by Jack Berger
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.”—Zahir Muhsein, PLO executive committee member, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper “Trouw,” March 31, 1977.
Reread that simple, concise statement and let it sink in. The only Palestinians that existed in the pan-Arab mindset prior to 1967 were the Palestinian Jews. Arabs were Arabs. Professor Walid Phares of Florida International University writes: “In the early years of the Tawheed (Islamic conquest of the Arabian peninsula), a Muslim concept was devised to achieve success against the enemy, Al-Taqiya. Al-Taqiya, from the verb Ittaqu, means linguistically dodge the threat. Politically it means simulate whatever status you need in order to win the war against the enemy…both Jewish and Christian.”
As the Muslim cleric Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali, considered the greatest Moslem after Mohammed, wrote, “If a lie is the only way to obtain a good result, it is permitted. We must lie when truth leads to unpleasant results.” (Jerusalem Post, March 1, 1997) And again, as we look at history without an agenda,
In March 1946 the Arab office in Jerusalem submitted evidence to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry entitled, “The Arab Case for Palestine” which states in part, “Geographically Palestine is part of Syria; its indigenous inhabitants belong to the Syrian branch of the Arab family of nations, all their cultural and tradition link them to other Arab peoples….Indeed, the term “Palestinians” during the Mandatory period was used to refer to Jews rebuilding the Jewish National Home. The English language Jewish community daily newspaper now known as The Jerusalem Post, was until Israel’s independence in 1948 The Palestine Post. And the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra was called until 1948 the Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra. (Harris Schoenberg, A Mandate For Terror, 1989, pages 14-15)
In 1967 the West Bank and East Jerusalem were captured from Jordan’s King Hussein, and Gaza was captured from the Egyptians—and neither was taken from today’s “Palestinians.” From 1948 until after 1967, there was no outcry for Palestinian statehood on the part of the mythical “Palestinian refugees.”
Joseph Farah, in “Myths of the Middle East,” writes:
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. The name was derived from the Philistines, a Goliathian people conquered by the Jews centuries earlier. It was a way for the Romans to add insult to injury. They also tried to change the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina, but that had even less staying power. 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 [after the demise of the 400-year Ottoman Empire]. (WorldNetDaily, October 11, 2000)
And in a miraculous conversion, leftist historian Benny Morris, in a January 9, 2004 Haaretz interview, stated:
The majority of those who call themselves Palestinian refugees never left the boundaries of the western Land of Israel in 1948. This has frightening significance for leftist intellectuals [fabricators] because it means the myth of Palestinian “exile” is false, and as a result, the “right of return” means nothing.
If you repeat the lie often enough, people will begin to believe it, and so they have. A people has been created that never existed in history. Al-Taqiya—the art of the lie…a way for Israel-bashers terrorist-appeasers, the passionate anti-Semites, to assuage their hatred and rationalize that the Jews today are no different than what we’ve done to them over the past 2000 years. Measure for measure. Given power and freedom, Jews act just like us. So what if their Old Testament says that they are G-d’s treasured people. But the people who actually confer that special status on the Jews are in reality the anti-Semites and Jew-haters who can’t seem to get Jews out of their collective consciousness.
Replacement theology posits the return of the Jews to our Promised Land in 1948 as something that wasn’t supposed to happen. Christianity had claimed to replace the Jews as G-d’s chosen, and Islam claimed to replace both Christianity and Judaism as G-d’s chosen. For the anti-Semites and Jew-haters of the world, their replacement theology went out the window on May 14, 1948, yet it took the Vatican until 1994 to recognize the State of Israel. The Vatican recognized a non-people, the “Palestinians,” in 1982, but for 46 years sought to de-legitimize the reestablished State of Israel.…Enter the “Palestinian refugees forced from their homes of 1948.” But there is a problem—one that is so obvious that it defies rewriting by post-1948 revisionist historians…no propaganda, no jingle of rusty keys to homes that never were—just the obvious facts. Shmuel (Samuel) Katz, author of Battleground (1973), writes:
The fabrication can most easily be detected by the simple circumstance that at the time the alleged expulsion of the Arabs by Zionists was in progress, nobody noticed it. Foreign newspapermen abounded in the country…but even those most hostile to the Jews saw nothing to suggest that the flight [of the Arabs] was not voluntary. In the three months that the major part of the flight took place, the London Times, a newspaper most notably hostile to Zionism, published 11 leading articles on the situation in Palestine, in addition to extensive news reports. In none was there even a remote hint that the Zionists were driving Arabs from their homes….Even more pertinent: No Arab spokesman made such a charge. At the height of the flight, the Palestinian Arabs’ chief U.N. representative, Jamal Husseini, made a long political statement (on April 27, 1948) that was not lacking in hostility toward the Zionists; [but] he did not mention refugees…. The secretary-general of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, made a fiercely worded political statement on Palestine; it contained not a word about refugees….When, four months after the [war began], the prospect of the flightlings’ returning “in a few weeks” had faded, there were some recriminations. Emil Ghoury, a member of the Palestinian Arabs’ national leadership, said in an interview with the Beirut Daily Telegraph: “The fact that there are these [Arab] refugees is the direct consequence of the action of the Arab states in opposing partition and the Jewish state. The Arab states agreed upon this policy unanimously, and they must share in the solution of the problem.”
