Did you know that there was never any country called Palestine? Did you know that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people?
The ideas that the West Bank and Gaza are occupied Palestinian land, and that the Palestinian people are fighting for their land, have been accepted by most of the governments of the world and by most of the media in the world. But if you read on, you will see that these two claims are the biggest lies ever deliberately perpetrated on humanity.
Check out any map of the Middle East and see for yourself. You will find Palestine listed as a region as it always has been, but definitely not a country. We can locate the Mojave Desert on the map, but we still do not recognize it as our 51st state, let alone a country. Similarly, the region of Siberia is a region not a state. Or the Sahara is a region not a state, etc. Neither is Palestine a state. It never was a country, just a region.
Importantly, the Jews did not displace anyone, because no one permanently resided there. It was a land inhabited by nomadic, Bedouin tribes. The whole region was nothing but deserts and swamps. Only about 120,000 Arabs resided in an area that covered the territories, the state of Israel and Jordan. When Mark Twain visited the area, he wrote he found nothing but a wasteland.
During the 19 years that the territories – including Jerusalem and Gaza – were occupied by the kingdoms of Jordan and Egypt, no one talked about a Palestinian state … not the Arab countries, not the United Nations. Nobody asked Jordan or Egypt to abdicate their ownership and give it to the Palestinians. Not even the Palestinians themselves said anything about a Palestinian state or a Palestinian people, because nobody heard of a Palestinian people. It never existed.
The fact simply is that there are no Palestinians. These people are Arabs like all other Arabs, and they happen to live in a region called Palestine. They are not a separate people.
What makes a separate people? Religion, language, culture, garb, cuisine, etc. The Arabs in Palestine speak the same language, practice the same religion, have the same culture, etc., as all the other Arabs. The few minor differences that exist between them are like the minor differences that exist between the Welsh, the Scots, and the Londoners. They are still all Britons. Yankees and Southerners have the same minor differences, but they are still all Americans. People in the south of France are quite different from the people in the north, but they are still all French. These inconsequential differences do not make a people.
The Arabs living in Syria or Jordan, etc., are also the same Arabs, but they are each a separate nation because they each have a separate country. The so-called Palestinians want a separate country because they claim to be a separate nation. They are not. They were never a separate people before the new state of Israel. How did they become one now?
Because of these lies, the so-called Palestinians feel justified in sending suicide bombers to kill women, children, babies, old men, old women and noncombatant citizens. Because of these lies, the United Nations and the media of the world are condemning Israel who is acting less harshly than any other country would act in retaliation for such heinous attacks. What is the United States doing in Afghanistan, a totally foreign country? Killing Afghanistanis. Why? Because they attacked us on Sept. 11. I understand this. But why do they not understand that that is exactly what Israel is doing, only on a much smaller scale?
Ask yourself this: Should the use of terror ever be rewarded? When is the use of terrorism justified as a military tactic? As a political tactic? As an economic tactic? What implications does this hold for future conflicts?
Let us examine the truths here:
1) There never was a Palestinian state or a Palestinian nation. There are no Palestinian people, per se. Rather, these are Arabs living in a region that historically has been called many things, including “Palestine.”
2) Israel did not go to war against a Palestinian state and occupy its land. Rather, Israel was attacked by six Arab countries at once. She defended herself, defeated her attackers, and won the so-called territories, not from the Palestinians, but from Jordan and Egypt.
3) Jerusalem was never the capital of any state but Israel. It was certainly never the capital of a country that never existed. Why should the Palestinians get any part of it? Because they want it? Because they have terrorists?
4) Jerusalem, under the current Israeli control, is a free and open city. Israel, as a democracy, guarantees freedom of religion within its borders. Contrast this fact with areas that have come under Palestinian occupation. What percentage of Christians have left in recent years because they cannot stand the harassment and persecution?
5) Most Arabs living in Palestine today are not indigenous to the region. It was not until after the Jews had changed deserts and swamps into a productive and thriving land that the Arabs started migrating there. Arafat himself was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. Did you know that?
The belief that giving the Palestinians a state will bring peace is a delusion. The truth is that they want it all. The short-term goal is a state consisting of the West Bank and Gaza. The long-term goal is a state which includes all of “historical Palestine,” including Jordan.
How do I know this?
The late Faisal Husseini, Arafat’s Jerusalem representative, a man who was cultured, sophisticated and considered the most moderate of all the Palestinians, shortly before his death on May 31, 2001, expressed his true feelings in an interview with the popular Egyptian newspaper el Arav. Husseini said: “We must distinguish the strategies and long-term goals from the political-phased goals which we are compelled to accept due to international pressures.” But the “ultimate goal is the liberation of all of historical Palestine.” Explicitly he said: “Oslo has to be viewed as a Trojan Horse.”
He even added and clarified that it is the obligation of all the Palestinian forces and factions to see the Oslo Accords as “temporary” steps, as “gradual” goals, because in this way, “We are setting an ambush for the Israelis and cheating them.” He also differentiated between “strategic,” long-term, “higher” goals, and “political” short-term goals dependent on “the current international establishment, balance of power” etc.
All of historical Palestine! Does not this include all of Israel and all of Jordan?
What does this say to you?
Unless the Arabs recognize and accept these truths, even if they are given a state of their own, and no matter how many agreements and treaties they sign, they will always feel wronged, cheated, and forced into giving up what they now claim is theirs. They will continue to plot and look for an opportunity to destroy Israel in order to take back what they claim is theirs, especially the younger generation that has been brainwashed to hate the “occupying enemy.” Whether there is a Palestinian state or not, there will be no peace.
Only a massive and ongoing re-education of the Arab people to these truths will enable meaningful negotiations to begin, followed by a lasting peace between Arabs and Jews. It is therefore critical that everyone who has an audience, whether in print or other media, use the forum they have available to repeat these truths again and again until they reach the consciousness of those waging war in the Middle East.
Sharon Nader Sloan, Esq., is a Lebanese-American.
Beth Kennedy, research associate, contributed to this commentary.