As I wrote in Hear, O Israel!, the historical record conclusively shows not only that there was never any such thing as a Palestinian nation but also that there is no Palestinian ethnicity—in the sense that there is a Jewish or Tibetan ethnicity—and that there was no coherent political grouping known as “Palestinians” until after the 1967 war. A Palestinian entity was only recognized by the Arab countries at the 1974 Rabat Summit conference. (Although the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded in 1964—before there were any “Territories” to be “liberated”—it was largely an Egyptian affair controlled by Gamel Abdel Nasser.) Indeed, 1967 is the founding year of the hypothesis now known as “Palestine.”
The designation “Palestinians” was not in official use under the Ottoman Empire and the British applied the term only to the Jewish inhabitants of the region. Local Arabs rejected the term “Palestine” and pressed for “Southern Syria” and even “Iraq.” Many Arab place names are mutations of the original Hebrew, which, in the words of American trial attorney Matthew Hausman, “evidence Jewish habitation dating from Biblical times,” before the Arab invaders appeared on the scene. Eli Hertz, president of Myths and Facts Inc., points out that the Territories “are filled with families named Elmisri (Egyptian), Chalabi (Syrian), Mugrabi (North African)”; and Habash, the surname of arch-terrorist George Habash, originates in Ethiopia (MythsandFacts.com, May 16, 2008). These emigrant families were not driven out over the historical continuum as they contend—they were never there in the first place. As Zahir Muhsein of the Palestinian National Council told the Dutch newspaper Trouw as far back as 1977, “The Palestinian people does not exist. … Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people…to oppose Zionism.” Similarly, Yasser Arafat himself, in the authorized political biography written by Alan Hart, affirmed that the “Palestinian people have no national identity.” Arafat intended to confer identity “though conflict with Israel.”
Joan Peters has shown in her scrupulously researched seven-year study From Time Immemorial, examining census reports and internal memoranda during the British Mandate, that a significant proportion of the “original” Palestinian inhabitants were relative newcomers to the territory in dispute, having migrated into the Holy Land from the surrounding Arab countries, mainly from what was then known as Greater Syria (i.e., Syria and Lebanon) when still part of the Ottoman hegemony, and afterwards during the post-Balfour period. Between 1932 and 1944 half a million mendicant Arabs poured into Palestine to profit from conditions prevailing in the Jewish communities. The framers of the UN partition plan of 1947 seemed to agree, giving—to quote Hausman again—“no consideration of Palestinian claims because Palestinian nationality had not yet been invented.” The Palestinian “narrative” is a synthetic contrivance whose textual repertory is, for the most part, either forged or imagined.
Why, then, the pathological obsession with the Palestinian cause, the acceptance of the Palestinian figment of dispossession (the so-called Nakba), and the winking at the Palestinian terror franchises, the anti-Jewish incitement industry, and the genocidal charters of both Fatah and Hamas? The answer is self-evident: Israel. For the creation of “Palestine”—along with the “right of return” for an army of millions of ginned-up “refugees”—is the most effective way to shrink and destabilize the Jewish state and render it increasingly vulnerable to successful attack by the surrounding Muslim nations, which is the primary reason that Western elites support the claims, strategies, and demands of the Palestinian leadership. Western leaders, the liberal political class, Third World leeches and various autocratic regimes are not genuinely interested in the confection of a Palestinian state. A loose collection of clans calling themselves a “people” or a “nation” with neither historical backing nor political warrant, and that offers nothing of value to the world at large, is, or should be, by any reasonable estimation of peripheral importance.
The agenda in play is something quite different, in part an effort to curry favor with the Islamic umma, homegrown jihadists, and oil sheikhs; and, allied with this concern, the intent to drain the lifeblood of the troublesome Zionist upstart. The spurious Palestinian “narrative” is only the flip side of a malingering and inexcisable antisemitism masking as anti-Zionism. The real purpose of the great Palestinian scam is to deprive Israel of the very right to exist as a home and refuge for the Jewish people.