Some Arabs left because of their leaders’ directives, and some stayed. But in fact, those who had lived in Palestine were not owners forced from their land—they were tenant farmers, peasants and squatters on land whose rights were given to absentee Arab landlords representing the interests of the Ottoman Turks in Constantinople. The Ottoman Empire controlled the land in Palestine for 400 years. Arab intermediaries had acquired their interests to the land as local tax collectors for Constantinople according to the Ottoman Land Code of 1858. The Arab tenant-farmers or squatters never owned the land they now claim as their land “from time immemorial,” So says no less a scholar than Palestinian historian Rashid Khalidi in Blaming the Victims (page 214). In his in-depth narrative entitled, “The “Palestinian Peasant Resistance to Zionism,” referring to the provisions of the Ottoman Land Code of 1858, Khalidi writes:
Jews often purchased land from an absentee landlord, [which led] to the expulsion of tenant cultivators….The land concerned had formerly been sparsely populated or uncultivated….But fellahin [Arab peasants] with long-standing rights of tenure [not ownership] were displaced in the process of Jewish settlement [ownership]. The fellahin naturally considered the land to be theirs and often discovered that they had ceased to be owners [which they never were] only when the land was sold to Jewish settlers by an absentee landlord who had acquired it in the decades following the implementation of the 1858 land law. (page 214) (Emphasis added.)
Yet, interestingly, corroborating the findings from Shmuel Katz’s exhaustive study of various news sources is our very own less-than-Israel-loving Chicago Tribune. The Tribune was at that time run by Col. Robert R. McCormick, also not particularly fond of Jews. If, as some believe, the Tribune is biased today, it was worse under McCormick’s reign, and so an associate of mine spent over two months at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, combing through every back-issue of the Tribune from January 1, 1947 through December 31, 1949, photocopying each and every article (over 600) about Palestine and the Middle East. It was a fascinating adventure.
Between 1947 and 1949, The Tribune had its very own Middle East foreign correspondent in Palestine, a company man by the name of E. R. Noderer. According to the Tribune archives, Col. Robert R. McCormick, editor and publisher of the Tribune, awarded Noderer a $500 bonus in December, 1942 for “outstanding work on the battle front” (in New Guinea). He was one of the Tribune‘s most valued foreign correspondents and a loyalist when it came to the Tribune agenda. Quoting from the Tribune‘s own archives, “Norderer was in Palestine for the Jewish-Arab war, which saw the birth of the state of Israel. He was in Jerusalem when it was besieged for over 30 days by the Arabs [not the Palestinians].” (Emphasis added.) He was there, witnessing and reporting events as they unfolded. In addition to Norderer, there were numerous dispatches from Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI). They too were there with their reporters. And in over 600 articles in the Tribune, from all these sources over a three-year period—not one report—not one sentence—about the Palestinian Jews (as they were referred to) throwing the Arabs (as they were referred to) out of the country. The only sentence that even referred to Arabs leaving (and this was a month after the fraud of Deir Yassin on April 9, 1948) was written by Norderer on May 10, 1948, under the headline, “Palestine Jews Say Their Star Rose on Jan. 15.” (January 15 is when the British Army left Tel Aviv.) Norderer writes: “One hundred fifty thousand Arabs were estimated [perhaps inflated] to have left the areas of Palestine [the original borders] assigned ! to the Jews in the partition plan.” That’s it, folks! From over 600 articles that appeared in the Chicago Tribune, one line from the Tribune and nothing from AP or UPI Wouldn’t you think that if this huge, brutal, forced expulsion of the poor, defenseless “Palestinians” out of their own country at the hands of the evil Jews had really occurred, as sworn to in Palestinian “eyewitness accounts,” it would be considered newsworthy by the esteemed Chicago Tribune or at least one out of three independent, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish news sources? Do you believe these news sources would conspire to keep such an expulsion secret? Did these news bureaus suddenly morph into lovers of Zion? Why is it that all the “accounts” of the brutality inflicted on the poor, displaced “Palestinians” seem to have been written by “historians” after 1967? Where were the poor, displaced “Palestinians” from 1948 through 1967, when Jordan occupied the West Bank and Egypt occupied Gaza? Al-Taqiya!
