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On the 'invented' Palestinians—and other absurd comments

Republican candidates in the 2012 primary race have topped each other in inflammatory remarks regarding Palestinians.

Ever so often I am bombarded by so many words that almost none come at all and I pass up the opportunity to tackle a certain subject. This was the case recently with a spate of utterly ridiculous—almost comical—statements from candidates for the Republican primary race in the United States about Palestine and Palestinians, but in the end I had to say something. First there was Mike Huckabee, who came out in support of the building of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Then there was Rick Santorum’s statement that there were no Palestinians in the West Bank, only Israelis, and that the entire land belonged to Israel (more on this later). Then there was Herman Cain, well, Herman Cain’s statements were so inane they are not worth describing. Finally, we have Newt Gingrich, the self-proclaimed ‘historian’ who has stated that Palestinians are a fictitious people and that they are all just ‘terrorists’ anyway.

In what has become a ritual for American politicians to outdo each other over who can be the most pro-Israel, the journey for national public office clearly runs through the Holy Land, or at least its Washington address at the AIPAC/WINEP headquarters. This is obviously nothing new; Israel has been a domestic issue in American politics—like the economy, healthcare, education, etc.—for decades.

What is shameless and worrisome are the depths that candidates are now willing to go to in their public statements, sounding more like neo-Nazi demagogues as they deny an entire people’s place in the world than politicians trying to get elected by playing up to an important domestic constituency.

Gingrich, in an interview with the Jewish Channel, stated that Palestinians were an ‘invented’ people and then went on to defend his fallacious remarks in a publicized debate. His comments, which go much further, demonstrate a fundamental ignorance of the history of the region, a blindness to the history of nationalism in general, and a callousness to anyone besides the right-wing Jewish community. Gingrich would be wise to study the history of how every nation was formed—particularly America. The Republican frontrunner went on to say that Palestinians are really just Arabs, as if he was revealing some great truth that we all failed to see. I wonder if he advocates a pan-Arab state that does away with identities such as Egyptian, Syrian, and Iraq—which all emerged out of the Ottoman Empire—or the nineteen other states that make up the Arab League, because he believes they are all in fact ‘invented.’

Santorum’s comments were equally erroneous but were funny in the unintended consequences of Santorum’s thinking—or lack thereof. In saying that the West Bank is Israeli and equating it to America’s conquering of Texas and New Mexico, Israel would then be obliged to offer citizenship to all Palestinians living between the ‘River and the Sea.’ I guarantee this is not something that Santorum’s AIPAC policy advisors would want, but the logical argument—as it was computed in Santorum’s head—is telling.

These politicians become so focused on satisfying a microscopic group of individuals on the grand scale of things that they forget the entire world is beaming in to hear them speak. Who could ever take American peacemaking efforts seriously when these are the type of people running for the highest office in the land?

In some ways I am actually happy about it because I would like the veil of honesty to be stripped away from US intentions in the Middle East. The more the United States contradicts its own policy regarding Palestine at the United Nations and its officials make fools of themselves, the more the US isolates itself and Israel from the global community over this issue. It is only when the American-led ‘peace process’ is dead and abandoned that we can start looking for better solutions elsewhere, and Israel will have to look seriously at its place in the region.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Yoav Badt

      I think we should all stop using the Utopian term “peace”. It has become a term used by right-wing politics to describe an idea or goal which is un-achievable to begin with. It is actually used to discourage rather then inspire.
      Maybe the term “agreement” is more suited from now on.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Bosko

      I have been posting here on +972 for a couple of months now. I doubt that I will continue much longer because you guys are incapable of holding a discussion with those, like me, who don’t tow the party line and who has an independent point of view. When your views/opinions are challenged, you react with anger (Note: the above, is not about the writer of this piece, who I clearly not encountered before so I cannot talk about him).
      .
      This is what I think Gingrich said: He said that back in 1947 when the UN voted for the two state solution in Resolution 181, the Palestinian Arabs, unlike Palestine’s Jews, did not see themselves as a distinct Palestinian nation. They saw themselves as part of the Arab people.
      .
      Gingrich did not say that TODAY that still holds true.
      .
      No need to get angry about that. What Gingrich said is simple historical fact that can be backed up with statements that various Arab leaders made at the time. One can also ask why didn’t the Arabs clamour to create a Palestine between 1948 and 1967 when the West Bank and Gaza was under Arab control? Why did the push for a Palestinian state come only after Israel ended up controlling the West Bank and Gaza in 1967?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Ben Israel

      Bosko-
      Maybe the answer to your question is that the Palestinians supported the “one-state solution”—–with Jordan, their Arab/Muslim brothers.

      Reply to Comment
    4. H. Cohen

      Bosko you are ignorant. You simply ignore the things that you have the impression to know.
      There was a palestinian nation (or protonation if you prefer) that you can find going to study the hamule in Nablus in the XVI century or journal as Filastin, al-Munadi, al-Karmil in the first years of the XIX cent.
      Ignorance is not the solution.
      BTW, if you stop writing it will be just a pleasure for most of us. As many wrote you, you never provide one single linear argument.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Bosko,

      People were demanding their independence during the years of Jordanian rule. The Fatah Party (founded in 1959) advocated Jordanian withdrawal from the West Bank, building on popular Palestinian sentiment of the day. Hostile sentiment against the Jordanian government did not subside with the Israeli occupation of the West Bank – in fact, it escalated to the point where King Hussein declared martial law, and Fatah fighters and other Palestinian militias were actually fighting against the Jordanian army.

      The political philosophy of pan-Arabism promotes an Arab unity that transcends national boundaries, and there are some Palestinians today who subscribe to that ideal, although it is no longer as popular as it once was. But people who advance this philosophy in support of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians are completely missing the point. One, it doesn’t negate cultural, linguistic, and social differences between regions (and only some pan-Arabists believe in the erasure of distinct states and borders). There is a culture and a dialect that is distinctly Palestinian, as is evident from the language, the folk songs, the literature, etc. Pan-Arabism emphasises unity, but unity is not the same as being identical. Two, even if you argue that Arabs ought to be one unified national body, this does not translate as, “All Arabs are the same, so it doesn’t really matter if we uproot these people from Al-Zib and shove them into Lebanon – they’re with other Arabs. And we can certainly occupy the West Bank, inhibit movement, and take up the bulk of the resources, forcing parts of Bethlehem to go without water for two months at a stretch – these Arabs can just clear off somewhere else Arab if they’re unhappy.” The problem with Newt Gringrich’s speech is that he used the negation of Palestinian peoplehood to justify Israeli policy, and even if we could accept that Palestinians are not a nation in their own right, the policy would still be unethical and unjustifiable.

