The Palestinians claim that they are an ancient and indigenous people fails to stand up to historic scrutiny. Most Palestinian Arabs were newcomers to British Mandate Palestine. Until the 1967 Six-Day War made it expedient for Arabs to create a Palestinian peoplehood, local Arabs simply considered themselves part of the ‘great Arab nation’ or ‘southern Syrians.’
“Repeat a lie often enough and people will begin to believe it.”
Nazi propaganda master Joseph Goebbels
“All [that Palestinians] can agree on as a community is what they want to destroy, not what they want to build.”
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman 1
Palestinian Arabs cast themselves as a native people in “Palestine” – like the Aborigines in Australia or Native Americans in America. They portray the Jews as European imperialists and colonizers. This is simply untrue.
Until the Jews began returning to the Land of Israel in increasing numbers from the late 19th century to the turn of the 20th, the area called Palestine was a God-forsaken backwash that belonged to the Ottoman Empire, based in Turkey.
The land’s fragile ecology had been laid waste in the wake of the Arabs’ 7th-century conquest. In 1799, the population was at it lowest and estimated to be no more than 250,000 to 300,000 inhabitants in all the land.2
At the turn of the 20th century, the Arab population west of the Jordan River (today, Israel and the West Bank) was about half a million inhabitants and east of the Jordan River perhaps 200,000.3
The collapse of the agricultural system with the influx of nomadic tribes after the Arab conquest that created malarial swamps and denuded the ancient terrace system eroding the soil, was coupled by a tyrannous regime, a crippling tax system and absentee landowners that further decimated the population. Much of the indigenous population had long since migrated or disappeared. Very few Jews or Arabs lived in the region before the arrival of the first Zionists in the 1880s and most of those that did lived in abject poverty.
Most Arabs living west of the Jordan River in Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza are newcomers who came from surrounding Arab lands after the turn of the 20th century because they were attracted to the relative economic prosperity brought about by the Zionist Movement and the British in the 1920s and 1930s.4
This is substantiated by eyewitness reports of a deserted country – including 18th-century reports from the British archaeologist Thomas Shaw, French author and historian Count Constantine Volney (Travels through Syria and Egypt, 1798); the mid-19th-century writings of Alphonse de Lamartine (Recollections of the East, 1835); Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867); and reports from the British Consul in Jerusalem (1857) that were sent back to London.5
The Ottoman Turks’ census (1882) recorded only 141,000 Muslims in the Land of Israel. The real number is probably closer to 350,000 to 425,000, since many hid to avoid taxes. The British census in 1922 reported 650,000 Muslims.
Aerial photographs taken by German aviators during World War I show an underdeveloped country composed mainly of primitive hamlets.6 Ashdod, for instance, was a cluster of mud dwellings, Haifa a fishing village. In 1934 alone, 30,000 Syrian Arabs from the Hauran moved across the northern frontier into Mandate Palestine, attracted by work in and around the newly built British port7 and the construction of other infrastructure projects. They even dubbed Haifa Um el-Amal (‘the city of work’).
The fallacy of Arab claims that most Palestinians were indigenous to Palestine – not newcomers - is also bolstered by a 1909 vintage photograph of Nablus, today an Arab city on the West Bank with over 121,000 residents. Based on the number of buildings in the photo taken from the base of Mount Gerizim, the population in 1909 – Muslim Arabs and Jewish Samaritans – could not have been greater than 2,000 residents.8
Family names of many Palestinians attest to their non-Palestinian origins. Just as Jews bear names like Berliner, Warsaw and Toledano, modern phone books in the Territories are filled with families named Elmisri (Egyptian), Chalabi (Syrian), Mugrabi (North Africa). Even George Habash – the arch-terrorist and head of Black September – bears a name with origins in Abyssinia or Ethiopia, Habash in both Arabic and Hebrew.
