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Palestine Denial

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For weeks now, candidates for the Republican presidential nomination have tripped over one another in the frenzied competition to announce their love for Israel. Mitt Romney has promised that it will be the first country he visits as president. Rick Perry insists that he will confront Iran head-on to protect Israel from being ‘wiped off the face of the earth’. Newt Gingrich took it to another level when, in an interview with the Jewish Channel, he said that the Palestinians are an ‘invented people’. He repeated the assertion a few days later, comparing himself to Ronald Reagan for having the ‘courage to tell the truth’.

Today, just as 100 years ago, when they called Palestine ‘a land without a people for a people without a land’, the denial of the existence of the Palestinian people is widespread among Zionists. Its superficial form has changed – instead of the Palestinians, it is Palestine that does not exist; the ‘Palestinians’ can call themselves whatever they like – but the thrust is the same.

In my first week at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003, a freshman in my class asked me where I was from. ‘Palestine,’ I said. She looked at me for a moment. ‘There’s no such thing,’ she said.

The unacknowledged truth is that Israel/Palestine is already one country. A visitor from outerspace (or America) would struggle to isolate one from the other. Israeli settlements penetrate the West Bank, cantonising the territory. Jewish-only roads snake through it. Israeli pipes draw water from Palestinian aquifers beneath Gaza and the West Bank. Rick Santorum bunglingly acknowledged the reality when he said that ‘all the people that live in the West Bank are Israelis. They are not Palestinians. There is no “Palestinian”. This is Israeli land.’ Santorum meant to deny the existence of the Palestinians, but he mangled the lie and unintentionally claimed Israeli citizenship for the 2.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, depicting Israel as an apartheid state that disenfranchises half its citizens.

Gingrich’s remarks about the Palestinians being an ‘invented people’ were endorsed by the Zionist casino billionaire and friend of Binyamin Netanyahu, Sheldon Adelson, who said on 26 December: ‘Read the history of those who call themselves Palestinians, and you will hear why Gingrich said recently that the Palestinians are an invented people.’ Though there may have been another reason: earlier this month Adelson donated $5 million to Gingrich’s campaign.

Comments on “Palestine Denial”

  1. Higgs Boatswain says:

    I’m curious to know what the alternative is to being an “invented people.” Presumably there’s something ‘real’ about being Israeli or American which Palestinians lack, but I’m sure I don’t know what it is.

  2. Ariram says:

    As expected you “forgot” that the slogan “a land without a people for a people without a land” was NEVER the official policy of the Zionist movement. It was the idea of the British Jewish journalist, Israel Zangvill, who later supported the Uganda proposal and then left the movement. The Zionists knew very well that another people lives in Palestine. Jabotinsky wrote in 1937 that in the future Jewish state, if the prime minister is Jewish the vice premier will be Arab and vice versa. In one of his poems from 1923 he wrote:”There (in the future Jewish state) will be hapinness and prosperity for the son of the Arab, the son of the Christian and for my son”.
    And Ben Gurion wrote in 1937: “We do not wish and we do not need to expel Arabs and take their place. All our aspiration is built on the assumption – proven by all our activity in the Land [of Israel] – that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs.”
    And of course when the Palestinian Jewish community, under the Zionist leadership, accepted the UN partition plan in 1947 it recognized that two peoples live in Mandatory Palestine and that both have the right to political self determination and statehood
    You ignore the fact the many Arab nationalists vehemently excluded a separatist Palestinian Arab nationalism from their formulations.
    Here are a few examples, just to refresh your memory:
    In 1919, the first congress of the Muslim and Christian Associations met in Jerusalem. It adopted the following resolution: “We consider Palestine as part of Arab Syria.”
    In 1937, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, told the Peel Commission: “There is no such country as Palestine! Palestine is a term the Zionists invented! Our country was for centuries part of Syria.”
    The representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations echoed this view in a statement to the General Assembly in 1947, which said Palestine was part of the of Syria and the Arabs of Palestine did not comprise a separate political entity.
    In 1949 Ahmed Shuqeiri, later the chairman of the PLO, told the Security Council: “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.”
    In 1997, Abdul Darawshe, a member of the Israeli parliamnet, said: “We are all Palestinians and we are all Syrian Arabs”.
    It appears that Gingritch said what the Palestinians themselves said.
    All that is factual and can easily be found in any university library…

  3. IanGFraser says:

    Origin is not nature — whether it makes sense to speak of ‘Palestinians’ is not affected by whether it would have made sense at some point in the past.

    That said, the coolest historical factoid here is the finding, about a decade ago, that Palestinians are genetically closest to Jews. It seems inescapable that the Lost Tribes became the Palestinians…!

