“The Palestinian people does not [sic] 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.”
PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein to a Dutch newspaper in 1977
"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."
PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein, March 31, 1977, interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw.
“From the end of the Jewish State in antiquity to the beginning of the British rule, the area now designated by the name of Palestine was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries.”
Bernard Lewis, Professor of History, Princeton University
“The Arabs learned their disinformation tactic from the Nazis: if you lie long enough, and loud enough, people will actually believe you. As a result, most people now believe there is something called “palestinian” people, a total fabrication, complete with a phony history and a phony culture. There is only one truth here, that are 1.75 million people, a hodgepodge of Arabs and Turks, intentionally or maybe unwittingly, masquerading as a “people”, and made into “people” by the PLO and many in the world community who relished attacking the Jews in yet another novel way”
Researcher Roger Carasso and the “palestinian” revisionism
"It should be remembered that in 1918, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Britain and France were handed 5,000,000 square miles to divvy up and 99+% was given to the Arabs to create countries that did not exist previously. 1% was given as a Mandate for the re-establishment of a state for the Jews on both banks of the Jordan River. In 1921, to once again appease the Arabs, another three quarters of that 1% was given to a fictitious state called Trans-Jordan."
Jack Berger, May 31, 2004
"The Palestine Mandate was not created on land taken from the Syrians or the Arabs. It was taken from the Turks. It was not taken from the Turks by the Jews, but by the British and the French. They took it because Turkey sided with Germany in the First World War and, of course, lost. The Turkish empire had ruled the entire region including Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan for four hundred years before Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan were artificially created by the English and the French. Jordan -- a state whose majority is Palestinian -- occupies 80% of the Palestine Mandate. So it is a preposterous lie to say that the Palestinians had their own land and that it was occupied by the Jews."
David Horowitz, Front Page Magazine, December 14, 2006
Who Are the Palestinians?
According to a recent census released by Central Bureau of Statistics, nearly three million palestinians live in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. These palestinians claim to be the descendants of the ancient natives of Palestine. Furthermore, they declare that they and millions more of their palestinian descendants, scattered as refugees throughout the Middle East and living in other countries of the world, are engaged in a national struggle for sovereignty in their historic homeland. In addition, the radical islamic terrorists have championed this same cause and declared that there will be no peace for the West until palestinians achieve their objectives. But what are the facts behind these claims? What is the actual origin of this people who have gained such proeminence that their demand for national recognition and right of returnis said to be at the center of the Middle East conflict and the deciding factor and the war on terrorism?
What Is the Origin of the Name Palestinian?
The term Palestinian is thought to have been derived form the greek and latin words for one of the chief enemies of the Israelites – the Philistines (Greek Palaistine, Latin Palaestina, for Hebrew Plishtim). The Philistine kingdom of Philistia occupied the narrow strip of coastal plain between modern Gaza and Joppa from thirteenth to seventh centuries B.c. Indeed, the word Palestine appears in the King James version of the Bible with reference to this region (Joel 3:4). However, more modern versions use the term Philistia.
David Jacobson, an instructor at the University College of London on Jews and the classical world, believes tat Palestine may have originated as a Greek pun on the translation of “Israel” and “land of the Philistines”. He observes that the Greek and Latin terms frequently appear in ancient literature with reference not to the land of Philistines, but to the land of Israel. For example, Herodotus (circa 450 B.c.), reputed to be the father of history, recorded that the people of Palestine were cincumcised, a distinction of the Israelites, not Philistines (who were uncircumcised). Likewise, Aristotle (fourth centure B.c.) observed in his writings that the Dead Sea was in Palestine (a geographical setting in Israel far to the east of Philistine territory). And Philo of Alexandria (first century A.c) indentified Palaistinei with biblical Canaan and remarked that “palestinian Syria was occupied by the populous nation of the Jews”.
Furthermore, if Palestine was derived from Philistine, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Septuagint (circa 250 B.c.), should have translated the Hebrew word “Plishtim” (Philistine) by the well-known Greek term Palaistinoi (Palestine). However, the translator chose the Greek transliteration Philistieim (revealing by the plural ending IM, a term of Hebrew origin). Jacobson argues that the Greek word Palaistine is quite close to the Greek word Palaistes, wich means “wrestler”, “rival” or “adversary”. This is the very meaning of the Hebrew word Yisra’el (Israel), based on Genesis 32:25-17, in wich Jacob received the name Israel because he “wrestled” (Hebrew sarita) with “God” (Hebrew El).
To the Greeks, who liked to use wordplays, the word Palestine would have sounded both like the people of Israel, who were thought to be the descendants of a hero who wrestled with a god, and the Philistines, who lived in adjacent coast. The first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus , who wrote in Greek, supports this general usage by referring to both the land of the Philistines and the much larger Land of Israel as “Palestine”. However, he also distinguished the Land of Israel by this term when he wrote of “the events that befell us Jews in Egypt, in Syria and in Palestine”.