What unites Palestinians has been their opposition to Jewish nationalism and the desire to stamp it out, not aspirations for their own state. Local patriotic feelings are generated only when a non-Islamic entity takes charge – such as Israel did after the 1967 Six-Day War. It dissipates under Arab rule, no matter how distant or despotic.
A Palestinian identity did not exist until an opposing force created it – primarily anti-Zionism. Opposition to a non-Muslim nationalism on what local Arabs, and the entire Arab world, view as their own turf, was the only expression of ‘Palestinian peoplehood.’
The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a charismatic religious leader and radical anti-Zionist was the moving force behind opposition to Jewish immigration in the 1920s and 1930s. The two-pronged approach of the “Diplomacy of Rejection” (of Zionism) and the violence the Mufti incited occurred at the same time Lebanon, Syria, Transjordan and Iraq became countries in the post-Ottoman reshuffling of territories established by the British and the French under the League of Nation’s mandate system.
The tiny educated class among the Arabs of Palestine was more politically aware than the rest of Arab society, with the inklings of a separate national identity. However, for decades, the primary frame of reference for most local Arabs was the clan or tribe, religion and sect, and village of origin. If Arabs in Palestine defined themselves politically, it was as “southern Syrians.” Under Ottoman rule, Syria referred to a region much larger than the Syrian Arab Republic of today, with borders established by France and England in 1920.
In his book Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition, Daniel Pipes explains:
“Syria was a region that stretched from the borders of Anatolia to those of Egypt, from the edge of Iraq to the Mediterranean Sea. In terms of today’s states, the Syria of old comprised Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, plus the Gaza Strip and Alexandria.”9
Syrian maps in the 21st century still co-opt most of Greater Syria, including Israel.
The Grand Mufti Al-Husseini’s aspirations slowly shifted from pan-Arabism – the dream of uniting all Arabs into one polity, whereby Arabs in Palestine would unite with their brethren in Syria - to winning a separate Palestinian entity, with himself at the helm. Al-Husseini was the moving force behind the 1929 riots against the Jews and the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt against two non-Muslim entities in Palestine – the British and the Jews. He gathered a large following by playing on fears that the Jews had come to dispossess, or at least dominate the Arabs.
Jerusalem, 22nd April, 1925.
Report from the Commissioner on the Administration of Palestine for the years 1920-1925 to the [British] Secretary of State for the Colonies.
ATTITUDE OF THE ARABS.
I have described what was the attitude of the Arab population at the outset towards this movement, and have mentioned that several causes contributed to make the situation in time less acute. Those causes were as follows: -
In the first place, the [Arab] people discovered that the disasters, which they had been told were about to fall upon them, did not in fact occur.
The attacks upon their villages by well-armed Jewish colonists, which some of the agitators had announced, did not take place.
The day when a hundred thousand Jews were to disembark in Palestine in order to occupy their lands, came and went, and there was no such invasion.
Month followed month and year followed year, and no man had his land taken from him.
So far from the mosques being closed and turned into synagogues, a new, purely Moslem, elected body was created to which the control of all Moslem religious buildings, and of their endowments, was transferred; it rebuilt those that were in ruins and began to restore those that needed restoration.
It is difficult, under such conditions, to maintain indefinitely an atti¬tude of alarm; people cannot be induced to remain constantly mobilized against a danger which never eventuates.
The ‘Palestinian’ cause became a key rallying point for Arab nationalism throughout the Middle East, according to Oxford historian Avi Shlaim. The countries the British and French created in 1918-1922 were based largely on meridians on the map, as is evident in the borders that delineate the Arab states today. Because these states lack ethnic logic or a sense of community, their opposition to the national aspirations of the Jews has come to fuel that fires Arab nationalism as the ‘glue’ of national identity.
