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Monday, October 24, 2016

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) — 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.

Arabs living in the territory of Palestine were called “Arabs” — or, very occasionally, “Palestinian Arabs.” This was in keeping with the philosophy promoted by Egypt’s leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, among others, and known as pan-Arabism. It held that all places where Arabs ruled were part of one big Arab nation. Nasser, who more or less ran the joint before the rise of the oil powers, wasn’t interested in adding new sovereign nations to the map.

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  • Leif Gerjuoy

    Newt Gingrich is being deliberately misleading to put it politely in saying that that the Palestinians are an invented people. As anyone remotely schooled in middle east history, and Gingrich certainly must be, knows that all the countries of the area were created from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire buy the British and the French after the first world war. Iraq, Syria, Jordan, (initially called Transjordan)and Lebanon were all created at that time out of disparate religious and ethnic groups. In this context, the Palestinians have as much right to a national identity as anyone else. The British brought in a royal family to rule Transjordan and Iraq that was from the Arabian peninsula (a compensation for having bees thrown out of Mecca by the Saudis)The Arabs living in Palestine were left with no one but themselves to represent their interests. If there were no “Palestinians” when the process began history has by now created them as a people who have just as much right to be called as such as Jordanians, Iraqis, Lebanese and Syrians. I’m sure Mr.Gingrich is aware of all this too, but somehow neglected to mention it when he referred to Palestinians as “an invented people”

  • Earthskimmer

    Isn’t each of the united states an invented reality? We stole land from the native peoples, divided it into sections over a period of time, and gave each section a name. And we did it over about 400 years. Now we refer to ourselves as “Americans,” as though we comprised a couple of continents. “America is the greatest nation on earth,” is a favorite of jingoistic politicians. America is not a nation; it’s a continent or two (South America, North America, Central America). The United States of America is a relatively new invention. Palestine, on the other hand, has been around for as long as (literally) only God knows. If there’s any invention involved in this discussion, it is in the mind of “Gingrich the Manufacturer of History.” If he means to appeal to the Zionist evangelicals who would hasten the Messiah’s return by deleting Palestine from the map, he has unwittingly denounced their hopes, for which I applaud his ignorance.


    There’s a huge difference between the terms “invented people” and invented state. I
    m sure Newtie knew he was throwing the cat among the pigeons when he unleashed this bit of doublespeak. First, as this article points out, Israel is an “invented state,” as is Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and a host of others that were resurrected out of the smoking remains of imperialist territories (many of which, by the way, remain the persistent trouble spots in the world).
    To refer to a people who have been native to a region of the world without interruption since before recorded history as an “invented people” is nothing more than a slap in the face — intentionally, given Gingrich’s longstanding recorded opinions of people of color.
    This statement is nothing more than a variation on the appeal to commonplace bigotry that is being used to reinforce such myths as Obama’s “Kenyan” birth, the “laziness and lack of work ethic” among black schoolchildren (and their families, by extension), and the list goes on and on.
    To dignify Gingrich’s blather with anything resembling professional regard is to climb right down into the cesspool with him . . . and he knows it.
    He is a master of rhetoric.

  • emdsch

    When the children of Jacob (Israel)left Egypt (Exodus)they settled in what is now the land of Israel after defeating the inhabitants of what was then the land of Palestine. The inhabitants of Palestine were a collection various peoples (tribes).We, Americans, did the very same thing, having come from various places and conquering the hapless tribes of Amerindians and totally displacing them. We are all “invented oeople”.

  • SmartofRyeCove

    I beg to differ with the author…Israel was a Nation 3000 years ago. It isn’t just like they suddenly came on the scene. The nation was divided into Israel and Judea; Israel was captured and taken into slavery and approximately 100 years later, Judea was captured by the Babylonians and taken as slaves to Babylon, but were allowed to later return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. The Arabs took advantage of the Israel and Judea’s absents and took land that the Israeli had occupied for longer than the United States has existed.

    • Ahmed Abd El Aziz

      “Israel was a Nation 3000 years ago”-False that is historically an inaccurate statement, Israel the word is actually Egyptian and was used to named the stolen Palestinian land 60 years ago.

      “It isn’t just like they suddenly came on the scene. ” Yes that is EXACTLY what happened Israel was fabricated 60 years ago by a bunch of land and money hungry Zionist pigs.

      Your uneducated about the subject and need a history lesson. And let me remind you that when the Christian crusades occurred and they killed all the Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem, A great Muslim leader came ONE HUNDRED years later and took back Jerusalem from Christian control, his name was SALADIN and called upon all the Jews that were displaced from Jerusalem to return to Jerusalem and since then Christians, Muslims, and Jews had been living in actual peace, UNTIL European Zionist pigs came and created concentration camps of innocent non-Jews and killed them, and refugee the rest. And started this made up country called “Israel”, literally that land was NEVER called Israel until 60 years ago.

