The “Palestinians”: The Post I Had to Have

Some guy named Andrew Schamess writes on his blog:

Speaking (unfortunately) of hate speech… I knew it was a mistake to reference David in my post on Remembrance yesterday. He came through today with a post on the nonexistence of the Palestinian people that’s not even worth refuting rationally – it’s just the most vicious and uninformed sort of racism. Certain Jewish sources like to call out anti-Semitism in the Arab media – but some of the stuff published on the Jewish side is every bit as bad.

Bring on the boycott!

But seriously, I take issue with the accusation of “racism.” More than that, I take issue with its characterization as “uninformed,” since my position on the matter comes from my extensive reading on the subject. So, Andrew, this post’s for you.

Firstly, what is “racism”?

1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

Given that the “palestinians” are not a “race”, I can hardly be racist. Furthermore, I do not advocate views regarding any “differences in human character or ability and that anyone is superior” to them, nor do I discriminate or show prejudice against them based on any racial arguments. Quite simply, I speak out against the lies and terrorism emanating from their ranks. And even then, I never generalize about all of them.

So what is a “race”?

1. A local geographic or global human population distinguished as a more or less distinct group by genetically transmitted physical characteristics.

2. A group of people united or classified together on the basis of common history, nationality, or geographic distribution: the German race.

3. A genealogical line; a lineage.

The “palestinians” are nothing more than Arabs who moved to the land of Israel, and are not distinguishable from Arabs in surrounding countries. As Arab-American journalist Joseph Farah has written:

There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

If the words of this Arab-American are not enough for you, here are some more examples:

“There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity in contrast to Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity is there only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new expedient to continue the fight against Zionism and for Arab unity.”

– Zuheir Mohsein, Member of the Supreme Council of the PLO, Dutch newspaper Trouw, March 31, 1977

One always finds in Palestine Arabs who have been in the country only a few weeks or a few months…Since they are themselves strangers in a strange land, they are the loudest to cry: ‘Out with the Jews!…Amongst them are to be found representatives of every Arab country: Arabs from Transjordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, the Sudan and Iraq.

– Ladislas Farago, Palestine at the Crossroads (New York: Putnam 1937) p17

Jordan is linked to Palestine by a national relationship and a national unity forged by history and culture from earliest times. The creation of one political entity in East Jordan and another in Palestine would have no basis either in legality or as to the elements universally accepted as fundamental to a political entity.

– Declaration of the 8th Palestinian National Congress (R. Hamid (ed.) Muqararat al-majlis al-watani al-filastini 1964 Resolutions of the PNCs 1964-1974, Beirut, PLO Research Centre, 1975, p178 Declaration of the 8th Palestinian National Congress)

“There is no such country as ‘Palestine'; ‘Palestine’ is a term the Zionists invented!”

– Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi to the Pell Commission in 1937

“It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.”

– Ahmed Shuqeiri, to the UN Security Council in 1949

“There is no difference between one Palestinian and another. We are all Palestinians and we are all Syrian Arabs.”

– Arab MK, Abdul Darawshe (Jerusalem Institute of Western Defence, Bulletin 3, August 15, 1997)

You can view other such statements here.

No wonder Mr Schamess is not willing to refute me rationally – he can’t, without ignoring history.

Having provided evidence that the “palestinians” are not a race, nor a distinct nation of people (except for the purposes of being used as a tool against Israel), there is also evidence disputing the “fallback” position; namely that there were “native” Arabs who owned the land for centuries before the Jews started coming around 1880, and uprooted them. However, there is evidence that this was not the case. For instance, the famous author Mark Twain wrote of the Holy Land (which he visited in 1867):

“…[a] desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds-a silent mournful expanse….A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action….We never saw a human being on the whole route….There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of the worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.”

As Alan Dershowitz (proponent of a two-state solution) writes in The Case for Israel:

..the small and decreasing Arab-Muslim population of the area was also a transient and migratory population, as contrasted with the more stable, if smaller, Jewish population. The myth of a stable and settled Palestinian-Arab-Muslim population that had lived in villages and worked the land for centuries, only to be displaced by the Zionist invaders, is simply inconsistent with the recorded demographic data gathered not by the Jews or Zionists but rather by the local authorities themselves.

Furthermore, there were Jews who had lived in the land for centuries. As Reverend Parkes writes in his book Whose Land?, A History of the Peoples of Palestine (Harmondsworth, Middlesex, Great Britain: Penguin Books, 1970), p. 266.]:

It was, perhaps, inevitable that Zionists should look back to the heroic period of the Maccabees and Bar-Cochba, but their real title deeds were written by the less dramatic but equally heroic endurance of those who had maintained the Jewish presence in The Land all through the centuries, and in spite of every discouragement. This page of Jewish history found no place in the constant flood of Zionist propaganda…. The omission allowed the anti-Zionists, whether Jewish, Arab, or European, to paint an entirely false picture of the wickedness of Jewry trying to re-establish a two thousand-year-old claim to the country, indifferent to everything that had happened in the intervening period. It allowed a picture of The Land as a territory which had once been `Jewish’, but which for many centuries had been `Arab’.”

Now Mr Schamess is free to ignore the evidence, whether it be historical accounts, demographical data, or the like. He can also ignore the biblical account of the Jewish presence in the land. But accusing those of us who have taken the trouble to research the topic, as being racists, sounds to me like intellectual dishonesty.

I challenge Mr Schamess to provide me with more than name-calling.

Update: The Elder of Ziyon applies another test to determine whether a distinct “palestinian” Arab people ever existed.