From the 1920s, rejection of Jewish nationalism, attempts to prevent the establishment of a Jewish homeland by violence, and rejection of any form of Jewish political power, including any plans to share stewardship with Arabs, crystallized into the expression of Palestinianism. No other positive definition of an Arab-Palestinian people has surfaced. This point is admirably illustrated in the following historic incident:
But it took the Palestinians more than 60 years to heed Plumer’s advice, adopting Anthem of the Intifada two decades after Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza in 1967 – at the beginning of the 1987 Intifada.
Under the Mandate, local Arabs also refused to establish an ‘Arab Agency’ to develop the Arab sector, parallel to the Jewish Agency that directed development of the Jewish sector.
In fact, the so-called patriotism of indigenous Muslims has flourished only when non-Muslim entities (the Crusaders, the British, the Jews) have taken charge of the Holy Land. When political control returns to Muslim hands, the ardent patriotism of the Arabs of Palestine magically wanes, no matter how distant or how despotic the government. One Turkish pasha who ruled Acco (Acre) between 1775 and 1804 was labeled Al Jazzar, The Butcher, by locals.
Why hasn’t Arab representative government ever been established in Palestine, either in 1948 or during the next 19 years of Arab rule? Because other Arabs co-opted the Palestinian cause as a rallying point that would advance the concept that the territory was up for grabs. “The Arab invasion of Palestine was not a means for achieving an independent Palestine, but rather the result of a lack of consensus on the part of the Arab states regarding such independence,” summed up one historian.12 Adherents to a separate Palestinian identity were a mute minority on the West Bank and Gaza during the 19 years of Jordanian and Egyptian rule - until Israel took control from the Jordanians and the Egyptians in 1967. Suddenly a separate Palestinian peoplehood appeared and claimed it deserved nationhood - and 21 other Arab states went along with it.
Palestinianism in and of itself lacks any substance of its own. Arab society on the West Bank and Gaza suffers from deep social cleavages created by a host of rivalries based on divergent geographic, historical, geographical, sociological and familial allegiances. What glues Palestinians together is a carefully nurtured hatred of Israel and the rejection of Jewish nationhood.
The Arabs invented a special national entity in the 1960s (rather than a geographic delineation) called the Palestinians, specifically for political gain. They brand Israelis as invaders and claim the geographic area called Palestine belongs exclusively to the Arabs.
The word Palestine is not even Arabic. It is a word coined by the Romans around 135 CE from the name of a seagoing Aegean people who settled on the coast of Canaan in antiquity – the Philistines. The name was chosen to replace Judea, as a sign that Jewish sovereignty had been eradicated following the Jewish Revolts against Rome.
In the course of time, the Latin name Philistia was further bastardized into Palistina or Palestine.13 During the next 2,000 years, Palestine was never an independent state belonging to any people, nor did a Palestinian people, distinct from other Arabs, appear during 1,300 years of Muslim hegemony in Palestine under Arab and Ottoman rule.
Palestine was and is solely a geographic name. Therefore, it is not surprising that in modern times the name ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ was applied as an adjective to all inhabitants of the geographical area between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River – Palestine Jews and Palestine Arabs alike. In fact, until the 1960s, most Arabs in Palestine preferred to identify themselves merely as part of the great Arab nation or citizens of “southern Syria.”14
The term ‘Palestinian’ as a noun was usurped and co-opted by the Arabs in the 1960s as a tactic initiated by Yasser Arafat to brand Jews as intruders on someone else’s turf. He presents Arab residents of Israel and the Territories as indigenous inhabitants since time immemorial. This fabrication of peoplehood allowed Palestinian Arabs to gain parity with the Jewish people as a nation deserving of an independent state.
In a March 1977 interview in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, Zahir Muhsein, a member of the PLO executive committee, admitted:
“Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.”15
Countless official British Mandate-vintage documents speak of ‘the Jews’ and ‘the Arabs’ of Palestine – not ‘Jews and Palestinians.’16
Ironically, before local Jews began calling themselves Israelis in 1948 (the name ‘Israel’ was chosen for the newly-established Jewish state), the term ‘Palestine’ applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before independence. Some examples include:
If you watch the blockbuster 1960 hit movie “Exodus,” based on the novel by Leon Uris, you will see how recent this appellation is. The hero, a native-born Jewish pioneer called Ari ben Canaan, talks of his love for Palestine.
