A Lebanese-American named Sharon Nader Sloan recently published his thoughts on Palestinian claims that “Palestine is their land, and that Jerusalem is their capital, and that Israel is occupying their land.” He further notes that Palestinians believe that since West Bank is theirs, that “to resist occupation they have right to send suicide bombers into crowded bus stations, pizza parlors, etc., and kill innocent men, women and children. And all Arab and Muslim countries support them in their claims and actions against Israel.”
This Lebanese-American also concludes that although idea that West Bank is occupied Palestinian land has been accepted by almost everyone, it is, in fact, “the greatest lie everperpetrated”. And he proceeds to refute both claim, its justifying of terrorist acts on Israel, and supposed support for it by other Arab and Muslim nations, with some convincing historical information.
First of all, where was Arab support for Palestinian statehood before Jewish state came into existence? For 19 years before Israel was formed, Jordan occupied entire West Bank, including Jerusalem. There was no Arab demand for Kingdom of Jordan to stop ruling occupied territory, no clamor for formation of a Palestinian state, or Jerusalem being its rightful capital.
So, if all Arab hatred for Israel is based on love and support for their Palestinian brethren, and wanting them to reclaim their own state, where was that support before Israel’s formation?
Truth is, there never was a Palestinian state. And in recorded history, Jerusalem has never been capital of any country other than ancient Israel and modern Israel. How, then, can there be a claim that Jerusalem is capital of a state which never existed? One of problems is that so few of us in Europe and U.S. remember enough world history to see how events can distort reality and lies, repeated often enough, become accepted as facts.
Many, including some Arab and Muslim journalists and scholars, question even notion of a Palestinian people. Four elements distinguish a people - language, religion, culture and cuisine. As an example, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are all Oriental. Yet, they are different people, because they each have distinct language, different religions, different cultures and distinctly differing cuisines. People called Palestinians speak same language, follow same religion, exhibit same culture and eat same cuisine as other Arabs. They are, in fact, Arabs who happen to live in region called Palestine.
Palestine is not, and never has been historically, name of a nation, nor name of a people. It is a region. Siberia is a region, too. There is, however, no country named Siberia, no people named Siberians. The Sahara is a region, as well, not a country. Arabs living in that region are Libyans and Moroccans.
Because Palestine is a region and not a nation, Britain was able to partition it and gave half to Arabs living on one side of Jordan River, which became Kingdom of Jordan. Because it is a region, United Nations was able to divide rest of it between Jews and Arabs living there. Had Arabs accepted that U.N. resolution, there would have been a newly created Arab state called Palestine. They rejected compromise, however, and went to war to destroy Israel. They lost. There is no Palestinian state.
David built city called Jerusalem. His son, Solomon, built holy temple within it. The commonwealth called Israel lasted about 1,000 years, with one break, 400 years after David. The invaders from Babylon occupied Israel for 70 years, until Cyrus Great, of Persia (!), helped people of Israel regain their land, rebuild temple and rule for 600 more years. The Romans invaded and ruled Israel, then Crusaders reigned. The Ottoman Empire ruled next, then British Empire, and finally, Israel returned to its homeland and built modern Jewish state.
In all that time, it was never, ever, a Palestinian state. Whence, then, all discussion and controversy about an occupied Palestinian land?
Those who refer to themselves as Palestinians certainly have right to live there, freely and in peace. But does right to declare it a Palestinian state come from mere fact that they are occupying region? Imagine California and its Mexican-American population. If this community, greater in number than Palestinians in West Bank, were to claim that U.S. is occupying their land since they live there, and demanded other citizens leave so they could form their own country, how would our government respond? What if Washington said they could live there, but not claim independent sovereignty, and they began sending suicide bombers, snipers, mortar fire, and so on, into rest of country?