    • Pennywhistler says:

      1) It’s worth mentioning that Prof. Gingrich is a PhD historian, so how things were at some point in the past has some relevance to him.

      The fact that Gingrich is a nasty politician and well-known liar who will twist any fact … or falsehood … to his political advantage is also worth considering.

      *******

      Sorry, Ian. You need to read some history. The Lost Tribes did NOT become the Palestinians. The Ten Lost Tribes are called “lost” because they are lost.

      In c.732 BC, the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III sacked Damascus and Israel, annexing Aramea and territory of the Jewish tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh in Gilead. People from these tribes were taken captive and resettled in the region of the Khabur River system in Assyria/Mesopotamia.

      T-P III also captured the territory of the tribe of Naphtali and the city of Janoah in Ephraim, and an Assyrian governor was placed over the region of Naphtali. The population of Aram and of the annexed part of Israel was deported to Assyria.

      The Kingdom of Israel continued to exist within the reduced territory as an independent kingdom subject to Assyria until around 720 BCE, when it was again invaded by Assyria and the rest of the population deported.

      They would not have been able to return to their tribal lands as they were either dead or enslaved. They would not have been allowed to return in any case, as that would have posed the threat of an armed uprising against the Assyrian governor, though some Israelites may have fled to the southern Kingdom of Judah.

      • IanGFraser says:

        I’m persuaded. I did leap to the Lost Tribes speculation — it seemed so neat!

        So OK; but the ancestral link remains, and is ironic enough. Tracked my reference down to Science Now, 30 October 2000 (the Hallowe’en timing surely unintended). Palestinians seem to be descendants of the people who were there long ago — as one would suspect — and those people’s other descendants include Ashkenazim.

        A war of cousins…in a literal way, like Serbs, Croats & Bosniacs (not in the figurative way of Newt struggling with Santorum!)

  4. john101 says:

    Ariram in his final sentence may be entirely correct, but selecting comments, and individuals from history who support his view is common in propaganda. The major point seems to be that he is rushing in to support Newt Gingrich who together with other Republican front runners have been vying for the Jewish vote in the US by outdoing one another in their support of Israel.
    Whilst Palestinians do not claim that they have ever been citizens of a Palestinian state, as a people they have lived in a territory called Palestine for many generations. Regardless as to what “Official Zionist Policy” may have been, Zionists carried out atrocities under Plan Dalet in 1948 in order to further the creation of a State of Israel.
    As regards the phrase “a people without a land for a land without a people”, it does not have to be official zionist policy for it to have been widely. If zioinists were so concerned with the truth, where in the University Library are the quotes from Zionist Leaders or the Israeli Government, that the phrase is a lie and always has been. (For anyone interested, there is a speech by Yizthak Epstein a Zionist living in Palestine in the early years of the last century, delivered to the 7th Zionist Congrees in 1905 held in Basle. In it he gives what reads as a very good assessment of the true nature of his Palestinian Arab ‘neighbours’ and how they occupy all the available land, and preciently describes how unless the European Zionist leadership appreciate this, Jewish immigrants will never be able to settle in Palestine peacefully. This was years before it was enshrined in the Balfour Declaration, the British Mandate and the eventual UNSCOP Partition plan that “it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which may prejudice the civil or religious rights of exixting non-Jewish communities in Palestine.
    I hope that Ariram, if he has not done so so far will visit the occupied Territories of Palestine and meet some real live Palestinins. They are a people imme

  5. Pennywhistler says:

    Sorry, john101.

    1) Ariram did NOT “select comments and individuals from history who support his view”. He selected some comments that refuted those expressed in the article.

    And that wasn’t his point. His point was “The Zionists knew very well that another people lives in Palestine.”

    And by accepting the UN partition plan, the Jews accepted that Palestine was to divided into Israel and an Arab Palestinian state.

    But SOME Arab leaders in Palestine rejected the notion of Palestinianism. And the majority of Palestinian Arabs rejected the creation of Palestine. And that Egypt, Jordan and Syria totally dismembered the fledgling Palestinian state.

    You COULD make a case that “the Palestinians” did not exist until the creation of the PLO. I wouldn’t, but that is what Prof. Gingrich is referring to.

    Everything you disagree with is not “propaganda”.

    2) Ariram did not express any support for Newt Gingrich. Read what he said again, please.