Encouraged by their success at historical revisionism and brainwashing the world with the ‘Big Lie’ of a Palestinian people, Palestinian Arabs have more recently begun to claim they are the descendants of the Philistines and even the Stone Age Canaanites.18 Based on that myth, they can claim to have been ‘victimized’ twice by the Jews: in the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites and by the Israelis in modern times – a total fabrication.19 Archeologists explain that the Philistines were a Mediterranean people who settled along the coast of Canaan in 1100 BCE. They have no connection to the Arab nation, a desert people who emerged from the Arabian Peninsula.
As if that myth were not enough, Arafat has also claimed “Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Jebusites” displaced when King David conquered Jerusalem. Arafat has also argued that “Abraham was an Iraqi.” One Christmas Eve, Arafat declared that “Jesus was a Palestinian,” a preposterous claim that echoes the words of Hanan Ashrawi, a Christian Arab, who in an interview during the 1991 Madrid Conference said: “Jesus Christ was born in my country, in my land,” claiming she was “the descendant of the first Christians” – disciples who spread the gospel around Bethlehem some 600 years before the Arab conquest. If her claim were true, it would be tantamount to confessing that she is a Jew!20
Contradictions abound, Palestinian leaders claim to be descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jebusites and the first Christians. They also co-opt Jesus and ignore his Jewishness, at the same time claiming the Jews never were a people and never built the Holy Temples in Jerusalem.
The artificiality of a Palestinian identity is reflected in the attitudes and actions of neighboring Arabs nations who never established a Palestinian state. It also is expressed in the utterances and loyalties of so-called Palestinians.
Only twice in Jerusalem’s history has it served as a national capital. The first time was as the capital of the two Jewish Commonwealths during the First and Second Temple periods, as described in the Bible, reinforced by archaeological evidence and numerous ancient documents. The second time is in modern times as the capital of the State of Israel. It has never served as an Arab capital for the simple reason that there has never been a Palestinian Arab state.
The rhetoric by Arab leaders on behalf of the Palestinians rings hollow, for the Arabs in neighboring lands, who control 99.9 percent of the Middle East land, have never recognized a Palestinian entity. They have always considered Palestine and its inhabitants part of the great ‘Arab nation,’ historically and politically as an integral part of Greater Syria – Suriyya al-Kubra – a designation that covered both sides of the Jordan River.21 In the 1950s, Jordan simply annexed the West Bank, since its population was viewed as brethren of the Jordanians. Jordan’s official narrative of “Jordanian state-building” attests to this fact:
“Jordanian identity underlies the significant and fundamental common denominator that makes it inclusive of Palestinian identity, particularly in view of the shared historic social and political development of the people on both sides of the Jordan.... The Jordan government, in view of the historical and political relationship with the West Bank … granted all Palestinian refugees on its territory full citizenship rights while protecting and upholding their political rights as Palestinians (Right of Return or compensation).”22
The Arabs never established a Palestinian state when the UN offered a partition plan in 1947 to establish “an Arab and a Jewish state” (not a Palestinian state, it should be noted). Nor did the Arabs recognize or establish a Palestinian state during the two decades prior to the Six-Day War when the West Bank was under Jordanian control and the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control; nor did the Palestinians clamor for autonomy or independence during those years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule.