And then there is the litany of hysterical eyewitness accounts of Jews “massacring Palestinians” in 1948. A battle, in order to qualify as a massacre, is “the merciless killing of a large number of people” (Webster’s Dictionary), like the massacre of defenseless religious Jews in Hebron in 1929—and unlike the recent “virtual massacre” in Jenin, in which it was initially reported by hysterical “Palestinian” talking heads, an eager CNN and the usual suspects, that “over 1000 innocent Palestinians were murdered!” This “massacre,” backed up by legions of Palestinians and their “eyewitness accounts,” turned out to be a battle in which 52 armed Arab terrorists were killed along with 22 Israeli soldiers.
And so, during the War of Independence came heart-wrenching reports of a massacre on April 9, 1948, the infamous massacre at Deir Yassin. In the PBS special, “The Fifty Years’ War,” and in the accompanying book by the same name, written by Jihan El-Tawri and Aaron Bregman, the lie for the greater good—”Al-Taqiya“—reappears, as an Arab eye-witness recalls:
The following morning the surviving villagers [after the battle] went to a meeting with the National Committee, the local Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem. It was up to the committee to decide how they should handle what had happened. Mahmoud [Mahmoud Assad Yassini] remembers that the survivors were asked to exaggerate some aspects of the terrible events: “When we arrived in Jerusalem, we were taken to a hotel near the Damascus gate. We started asking each other who had been killed, who was alive. Then the leaders of the National Committee arrived, including Dr. Hussein Fakhri Al-Khalidi [head of the National Committee in Jerusalem]. He invited some of us to his headquarters. He said: ‘ We want you to say that the Jews slaughtered people, committed atrocities, raped, and stole gold.’ He said you have to say this so that the Arab [not Palestinian] armies will finally make a move and come to liberate Palestine from the Jews.”
Hazem Nusseibah, a senior program assistant for the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation, was also contacted by the National Committee. “Dr. Hussein Khalidi phoned me,” he remembers, “and said we must alert the Arab countries to what is happening. I was sure there were no rapes, but we were shaken by the events.” Ironically, it was Nusseibah’s broadcast exaggerating the atrocities that triggered the mass exodus of Palestinians [Arabs] from their homes. He recalls: “We transmitted Dr. Hussein Fakhri Al-Khalidi’s statement mentioning rape and this and that. It had a devasting impact on everyone in Palestine, and the exodus began….It was the biggest blunder that could have happened.”
Abu Tawkif and Abu Mahmoud resent the way these distortions of the truth led to Arabs fleeing their homes. Mahmoud observes, “Dr. Hussein Fakhri Al-Khalidi was the one who caused the catastrophe. Instead of working in our favor, the propaganda worked in favor of the Jews. Whole villages and towns fled because of what they heard had happened in Deir Yassin.” And while relating the story on PBS, Hazem Nusseibah and Dr. Hussein Khalidi can be seen chuckling with one another about how wrong they were in creating the lie of Deir Yassin [which] definitely caused the Arab population to run away every time they thought a Jewish soldier was coming near.
Jewish forces didn’t rob, pillage, rape and murder Arabs. Some Arabs moved from one place to another per their own leaders’ instructions; other Arabs left out of fear generated solely by the propaganda their own leaders circulated to besmirch the Jews. Yet it is clear from the reporting that the makeover from “Arabs” to “Palestinians” was hatched years later in the back rooms of Egypt in an Arab attempt to liberate Palestine 16 years after Israel was reestablished.