      I think the only answer for there to be another crusade to stop the oppression Muslims in the area, and how you call the people of Palestine as “ARABS” as if the land in general ever belonged to any other race is also ignorant on your behalf. ARAB Jews, Arab Christians, and Arab Muslims have always reigned over that land, European Jews have no birthright to that land, or any type of right to Arab land. But don’t worry I am sure history will repeat itself and the Arab’s will win yet again another crusade and reclaim that land, I don’t care if they are Arab Jews, Arab Muslims, or Arab Christians that conquer Jerusalem, as long as it is not Zionist pigs, by the way Egypt will probably crusade against “Israel” to return the stolen holy land of Jerusalem, the Muslims will never forget what happened to them when Israel was created, and neither should they.

      One reason I say that Egypt will most likely crusade against Israel is that Egyptians comprised the largest portion of the Saracens, which were the Muslim Army force that was led Under Saladin, which won the last crusade, Saladin’s goal and morale was that all religions would live in peace, oppression was unacceptable, Jews Muslims and Christians should all live in peace. If you look at the Egyptian Flag, its coat of Arms is that of Saladin’s great army from the original crusade that brought actual religious equality back to Jerusalem, ironically enough it was divide amongst the Arab world that caused Arabs to not be able to regain Jerusalem after the last crusade, but eventually they reunited and took it back 100 years after they lost it, and NOW the same exact thing is happening again, after the Arab spring and uprising, Egypt ousted the president that has been in power for over FIFTY YEARS which is almost as long as Israel has been around, and immediately destroyed the oil pipeline to Israel, I assure you that within the next decade or century Israel will be no more, and Jerusalem will once again be a kingdom of conscience, it will be a Kingdom of Heaven. Subhan Rabihi Al Azeem.

  • siri corr

    Again I was disgusted by Newt Gingrich’s comments, this time referring to Palestine as an “invention”. OK, so following his logic, the state of Israel is also an invention. So is the Chinese occupation of Tibet; can we get them out of there? Not on your life. For that matter, the “homeless” are an invented population in America, as are the Indian reservations…. Wait, they were here first…. AMERICA is an invention; the Natives were here first! Again Mr. Gingrich displays his lack of knowledge, perspective, and most importantly, DIPLOMACY! If he is elected, I will be leaving this invented land of America; I could not bear 4 years of his idiocy.

    • Rachel Meidan

      What about the British occupation of Northern Ireland, of Malvinas (6000 miles from the UK) , of Scotland, of Wales and of Gibraltar?

  • neuromate

    Let’s not forget how the Israelites came into Canaan in the first place,i.e. they had a mandate from their god to kill every man, woman, and child they encountered. Do you really want to claim Palestine with that kind of legacy? Palestinian Arabs trace thier heritage through Abraham just as much as the Jews. For a community that makes so much about the holacaust it’s ironic to see them behave in the same manner in Gaza & the West Bank.

    • Naftali Greenwood

      Keep going. Tell us how Israel is behaving “in the same manner” as in the “holacaust” (sic). Name the Arab citizens whom Israel disenfranchised. The Arab children whom Israel expelled from school. The Palestinian books that Israel burned. The religious practices that Israel outlawed. And don’t forget the industrialized mass slaughter, practiced first on the Arab mentally retarded and homosexuals. The crematoria stoked with Palestinian bodies. The death marches. I’m waiting.

      • Ahmed Abd El Aziz

        According to the sources and to the definition, between 10 and 70 massacres occurred during the 1948 War.[1][2][3]

        As regards massacres and attacks against Arabs, “Yishuv troops probably murdered some 800 civilians and prisoners of war”.[1] Most of these occurred as villages were overrun and captured during the Second phase of the Civil War, Operation Dani, Operation Hiram and Operation Yoav.[1][4]

        According to Benny Morris the Israelis were responsible for 24 massacres during the war.[1] Aryeh Yizthaki attests 10 major massacres with more than 50 victims each.[5] Palestinian researcher Salman Abu-Sitta records 33, half of them occurring during the civil war period[5] and Saleh Abdel Jawad has listed 68 villages where acts of indiscriminate killing of prisoners, and civilians, where no threat was posed to Israeli soldiers, took place.[6]

        The main massacres and attacks against Jewish civilians were the Haifa Oil Refinery massacre where 39 Jews were killed by Arab irregulars in the aftermath of an Irgun attack, and the Kfar Etzion massacre where around 120-150 surrendering defenders were killed by Arab irregulars, with the participation of Arab Legion legionnaires. With 80 deaths, the Hadassah medical convoy attack is also reported as a massacre because it included the mass killing of unarmed medical personnel by Arabs.[1][7][8]