Well before the 1967 decision to create a new Arab people called ‘Palestinians,’ when the word ‘Palestinian’ was associated with Jewish endeavors, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader, testified in 1937 before a British investigative body – the Peel Commission - saying: “There is no such country [as Palestine]! Palestine is a term the Zionists invented! There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries, part of Syria.”23
In a 1946 appearance before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, also acting as an investigative body, the Arab historian Philip Hitti stated: “There is no such thing as Palestine in [Arab] history, absolutely not.” According to investigative journalist Joan Peters, who spent seven years researching the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine (From Time Immemorial, 2001) the one identity that was never considered by local inhabitants prior to the 1967 war was ‘Arab Palestinian.’24
Culturally, Palestinians cannot distinguish their endeavors from other Arabs. The only innovations Palestinians can take credit for are using skyjackings – which they initiated in 196825 as a political instrument, and suicide bombers – refined since the advent of the Oslo Accords in 1993 as a political weapon that now cynically is turning Arab’s own youth into suicide bombers that target other civilians.26 There is absolutely no precedent elsewhere in the world for the Palestinian 6th grade language primer that contains a poem exalting: “I will take my soul into my hands and hurl it into the abyss of death.”27 In the wake of the Palestinians’ newest guerrilla warfare against Israel, the al Aqsa Intifada launched by Arafat in September 2000, people are closely examining Palestinian claims to nationhood. Barry Chamish, Dov B. Fischer, and countless others seek to ascertain the truth.28 If there is an ancient Palestinian history, why can’t they find any world-renowned Palestinian artists or scientists, or at least one Palestinian literary masterpiece or breakthrough invention – anything that distinguishes Palestinians as a people?29
There is already a Palestinian state and a Palestinian people in everything but name: 70 percent of all Jordanians are Palestinian Arabs. The British were assigned a Mandate over Palestine in 1920 in order to realize the 1917 Balfour Declaration that called for “establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine” – a geographical area that included western Palestine (today’s Israel and the West Bank) and Eastern Palestine (today’s Jordan). In 1923 Eastern Palestine, representing 76 percent of the Mandate territory, was excised to placate the Arabs, who opposed the idea of Jews returning to their ancient Jewish homeland. That 76 percent became a separate mandate, and in 1946 Eastern Palestine became the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (later renamed “Jordan” after the Jordanians occupied the West Bank) – a country which today is in everything but name, a Palestinian state carved out of Mandate Palestine.30 A full 70 percent of all Jordanians are Palestinian Arabs, and Palestinians occupy key positions in Jordan’s government and its economy. Even the Queen — King Abdullah II’s wife, Rania, is Palestinian. The remaining 30 percent of Jordan’s population is Bedouin, originating from the Arabian Peninsula, and including the Jordanian royal family, who hail from Mecca.
Arabs are not satisfied with one Palestinian political entity where they are the uncontested majority and have the political machinery and the territory for self-determination – Jordan. Instead, they want an additional state because twenty-one Arab states are not enough (and one Jewish state is one too many.)
The world ignores the remarkably consistent Arab behavior in Palestine that is documented in the Mandator’s reports to the League of Nations – a role that parallels a UN Special Rapporteur today. Such primary documents contain precedents for security fences and testify to their non-political nature.
The International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004, shows an avid interest in the “Mandate of Palestine” and uses the case to openly champion a Palestinian state, but the ICJ also chooses to ignore evidence of the ‘un-readiness’ of Palestinian Arabs for independence – a political maturity that it quotes in the Ruling is a prerequisite for political independence under Article 22 of the League of Nations. Far more crucial to the case: Such documents note the necessity of security barriers in the past and demonstrate that in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, indeed, security barriers are temporary in nature. This statement undermines the Bench’s Ruling that Israel’s security fence is political and illegal.
The ICJ finds it convenient to ignore that the mandate system speaks readiness for independence in terms of signs of local responsible governance. Article 22 of the League of Nation’s Charter speaks of reaching a stage of development that is provisional until such time as they are able to stand alone. This yardstick was applied to Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Israel. By contrast, this ICJ considers Palestinian statehood to be a ‘given’ – literally, figuratively, and irrespective of Palestinian political behavior.
