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November 16, 2015 | Eli E. Hertz
The artificiality of a Palestinian identity is reflected in the attitudes and actions of neighboring Arab nations who never established a Palestinian state.
The rhetoric by Arab leaders on behalf of the Palestinians rings hollow, for the Arabs in neighboring lands, who control 99.9 percent of the Middle East land, have never recognized a Palestinian entity. They have always considered Palestine and its inhabitants part of the great “Arab nation,” historically and politically as an integral part of Greater Syria – Suriyya al-Kubra – a designation that covered both sides of the Jordan River.
The Arabs never established a Palestinian state when the UN in 1947 recommended to partition Palestine and establish “an Arab and a Jewish state” (not a Palestinian state, it should be noted). Nor did the Arabs recognize or establish a Palestinian state during the 19 years (1948-1967) when the West Bank was under Jordanian control and the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control; nor did the Palestinians clamor for autonomy or independence during those years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule. Well before the 1967 decision to create a new Arab people called ‘Palestinians,’ when the word ‘Palestinian’ was associated with Jewish endeavors.
In a 1946 appearance before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, also acting as an investigative body, the Arab historian Philip Hitti stated: “There is no such thing as Palestine in [Arab] history, absolutely not.” According to investigative journalist Joan Peters, who spent seven years researching the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine (From Time Immemorial, 2001) the one identity that was never considered by local inhabitants prior to the 1967 war was ‘Arab Palestinian.’