After taking control of Egypt, Gamal Abdul Nasser created two liberation organizations to spread Egyptian Pan-Arabism. One was called the National Liberation Front (FLN) to liberate Algeria. The second, the Palestine Liberation Organization, was founded so that Nasser could liberate Palestine for Egypt, not for the benefit of the “indigenous Palestinians.” In 1964, Nasser hired an Egyptian by the name of Ahmed ash-Shuqairy to form and lead the PLO. Shuqairy, a lawyer, wrote the original Covenant, which “omitted any specific reference to a separate Palestinian Arab state. Article 24 stated explicitly that this organization shall not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Gaza Strip, or the Himma area….The commitment of the PLO was simply to destroy Israel. It was not to liberate the West Bank and Gaza then under Arab rule, nor was it to establish a new Palestinian state.” (A Mandate For Terror, page 16)
In 1969, after the Six Day War, Shuqairy quit his position, and shortly afterward an unemployed Egyptian civil engineer, at the age of 35, became a “Palestinian” and was appointed by Nasser to lead the PLO. His name was Abed a-Rauf Arafat al-Qudwah al-Husseini, later known as Yasser Arafat. Born in Cairo on August 24, 1929, his mother was a wealthy Egyptian from the prominent Abu-Saud family. Arafat’s father had moved to Cairo in the early 1920s, over 25 years before the reestablishment of the State of Israel. There is no record of Arafat’s father being forced out of Palestine in 1920 by either the British or the Jews. And so an unemployed native Egyptian found a new vocation as a Palestinian—Al-Taqiya!
And then there was the great “Palestinian” intellectual, the celebrated “Palestinian” professor at Columbia University, who poignantly waxed nostalgic about his early childhood years in Palestine and how his family was eventually forced by those damned Jews to leave Palestine—except that the “damned Jews” discovered that the esteemed Professor Edward Said never actually lived in Palestine! He too was from Cairo—an academic looking to become important, looking for a cause, masquerading as a poor, down-trodden Palestinian victim of the evil Jews. In real life, he grew up in the lap of luxury in Cairo.
His father, Wadie…emigrated in 1911 to the United States….At least nine years prior to his son’s birth in 1935, however, Wadie Said was already residing permanently in Cairo, Egypt…according to the 1926 French edition of the Egyptian Directory….It was to Cairo that Edward Said’s mother Hilda (Musa), of Lebanese origin, moved upon marrying his father in 1932, and it was in Cairo that the nuclear family continued to reside over the ensuing decades in a series of ever more elegant and spacious apartments, the last three of which were located in Cairo’s best neighborhood on the island of Zamalek in the Nile River….[Not quite his standard line of, ‘I was born in Jerusalem and spent most of my formative years there and, after 1948, when my entire family became refugees, in Egypt…’ (Justus Reid Weiner, ” ‘My Beautiful Old House’ and Other Fabrications by Edward Said,” Commentary, September 1999)
Edward Said once said that, as a scholar, he had the intellectual responsibility “to speak the truth as plainly, directly, and honestly as possible,” yet his autobiography, replete with fabrications calculated to advance his warped, morally bankrupt agenda, exposes him as nothing more than a skillful liar and a fraud. Said, together with Arafat, stars of the “Palestinian” cause, represented how a lie becomes truth when people have an agenda.
Passionate anti-Semites who manipulate historical facts will never allow the truth to abort their plans for our people. We’ve been at death’s door many times over, but a remnant has always survived to continue our story to its next chapter. When a third of our people were in the graveyards of their golden medinah of Europe, as another third cowered in self-consciousness and fear of anti-Semitism here in America, and the balance were scattered in countries ready to finalize a solution for them—when the future looked like no future at all—G-d in his mercy heard our people and opened the gates to Eretz HaKodesh and Jews from around the world rushed to a barren land that nobody else really wanted. From the “displaced persons” camps of Europe, the desert towns in Arab countries, the shtetls of Poland and the gulags of Russia, from all the corners of the world, began an ingathering to a land that had never belonged to any other people…a lan! d that welcomed our people back with love and miracles, and where non-Jews could almost be heard thinking, “Look what their G-d has done for them! How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, thy dwelling places O Israel!” We returned to the land, “Am Chofshi B’Artzeinu”—to be a free Jewish people in our own land… “And I will bring you back to the land that I promised to your forefathers, and there I will make you a great people.”
Nasser may have lost the battle in 1967, but with the cowardly pullout from Gaza, I hope he doesn’t eventually win the war. With Katyushas now falling daily into Israel, Israel has encouraged her enemies into believing its end is near. Arab lies, gullible Jews, and a United Nations teeming with virulent, passionate anti-Semites! This year, as Yom Kippur comes to a close, honor your last words of the Neilah service with your first promise for the new year—make “Next Year in Jerusalem!” a reality…Your children and grandchildren deserve their gift of being a proud Jew in our own land given to us by our G-d.
Shana Tova, Jack Berger