Nationalist Ideas in the Middle East

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Nationality is the desire of a group of people to preserve or obtain common statehood and the ideology stressing loyalty to the nation-state or seeking independence of a national group. Michel Aflaq, Theodor Herzl, and the Palestinian National Charter have fundamentally different ideas on establishing nationalism, however each movement and charter wishes to establish a national identity as well as a state due to their experiences of oppression and dispersion. Michel Aflaq describes his ideas on Arab nationalism through the Arab Baath party, which entails the establishment of an Arab state and the right to govern themselves, as well as a revivification of old Arab thought and ideology. Theodor Herzl depicts the Zionist nationalist movement, which includes mass immigration of Jews to Palestine as well as getting Jews to rally behind their cause. The Palestinian National Charter lists what the Palestinians deem as their declaration of independence, which calls for having Palestine as their homeland, where they feel a sense of identity, and thereby reviving Palestinian nationalism within the state. These movements reflect the ideals and desires of three distinct Middle Eastern groups, however they do in fact share many common themes. Michel Aflaq writes “Purifying the National Ideal: Baath Ideology”, in which he speaks of establishing a national identity through the Arab Ba‘th party for Arabs who have been dispersed and fragmented through oppression. Aflaq describes the Arab Ba‘th movement as “reflecting the soul of the nation and her various needs.” The basic concept of what the Ba‘th party stands for is Nationalism of Arabs. Aflaq states that the need for the Baath party is due to the dispersion of Arabs throughout the world, and therefore a loss of their identity, which needs to be brought back to establish an Arab state. The Baath party’s intended goal is not to create a place where all Arabs will live together, but to come to power in Syria where they...
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