      Finally, if we use Newt Gringrich’s logic, the inhabitants of half the countries of the world don’t qualify as proper peoples, because centuries of colonialism and war and truces and treaties mean that borders have been in a state of flux, people have migrated, populations have intermarried, etc. This doesn’t mean that a military occupation of said countries would be justified, complete with settlement policy. Nor it does it mean that cultural differences did not exist between these groups prior to the formation of distinct states as they exist now.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Yosef

      Omar,

      Gingrich’s comment about “invented” peoplehood is thorny and complex. There is at least a grain of truth to it. It also should be looked at in the context of nationalism in general “inventing” peoplehood.

      However you choose to respond to Gingrich’s, you’ve got to respond. This post seems to be just about your shock and outrage, devoid of any substantial rebuttal of his idea.

      What do you think about Gingrich’s ideas and why? Without that the post is pointless.

      Reply to Comment
    7. It would be more worrisome as a topic if they were not so deluded on EVERY issue. If an otherwise intelligent leader makes these types of statements, there will be reason for concern.

      Also, I don’t see these people as “pro-Israel”… For one, most of their “support” is based on Christian fundamentalism, which does not ultimately bode well for Jews.

      But more importantly, I don’t consider them pro-Israel because the current situation is not actually in Israel’s interest. It might be pro-Israel’s current government, or pro-status quo, or pro-occupation… I consider myself pro-Israel and pro-Palestine and I consider them one and the same. To me being pro-Israel means helping Israel become a more equitable society, and anything that promotes illegal settlements, occupation, and any other brand of racism is most definitely ANTI.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Danny

      If Newt Gingrich wants to see an invented people, he need do no more than simply look in the mirror. The American people are as invented and artificial as they come, and yet it never crossed Newt’s mind that with his mindless parroting of the extreme right-wing drivel he was fed by his masters from AIPAC, he was setting himself up for this mother of all ironies. I would expect Barrack Obama to use this opportunity to rip Gingrich to shreds; however, for some reason, the President has remained silent over this. Perhaps he agrees with Gingrich? Unlikely – he is merely a coward, not a dumb ass.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Danny

      @Bosko: What you say about the Palestinians can, word for word, be said of the “Israeli” people – an artificial people made up of a patchwork of dozens of cultures, languages, skin colors and mindsets, whose main common denominator is the Jewish religion. I would describe the Israeli people as a kind of Frankenstein monster, put together so haphazardly that the seams are still present even to this day. Please – before you call ANYBODY an “invented” people, look in the mirror first!

      Reply to Comment
    10. invisible_hand

      @bosko, et al –
      his statement is not historically true. there is record of arabs, in the early 20th cent, living in palestine who identify themselves as palestinians. there is evidence of jews in the same time period identifying themselves in the same way.
      here’s the real problem with his statement – his calling palestinian identity “invented” means, to him, that it is a less legitimate identity than others, and thus the political claims it makes deserve less weight.
      the problem is that all national identities emerge in history and are grounded in that historical context. there was no such thing as an israeli before 1948. that does not keep gingrich from believing in israel’s right to exist. the implied statement seems to be that he believes certain national identities are natural and non-historical, like something out of 19th century nationalist history! goodness, i can now believe that he calls himself a historian, but i would have hoped for a more contemporary one!

      Reply to Comment
    11. Bosko

      H. COHEN: “Bosko you are ignorant. You simply ignore the things that you have the impression to know”
      .
      LOL, I must admit I feel ignorant about that sentence of yours. It seems to be using words that are in English but what it means, I know not. Any help to decipher it would be appreciated.
      .
      H. COHEN: “There was a palestinian nation (or protonation if you prefer) that you can find going to study the hamule in Nablus in the XVI century or journal as Filastin, al-Munadi, al-Karmil in the first years of the XIX cent”
      .
      On the face of it sounds impressive. But again, what was the context? What are you actually saying? Perhaps you could provide a link?
      .
      H. COHEN: “Ignorance is not the solution”
      .
      You are right but you are not doing much to enlighten us the great unwashed. I at least presented a couple of facts which you simply choose to ignore. Here are a couple of statements by past Arab leaders that back up what I said:
      .
      “It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria”. – said to the UN Security Council in 1956 by Ahmed Shukeiry, who later founded the PLO – the Palestine Liberation Organization.
      .
      “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.” – told to the peel Commission in 1937 by Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader.
      .
      H.COHEN: “BTW, if you stop writing it will be just a pleasure for most of us”
      .
      Yes, I am sure that’s true because, you would be able to espouse your smug, self righteous, holier than thou simplistic arguments unchallenged. You guys hate dissent, your only defense against it is anger, ridicule and denial.

      Reply to Comment
    12. @Yosef,

      I dont believe Gingrich’s comments warranted a piece dedicated to rebutting every point he made. I simply wanted to touch on the nature of his remarks because they are without basis and problematic. I could have discussed nationalism in-depth and how virtually all nations are ‘invented’ to some degree. Yet, Gingrich discusses the invented-ness of one people in order to qualify his support of another people–all for the sake of winning electoral points. He advocates bringing history into the debate on the Middle East but in such an irresponsible way that i felt compelled to make my own brief riposte.

