A Simple Way to Prove That There is No Palestinian People:

Henya, Hamas prime minister at the Arab convention in Qatar

Khaled Mishal, Hamas prime minister at the Arab convention in Qatar

Prove that the Arab population in greater Palestine does not exist.

No, this is not a one-liner post, although frankly, I think that that much said is enough. A lot of commentators on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict boldly brand the Palestinian “people” a  falsehood. I’ve even heard that the national identity for the Palestinian people did not exist until 1967!

If I understand correctly, the main argument against the existence of the Palestinian nationality is that it was invented to accomodate the greedy whims of local ringleaders/warlords/sheikhs.

See, I think that the rise of nations derives from the gathering of a large group of people who share a common interest and are lead by the most influential individuals of their group. In fact, this puerile attempt at de-legitimatizing the Palestinian nationality is embarrassing and hypocritical. I’ve heard this claim being said in conjunction with the claim that the Palestinian national home is in Jordan. Talk about double standards!

So make up your mind, either this group does not exist, or it does exist and you simply don’t want it here (hmm, I wonder which one that would be).

In proper disclosure, let me just say that as a practical solution (though a very immoral one) – telling one band of ignorant xenophobes to go to one stretch of land and telling the other one to go to another will probably have some positive results. Well, I say “positive results” and I mean “reduced rate of violence”. It means that instead of one fascist pseudodemocracy in the middle east and one eudemocracy, we’d simply have two fascist pseudodemocracy. But hey, no more killing, right?

But at any rate, the only proof a large group of people needs to demonstrate that it exists is people who identify with it. You can’t say atheists don’t exist just because we share a common cause and we basically “made it up as we went along” sometimes in the last century when enough of us could raise our heads without having them decapitated.

The Arab denizens of Palestine lived here when our Jewish pioneering forefathers colonized this land (we called our first cities “colonies”) – they didn’t just rise from volcanos from hell to spite us. Their existence is proven by the fact that they are here now.

And the only way to ever reach some kind of peace is to come to terms with that existence, and to slowly mitigate the tremendous gap between their world and ours.

Killing never solved and never will solve nothing in the long run. (In the short run, it can, did and will) –

for lasting peace, we must assimilate into each other. Mix, blend, co-exist.


8 Responses to “A Simple Way to Prove That There is No Palestinian People:”

  1. calculated emotions Says:

    When you take this to extremes of course you’re right.
    Of course there is a Palestinian nation and it deserves a country. The thing is to remember, when dealing with smart wits claiming that Israel shouldn’t be the country of the Jewish nation (based on Jewish culture, history and common goals, not religion mind you), that the Jewish nationality (a.k.a Zionism) started at around 1870 something (the first zionist conference, I’m in a hurry so I won’t look for the specific dates) and the Palestinian nationality started after the Balfur Statement on 1914. Most say even 1917 (wikipedia claims 20.2.1917). The arabs residing here before that considered themselves to be Sudanese, Egyptians, Syrians etc. and were here to work and make money around British and Jewish colonies just like Philipinnes and Chinese workers nowadays. This does not mean that there is no Palestinian nation, it only means that we have rights here at least as much as them, and even more.

  2. Freidenker Says:

    Listen, these guys *lived* here. They had homes here. They still do. They deserve a place to live in just a much as we do. The problem is, they have to realize that we have that right, too. Until we both realize this, we can forget about peace.

  3. uzza Says:

    I’ve been pondering this post for a while. My usual understanding of the term “nation” is not as you describe it, but the different concept of a nation-state, essentially a country. It follows that there are no Palestinians younger than 60, as anyone younger was born and grew up in Jordan, so is Jordanian, or born and raised in Israel, so they are Israeli, and so on. I see people as citizens of whatever country they are born and raised in, and it is the responsibility of any country to provide for its citizens. If they fail to meet that responsibility, by designating a certain group unequal, or non-citizens—killing them off or sticking them in ghettos, refugee camps, the back of buses or whatever—they are moral failures, but in strictly practical terms they are also sowing the seeds of their own destruction thorough violence.

    The number of nations-as-you-defined-it is infinite, but there is only a certain amount of geography to go around. When a country annexes land, the people on it become members of the annexing nation, and like it or not become their responsibility. It amazes me how Islamic countries have spun things so that people denied citizenship and treated like shit for generations by the country of their birth, by their fellow Arabs, by their co-religionists, focus their anger on some other country. Ex-palestinan Israelis have a legitimate beef with Israel; Ex-palestinian Jordanians should have a beef with Jordan.

    Along with religion, this notion of a “nation” allows governments to shirk their responsibility to their people. Problems will remain as long as we say [a person deserves to inhabit this land because they are X], instead of saying [an inhabitant of this land deserves to be treated like a person], without mentioning X.