    3) The other Republican front runners have NOT “been vying for the Jewish vote in the US by outdoing one another in their support of Israel”. They have been vying for the evangelical Christian vote – which is 20-30% of the entire US electorate. The tiny Jewish vote is concentrated in a very few states and that vote is overwhelmingly for Democrats, by a factor of 75-90%. There is no state in which Jewish voters are the swing vote … and the US presidential elections are a state-by-state winner-take-all series of elections for delegates to the Electoral College.

    And there are more Moslem voters in the US than Jewish ones. It is about the same number as Mormon voters, by the way.

    4) The “territory called Palestine” existed from 1919-1948. That’s not really “many
    generations”. Before that it was three separate provinces of the Ottoman Empire.

    5) Without getting into a long drawn-out argument about what was and was not “Official Zionist Policy” from 1880-1939, by the time your Zionists “carried out atrocities under Plan Dalet in 1948 in order to further the creation of a State of Israel” the Jewish community had been subject to many massacres and terrorist attacks starting in 1929 at the hands of the Arabs; and had seen their Muslim religious leader align himself with … and actively work for … the Nazi regime and it’s attempt to rid the Middle East of Jews when Rommel conquered the area; and were facing the destruction of the entire Jewish population by the massed armies of six Arab nations and the Palestinian community. That was their stated goal – to drown the Jews in the Mediterranean Ocean.

    I’m not attempting to justify the policy. I am merely explaining why there was a change in attitude within the Jewish community towards living along side of Palestinian Arabs.

    6) “If zioinists [sic] were so concerned with the truth …” That’s pretty funny when you consider that everything you know about Plan Dalet you learned from Israeli historians.

    And that ALL of the relevant Arab archives remain closed to ANY historian or researcher – and have been so for … many generations.

    And that’s the truth.

    See you in the Florida Republican Primaries!

  6. raf37 says:

    I am surprised by the selective comments made above. Perhaps one should not be, as there are none so blind as those who will not see.
    The very basis of the Zionist creation was a homeland for the Jews and by this they meant not the Jews living there -who had been living as peacefully as any other – but the importation of millions of Jews primarily from Europe. And this was justified by the argument that God had chosen this land for them – not that they had been recently expropriated and deserved to return. The fact that Polish or Germanic or Russian Jews were still facing persecution (much the same as many other minorities) in their home countries may have justified granting them visas to other parts of Europe and America if they wished to leave but could never sensibly form a lawful basis for their wholesale emigration to a land mostly occupied by Arabs (who cares if they had a nationality called Palestinian) and which was already crowded; not to mention their later continual seizure by force or fraud and conquest of lands tilled by Arabs, so that the present huge State was formed.
    Why should the Arabs not have resisted and especially since the settlers themselves showed no hesitation in using arms?
    If Indians in unpopulated lands of the US are not criticised for doing so, how much less criticism can be directed to the resistance of rural Arab population of Palestine who viewed the arrival of boatload after boatload -with the blessing of the US and Europe – of Europeans hungry for land most of which was already in Arab hands. It mattered not to them that these were Jews; their reaction would have been the same if they were africans or aztecs.
    And if one considers the present State of Israel, their fears have been amply born out. The descendants of those Arabs who survived the Jewish onslaughts are living the life of helots, on the poverty line, at the mercy of a merciless Zionist State (why beat about the bush, it is a jewish state) supported by almost every jew not to mention worthless unscrupulous politicians in the land of the free – or depraved – ie USA.
    The whole history of Israel is about the activities of jewish fanatics clutching the Old Testament as their creed and bending Truth to their warped views. In this task they have succeeded in the very countries that mistreated them who now view struggles of arabs as unacceptable acts of islamic violence. The supreme irony is of course that if those Arabs had been Christians and they were mistreated with the present level of brutality, most of Christendom would have risen in support and Churches rung with cries of “Shame”. Can one imagine a Gaza massacre of over 400 christian children by Israelis? Which US senator howsoever unprincipled would have dared to be jubilant or even shut his eyes to it.? And are the views of US politicians whose mental and moral calibre is on the level of the Taliban, entitled to any hearing at all? But these are the men who aim to lead us, and for this reason alone, the rubbish they spout has the ear of the world, even as the nonsense that is emitted by Kim the beloved leader of Korea has to be heard respectfully by his citizens.
    And now the Israeli/US axis proposes to plunge the world into another cauldron in their eternal quest of Israeli safety (which like the labor of Sisyphus cannot and will never end)by attacking Iran not because Iran threatens the US or will ever attack Israel,but because Israel can never live with another equal in the Middle East. It has to be top dog never mind the cost to others and its blinkered vision sees only coercion as the eternal law of nations. Of course this will all end in tears whether they like it or not; but the price will be paid not by the present bullying lunatics that run the country but by another generation that may well have acted differently.

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