22 September 2011

The "Palestinians" - A Fictional "People"

Everyone is in a tizzy over the Palestinian bid for United Nations' recognition of "Palestine" as a member state. Will they go through with the bid? Won't they? Can the United States stop them? Should they?

What no one is doing is challenging the Palestinian claim to the lands known as the "West Bank" - or in fact their claim to 'peoplehood'. The only thing being challenged is the timing and the road being taken to statehood. "Palestinian" legitimacy is being assumed... and we know where assuming takes us.

The idea that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an old one - centuries or millenia old is a pure fiction... but is repeated over and over again.

Let's take a few moments to get our facts straight.

Where does the name "Palestine" come from?
In 135 AD, the Roman Empire attempted to break the strong connection the Jewish People had with the Land of Israel by renaming the area "Palestine" after the Philistines that had lived in the area during Biblical times.

The Philistines were a Greek-like people, not Arabs like the "Palestinians" like to claim. The Philistines disappeared from the area by the 1st Century AD.

Ever since the Romans renamed the area - the name "Palestine" stuck. Jews and Arabs were both referred to as "Palestinians".

The "Palestine Mandate" given to the British after the First World War to administer included both what are now the countries of Jordan and Israel.

In 1922, Great Britain broke off 80% of the Palestine Mandate and gave it to the Hussein family - creating the country of Jordan. The Palestinians living in that area became Jordanians.

The rest of Palestine - what is now Israel - was then to be divided by the United Nations in 1947 into two states - Arab and Jewish. The Jews said 'yes' to the idea, and the Arabs said 'no'.

Israel declared independence in May 1948. The Jewish Palestinians then became Israelis. The Arabs in Israel had the option of becoming citizens of the Jewish state - some did and some did not. Those that did became Israelis. Those that did not kept the denomination of "Palestinian".

What needs to be understood is that these "Palestinians" are Arabs with no special claims to the Land. They chose not to be part of Jordan or Israel. There is no longer "Palestine" on the map. It is either Jordan or Israel - to claim a 'Palestinian' state is disingenuous. There was never an historical Palestine to claim.

The "Palestinian People" are a creation - a way of delegitimizing the Jewish claim to Israel. If, as they claim, the Palestinians were there first, then any Jews living in the land must be "occupiers" and do not belong there. We first see the "Palestinians" in 1964 when Yasser Arafat created the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), a terrorist organization with the goal of destroying Israel. (Please note that the PLO was established before the 1967 war in which Israel captured the "West Bank" and Gaza Strip - not in response to the so-called occupation.)

That these "people" are refugees is a joke. They chose not to become citizens of either Jordan or Israel. During 1948 these Arabs left their homes in response to the invading Arab armies telling them that they'd be allowed to return after the Jews had been driven into the sea.

It's 60+ years later and they're still sitting in camps bemoaning their fate. Who's fault is it? Saudi Arabia and the oil rich Arab countries are unable to take in and care for their brothers? Guess so - but it clearly shows that the Palestinians are there as willing pawns in the battle against Israel.

The accepted wisdom is that since the "Palestinians" occupy the same land as the Jews we must have negotiations to settle our differences - creating a two state solution. But why?

The "Palestinians" are an historical fiction. They are a tool of the Arab world, which has never accepted a Jewish presence, to destroy Israel. It's time to challenge the legitimacy of the "Palestinians" as a 'people' and certainly their right to a state at Israel's expense.

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