      Reply to Comment
    13. aristeides

      There was no Palestinian state between 1948 and 1967 because Israel and Jordan made a pact to prevent such a state from coming into being, rather like Hitler and Stalin collaborated to divide up Poland between them.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Bosko

      DANNY: “@Bosko: What you say about the Palestinians can, word for word”
      .
      You haven’t even bothered to assimilate what I said about the Palestinian people. I don’t deny that there is such a thing as a “Palestinian people” TODAY. However in 1947, by their own admission, they considered themselves as part of the greater Arab people rather than as an independent Palestinian nation.
      .
      The situation with the Jewish people was always a bit more complex. Jews had an independent entity as a people historically. It is beyond dispute that an independent Jewish nation existed over 2000 years ago. In fact, more than one at times (Judea and Israel). It is also true that during the 2000 years of exile, there were Jews who aspired to assimilate but the fact is that most retained their own religion, culture, language and even desire to return to Zion (what is now Israel and the West Bank). Some, the religious Jews, sought to do that when the Messiah would arrive, others, the secular Jews became the modern Zionists once they became convinced that antisemitism would not disappear even if Jews choose to assimilate

      Reply to Comment
    15. @bosko – I understand your frustration. The difference is, you feel it “virtually”, on this website, while you’re far away down under.
      .
      I feel the same frustration – just multiplied. I’m living everyday, surrounded *physically* by a majority who, as you write, “is incapable of holding a discussion”, because I don’t tow the party line. That’s how it is today to hold the views I do in this country. It’s not just on the web.
      .
      You got it easy here :)

      Reply to Comment
    16. Bosko

      OMAR RAHMAN: “I could have discussed nationalism in-depth and how virtually all nations are ‘invented’ to some degree”
      .
      I have no argument with this because to me it seems to be an honest admission that back at some point (and I contend that it was so in 1947) there was no move by the Arab people who lived in Palestine to identify themselves as a separate people from surrounding Arab people.
      .
      That is all I was saying. And listen everyone: I am saying this loud and clear: I don’t deny that TODAY the very same people exist as a separate people because they chose to go down that path for various reasons that warrant a separate discussion.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Bosko

      Ami
      .
      Fair enough, I understand what you are saying and I sympathise even if you and I probably have many differing views. And you are right, I, on the web, probably do have it a lot easier than you.
      .
      Oh well, there is nothing more I can say other than that even if I disagree with someone, I can respect them if I feel that they express honest beliefs. In fact, the reason that I decided to post here is because I was hoping to contribute to reducing the seeming hatred that has been creeping in between you left wing and right wing Israelis. I guess I have been deluded and quixotic for trying.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Dan Mazella

      Omar Rahman.
      http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=3351
      PA continues to teach denial of Israel’s existence
      Oct 5, 2010
      Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
      Last week, PA TV rebroadcast an educational documentary that has been broadcast numerous times since 2007. The documentary describes the Israeli cities of Haifa, Acre, Ashkelon, Jaffa and the Sea of Galilee as Palestinian.

      http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2011/08/full-destruction-of-israel-is-only-red.html
      Full destruction of Israel is “the only red line” 8/25/11
      A cartoon in the official PA daily newspaper Al Hayat al Jadida:
      As PMW writes:
      The Palestinian Authority is telling its people that peace with Israel is not a goal. Instead, the PA says that all of Israel is “Palestine,” and that no compromise is acceptable because this principle is “the only red line.” This message was expressed by the regular cartoonist, Muhammad Sabaaneh, in the official PA daily.
      Nothing gets printed in Al Hayat al Jadida if it is not approved by the PLO and its subsidiary the Palestinian Authority. And the PLO logo has a very similar map:

      Reply to Comment
    19. @Bosko,

      And on what basis do you contend that Palestinians only became a people in 1947? Even if we disregard the hundreds of years of buildup that led to a distinct national identity, we can still consider that there was a Palestinian National Congress that met in Jerusalem in 1919 to reject the Balfour Declaration and demand independence for the Palestinian people. This single event alone seems to discredit your claim.
      .
      Some people like to say that Palestinians only forged a nationalist identity in response to Zionism, but the process of shaping a Palestinian national identity in the modern sense began much earlier, under the Ottoman Empire. Zionism only accelerated the urgency for a Palestinian national identity by inserting an opposing nationalism that was bent on dispossessing the Palestinian people of their land; a land that is an essential element in the forging of a nation, and one which the ‘Jewish people’ (which were being created in the modern sense at the same time) needed for their own nationalist birth. Yet Palestinians, with a coherent history, culture, language, and relationship to the land had a much stronger nationalist underpinning at the time than Jews who were divided throughout the world geographically, linguistically, historically and culturally; except that a good portion of them were living in Europe where modern nationalist thought was taking shape.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Bosko

      OMAR RAHMAN: “And on what basis do you contend that Palestinians only became a people in 1947?”
      .
      Let’s stop right there. I did not contend that. I contended that in 1947, the Palestinian people did not aspire to separate nationhood. I contended that on the basis of what their own leaders have been saying at the time. Unless you will tell me that those statements and others are just invented lies?
      .
      I also contend that on the basis that there was no Intifada or any other perceptible national uprisings against Jordan and Egypt between 1948 and 1967 while those countries controlled the West Bank and Gaza respectively. Nor were there any appeals to the UN or any other international body to help them create an independent Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza….

      Reply to Comment
    21. Ok, then let me respond to that position for you.
      .
      Palestinians definitely aspired to separate nationhood prior to 1947 (along with other pan-Arab sentiments) and I do not know where you get that assertion from. In fact, the appealed to the British Mandatory power for that cause on many occasions, including the establishment of democratically elected protostate institutions, which the British denied to the Palestinians while simultaneously setting up the Jewish community for political independence. When the Palestinians were denied by the British, they set up their own national assembly that was not officially recognized by the British.
      .
      Secondly, there were no uprising against the Jordanians and the Egyptians in the West Bank and Gaza because those two governments were supposedly helping the Palestinians to liberate the entirety of the land and establish a Palestinian state. The decision to pursue a partitioned state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip was only discussed–beginning in the 1970s, and officially in 1988–as a pragmatic compromise for Palestinians, not as a desired outcome. I do not see how the call for a separate state on 22% of historic Palestine has anything to do with Palestinians being a distinct nation.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Bosko

      @OMAR
      .
      I alluded to statements tha Palestinian leaders themselves made. I thought you read them in my post to H. COHEN. Here I’ll present them again:
      .
      ““It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria”. – said to the UN Security Council in 1956 by Ahmed Shukeiry, who later founded the PLO – the Palestine Liberation Organization.
      .
      “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.” – told to the peel Commission in 1937 by Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, a local Arab leader.
      .
      Are these just false quotes?

