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Monday, December 12, 2011

Were the 'Palestinians' invented?

I think that most of you can probably guess my answer to the question in the title. Yes, the 'Palestinians' were invented. Barry Rubin fact checks the ABC fact check of Newt Gingrich on the point (Hat Tip: Memorandum).
Gingrich said Palestinians are an “invented” people. ABC says: Not true.

I think Gingrich was basically correct, but that point isn’t so significant. There is a strong tendency of contemporary experts to argue that pretty much every nationalist is invented including the French, British, Italian, Polish, and German.

ABC says that the Palestinian Arabs began to have a consciousness in the 1890s. I cannot imagine what evidence would be brought to make that argument. The bare beginnings were around 1920 when actual groups began to form, though even then the “southern Syria” identity was strong. One is safer at putting the date in the late 1920s.

Yet again I don’t see this point as very significant. What’s important is whether a large portion of the people in question believe that they are a people. Moreover, the same “invented” charge has been made against the Jewish people, of course, by Stalin and of course by Arab and Islamist propaganda.

The fact that today, a Palestinian people does exist doesn’t give the Palestinians a right to invent history, of course. ABC News didn’t point out that they regularly claim a history of two thousand years or more. And Golda Meir was pointing to the fact that the dominant politics of the Palestinian movement certainly as late as 1945 was a pan-Arab nationalist one. If the “invention” of a Palestinian (Arab, Muslim) people is relatively recent, though, that does imply that they don’t have a claim to everything between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And that’s what’s important.
I don't see any 'Palestinian' consciousness before 1967. Moreover, there are two key points that need to be made here: First, the 'Palestinians' didn't invent themselves. They were invented by the Arab countries.
In an interview given by Zuhair Mohsen to the Dutch newspaper Trouw in March 1977, Mr. Mohsen explains the origin of the 'Palestinians':
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.
Second, if the 'Palestinians' had a 'national consciousness' from the 1920's, why was there no demand for a 'Palestinian state' from 1948-67?

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At 1:51 AM, Blogger Moriah said...

Yes. they were invented by the Almighty. Deuteronomy 32:21

"They have roused Me to jealousy with a no-god; they have provoked Me with their vanities; and I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people; I will provoke them with a vile nation."

At 2:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it does matter

it matters because the end game has never been to create a palestinian state...but to destroy israel

creating a people for the sole purpose of destroying another is a cynical and evil game

there is no such thing as palestinian culture...they have no historic roots to anything...which is why their leaders continuously make up what their origins are

no other peoples do this.

jew haters can claim that jews are an invented peoples...but jews themselves dont deviate in the slightest of where their origins stem from

this boils down to one thing...the (what now seems to be successful) attempt, to change the war between the arabs and israel, to the one between the so called palestinian and israel

and im sorry...but i blame the leadership in israel for allowing this to happen...starting in oslo

At 2:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carl, the Palestlnians weren't invented. They were born.

There is a conflation spreading between two different propositions: a) Palestinian identity as a self-contained and contiguous national group within a fixed territory and maintaining distinct customs and social cohesion longitudinally for millennia is a construct and b) the Palestinians as a people are invented.

No, the Palestinians as a people weren't invented.

Whatever you call them, Palestinians, northern Syrians, Arabs, Islamofascist turkeys, Hottentots or the Great Kingdom of Oz, Arabs who call themselves Palestinians are the direct biological descendants of other Arabs who set up shop in and around the territory demarcated by the British Mandate of Palestine since 638 CE. A jerkwater provincial dead-end satrapy of the Ottomon Republic it may have been, and scene to shifting inflow and outflow of Arabs who had whatever pictures and self-conceptions twirling around in their noggins Herman Cain style--the Palestinians are folks just like you and yours.

Their historiography is part legitimate research, part fairy-tale hokum spun from the dreams of Jewish liquidation left over from their tutelage at the feet of the Muslim Brotherhood and the German Foreign Office but here they be.

Playing their game of who-got-here-first can't define them out of existence as live flesh and blood folks, communities, cities, towns. They won't disappear because we logically refute the syllogisms of their rationales and they will continue to have to be dealt with--by treaty, subjugation, or containment.

Right now the IDF and the Israeli political establishment have decided upon containment. No one is eager to send tanks back into Ramallah or decisively upend Hamas in Gaza. No one doubts that the Jew-baiting Nazi obsessiveness of Palestinian culture needs to be contested by those paid to do that and kept in mind when some fanouk demands Israel "make concessions for peace".

But our attestations as to the logical and historical fatuity of their bizarro counter-Nazi mythos are not incantatory disenchantments that decisively counter or banish or turn into specters the myth makers.

At 3:01 AM, Blogger Eema to 3 said...

The first person I ever met who identified himself to me as a "Palestinian" explained that the area where he was born was then controlled by the British Mandate. I am not sure how long his family had been in "Palestine". He was a regular at my parents' synagogue.

At 3:12 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

the French, British, Italian, Polish, and German. all have a common history, a distinct language, a capital,kings, unique monetary system etc.
The arabian colonists of the land of Israel have none of that.

At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bacci40, it did not start at Oslo.

It started with Begin at Camp David, with Carter and Sadat.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger nieuwe_zijde said...

I definitely agree that the so-called "Palestinian people" is a complete fiction, however I disagree with the assertion that it was "invented by the Arab countries".

I thought it was a well-known fact that the very concept of the "Palestinian people" was designed in the 1960-s' Moscow by the KGB under Yury Andropov. The chief source of information on this subject is Ion Pacepa, former Securitate general under [Romanian communist dictator] Ceausescu, who later became the highest ever defector from the Soviet bloc.

A couple of links for those who would be interested to unravel the story for themselves. Here is a column by the Jerusalem Post's Sarah Honig who is famous for her meticulous research. And this article itself has quite a few links for further research.


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