Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

In response to 'Palestine denial'

 


Dear Editor:

Mr. David Benkof, MA Modern Jewish History/Stanford University article about Palestine denial is wrought with not only misinformation, but omission of information. I’m surprised that he does not tell the whole history of post biblical “Palestine” beginning with the term “Syria Palestinia,” created by Emperor Hadrian in the second century AD. Prior to that, the area under discussion was known as Judea after the Jews. As an act of retribution, Hadrian renamed the area after the arch-enemies of the Jews, the non-Semetic peoples, the Phillistines.

To claim there is an indigenous population, a nation of people called “Palestinians” is ludicrous. First, there never has been and still is not a State of Palestine, a country of Palestine or a nation of Palestine. To claim otherwise shows a lack of Middle Eastern history. In more modern times, statehood or nationhood has been described as a unique geographic area in which the local population has unique language, history, customs, religion, foods, music—basically a unique culture. None of the above can be said about the “Palestinians.” In the immediate area, there are over 20 other existing countries that have the same exact culture—language, religion, food, music, history, etc. Another state with the same is not needed. Instead, the United Nations should be concerned with the creation of a new nation, Kurdistan for the more than 35-million stateless Kurds who fit into the definition of a unique group of people.

Much of the people calling themselves, “Palestinians” were really recent immigrants into present-day Israel, including Judea and Samaria. They came into the geographic area from the other surrounding outside areas only after the influx of Jewish immigrants in the late 1800s. The Jews were, and still are, the ones who began developing the desolate ancient Israel—making it an attractive area for job opportunities and a better life. This continues even today.

There are several very important historical events which took place in the 20th century that Mr. Benkof fails to properly mention. One is the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, which controlled the entire Middle East for over 700 years. Upon the collapse of the Ottoman Empire as a result of the defeat of the Germans and their allies, the Turks, after World War I, resulted in the creation of the British Mandate of Palestine. During this time period which also artificially created new countries like Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and others. In 1922, the League of Nations divided the British Mandate of Palestine into two partitions—the new Kingdom of Transjordan (trans meaning “across”) and Palestine. The Arabs were allocated 80 percent of the territory and the proposed homeland for the Jews the remaining 20 percent. Thus, originally everything west of the Jordan River was to be the new Jewish Homeland of Israel. We all know the rest except for those who support the existence of Palestinians, who negate the original League of Nations mandate—which was later supported by the new United Nations, and the deniers of historically documented facts.

No, Mr. Benkof, I have to strongly disagree with your premise. There are no “Palestinians.” There never has been any “Palestinian people” and I doubt if there ever will be a truly separate “Palestinian” nationality. These “Arabs,” these Muslims, have had numerous opportunities to be integrated into the neighboring Arab Muslim countries including the Kingdom of Jordan. They have been used and abused for too many years. Another Arab country is not needed.

I urge everyone to read one of the following for additional information, and documentation concerning the reality about the existence of a “Palestinian” people: the classic “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters; “The Righteous Victims-A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict 1881-2001” by Benny Morris; “1948” by Benny Morris; or “The Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict” by the Right Honorable Sir Martin Gilbert.

Laurence Morrell

Maitland

 
 

Reader Comments
(2)

DavidBenkof writes:

Mr. Morrell raises some interesting points. Unfortunately, he appears to be referencing an essay other than mine. At no point did I say Palestinians existed before the 20th century, or that there has ever been a 'State of Palestine, a country of Palestine.' I strongly suggest that in the future Mr. Morrell reads what people actually write, rather than try to defeat a straw man who doesn't exist.

Nabuquduriuzhur writes:

Unfortunately, since the early 1990s, revisionist history has been commonplace. Around 2000, for example, right wing suddenly was made synonymous wiht national socialism, despite historically since the mid 20th century being called the American way and used in a right thing to do context. Indeed, if national socialism was far right but at the same time had 6.67 Planks of the Communist Manifesto, the Soviets 8.17, EU. 9.0, Democrat party 9.0, how can both wings be socialist?

 
 
 

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