      Reply to Comment
    23. Yoav Badt

      they (Palestinians) are Here & NOW.
      Gingrich, and most of you are neither.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Bosko

      Yoav Badt: “they (Palestinians) are Here & NOW”
      .
      For the umpteenth time, I agree. And I think Gingrich agrees too. He was speaking about relatively recent history though when they seem to have considered themselves as part of the Arab people rather than different from them, as a distinct Palestinian nation. History and TODAY are not the same, at least not always.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Danny

      “For the umpteenth time, I agree. And I think Gingrich agrees too.”
      .
      Gingrich will agree to anything his AIPAC masters tell him to believe. Contrary to his self-aggrandized resume of being an “academic” and an “intellectual” among American politicians, he has proven himself to be a total ignoramus as well as an irresponsible man who would be willing to completely destroy America’s standing in the world and the Middle East in particular. He has also proven himself to be a political hack, because the more he cozies up to AIPAC and their extreme right-wing friends in Israel, the less electable he becomes. This is why Republicans will be out of the White House for many, many elections to come.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Cortez

      “He was speaking about relatively recent history though when they seem to have considered themselves as part of the Arab people rather than different from them, as a distinct Palestinian nation. History and TODAY are not the same, at least not always.”

      His relative recent history is pretty much wrong if it is meant to describe a “people”. It ignores the existence of cultural institutions prior to 1948 like the…Palestine Post, the Palestine Orchestra and organizations like the The United Palestine Appeal that existed for these “People.” It also ignores that prior to 1948, “Arab” Jews, Muslims and Christians shared the same cultural identity(language, food and customs) with allegiances to different religions. It also ignores that the British Mandate considered everyone within the territory of “Palestine”, regardless of their religion, to be “Palestinian.”

      Reply to Comment
    27. Bosko

      Cortez: “His relative recent history is pretty much wrong if it is meant to describe a “people”. It ignores the existence of cultural institutions prior to 1948 like the…Palestine Post”
      .
      Isn’t this a bridge too far, Cortez? Are you saying that the Palestine post office in 1947 was a purely Arab institution? To my knowledge, it was administered by the British and it had BOTH Jewish and Arab workers. Your post office does not prove or disprove anything.

      “the Palestine Orchestra”
      .
      You are kidding right? Most of that orchestra was Jewish in 1947. Again, it does not support or oppose what I said before. It is a red herring.
      .
      “The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (abbreviation IPO; Hebrew: התזמורת הפילהרמונית הישראלית, ha-Tizmoret ha-Filharmonit ha-Yisre’elit) is the leading symphony orchestra in Israel. It was originally known as the Palestine Orchestra, and in Hebrew as התזמורת הסימפונית הארץ ישראלית (ha-Tizmoret ha-Simfonit ha-Eretz-Yisre’elit, i.e. Symphony Orchestra of Eretz Israel).
      .
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Philharmonic_Orchestra
      .
      and organizations like the The United Palestine Appeal that existed for these “People.”
      .
      Ditto.
      .
      “In January 1939, the United Jewish Appeal for Refugees and Overseas Needs was established, combining the efforts of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, led by Rabbi Jonah Wise; the United Palestine Appeal, led by Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver; and the National Coordinating Committee Fund led by William Rosenwald.[1] The three founders emphasized that the funds needed to support Jews in Europe and Palestine would be triple to quadruple the amount raised in the previous year. While the organizations would raise funds together, the Joint Distribution Committee would assist Jews in Europe, the United Palestine Appeal would aid the Jewish community in Palestine, including refugees from Europe arriving there and the National Coordinating Committee Fund would assist refugees arriving in the United States.[1]”
      .
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Jewish_Appeal
      .
      Cortez: “It also ignores that prior to 1948, “Arab” Jews, Muslims and Christians shared the same cultural identity(language, food and customs) with allegiances to different religions”
      .
      No Cortez, most of what you say in that sentence is not so. By 1947, there was severe enmity between the majority of Jews and Arabs because each set of people had opposing national aspirations. The Palestinian Arabs saw themselves as part of the largeR pan Arab Aspirations. As for the language and culture, they each had their own. Unless of course you think that Hebrew and Arabic are the same?

      Reply to Comment
    28. Cortez

      Bosko….It seems like you selectively ignore facts and many times argue from an ideologically fact-free view. You also tend to make assumptions or add statements that were never said or reference.
      .
      For example I never said that anything related to a “purely Arab institution.” I referenced Palestinian “people” and the cultural institutions associated with them…which include the places listed above and which depending on the institution and membership included people from different religious groups(Jew, Muslim, Christian).
      .
      Your second statement is fact free. You completely ignore the large population of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews in the Levant and nearby who did not speak Hebrew in 1948 and who had a distinctive culture. I’m not going to mention anything related to history before 1900 because I don’t think you would believe it.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Sinjim

      Reading this thread, one would think that identity is some one-dimensional label that can be demonstrated through quotes. Two out context quotes is not data.
      .
      The fact is that the words ummah filastiniyyah “Palestinian nation” were common in political discourse among Palestinians for decades before 1947. For example, the first Arabic-language newspapers in Palestine called al Karmil and Filastin, founded in 1908 and 1911, respectively, were one of the many avenues for the expression of Palestinian nationalism.
      .
      However, what needs to be understood is that Palestinian identity was never exclusive. There was never a Palestinian who identified as Palestinian and nothing else. We as a people have lived on this land for generations, and our relationship with each other and our neighbors has always been complex. We are Palestinians, and we’re also Levantines (Shamis, or far less commonly “Syrians”) and we’re also Arabs. We strongly identify with our religions and our hometowns, too. Every Palestinian whether they live in Palestine or in the Diaspora can tell you which town they are from.
      .
      All of these aspects form our Palestinian identity, and if someone wants to come along and call us an “invented people” as a pejorative or if someone wants to come along and throw a couple of quotes in our faces to denigrate us, they are more than welcome to. The occupier can take our land, can kill our children, can deny our humanity, but he will never take away our identity.
      .
      So let the likes of Gingrich and his ideological allies “debate” the existence of the Palestinian people. They will be demonstrating nothing but their racism and ignorance.

