Who are these people we call “Palestinians,” and how and why have they been denied their own country?
Well, as an Arab-American and former Middle East correspondent, let me take a crack at this.
Palestinians are only different from the citizens of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan in one respect. There has never been an actual country called Palestine in the history of the world.
All of these people speak the same language, eat the same food and mostly worship the same way. In fact, if you scratch beneath the surface of a so-called “Palestinian,” you will usually find a family lineage that takes you back to an ancestral homeland in one of these other countries.
In fact, if you go back to the mid-20th century, you will find that one of these other nations was actually created as the first Palestinian state. Carved out of the region of Palestine, then under the control of the British, Jordan was created to be the homeland of the Arabs living in the area. The rest of what we euphemistically call “Palestine” today was set aside as a homeland for the majority of people referring to themselves as “Palestinians” at the time – Jews.
Most of what we today call “the Palestinian Authority” was land belonging to the nation of Jordan prior to June 1967. Interestingly, there was no call for “Palestinian statehood” until the territory, historically part of the ancient state of nation of Israel, was captured by reborn state of Israel during the Six-Day War.
I’m not unsympathetic to the yearnings of the people we call Palestinians for a homeland of their own. I just don’t think they should get someone else’s homeland – namely the Jews. And that’s what they are trying to do through their military, diplomatic, economic, political and media offensive.
My point is this: Most of the Middle East is under the control of Arabs who are indistinguishable from so-called “Palestinians.” There are 22 existing Arab nations, comprising 5 million square miles over two continents. They all speak the same language, eat the same food, share the same culture. Is there really a need for another? Does it really make sense to carve up the only Jewish state in the world with a land mass the size of New Jersey – less than 1 percent to create yet another Arab country out of whole cloth?
Worse yet, the so-called “Palestinians” who are pushing this agenda insist that this new country of theirs be ethnically cleansed of all Jews. They also refuse to accept even the principle that the Jewish state has a right to exist. In other words, they want to cut up the Jewish state for the purpose of waging a long-term, genocidal war of attrition against the Jewish people.
Nevertheless, despite the illogic of all this and the controversy at the United Nations over the weekend, most of the world – including Barack Obama – believe this is the right thing to do. The only argument for them is the timing and the process.
As an Arab-American Christian with more than a little familiarity with the region, I dissent strongly.
The Arab world has purposely oppressed their stateless cousins in refugee camps and occupation long enough.
It’s time for the Arab world to invite them into their existing and wealthy homelands to participate in full citizenship. It’s time for the Arab world to stop using the “Palestinians” as a form of asymmetric warfare against the Jews. It’s time for the Arab world to put down the sword, defuse the explosives, put aside the hate speech and embrace the Jews as their Abrahamic brothers and sisters.
That would be a peace plan I could get behind.