (16.0).
Fatah was formally founded in 1964, though it had been organized since 1957.
The Fatah constitution, written about 1964, stated:
UN projects, accords and resolutions, or those of any individual which
undermine the Palestinian people's right in their homeland are illegal and
The Zionist Movement is racial, colonial and aggressive in ideology, goals, organisation and method.
The Israeli existence in Palestine is a Zionist invasion with a colonial
expansive base, and it is a natural ally to colonialism and international
Liberating Palestine and protecting its holy places is an Arab, religious
and human obligation.
(12) Complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic,
political, military and cultural existence.
(17) Armed public revolution is the inevitable method to liberating
(19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab
People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and
in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless
the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.
In 1964 there were no Israeli soldiers in the West Bank or Gaza, but no attempt
was made to set up a Palestinian state on this land. The Fatah, like the PLO,
was founded with the aim of eliminating Israel by violence, as the
constitution of Fateh freely attests.
Both Fatah and PLO emphasize that the Palestinian struggle is part of the Arab
March 30, 2011
The Palestine Quiz 1:
answer key and explanations for the Palestine Middle-East Quiz
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2011. Please forward this quiz with the original URL and credit to the author.
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