      Reply to Comment
    30. Bosko

      Some of us on this thread have been discussing whether the Palestinian people aspired for separate nationhood or for Pan Arabism. Yet, two quotes by Palestinian leaders which clearly indicate Pan Arab aspirations and specifically exclude aspirations for a separate Palestinian state are irrelevant?
      .
      I for one was not questioning separate Palestinian identity just as much as I would not question separate New Yorker identity. But just as much as New Yorkers with their separate identities can be Americans and part of America. So could Palestinian Arabs in 1947 identify as Palestinians who are part of the larger Pan Arab nation.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Bosko

      Cortez: “Bosko….It seems like you selectively ignore facts and many times argue from an ideologically fact-free view. You also tend to make assumptions or add statements that were never said or reference”
      .
      I responded to your direct quotes Cortez. And showed you that those quotes of yours don’t demonstrate what you set out to prove. Can’t you just admit you made a mistake? Why obfuscate?

      Reply to Comment
    32. I always thought knowing history to be a good thing until I landed on some Israel/Palestinian sites. I now see it as a fundamental tool for numbing all minds. It is almost as though we are all so paralyzed in the present that we want to win our views through the past. Naratives of the past become a way to make coalitions; once formed, they are policed for historical correctness–as defined internally.
      .
      For what it’s worth, I found the Ami Kaufman/Bosko exchange to be the most enlightening, credit to both. In Kaufman’s case, it may well be that there is economic consequnce to upholding his stance; the times are harsh and mean.
      .
      Bosko acknowledges that Palestinian nationalism exists today. If we are going to ever get anywhere, we have to really see what evolves from that nationalism. It’s not all Hamas; for that matter, I suspect what we call Hamas isn’t all Hamas.
      .
      America (well, the United States) is an old Israel. That’s Gingrich’s stance. Native Americans never made it to single nationhood. Luckily for us. Now why I bother saying this I don’t know.

      Reply to Comment
    33. A.R.

      Palestinians have had their land stolen, houses demolished, and today thy are shot only because they protest for their rights and freedom… prisoners with no more houses, land, respect and dignity… not enough? You don’t know if their were or not a nationhood many years ago… if you should know, what changes? Have them less rights for this?

      Reply to Comment
    34. Berl

      BOSKO,
      I try to explain the 2 quotations that you always quote, hoping that you are willing to hear.

      In order to prove the fact that the Palestinians did not exist, you quote for example Awni Abd al-Hadi: “…educated in Beirut, Istanbul, and at the Sorbonne University in Paris [...] was a founding member of the underground al-Fatat nationalist society, which was devoted to Arab independence and unity and was among the organizers of the Arab Congress of 1913 in Paris. He served as private secretary of Faisal I of Iraq at the Paris Peace Conference, 1919.
      Abd al-Hadi was later an adviser to Amir Abdullah in Transjordan.”
      …….
      a-Hadi had all the interest to say that Palestine did not exist. If you want you can also quote also Zayd ar-Rifa’i, Ahmad ash-Shuqayri and other figures commonly quoted by persons like you, but if you don’t put them in context you simply show that you don’t know what you are speaking about:
      ….
      ….
      “…Arab assertions that Palestine and Jordan are one region. These go back to 1921 and remain politically potent even today.

      The Palestine Liberation Organization has often declared Jordan a part of Palestine, and occasionally lays formal claim to it. The eighth conference of the Palestine National Council (PNC), meeting in February-March 1971, resolved that “what links Jordan to Palestine is a national bond and a national unity formed, since time immemorial, by history and culture. The establishment of one political entity in Transjordan and another in Palestine is illegal.” The draft program of tenth PNC conference (in April 1972) was even more forthright: “The need for struggle to overthrow the agent regime in Jordan, which is a front line of defense for the Zionist state and organically linked to Israel, has become no less urgent than the need for struggle against Zionist occupation.” That Palestinians make up 60 percent of the east bank population and play a major role in all aspects of life there “implies that the two peoples be brought together into a Jordanian-Palestinian national liberation front.”
      …..
      Individual spokesmen have made even more specific claims. The PLO’s first chief, Ahmad ash-Shuqayri argued that Jordan’s 1950 annexation of the West Bank was actually an annexation of the east bank to Palestine. For him, Palestine “stretched from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Syrian-Iraqi desert.” In 1966, a PLO representative to Lebanon declared Jordan “an integral part of Palestine, exactly like Israel.”
      ….
      Jordanians also stress the connection between the two regions. Both of Jordan’s two major rulers, ‘Abdallah (who ruled from 1921 to 1951) and Husayn (1953 to the present), have been outspoken on this issue. As early as 1926, ‘Abdallah asserted that “Palestine is one unit. The division between Palestine and Transjordan is artificial and wasteful,” a view he later repeated many times.
      ….
      The establishment of Israel in 1948 hardly affected Hashemite claims to Palestine. The Jordanian prime minister declared in August 1959: “We here in Jordan, led by our great king [Husayn] are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine, and we are the refugees.” The king himself stated in 1965 that “the two peoples have integrated; Palestine has become Jordan, and Jordan Palestine.” He also declared that “those organizations which seek to differentiate between Palestinians and Jordanians are traitors who help Zionism in its aim of splitting the Arab camp…. We have only one army, one political organization, and one popular recruiting system in this country.”

