In this articulate post by Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch, a reader comments how the notion of a “palestinian people” is not going to go away. Read Hugh’s instructive reply, folks, so that you too can identify the canard, then kill it.
“A nation is an idea, a shared identity, and Palestinians have that in spades. They are not going away. Even when they travel the world, they consider themselves refugees and maintain their national consciousness.”
— from a posting above
I meant that the politically-motivated construct, out of local Arabs (those in Gaza and the area renamed by the Jordanians in 1948 as “the West Bank”) can be undone by non-Arabs and non-Muslims. Simply expose the idea for what it is. Refuse to write the phrase without quotation marks: “Palestinian people.” Quote endlessly from all the Arabs who made quite explicit why this phrase, and this idea, was developed. It has been foisted on the West. So was, in 1938, great sympathy, and understanding, for the campaign of Henlein, and his master Hitler, to achieve “the legitimate rights” of the “Sudeteners.”
Once the understanding spreads that the war against Israel is a classic Jihad, and is not, and never has been, a “clash of two tiny peoples” etc., this will bring a greater clarity not only to the confused Israeli public (and its largely unimpressive political leaders), but also to the larger Infidel world, that needs to comprehend how that Lesser Jihad is only a subset of the more general, world-wide effort (expressed locally, and using different instruments depending on what is possible, and effective, taking into account those local conditions and Infidels) of a Greater Jihad.
Here’s a sample of what should be better known:
1. Before the Six-Day War, not a single Arab spokesman, at the U.N. or anywhere else, and not a single Arab document, referred to the local Arabs as the “Palestnian people.” They appeared, as if by magic — summoned by the public-relations advisors to Arafat — only after that war made clear that the Arab dream of going in for the kill had been dashed, and that a different, long-term effort at persuading former supporters of Israel in the Western world that Israel had won territory to which it had no legal, moral, or historic claim, and that since the area had been known in the West as “Palestine” then the local Arabs would become the “Palestinian people” and, as the older and better-educated generations died out, the young, the naive, the uninformed, would come to think something along the simple-minded lines of “well, there’s a place called Palestine, and there’s these people who are the Palestinian people, so of course they must be the ones whose land it is.” It was at that level, a level that required an absence of any historic sense, any real and detailed knowledge of the history of that area, and of the Middle East, not merely in the 20th century, but during the 1300 years before, and also a sense of symmetry, or asymmetry, in power, in demands. The men who served on the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations, none of them Zionists, had a much better sense of why the Mandate’s aims — the establishment of a Jewish National Hoome — were justified, but also admirable, which is why those who had a wider sense of history, and were untainted by that widespread mental pathology that takes different forms in different people (even the form fruste can be deadly), such as Churchill, or Smuts, were Zionist sympathizers to a man. While the Shukairy “drive them into the sea” line was muted, for the Western world, and the “Palestinian people” theme drummed into Western minds, in black Africa, where the Israelis had had a very effective foreign-aid program before 1967, things went more quickly. All that was needed was bribery of key government officials and diplomats; and overnight most African states cut relations with Israel, and those agricultural projects, those irrigation projects, that had been so useful, were forced to end. There was, of course, no real Arab aid ever given; it was only bribes to particular officials, and then, of course, money to extend the reach, and power, of Islam in sub-Saharan Africa (and one result was the revolt of Nigeria’s Christians against the new Muslim militancy, the Jihad — as Col. Ojukwu called it — against those Christians).
If Western leaders, if Israeli leaders, ceased to use the phrase “Palestinian people” and started to use such carefully-constructed phrases as “the autonomy for local Arabs will of course depend on to the extent that such autonomy is commensurate with Israeli security, since there are already twenty-two Arab states, and we cannot remain unaware of the doctrine of Jihad as a permanent duty, so that opposition to Israel as an Infidel state should not be expected to diminish no matter what its borders. Indeed, we have every reason to believe that further territorial concessions that cause Arab Muslims to perceive Israel as more vulnerable will only increase the likelihood of open warfare, will whet rather than sate the desire for combat to further the aims of Jihad.”
Who writes or says anything like that? It’s all true, and necessary, but no one does. But perhaps they will start, as they realize that they, the entire West, the entire Infidel world, are in the same boat with Israel, and this is no time for that boat to become a ship of fools.
Posted by: Hugh at March 17, 2006 11:28 AM
Folks, begin to educate those around you. Correct them when they speak of the “history” of the “palestinian people”. Start, if you have not already, to refer to the “palestinians” as Quote palestinians unquote. For certain, the phrase is a concoction. See, Jews also lived in then-Palestine. Jews were also called Palestinians pre-1948. In fact, during WWII, Europe told Jews to “go back to Palestine”. Since WWII, Arabs tell Jews to get out of “Palestine”.
Palestine never existed as a country; it was a region. With the exception of Egypt, all the countries of the Middle East are artificial creations. After World War I, England and France carved up the Ottoman Empire, with England retaining what are now Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Iraq, and France being in possession of what are now Syria and Lebanon.
In 1917, the Balfour Declaration, proclaimed by the British mandatory power, established all of Palestine — east and west of the Jordan River — as the reconstituted homeland for the Jewish people. This was ratified by the 52 countries of the League of Nations.
Insistence that these are Arab lands and that the Jews are “occupiers” is a notion that has been repeated so often and for so long that most of the world has come to believe it. But it has no basis in fact at all. It is a myth.
Therefore, folks, simply expose the myth for what it is. Because as Hugh Fitzgerald writes, “…the entire West, the entire Infidel world, are in the same boat with Israel, and this is no time for that boat to become a ship of fools.”