Ironically, the same political behavior (the use of terrorism as a political instrument) that the ICJ chooses to ignore as irrelevant, is chronicled in official reports to the Council of the League of Nations31 filed by the British Government during its three-decade ruled over Palestine’s Arab and Jewish inhabitants. These reports are highly relevant to the case at hand on several counts, but are they admissible? Such reports from the British Government to the Council of the League of Nations were required of the Mandator in the terms of the “Mandate for Palestine” in Article 24 it requires that:
“The Mandatory shall make to the Council of the League of Nations an annual report to the satisfaction of the Council as to the measures taken during the year to carry out the provisions of the mandate. Copies of all laws and regulations promulgated or issued during the year shall be communicated with the report.”
Logically, such documents and other special reports to the League by the Mandator should be of equal weight, in terms of standing and credibility, with the reports by the UN special Rapporteur today, such as the one upon which the ICJ Ruling says it relies. These reports, as well as the findings of international commissions such as the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, could have provided a valuable perspective for the ICJ and placed the current terrorism dilemma in its appropriate historical context.
All the more important, they are highly relevant in determining whether the fence is a security measure or a political ploy. For a start, the ICJ could have learned something about the need for a security fence from the Mandate Report of 1930 (p. 169) which noted, after Arabs razed the Jewish farming village of Beer-Tuvia to the ground and attacked ancient Jewish communities in Hebron, Safed and elsewhere in 1929:
“For the greater security of exposed Jewish settlements, the [Jewish] Agency, in co-operation with the [British] Administration, has allotted £P.36,500 to roads, telephones, central buildings and fencing.” [italics by author]
Seventeen years later, in 1946, the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry32 described, again, the need for security fences in the face of renewed Arab violence against Jews in 1936-39:
“The sudden rise of [Jewish] immigration after the Nazi seizure of power had as its direct result the three and a half years of Arab revolt, during which the Jew had to train himself for self-defence, and to accustom himself to the life of a pioneer in an armed stockade. … The high barbed wire and the watchtowers, manned by the settlement police day and night, strike the eye of the visitor as he approaches every collective [Jewish] colony. … The Jews in Palestine are convinced that Arab violence paid. Throughout the Arab rising, the Jews in the National Home, despite every provocation, obeyed the orders of their leaders and exercised a remarkable self-discipline. They shot, but only in self-defence; they rarely took reprisals on the Arab population.” [italics by author]
Thus, two historical precedents in 1929 and 1936-39 support the Israeli claim that its fencing is not necessarily political or permanent but is a temporary measure prompted by legitimate security needs that ebb and flow like the tide. Indeed, the stockade walls and watchtowers that surrounded isolated civilian Jewish settlements in the later part of the 1930s and protected them from attacks were dismantled when the 1936-39 Arab Revolt subsided. This challenges the Court’s conclusion that the fence is “political”, “de facto annexation” and unilaterally changes the status of parts of the West Bank, all without any reference to law.
The 1930s-vintage Mandator’s report – Report by His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Palestine and the Palestine Royal Commission 1936-1937 – testifies to the fact that there is no linkage between terrorism and “occupation” and the use of violence that required building security fences is not new. Unfortunately, these are salient features on the landscape that repeat themselves due to the violence deeply embedded in Palestinian political culture. The only difference is that the ‘shoe is on the other foot’ in terms of ‘who is fenced in,’ the potential victims or the perpetrators.
The Mandator’s report definitively cites its corroborative evidence:
“There were similar assaults [by the Arabs] on the persons and property of the Jews, conducted with the same reckless ferocity. Women and children were not spared... In 1936 this was still clearer. Jewish lives were taken and Jewish property destroyed... The word ‘disturbances’ gives a misleading impression of what happened. It was an open rebellion of the Palestinian Arabs, assisted by fellow Arabs from other countries, against British Mandatory rule. Throughout the strike the Arab press indulged in unrestrained invective against the [British] Government. The Government imprisons and demolishes [houses] and imposes extortionate fines in the interests of imperialism.”