      Losing the West Bank in 1967 also made little difference for Jordanian claims. Prime Minister Zayd ar-Rifa’i told an interviewer in 1975:

      Jordan is Palestine. They have never been ruled as two separate states except during the British Mandate. Before 1918 the two banks of the Jordan River were a single state. When they returned to being a single state after 1948, it was a matter of building on the earlier unity. Their families are one, as are their welfare, affiliation, and culture.
      King al-Husayn asserted again in 1981 that “Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.”
      ….
      After a breakdown of diplomatic efforts between Jordan and the PLO in February 1986, the king announced that he speaks “as one who feels he is a Palestinian.” Soon after, ‘Akif al-Fayiz, President of the Jordanian Parliament, declared that “Jordan does not distinguish between its people on the East and on the West Bank. Our people is one and our family is one. We look forward to the day when the one family will resume its historic role.” Anwar al-Khatib, former Jordanian mayor of East Jerusalem, echoed these sentiments later in 1986: “Palestine, Jordan and Syria constituted one family until the British and French occupation in 1918, which drove the wedge of boundaries among us. We do not differentiate between our people, whether they live in Jordan, Syria, or Palestine.” One could go on endlessly citing such language; it is as common as honeybees on clover.
      ….
      For advocates of Jordan-is-Palestine, such claims suggest Arab agreement that Palestine and Jordan are identical. But this interpretation distorts the real character of these remarks, which are not disinterested analyses but propaganda ploys and declarations of hostile intent. Minimally, they establish diplomatic positions within inter-Arab arena. Maximally, they assert rights to expand and rule other regions; the PLO hopes to stake out a claim to territory it does not control; Amman seeks to protect territories it either controls or hopes one day to control again (the West Bank).
      ….
      Palestinians cast an occasional covetous glance toward the hinterland; this helps explain in part the Jordanian-PLO war of 1970. Their periodic claims to Husayn’s kingdom also reflect an intent to bring down the Hashemites as a aid to conquering Palestine. For their part, Jordanians have cast frequent envious glances at the coastline; ‘Abdallah spent long years plotting to establish a presence on the West Bank and his grandson Husayn, while more subtle and less driven, has also devoted many efforts to this end.
      ….
      Whenever Husayn declared that “Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan,” he had at least three purposes. First, as Asher Susser observes, it was his way of asserting that “Jordan deserves to play a central and decisive role in the determination of the political fate of the Palestinians.” Second, the king’s remarks were aimed toward Palestinians under Israeli occupation, where the Hashemite-PLO battle for Palestinian favor rages hardest. Third, Hashemite statements have to be seen in the light of efforts to integrate and manage east bank Palestinians. The many Palestinians on the east bank, estimated between 40 and 70 percent of the total population, compelled the king to demonstrate his commitment to the Palestine issue. These considerations explain why for forty years Amman rhetorically adopted Palestinian aspirations.
      …..
      The king’s dramatic but as yet partial cutting of ties with Palestine in July suggests that he now worries less about internal stability than about the dangers created by the West Bank imbroglio. Too, Jordan’s recent disavowal of claims to sovereignty on the West Bank is a tactical twist that brings to mind similar declamations in the 1974-75 period. Husayn says he is deferring to the PLO; actually, he hopes to divide and destroy and then return. The nature of his conflict with the PLO remains unchanged.
      ….
      Those who argue that Jordan-is-Palestine have been quick to dismiss Husayn’s sincerity in order to protect their argument. However correct about Husayn, the general argument remains invalid, for it rips quotes to the effect that Palestine equals Jordan out of context. Just because Arab leaders have said so from time to time does not make this true.” (d. pipes)

      Reply to Comment
    35. BErl

      BOSKO,
      Palestine was never ever called by the indigenous population of Palestine as “Southern Syria”, except for 2 years:
      …..
      “During the war [WWI], Arab nationalists cooperated with Sharif Hussein and his sons in order to have an Arab kingdom. The Palestinians, who were part of this ideology, thought at that time, tactically, that it would be in their interest to be part of the Faisal kingdom in the Bilad al-Sham. That’s why it is the only two years [1918-1920] during which they speak about Palestine as Southern Syria or the kingdom of Faisal. After Faisal is kicked out of Damascus, the next conference doesn’t speak about being part of Syria or the kingdom of Feisal. In the summer of 1920 the episode is finished”

      Reply to Comment
    36. Sinjim

      Bosko, you don’t understand the difference between a state and a people. The fact that you would make the analogy with New York in the first place shows how little you actually understand about Palestinian identity. Palestinians viewed themselves as a distinct nation well before 1947. As I explained, political references to an “ummah filastiniyyah” were replete by the beginning of the 20th century. That doesn’t change because some “local Arab leaders” went on record to oppose a separate Palestinian state. There is no requirement that a national identity counts only if you have a state to your name.
      .
      I mean, I can pull quotes by prominent Jews from before 1948 expressing opposition to a Jewish state, preferring to stay put where they were and identifying with those states instead. Does that mean Jews weren’t a nation or a people before Israel’s founding? Does it mean that those Jews were representative of all other Jews? Does the fact that today more than half the world’s Jews willingly live outside of the Israeli state have any bearing on their identity as a distinct people? Of course not. That’s a ridiculous standard, and I think it would demonstrate a certain amount of racism to attribute to all Jews the same opinion simply because one Jew, prominent or not, said it.
      .
      Finally, I’d like to point out that when Helen Thomas questioned Jewish identity by saying Jews really belong in Poland, she lost her job and was accused of anti-Semitism. When Gingrich questions Palestinian identity and says they’re nothing more than Arabs who can simply go to other places, he receives a standing ovation and a vigorous defense from Israel’s supporters.

      Reply to Comment
    37. H. Cohen

      FILASTIN, 7 April 1914:
      “Dear Readers, it seems we have done something serious in the view of the central [Ottoman] government in warning the Palestinian nation [al-umma al-filistiniyya] of the danger which threatens it from the Zionist current [...] we are a nation threatened with disappearance in the face of this Zionist current in this Palestinian land [fi hathihi al-bilad al-filistiniyya]“.
      Yes Bosko, ignorance is not the solution.

      Reply to Comment
    38. Bosko

      Sinjim: “I mean, I can pull quotes by prominent Jews from before 1948 expressing opposition to a Jewish state, preferring to stay put where they were and identifying with those states instead. Does that mean Jews weren’t a nation or a people before Israel’s founding?”
      .
      Hold on there Sinjim, how many times do I have to say that I make no claims that the Palestinians were not a nation. What I did claim that the Palestinians in 1947 did not seem to aspire to be an independent Palestine, instead they aspired to have ALL of Palestine to be a part of a larger Pan Arab nation, which would include Syria. Not my words, the words of Ahmed Shukeiry who was no ordinary Palestinian but the future leader of the PLO (the predessor to Arafat).
      .
      By the way, I take your point about quotes by prominent Jews. As I recall, you yourself did quote a statement by Herzl which you felt vindicated your claim about Zionism. And as I recall you did not readily accept my claim that Herzl was not the sole arbiter of how Zionism would be implemented.
      .
      Anyway, I think I better stop here. I think we have done this topic to death. But maybe we demonstrated that there is plenty of hypocrisy both by your side of politics and mine. If that sinks in then I am satisfied that there is hope for some future consensus. Otherwise, I am certain that there will be just more wheels spinning in the mud going nowhere.

