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September 22, 2002

Why one should oppose a second Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza - Part 6 of 23

This piece continues a series the first parts of which were posted on September 8, 9, 11, 17 and 19, 2002. The object of the series is to provide a data base that is not only reliable and well-documented but also one for which documents are easily accessible, preferably from web resources.

6. "Palestine" is a geographic term, assigned to a region, and historically, has never referred to an Arab state. This underscores that a "Palestinian nation" does not exist except as an anti Israeli propaganda card. Hence, creating another sovereign Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is unjustified.

In his article, “The year the Arabs discovered Palestine”, Daniel Pipes traces the beginnings of Palestinian-Arab nationalism as follows:

Palestine, then [prior to 1920] a secular way of saying Eretz Yisra'el or Terra Sancta, embodied a purely Jewish and Christian concept, one utterly foreign to Moslems, even repugnant to them.

This distaste was confirmed in April 1920, when the British occupying force carved out a "Palestine." Moslems reacted very suspiciously, rightly seeing this designation as a victory for Zionism. Less accurately, they worried about it signaling a revival in the Crusader impulse. No prominent Moslem voices endorsed the delineation of Palestine in 1920; all protested it.

Instead, Moslems west of the Jordan directed their allegiance to Damascus, where the great-great-uncle of Jordan's King Abdullah II was then ruling; they identified themselves as Southern Syrians.

Interestingly, no one advocated this affiliation more emphatically than a young man named Amin Husseini. In July 1920, however, the French overthrew this Hashemite king, in the process killing the notion of a Southern Syria.

Isolated by the events of April and July, the Moslems of Palestine made the best of a bad situation. One prominent Jerusalemite commented, just days following the fall of the Hashemite kingdom: "after the recent events in Damascus, we have to effect a complete change in our plans here. Southern Syria no longer exists. We must defend Palestine."

Following this advice, the leadership in December 1920 adopted the goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state. Within a few years, this effort was led by Husseini.

What, one may ask, was the history of Palestine before 1920 - wasn’t it a Palestinian-Arab state since the 7th Century? To substantiate the thesis that Palestine never was a state, suffice it to review the Palestinian-Arab version of history, from the Arab invasion until WW I. This history, given in the Palestinian site, Palestine Remembered, is quoted below if full, so that the arguments of “selective quoting” and “quoting out of context” cannot be raised.
638 - Arabs under the Caliph 'Umar capture Palestine from Byzantines.
661-750 - Umayyad caliphs rule Palestine from Damascus. Dynasty descended from Umayya of Meccan tribe of Quraysh. Construction of Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem by Caliph 'Abd al-Malik (685-705). Construction of al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem by Caliph al-Walid I (705-715).
750-1258 - 'Abbasid caliphs rule Palestine from Iraq. Dynasty, founded by Abu al-'Abbas al-Saffah, who is descended from 'Abbas, uncle of the Prophet.
969 - Fatimid dynasty, claiming descent from the Prophet's daughter Fatima and her cousin 'Ali, rule Palestine from Egypt. They proclaim themselves caliphs in rivalry to the 'Abbasids.
1071 - Saljuqs, originally from Isfahan, capture Jerusalem and parts of Palestine, which remains officially within the 'Abbasid Empire.
1099-1187 - Crusaders establish the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.
1187 - Kurdish general Saladin (Salah al-Din who was born in Takrit northern Iraq, the birth place of Saddam Hussein too), son of Ayyub, the sultan of Mosul, defeats Crusaders at Hittin in northern Palestine and recaptures Jerusalem. The Ayyubid dynasty rules Palestine from Cairo.
1260 - Mamluks succeed Ayyubids, ruling Palestine from Cairo; defeat Mongols at Battle of 'Ayn Jalut near Nazareth.
1291 - Mamluks capture final Crusader strongholds of Acre and Caesarea.
1516-1917 - Palestine incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with its capital in Istanbul.
1832-1840 - Muhammad 'Ali Pasha of Egypt occupies Palestine. Ottomans subsequently reassert their rule.
1876-1877 - Palestinian deputies from Jerusalem attend the first Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul, elected under a new Ottoman Constitution.
1878 - First modern Zionist agricultural settlement of Petach Tiqwa established (click here to learn more about Zionist [sic] and its impact on the Palestinian people).
1882-1903 - First wave of 25,000 Zionist immigrants enters Palestine, coming mainly from eastern Europe.
1882 - Baron Edmond de Rothschild of Paris starts financial backing for Jewish settlement in Palestine.
1887-1888 -
Palestine divided by Ottomans into the districts (sanjaks) of Jerusalem, Nablus, and Acre. The first was attached directly to Istanbul, the others to the wilayet of Beirut.
1896 - Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian Jewish journalist and writer, publishes Der Judenstaat, advocating establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine or elsewhere.
1896 - Jewish Colonization Association, founded in 1891 in London by German Baron Maurice de Hirsch, starts aiding Zionist settlements in Palestine.
1897 - First Zionist Congress in Switzerland issues the Basle Program calling for the establishment of a "home for the Jewish people in Palestine." It also establishes the World Zionist Organization (WZO) to work to that end.
1901 - Jewish National Fund (JNF) set up by fifth Zionist Congress in Basle to acquire land for WZO; land acquired by JNF to be inalienably Jewish, and exclusively Jewish labor to be employed on it, click here to read to Zionist [sic] apartheid & racist quotes.
1904-1914 - Second wave of about 40,000 Zionist immigrants increases Jewish population in Palestine to about 6% of total. Since the inception of Zionism in [sic] claimed that Palestinian was an empty country, click here to read our rebuttal to this argument.
1909 - Establishment of the first kibbutz, based exclusively on Jewish labor. Tel Aviv founded north of Jaffa.
1914 - World War I starts.
(To learn more about the anti-Israeli site quoted above, check out the mission statement of “The Home Of All Ethnically Cleansed Palestinians”).

Even this Palestinian-Arab version of history has no hint whatever of a Palestinian state, and as a previous article indicated, history also shows no indication of a “Palestinian-Arab nation” either. Against the historical background of neither a “Palestinian-Arab state” nor a “Palestinian-Arab nation” stands the Jewish claim of historical nationhood in Palestine, recognized internationally by such solid documents as the League of Nations mandate and the US Congress endorsement of the Mandate document in June, 1922. Is it not clear that the Jewish claim to sovereignty over Palestine is infinitely stronger than the Palestinian-Arab claim?

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Noralnd