The British report to the League of Nations had no problem using the ‘T’ word or acknowledging the sustaining character of political violence in Palestinian Arab culture – internal and external, noting:
“The ugliest element in the picture remains to be noted. Arab nationalism in Palestine has not escaped infection with the foul disease which has so often defiled the cause of nationalism in other lands. Acts of ‘terrorism’ in various parts of the country have long been only too familiar reading in the news¬papers. As in Ireland in the worst days after the War or in Bengal, intimidation at the point of a revolver has become a not infrequent feature of Arab politics. Attacks by Arabs on Jews, unhappily, are no new thing. The novelty in the present situation is attacks by Arabs on Arabs. For an Arab to be suspected of a lukewarm adherence to the nationalist cause is to invite a visit from a body of ‘gunmen.’”
The British report to the League of Nations noted Palestinian Arabs “refusal to negotiate”
“The Arab leaders had refused to co-operate with us [British] in our search for a means of settling the [Arab Jewish] dispute.”
The British report to the League of Nations noted the destructive role of Palestinian Arab leadership at the time:
“If anything is said in public or done in daylight against the known desires of the Arab Higher Committee, it is the work not of a more moderate, but a more full-blooded nationalism than theirs [AHC].”
The British report to the League of Nations noted the hate that fueled Palestinian Arab political culture:
“…in Palestine Arab nationalism is inextricably interwoven with antagonism to the Jews... That is why it is difficult to be an Arab patriot and not to hate the Jews.”
“…we find ourselves reluctantly convinced that no prospect of a lasting settlement can be founded on moderate Arab nationalism. At every successive crisis in the past that hope has been entertained. In each case it has proved illusory.”
1 Thomas Friedman, “Suicide bombers threaten us all,” New York Times, April 1, 2002.
2 Efraim Orni and Elisha Efrat, “Geography of Israel” Jerusalem, Israel Universities Press 1966 edition, p. 168.
3 Yitzhak Ravid, “Palestinian Refugees,” The Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, January 2001. See: (in Hebrew)
4 For British sources substantiating the influx of Arabs, including the British governor of Sinai in 1922, the Hope-Simpson Report in 1930, and Winston Churchill in 1939, see: Yehezkel Bin-Nun, “The Myth of the Palestinian People” in Hebrew at:
5 For a host of quotes from primary sources, see: “Was Palestine full of Arabs before the mass return of Jews?” under subject heading “Palestine” in the Peace Encyclopedia at:
6 B. Z. Kedar, “Looking Twice at the Land of Israel: Aerial Photographs of 1917-18 and 1987-91,” Ben-Zvi Institute with the Israeli M.O.D Publishing House. 239 pp.
7 Yehezkel Bin-Nun, “The Myth of the Palestinian People,” January 7, 2002, at:
8 See also the 1934 photo of a Passover sacrifice by Jewish Samaritans at:
9 See introductory chapter of Daniel Pipes, “Greater Syria: The History of an Ambition,” at:
10 For this assessment of Al-Husseini, see: Zvi Elpeleg, “Why Was ‘Independent Palestine’ Never Created in 1948?” Jerusalem Quarterly (Spring 1989) at:
11 Christopher Sykes, “Cross Roads to Israel – Palestine from Balfour to Bevin” London, Collins, 1965, pp. 92-93.
12 Zvi Elpeleg, “Why Was ‘Independent Palestine’ Never Created in 1948?” at:
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Peace%20Process/Guide%20to%20the%20Peace%20Process/Why%20Was%20-Independent%20Palestine-%20Never%20Created%20in%201. (11499) This included even squashing local initiatives to establish local ‘national committees,’ suppressing attempts to establish an all- Palestine shadow government in exile in Gaza and preventing Al-Husseini from re-entering Palestine.