  4. Freidenker Says:

    Interesting perspective. See, the way I see it, “nations” are just another convoluted term for “group”, and as such, it follows the same basic principles which all groups operate by. Elements in a group pursue a common agenda and at that, respect other elements within that group and co-operate with them. The group “nation” gains its strength from the collective illusion that every member of a “nation” is connected in some spiritual way. Even I feel it, and am aware of the cognitive dissonance this entails when I witness members of my own country, with whom I truly have nothing in common, and are, for every intent and purpose – my abject enemies.

    But this illusion, on the whole, generates enormous profits for most members of the nation, and at that, is extremely practical.

    See, I believe that this “illusion” of a spiritual bond between members of a nation can be fostered even when the glue that binds all members is some superficial characteristic. The glue is just as adhesive when its made of mutual trust and benefits. People of Arab and Jewish descend can, in fact, be just like brothers, once they’ve built in that sweet trust and joy that is the core of every successful friendship. You recruit enough people to see the world like that, and you’ve really made a difference. It’s not just beautiful and morally superior, it’s also practical and profitable.

    Problem is, there’s too much cultivated animosity in this country to know even where to start. I wouldn’t be able to trust anyone to be frank with me if I offered this (see my latest post) to someone myself!

  5. calculated emotions Says:

    read my comment again please, I’m saying both nations have rights in this region and I think that there should be a Zionist country in most of the pre 67 territories and there should be a Palestinian national country in most of the post 67 territories and some pre 67 ones.
    I was trying to tackle the historical argument you brought up. You missed that part completely!
    You mix up “deserve a place to live in” with have national rights here. Therefore you seem to agree that because arabs were hanging around here before the jews than the Palestinians were here first. Since too many people (not you!) use this claim as a reason why there shouldn’t be a Zionist country here at all it is important for me to try to discredit it:

    Please differ PALESTINIANS from ARABS just like you probably differ RELIGIOUS JEWS from NATIONALIST JEWS (Zionists to make my life easier).
    The arabs had homes here ever since, just like religious jews. The religous jews clang to religious spots and the arabs roamed around looking for food, water, money and shelter. They didn’t hold any national identity because nationalism wasn’t part of anybody’s life here before we came around. They didn’t care about borders, so most of them didn’t give a damn before the 20th century 20’s if they employers were Turks, British, French or Zionists. They also didn’t care what name did the Colonialists Europeans or Turks gave the region of the middle east they found themselves in. Therefore there were NO PALESTINIANS HERE BEFORE 1917 just like there were no ZIONISTS JEWS HERE BEFORE THE LATE 19’s CENTURY simply because These nationalities did not exist before! Nobody before the Zionists claimed this country to be his national homeland! The fact that you look upon history now and can say that the Palestinians living here are the descendants of the arabs that lives here 200 years ago does not mean that the arabs living here 200 years ago were Palestinians!

    Of course that anybody who had a home here before 1948 should be allowed to keep it and live here safely, but the question wether his home should be Palestinian territory and him a Palestinian citizen or Israeli terrirory and him Israeli citizen shouldn’t be up to him but up to the leaders of the two nations. Of course that Palestinian citizens working in Israel and vice versa is a completely legitimate prospect, as long as it is mutual agreement.

  6. Freidenker Says:

    I’m not mixing up nationalism with “deserving a place to be in” – this is what nationalists from both sides keep bringing up! I’m saying that the only thing that actually matters is whether or not people have the right to be here, because: legitimate nationalism or none, people who WERE here and ARE here now should live here peacefully.

    As far as “nations not existing before… etc.” – you’re right. It’s true enough that nationalism for both “nations” did not exist until a need arose (for the Jews, it was persecution, for the Arabs, it was greedy sheiks).

    You seem to misunderstand me, and this misunderstanding seems to have supplementary errors attached to it: I do not claim that “people living here hundreds of years ago” give credence to people living here now. I’m saying that PEOPLE LIVING HERE NOW give credence to people living here now. I can’t blame you, when I wrote “they lived here for hundreds of years”, I had it coming. It was merely to illustrate that the Arabs didn’t just drop out of no where, but it isn’t just that they lived here for centuries that gives them the right to be here now.

    There’s one extra major point that I think went unnoticed in this post: the Palestinian people exist as a people not because there was a “Palestinian identity” hundreds of years ago. They exist as a people because there are Arabs in Palestine who consider places in Palestine as their homes. This does not demand a flag, a national anthem, a unifying political party or even the name “Palestinians”, it only demands that those people who now call themselves Palestinians exist.

  7. uzza Says:

    wether his home should be Palestinian territory and him a Palestinian citizen or Israeli terrirory and him Israeli citizen shouldn’t be up to him but up to the leaders of the two nations

    Really? What when the leaders decide his home is Syrian territory but he is not a Syrian citizen? Do his rights disappear with this decision? What are his option then?

  8. Freidenker Says:

    I’m with Uzza on this one. You can’t force people into allegiance, you can only convince them into it.

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