The use of the term Palestine in identification with the Land of Israel officialy took root when the Roman emperor Hadrian renamed the country Syria Palaestina. It is often thought that Hadrian did this to punish the Jews for their revolt adainst Roman rule (the Bar-Kokhba Revolt of A.d. 132-135), for by removing their name for their country, the historic connection with their homeland would be severed. However, since the first-century Jewish writers Philo and Josephus had already used this term in Greek for Israel, and Roman writers continued this practice. Hadrian may have simply codified the ancient and accepted usage. Nevertheless, the designation Palaestina appears to habve been applied particularly to Judea, at the center of wich was the capital city of Jerusalem.
Hadrian’s attack was clearly leveled against Jerusalem, wich he considered the heart of the rebellion. It was from this city he expelled the Jewish population and renamed it Aelia Capitolina (in honor of his own family name Aelia and the gods on Rome’s Capitol Hill). To obscure the Jewish religion of the city, he plowed under the site of the Temple Mount and erected within it pagan temples and shrines. In this way Hadrian symbolically sought to remove the Jewish past and build a new and revised Roman future.
Even tough Romans attempted to sever a connection between Palestine and the Jewish people, Palestine remaied identified with Israel as a place of promise “so that in later times the words Judea and Palestine were synonymous”. Therefore, in general sense, the name Palestine has moreof a historical link with the land of the people of Israel – the Jews – and in a restricted sense, also with the Philistines. In addiction, the later application to Judea and Jerusalem may well have arisen from an attempt by the Roman enemies of the Jews to revise their historical origins.
Who in Palestine Was Called a Palestinian?
Greek and Roman writers used the terms Palestine and Palestinian to refer to the land of Israel and its Jewish inhabitants. As we have seen, early secular writers such as Herodotus and Aristotle had used these terms in this way, as had first-century Jewish writers such as Philo and Josephus. In the early first century A.D.the Roman poet Ovid decribed Jewish Sabbath observance with the words “the seventh-day feast that the Syrian of Palestine observes”. Other Latin authors, such as the poet Statius and the historian Dio Chrysostom, also spoke of the Jews as Palestinians and the Jewish homeland as Palestine.
Likewise, in Talmudic literature (third century A.D.), Palestine is used as the name of a Roman province adjoining the provinces of Phoenicia and Arabia (i.e, the Land of Israel).
In the fourth century A.D. the three provinces into which the Land of Israel had been divided were referred to as first, second and third Palestine. But the term Plestine seems to have disappeared completely after the Muslim conquest of A.d. 638. In fact, Palestine never appears in the Qur’an, wich refers to the area as simply “the holy land”(Al-Arad Al-Muqaddash). In like manner, Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Qur’an , and Arab historians variously referred to it as Iliya (adapted from the Latin Aelia), Bayt Maqdis (adapted from the the Hebrew Beit Hamiqdash, “the Holy House” or “the Temple”) or finally as Al-Quds (the holy one).
The crusaders renewed the use of the three Palestines, however, after the fall of the Crusader kingdom, the name Palestine was no longer used officially, but was preserved only by Christians cartographers in maps drawn in their native lands. From the establishment of islamic rule over the land until the late nineteenth century, inhabitants of the region between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean appear to have referred to themselves primarily with respect to to their religions (mohammedan, Christians and Jews)
The first modern use of the term Palestinian appears during the time of the British Mandate (1917-1948). To the classicaly trained British mind the Land of Israel had ceased to exist in ancient times; and Palestine had endured in the classical literature as the designations of the Jewish homeland and heritage. This may be seen , for example, in the Jewish Encyclopedia (published in London 1905), which states that Palestine is “the portion of Syria that was formerlythe possession of the Israelites”. Given the British penchant for historical accuracy, the term is applied witrh reference tothe Jewish residents of the country . Therefore, the standard British reference for defining terms, the Oxford English Dictionary, defines the term Palestinian as 1) “the Jews who returned to Israel from Moscow” and 2) “Jews from Israel who voluntereed to he British army to fight Germany”. In fact, Jewish soldiers serving with the Allies during World War II had the word Palestine inscribed in the soulder badges.
In addiction, under the British mandate, the Jewish owned newspaper Jerusalem Post was known as the Palestine Post and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was called Palestine Philharmonica Orchestra, and postage stamps were issued bearing the apellation “Palestine - EI”, the abbreviation EI meaning Erets Israel (Hebrew for “the land of Israel”).
These usages makes clear that even though the term Palestinian could have also been applied to Arabs or many other ethnic groups (such as the Armenians, Greeks, Syrians and Ethiopians pf Jerusalem’s Old City or the German Templars of its New City), under British rule, the term was especially understood to refer to a Jew from Palestine.