Some facts about the Palestinians
Dov Bear is spouting his stupidity again about the Palestinians.
Here are some facts. These are in no particular order.
1. There has never ever in history been a state of Palestine Here is a great quote about Palestine and Palestinians Myths of the Middle East
The truth is that Palestine is no more real than Never-Never Land. The first time the name was used was in 70 A.D. when the Romans committed genocide against the Jews, smashed the Temple and declared the land of Israel would be no more. From then on, the Romans promised, it would be known as Palestine.
Palestine has never existed -- before or since -- as an autonomous entity. It was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire and, briefly, by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their homeland.
There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of 1 percent of the landmass.
2. In the late 1800's every travelogue written about the area (the most famous being Mark Twain's) invariably said that the country was desolate and void of inhabitants, where were all the millions of Palestinians? For instance, a travel guide to Palestine and Syria, published in 1906 by Karl Baedeker, illustrates the fact that, even when the Islamic Ottoman Empire ruled the region, the Muslim population in Jerusalem was minimal. The book estimates the total population of the city at 60,000, of whom 7,000 were Muslims, 13,000 were Christians and 40,000 were Jews. So much for the myth of Arab East Jerusalem.
3. In the Middle East there are 22 Arab countries occupying 99% of the land. Israel occupies less then 1% of the Middle East
4. There is no distinctive Palestinian culture, language, etc. Palestinians are Arabs, they speak Arabic, they are mostly Moslem. The leader of the Palestinians, Yasir Arafat was born in Cairo. What makes Arafat more of a Palestinian then me?
5. From 1948-1967 Israel did not occupy the West Bank and Gaza, where was the call for a Palestinian state?
6. There actually is a Palestinian state already, Jordan. The mandate of Palestine included what is now Jordan, in 1922, the British created an Arab state from 80% of mandatory Palestine called Jordan
7. The 20th century has seen tremendous movement of population. When India and Pakistan were created more then 20 million people moved one way of the other. Yet, no one is calling for a right of return.
8. About 800,000 Palestinians became refugees in 1948 (mostly on the urgings of Arab leaders), from 1948-1953 about 800,000 Jews living in Arab countries became refugees. Contrary to the Palestinians, these Jews were absorbed by Israel and are now productive citizens
9. In 1948 the Palestinians were offered a state they rejected it, the same happened in July 2000.
Let's double click on the 1800's.
When the Jews first started coming back in numbers in the 1800's, the land was desolate, this is not me talking but Mark Twain and every other traveler to Palestine in the late 1800's. And I quote from Twain:
"Desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given over wholly to weeds—a silent mournful expanse…A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action. We reached Tabor safely…We never saw a human being on the whole route…
"There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country…
Stirring scenes ... occur in the valley [Jezreel] no more. There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent-not for thirty miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings
"Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Palestine is desolate and unlovely."
"Outside the gates of Jerusalem we saw Indeed no living object, heard no living object, heard no living sound, we found the same void the same silence…as we should have expected before the entombed gates of Pompeli or Herculaneam…a complete eternal silence reigns in the town, on the highways in the country…the tomb of a whole people."(Recollections of the East, vol. 1, pp. 268, 308, London, 1815).
The British Consul in Palestine reported in 1857 that
The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is that of a body of population.... 18 In the 1860s, it was reported that "depopulation is even now advancing."19 At the same time, H. B. Tristram noted in his journal that
The north and south [of the Sharon plain] land is going out of cultivation and whole villages are rapidly disappearing from the face of the earth. Since the year 1838, no less than 20 villages there have been thus erased from the map [by the Bedouin] and the stationary population extirpated. 20
Where were all those indigenous Palestinians???????
The fact is that the Jews purchased land from absentee owners started to work the land and revived the economy. Because of that Arabs from all over the region migrated to Palestine.
This old post Is Gaza "captured" territory? is very relevant as well.