Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Palestine: going, going...

You might remember the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir making the bold political statement: "There is no such thing as a Palestinian people".
The statement has been a source of ridicule and derision by Arab propagandists ever since.
What they don't like to talk about, however, are the very similar statements made by Yasser Arafat and his inner circle of henchmen years after Meir had told the truth – that there is no distinct Palestinian cultural or national identity.
Way back on March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here's what he said:
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "Palestinian people" to oppose Zionism.For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.

That's even more specific than Golda Meir's statement.
In the history of the world, Palestine has never existed as a nation. The region known as Palestine was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their ancestral homeland. It was never ruled by Arabs as a separate nation. (WND)

And that is exactly what Hamas's proclaimed foreign minister, Mahmoud Zahhar, admitted on January 31 in an interview with the Economist: "I'm looking ahead to a distant future when, like your European Union, the Arab nation will form one state across its historic lands, joining up with other Muslim nations such as Turkey.We [Palestinians] were never an independent state in history. We were part of an Arab state and an Islamic state.
(The Economist)


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