13 For a Christian perspective of the ‘Palestinian people’ myth, see: “The Jewish Roots of Christianity” - “The Myth of Palestine” at:
14 See the 1st Congress of Muslim-Christian Associations to the Paris Peace Conference, Jerusalem – February 1919. For an in-depth article on Palestinians’ Syrian identity, see: Daniel Pipes, “Palestine for the Syrians,” Commentary (December 1986) at:
15 See: Joseph Farah, “Palestinian People Do Not Exist,” WorldNet Daily, July 11, 2002 at:
16 The texts of documents can be found in the Yale online law library. British ones such as the White Paper of 1939 speak of “Jews and Arabs” or “the Arabs of Palestine,” and even the United Nations’ 1947 Partition Plan speaks of “Arab and Jewish states.” There were no ‘Palestinians.’ at:
17 From the report by The High Commissioner on The Administration of Palestine 1920-1925 to the Right Honorable L. S. Amery, M.P., Secretary of State for the Colonies. Government Offices, Jerusalem, 22nd April, 1925.
18 “Dear pupil, do you know who the Palestinians are? The Palestinian people are descended from the Canaanites.” See the survey and quotes from Palestinian textbooks at:
19 For information on the coining of the name Palestine and Philistine origins, see: Rockwell Lazareth, “Who are the Palestinians? What and Where is Palestine?” at:
20“The War on History,” Christian Friends of Israel – UK, at:
21 See: Daniel Pipes, Greater Syria: History of an Ambition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990) at:
22 “Political History & System of Government – Jordan’s State building and the Palestinian Problem,” Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at:
23 For this and a host of other quotes from Arab spokespersons on the Syrian identity of local Arabs, see:
24 See: Jim Gerrish, “The Lie of the Land or How to Steal a Heritage,” Church & Israel Forum at:
http://www.churchisraelforum.com/the_lie_of_the_land.htm (11570) quoting Eliyahu Tal, Whose Jerusalem? Jerusalem, International Forum for a United Jerusalem, 1994. p. 93, and Joan Peters From Time Immemorial, 1984, pp. 139-140 – respectively. For excerpts on some key issues, see:
25 Previous skyjacking were the work of greedy individuals who demanded ransom money; they were not doing it for political reasons.
26 For one description of the ‘culture of glorying death’ that drives immature adolescents to blow themselves to smithereens fueled by the ‘promise’ of seventy virgins when they get to Heaven, see: Michael B. Oren, “Palestinians Whoop It Up: How can there be peace with a people that celebrates mass murder?
27 See the report on education towards hatred, at:
28 Barry Chamish, “Why the ‘Palestinians’ Have No Rights,” news letter, November 13, 2000; Dov B. Fischer, “Land Without a Name,” NRO, May 23, 2002. For an abridged history written in a light pithy style reminiscent of the Condensed Shakespeare Company, see: Sylvia Foa, “Palestine 101 – Short Take on a Long History,” Village Voice, July 31- August 6, 2002 at:
29 For one description of the ‘culture of glorifying death,’ that drives immature adolescents to blow themselves to smithereens fueled by the ‘promise’ of seventy virgins when they get to Paradise, see: Michael B. Oren, “Palestinians Whoop It Up: How can there be peace with a people that celebrates mass murder?” The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal at:
Quote from 6th-grade language primer with a poem exalting: “I will take my soul into my hands and hurl it into the abyss of death" in report on education toward hatred at:
30 For insights into Jordan’s Palestinians and their identity, see: Joseph Nevo, “The Jordanian, Palestinian and the Jordanian-Palestinian Identities,” Fourth Nordic Conference on Middle Eastern Studies: The Middle East in Globalizing World, Oslo, 13-16 August 1998, at:
31 Report by His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Palestine, and by the “Palestine Royal Commission” 1936-1937 (see: the British Archive).
32 Report of the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry regarding the problem of European Jewry and Palestine. Lausanne, 20th April, 1946 (from the British Archive).
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