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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Michael Kinsley examines Newt Gingrich’s claim that Palestinians are “an invented people” in his new column, “Palestinians Will Invent A State Next:”

In November 1947, shortly after the United Nations voted for partition of the Holy Land into separate Arab and Jewish states, Chaim Weizmann was cited by the New York Times as saying that “the most important work now was to build Palestine.” What? To build Palestine? Yes, in 1947 the word “Palestinian” –if it meant anything at all — referred to Jews living in Palestine. The Palestine Post (now the Jerusalem Post) was the Jewish English-language newspaper. The Palestine Orchestra (now the Israel Philharmonic) was a Jewish orchestra, filled to overflowing with Holocaust survivors. The United Palestine Appeal, an American charity, raised money to resettle homeless Jews from Europe in Palestine — one of the things Arabs objected to the most.

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  • kurt.lorentzen

    “Palestine” is a place, documented for centuries. Palestine has been occupied, on and off over recorded history, by Jews, Arabs, Persians, Romans. None are “Palestinians” any more than another. At the same time, there’s nothing to prevent creating a state and naming it Palestine (symantically anyway). As of today, Gingrich is correct in that Palestinians don’t exist as a sovereign national unit. If a State of Palestine is created, that will no longer be true. In the end though, will it matter? Dwellers in Palestine place their association as Arabs and Muslims ahead of any national allegiance, and to a degree, residents of Israel are Jewish first and Israeli second.