About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder and managing editor of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks

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Israellycool » Blog Archive » It’s All In There
16 September 2007 at 11:09pm
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  • Anonymous

    Elder of Ziyon writes:

    I just addressed this issue on my blog, you may find it interesting:

  • Anonymous

    Melanie writes:

    Well done.

    I actually have done a bit of fisking lately with a person that writes aritcles in anti-war/anti-zionist publications. This guy always argues that he is not anti-Jewish just anit-Zionist, and that anti-semitism is not jewish only but against all semites. Then he send me an email about “Why there is anti-semitism” which was based on quotes made by Israeli leaders and early zionists. By using this title it not only did it showed that anti-zionism can indeed be anti-semitism but he was also linking anti-semitism with Jews.

    I thanked him for admitting that anti-zionism is anti-semitism and anti-semitism is jew-hatred. I also did a search on the quotes he sent and showed them to be either fabricated, misquoted or taken out of context. And that is what some people base their anti-semitism on. I find most people don’t want to know facts, they just want Israel to disappear. They don’t care how barbaric the Palestinians are, their hatred of Israel has taken over.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous writes:

    Dave, it seems to me that you and Shamess are simply speaking different languages. Your claim, as I understand it, says that there was never a distinct Palestinian identity. Shamess interprets it as denying the physical existence of Arabs in Palestine prior to the creation of Israel. These are two entirely different questions.

    Oh and another quote for your collection:

    [b]The resources of the country [Western Palestine] are still virgin soil and will be developed by the Jewish immigrants. One of the most amazing things until recent times was that the Palestinian used to leave his country, wandering over the high seas in every direction. His native soil could not retain a hold on him, though his ancestors had lived on it for 1,000 years. At the same time we have seen the Jews from foreign countries streaming to Palestine from Russia, Germany, Austria, Spain, America. The cause of causes could not escape those who had the gift of a deeper insight. They knew that the country was for its original sons, for all their differences, a sacred and beloved homeland. The return of these exiles to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually an experimental school for their brethren who are with them in the fields, factories, trades, and in all things connected with toil and labour.[/b]

    Sharif al-Hussein Ibn Ali al-Husseini, the Hashemite king of Hedjaz and the de-facto leader of the entire Arab nation after the fall of the Ottoman empire. Published in the Mecca’s daily “Al-Qiblah”. March 23, 1918

  • Anonymous

    Womble writes:

    Oh and that last comment was mine. I forgot to log in.
  • Anonymous

    Scott writes:

    Really good post David.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous writes:

    ooh it is “race” that is important ….

    then israelis are not to be trusted… and not the jew.

    and jew hatred, antisemitism ? GET USED TO IT

    it is groing EVERYWHERE !!!

    In europe, in russia , in australia, and jes in the US.

    why do ALL people hate (or start) to hate the Jew ( oh sorry the israelis)? well, according to the jew that is the fault of all those different people . of course he never even considers his own typical jew behaviour is the cause.

  • Anonymous

    While you’re learning to use a spell checker, grow a brain.

  • Anonymous

    Wagner writes:

    anti semitism IS growing exponentially EVERYWHERE, no use in denying it

    Nowadays Hitler and the SS are more popular than ever all around the world and that is a GOOD thing because the likes of Perle, Wolfowitz , Sharon show the true nature of the jew

    Jew hatred IS your OWN fault , you have profited from the holocaust trip in a scandalous way. What happened 60 years ago, does NOT give the current jew any privileges. Let alone that he can do to others what happened to him. DEPORTATION, ETHNIC (or religious)CLEANSING and LAND GRABBING

    the future of the jew is not a very positive one; the hatred they have sown in the middle east since the fifties will last for centuries to come. there are only six million of them in the terrorist and landstealingZIONstate (oh sorry you call that “settlements”) ,without immigration their population is not growing, while that of the surrounding people IS growing steadily. It is only a matter of time before they too have good military capabilities and the debt will be settled. Bet that jews will complain then : why o why do they hate us so much…

    for thousands of years jews are hated by all kinds of different people in different parts of the world…and of course the jew is the all out innocent victim ( a role he gladly assumes to profit from)

    and not his belief in being chosen above others and his attitude towards others.

    Jews bring it on themselves. again and again …

  • Anonymous

    HO! HO! HO! What a WANKER!

  • Anonymous

    Malia writes:

    Wagner’s post makes perfect sense if you insert Arabs instead of Jews. Wagner sounds like a Muslim frustrated because he is a loser and is secretly envious of the Jews for their success. That is the real reason these nuts hate America and Israel.
  • Anonymous

    Andrew Schamess writes:

    Sorry, David, but it looks like your “extensive reading” consists of one article by Joseph Farah, from which you lifted all the quotes. And you do know that Farah publishes World Net Daily, opposes Palestinian statehood, and supports settlement in the occupied territories…? I mean, fine, but he’s hardly an unbiased source on issues of Palestinian identity.

    I’m not sure exactly what you think the quotes prove. There’s no language known as Australian either.

    There’s never been a Palestinian state – obviously – but that doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as the Palestinian people. If that argument applied, the Jewish people wouldn’t have existed either from 68 C.E. to 1948.

    Re “no such country as Palestine…” In 1937, Palestine was the term used by the (as most Arabs saw them) the British and Jewish colonizers. I doubt that Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi was trying to say that there was no Arab population that identified itself as belonging in that territory. Have you actually read the Peel Commission Report? Tell the truth.

    And as far as Zuheir Mohsein – are you really saying that the PLO denies the existence of the Palestinian people? Don’t be silly.

    If you want to read my “rational refutation,” it’s up on my blog, here.

    By the way, the comment by Wagner is contemptible. It’s too bad you have to put up with drek like that on your site.

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