        Both Israeli archives and Palestinian testimonies confirm atrocities occurred in numerous villages.[5] According to Benny Morris, the “worst cases” were the Saliha massacre with 70 to 80 killed, the Deir Yassin massacre with around 100, Lydda massacre with around 250, and the Abu Shusha massacre with 60-70.[9] In Al-Dawayima, accounts of the death toll vary. Saleh Abd al-Jawad reports 100-200 casualties,[6] Benny Morris has estimated “hundreds”[9] and also reports the IDF investigation which concluded 100 villagers had been killed.[10] Ben-Gurion gave the figure of 70-80.[11] Saleh Abd al-Jawad reports the village’s mukhtar account[12] that 455 people were missing following the al-Dawayima massacre, including 170 women and children.[6]

        Controversy surrounds the assertion that a massacre by Israelis took place at al-Tantura.[1][13][14]

      • Ahmed Abd El Aziz

        This list of Arab towns and villages that were depopulated during the 1948 Palestinian exodus gathers about 500 items. Some areas were entirely depopulated and destroyed; others were left with a few hundred residents and were repopulated by Jewish immigrants, then renamed. Towns and villages are arranged according to the subdistrict of pre-1948 Mandatory Palestine they were situated in.
        1 District of Acre
        2 District of Baysan
        3 District of Beersheba
        4 District of Gaza
        5 District of Haifa
        6 District of Hebron
        7 District of Jaffa
        8 District of Jerusalem
        9 District of Jenin
        10 District of Nazareth
        11 District of Ramla
        12 District of Safad
        13 District of Tiberias
        14 District of Tulkarm

        The 1948 Palestinian exodus, known in Arabic as the Nakba (Arabic: النكبة‎, an-Nakbah, lit. “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”),[1] occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the 1947–1948 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine that preceded it.[2] The term nakba also refers to the period of war itself and events affecting Palestinians December 1947 to January 1949, and is synonymous in that sense with what is known to Israelis as the War of Independence (Hebrew: מלחמת העצמאות or מלחמת הקוממיות‎, Milkhemet Ha’atzma’ut, a term which covers those two events.[3][4][5][6]

        The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute.[7] The causes remain the subject of fundamental disagreement between Arabs and Israelis.

        Nur-eldeen Masalha writes that over 80 percent of the Arab inhabitants left their towns and villages in 1948, while Rashid Khalidi puts the percentage at 50.[8][9] Factors involved in the flight include Jewish military advances, attacks against Arab villages and fears of massacre after Deir Yassin,[10]:239–240 which caused many to leave out of panic; expulsion orders by Zionist authorities; the voluntary self-removal of the wealthier classes,[11] the collapse in Palestinian leadership,[12] and an unwillingness to live under Jewish control.[13] Later, a series of laws passed by the first Israeli government prevented them from returning to their homes, or claiming their property. They and many of their descendants remain refugees.[14][15] Later in the war, Palestinians were expelled as part of Plan Dalet.[16] The expulsion of the Palestinians has since been described by some historians as ethnic cleansing,[17][18][19]

        • Naftali Greenwood

          No, sir. Your sources refer to incidents in the brutal total war that took place in 1947-1949. My challenge concerns Neuromate’s allegation that Israel, in the present, is behaving “in the same manner” in Gaza and the West Bank today as Nazi Germany behaved toward the Jews in the Holocaust. Your posts address none of the aspects that I raised. But I’ll add another one: in the 1947-1949 fighting, like today, the sources struggle to differentiate between Palestinian combatants and non-combatants. The ones you cited are disputed in nearly every case. In the Holocaust, in contrast, all victims (Jewish and other) were plainly non-combatants. Jews had no armed forces of their own (which is why the Holocaust happened and why Zionism gained so much international acceptance) and Jewish members of Allied armed forces are never numbered among Holocaust victims.

          I do not dispute the term “Nakba” for what Palestinians suffered in the events of 1948. But likening Israel’s conduct then or after to the Holocaust is pure disservice of fact that panders to the ignorant, obviates all reasonable debate, and helps to keep this cruel conflict unresolved.

  • cminhtown

    Was’nt it Jewish terrorists who killed a fellow named Yitzak Rabien who coincidentally brought a significant pause in the violence of that region? I distinctly remember news stories at least several times a week as a child about the Catholics and Protestants blowing each other to tiny little pieces all over the streets in Ireland. No one dared to say “Christian terrorists”. I guess if you are on the winning side of a conflict you get to name the terrorists as you see fit. Because I strongly support the rise of a third and even a fourth party by force if necessary….. does that make me a terrorist? Are people like me the reason that numerous “internment camps” have recently been built all across our country? It’s scary what the two ruling parties will do to hold onto the powers they have swindled and stolen.

  • Ahmed Abd El Aziz