      Reply to Comment
    39. AYLA

      please forgive me; I didnt get very far on this comment thread. In response to Omars piece, I was just going to say something similar to @Tzipi which is that I know plenty of American Jews who are right wing on Israel, and they *hate* this Tea-party (not just republican) support of Israel, because they agree that the support is based on utter ignorance (as with nearly all their stances on everything), that they are targeting Christian Fundamentalists, and that those candidates make true, Jewish Israel supporters who are not profoundly ignorant–certainly not in those ways–look bad, which makes Israel look bad. The average, right-wing jewish pro-israel voter is guilty of being ignorant about Nabka and about so much about Israel’s actions and policies today (IDF policies, social policies, the effect of the occupation, etc. etc. etc. etc.). They are guilty of having a dangerously one-sided story, and of living a fictional righteousness. I actually believe that most Palestinians are guilty of the same thing (one-sided story), only Palestinians are the oppressed so asking them to learn the other sides of the story can certainly seem callous (even though I believe we actually all need to hear and see each other). Because of the imbalance of power, and the ways that Israel’s ignorance is hurting Palestinians, I believe it is Israel’s job to go first with self-reckoning. But in regard to this piece, really, these candidates are off-the-wall on everything from Global Warming to Healthcare, and American Jewish Israel supporters can’t stand them for making them/Israel look so ridiculous. It’s the Evangelists who buy it.

      Reply to Comment
    40. H. Cohen

      BOSKO,
      no, it’s to easy now to write “anyway, I think I better stop here”.
      If you don’t want to answer me, at least take in account what BERL wrote you. He simply shows how superficial and biased is your way of perceiving the issue.
      You don’t have to write anymore sentence like “I contended that in 1947, the Palestinian people did not aspire to separate nationhood. I contended that on the basis of what their own leaders have been saying at the time.”
      Or if you write them, you have to be aware that you are nothing more than a propagandist.

      Reply to Comment
    41. Shmuel

      BOSKO,
      This is your sentence:
      “He said that back in 1947 when the UN voted for the two state solution in Resolution 181, the Palestinian Arabs, unlike Palestine’s Jews, did not see themselves as a distinct Palestinian nation.”
      Few comments afterwards you claim the following: “how many times do I have to say that I make no claims that the Palestinians were not a nation…”

      You contradict yourself. Or am I wrong?

      Reply to Comment
    42. borg

      Zuheir Mohsen, a leader in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in an inverview, March 1977, with the Dutch newspaper Trouw, said the following:

      “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. 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.”

      “For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

      Reply to Comment
    43. BERL

      Borg-Bosko,
      thank you for your enlightening quotation.
      ….
      If you want you can also quote also Zayd ar-Rifa’i, Ahmad ash-Shuqayri, al-Hadi and other figures commonly quoted by persons like you, but if you don’t put them in context you simply show that you don’t know what you are speaking about:
      ….
      ….
      “…Arab assertions that Palestine and Jordan are one region. These go back to 1921 and remain politically potent even today.

      The Palestine Liberation Organization has often declared Jordan a part of Palestine, and occasionally lays formal claim to it. The eighth conference of the Palestine National Council (PNC), meeting in February-March 1971, resolved that “what links Jordan to Palestine is a national bond and a national unity formed, since time immemorial, by history and culture. The establishment of one political entity in Transjordan and another in Palestine is illegal.” The draft program of tenth PNC conference (in April 1972) was even more forthright: “The need for struggle to overthrow the agent regime in Jordan, which is a front line of defense for the Zionist state and organically linked to Israel, has become no less urgent than the need for struggle against Zionist occupation.” That Palestinians make up 60 percent of the east bank population and play a major role in all aspects of life there “implies that the two peoples be brought together into a Jordanian-Palestinian national liberation front.”
      …..
      Individual spokesmen have made even more specific claims. The PLO’s first chief, Ahmad ash-Shuqayri argued that Jordan’s 1950 annexation of the West Bank was actually an annexation of the east bank to Palestine. For him, Palestine “stretched from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Syrian-Iraqi desert.” In 1966, a PLO representative to Lebanon declared Jordan “an integral part of Palestine, exactly like Israel.”
      ….
      Jordanians also stress the connection between the two regions. Both of Jordan’s two major rulers, ‘Abdallah (who ruled from 1921 to 1951) and Husayn (1953 to the present), have been outspoken on this issue. As early as 1926, ‘Abdallah asserted that “Palestine is one unit. The division between Palestine and Transjordan is artificial and wasteful,” a view he later repeated many times.
      ….
      The establishment of Israel in 1948 hardly affected Hashemite claims to Palestine. The Jordanian prime minister declared in August 1959: “We here in Jordan, led by our great king [Husayn] are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine, and we are the refugees.” The king himself stated in 1965 that “the two peoples have integrated; Palestine has become Jordan, and Jordan Palestine.” He also declared that “those organizations which seek to differentiate between Palestinians and Jordanians are traitors who help Zionism in its aim of splitting the Arab camp…. We have only one army, one political organization, and one popular recruiting system in this country.”

