In todays Melanie Phillips diary, she cites a piece in the Jerusalem Post by Yossi Klein Halevi, Co-existence for one. After reading the piece I think she quotes the relevant passage that I would quote:

‘My journey into the faiths of my neighbors was part of a much broader attempt among Israelis, begun during the first intifada, to understand your narrative, how the conflict looks through your eyes. Your society, on the other hand, has made virtually no effort to understand our narrative. Instead, you have developed what can be called a “culture of denial,” that denies the most basic truths of the Jewish story.

‘According to this culture of denial, which is widespread not only among your people but throughout the Arab world, there was no Temple in Jerusalem, no ancient Jewish presence in the land, no Holocaust. Nowhere is The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as popular as in the Arab world, which has also become the international center for Holocaust denial. The real problem, then, is not terrorism, which is only a symptom for a deeper affront: your assault on my history and identity, your refusal to allow me to define myself, which is a form of intellectual terror.

‘In your society’s official embrace, through media and schools and mosques, of the culture of denial, you have tried to reinvent us, to redefine us out of our national existence. We too once tried to define you out of national existence, insisting that you weren’t a real people but an appendage to the Arab world. Today, though, only the Israeli hard Right repeats Golda Meir’s insistence that there are no Palestinians. Yet your political and spiritual leadership routinely insists that there is no Jewish people – only a Jewish faith, or an invented identity like General Yusuf’s “Arab Jews,” or an ersatz people descended from the Khazars. In so doing, you ignore how Jews have always defined themselves: as a people with a faith. ‘True, it’s easier for the powerful than it is for the powerless to develop more nuanced attitudes toward the conflict. When you have an army and a thriving economy, you can afford to rethink your own history and even accommodate a competing narrative. Yet in truth you have never understood us, never understood that we aren’t a modern version of the Crusaders but an indigenous people returning home.’

Then Phillips adds this, “All very true, except for one point with which I would cavil. Golda Meir did not, as far as I recall, insist that there were no Palestinians. What she said was that there was not a Palestinian people. The indefinite article was crucial. There were people who were Palestinian, of course, but not ‘a’ people – because the Arabs who were already in or had immigrated into Palestine considered themselves to be Syrian or Egyptian or part of the Arab people. Palestinian national identity was constructed as an artifice to bamboozle the world and finally drive out the Jews. It succeeded in the first aim beyond their wildest dreams, and has now become a created fact. Halevi’s article, which poignantly demonstrates that while the Israelis want co-existence in two separate states the Palestinians do not, suggests why the second aim remains still tragically alive.” Indeed, the “mythological” people, as I call them are now fact. The sentimentality in Halevi’s piece gives rise to a point that seems lost on many. He began his journey thinking that the people he went to sojourn with, thought the same as he. They do not. I have questioned whether the motives of the PLO Arabs ever has had anything to do with a created identity of a people who now believe they are that, or if it really only represents the larger Islamic Arab thought, that cannot stand “infidels” inhabiting any land they think is theirs. In the current war on terror, the chief terrorist has referred to Andulasia as one of the motivations for his actions.

Let the whole world know that we shall never accept that the tragedy of Andalusia would be repeated in Palestine. We cannot accept that Palestine will become Jewish.— Osama bin Laden, October 7th – Bin Laden

Now do you think Bin Laden really cares one wit about “Palestinians”? Do you know that the United Nations has two different commissions for refugees? There is UNRWA, which, exclusively, was set up to handle “Palestinian” refugees. Then there is UNHCR which was set up to handle refugees from everywhere else. Now why is that? Question, did either handle the Jewish refugee problem when 500,00, and probably more, Jews who were sent packing from Arab Countries after the 1948 war? Why did the Kuwaitis expel “Palestinians” after the Gulf War? Well because they supported Saddam Hussein, right? Now Jordan is at least what could be called “Palestinian”. So why has it not become a “Palestinian” state?Information from the Jordanian censuses which distinguishes between Palestinians and pre-1948 Arab-Israeli War Jordanians is not publicly available, and it is widely believed that Palestinians in Jordan (domiciled in Jordan and considered citizens) constitute the majority of the kingdom’s population. However, in a 2002 television interview on a US network, King Abdullah II of Jordan claimed that “Jordanians of Palestinian Origin” are only 40-45% of the Jordanian population, and that an independent survey would be conducted to settle the matter [9]. See Palestinian refugee. So, when in history, prior to the 20th century, where was there a country of Jordan? So what is it that I am saying? Well there is more history you need to know. For now, you can draw whatever conclusions you wish. My only guidance for now is that the people we are now fighting in Iraq have little concern for “Palestinians”. They are an afterthought for larger intentions. By the way, do you think Hamas is really primarily concerned with “Palestinians”? So many questions.

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