      Losing the West Bank in 1967 also made little difference for Jordanian claims. Prime Minister Zayd ar-Rifa’i told an interviewer in 1975:

      Jordan is Palestine. They have never been ruled as two separate states except during the British Mandate. Before 1918 the two banks of the Jordan River were a single state. When they returned to being a single state after 1948, it was a matter of building on the earlier unity. Their families are one, as are their welfare, affiliation, and culture.
      King al-Husayn asserted again in 1981 that “Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.”
      ….
      After a breakdown of diplomatic efforts between Jordan and the PLO in February 1986, the king announced that he speaks “as one who feels he is a Palestinian.” Soon after, ‘Akif al-Fayiz, President of the Jordanian Parliament, declared that “Jordan does not distinguish between its people on the East and on the West Bank. Our people is one and our family is one. We look forward to the day when the one family will resume its historic role.” Anwar al-Khatib, former Jordanian mayor of East Jerusalem, echoed these sentiments later in 1986: “Palestine, Jordan and Syria constituted one family until the British and French occupation in 1918, which drove the wedge of boundaries among us. We do not differentiate between our people, whether they live in Jordan, Syria, or Palestine.” One could go on endlessly citing such language; it is as common as honeybees on clover.
      ….
      For advocates of Jordan-is-Palestine, such claims suggest Arab agreement that Palestine and Jordan are identical. But this interpretation distorts the real character of these remarks, which are not disinterested analyses but propaganda ploys and declarations of hostile intent. Minimally, they establish diplomatic positions within inter-Arab arena. Maximally, they assert rights to expand and rule other regions; the PLO hopes to stake out a claim to territory it does not control; Amman seeks to protect territories it either controls or hopes one day to control again (the West Bank).
      ….
      Palestinians cast an occasional covetous glance toward the hinterland; this helps explain in part the Jordanian-PLO war of 1970. Their periodic claims to Husayn’s kingdom also reflect an intent to bring down the Hashemites as a aid to conquering Palestine. For their part, Jordanians have cast frequent envious glances at the coastline; ‘Abdallah spent long years plotting to establish a presence on the West Bank and his grandson Husayn, while more subtle and less driven, has also devoted many efforts to this end.
      ….
      Whenever Husayn declared that “Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan,” he had at least three purposes. First, as Asher Susser observes, it was his way of asserting that “Jordan deserves to play a central and decisive role in the determination of the political fate of the Palestinians.” Second, the king’s remarks were aimed toward Palestinians under Israeli occupation, where the Hashemite-PLO battle for Palestinian favor rages hardest. Third, Hashemite statements have to be seen in the light of efforts to integrate and manage east bank Palestinians. The many Palestinians on the east bank, estimated between 40 and 70 percent of the total population, compelled the king to demonstrate his commitment to the Palestine issue. These considerations explain why for forty years Amman rhetorically adopted Palestinian aspirations.
      …..
      The king’s dramatic but as yet partial cutting of ties with Palestine in July suggests that he now worries less about internal stability than about the dangers created by the West Bank imbroglio. Too, Jordan’s recent disavowal of claims to sovereignty on the West Bank is a tactical twist that brings to mind similar declamations in the 1974-75 period. Husayn says he is deferring to the PLO; actually, he hopes to divide and destroy and then return. The nature of his conflict with the PLO remains unchanged.
      ….
      Those who argue that Jordan-is-Palestine have been quick to dismiss Husayn’s sincerity in order to protect their argument. However correct about Husayn, the general argument remains invalid, for it rips quotes to the effect that Palestine equals Jordan out of context. Just because Arab leaders have said so from time to time does not make this true.” (d. pipes)

      Reply to Comment
    44. Shmuel

      BOSKO,

      This is your sentence:
      “He [Gingrich] said that back in 1947 when the UN voted for the two state solution in Resolution 181, the Palestinian Arabs, unlike Palestine’s Jews, did not see themselves as a distinct Palestinian nation [...] what Gingrich said is simple historical fact.”

      Few comments afterwards you claim the following: “how many times do I have to say that I make no claims that the Palestinians were not a nation…”

      You contradict yourself. Or am I wrong?
      ….
      You can ignore me and all the counterarguments that you received above, but you cannot ignore yourself.

      Reply to Comment
    45. Bosko

      Shmuel, I did not contradict myself. I stand by what I said. In 1947 and even later, they did not seem to aspire to separate nationhood from Jordan, Egypt and Syria. Their Pan Arab impulse was stronger than their impulse for self determination. Yet I am not arguing against those who say that Palestinians see themselves as a distinct group. Nor that today for reasons of their own, they seek self determination as an independent nation. Nothing contradictory in anything that I said. Anyway, I think we have thrashed this topic to death. I am really bored by it now.

      Reply to Comment
    46. Shmuel

      BOSKO,
      So when you write “how many times do I have to say that I make no claims that the Palestinians WERE not a nation…”…to which past (WERE) historical period are you hinting?

      Reply to Comment
    47. Bosko

      @Zhmuel
      .
      What did you understand by that sentence of mine? (“how many times do I have to say that I make no claims that the Palestinians WERE not a nation…”…)

      Reply to Comment
    48. Shmuel

      BOSKO,
      It’s not clear to me.

      Because you write that “the Palestinian Arabs, unlike Palestine’s Jews, did not see themselves as a distinct Palestinian nation [...] what Gingrich said is simple historical fact”.

      Moreover you write that “In 1947 and even later, they did not seem to aspire to separate nationhood” and in order to support your argument you propose the following sentence: “There is no such country (as Palestine)! Palestine is a term the Zionists invented!”.

      Finally you claim the following: “how many times do I have to say that I make no claims that the Palestinians WERE not a nation…”?

      is it a bit contradictory, don’t you think?

      Reply to Comment
    49. Bosko

      @Shmuel
      .
      Putting it the way you did, I can see why you think it’s contradictory. So let me try and explain one last time what I have been saying.
      .
      First, I never pretended that I am an expert on Palestinian identity. That’s why I am not arguing with those who claim that Palestinian Arabs always had a distinct self identity. I simply don’t know one way or the other whether that’s true or not (yes I am suspicious of bias in here as much as elsewhere).
      .
      Second, I am fully aware of some historical facts and statements by various Palestinian leaders which unequivocally suggest that in 1947 and even later, the Palestinian Arab leadership opted for Pan Arab sentiments rather than narrow Palestinian ones. A bit like the time during Nasser when Syria and Egypt declared a sovereign union between themselves and called it the United Arab Republic (UAR). That’s when I quoted a couple of Palestinian leaders who made statements like “There is no such country (as Palestine)! Palestine is a term the Zionists invented!”. Those were not my words, they were the words of some Palestinian leaders themselves.
      .
      I hope that clears it up for you Shmuel because I don’t know how else to explain it.

      Reply to Comment
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