II. The Zionist Myth about the Palestinians

 

 

 

At this point the Zionist may argues that the Palestinians do not have any national rights in this country because the Palestinians are not a nation, they never had a state and they came to this country after the arrival of the Zionist because they were attracted to the country that the Jews have developed.

 

Until the first Intifada, which began in 1987, denying that the Palestinians are a nation was a very common Zionist argument. It went like this: “It was only after the Jews re-inhabited their historic homeland of Judea and Samaria, that the myth of an Arab Palestinian nation was created and marketed worldwide. Jews come from Judea, not Palestinians. There is no language known as Palestinian, or any Palestinian culture distinct from that of all the Arabs in the area. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. "Palestinians" are Arabs indistinguishable from Arabs throughout the Middle East. The great majority of Arabs in greater Palestine and Israel share the same culture, language and religion. Much of the Arab population in this area actually migrated into Israel and Judea and Samaria from the surrounding Arab countries in the past 100 years. The rebirth of Israel was accompanied by economic prosperity for the region. Arabs migrated to this area to find employment and enjoy the higher standard of living. In documents not more than hundred years, the area is described as a scarcely populated region. Jews by far were the majority in Jerusalem over the small Arab minority. Until the Oslo agreement the major source of income for Arab residents was employment in the Israeli sector. To this day, many Arabs try to migrate into Israel with various deceptions to become a citizen of Israel.[1]

 

Similarly another Zionist wrote: “Historical and archeological records attest to the continuous presence of Jewish communities from Biblical times to the present. In short, although they were no longer its rulers, Jews never abandoned the land they occupied for thousands of years. Modern Arab residents of the area have a very different history, one that goes back hundreds, not thousands, of years”…[ ] It is clear that although “a small Arab population in Palestine…could trace its roots back for centuries,” scholars believe Arabs, primarily nomadic Bedouin tribes, came to the area in the 7th century. Most Arab migration occurred during the middle of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century, as workers were brought in by the Ottoman Turks and later by British rulers to serve absentee landlords and work on various infrastructure and agricultural projects.[2]

 

There are many mistakes and falsifications in these passages.

 

To begin with there is no one Arab culture. Arab culture can roughly be categorized into different areas of the Arab world. Arab and North African culture share certain cultural similarities, while the same goes for Arab culture in the Levant areas and the Arabian Peninsula region.

 

It does not take a genius to recognize that there is a unique Palestinian culture. Even Wikipedia is aware that “Palestinian culture consists of food, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of Palestinian culture. The folklorist revival among Palestinian intellectuals such as Nimr Sirhan, Musa Allush, Salim Mubayyid, and the emphasized pre-Islamic (and pre-Hebraic) cultural roots, re-constructing Palestinian identity with a focus on Canaanite and Jebusite cultures. Such efforts seem to have borne fruit as evidenced in the organization of celebrations like the Qabatiya Canaanite festival and the annual Music Festival of Yabus by the Palestinian Ministry of Culture.” [3]

 

Secondly let us recall how the Zionist defines a nation when it suits him: “This concept of nation does not require that a nation have neither a territory nor a government, but rather, it identifies, as a nation any distinct group of people with a common language and culture”. This is not a criterion to nationhood only another proof to the cynicism of the Zionists.

 

It is true that the Palestinians are a new nation. This nation was formed in the struggle of the Palestinians against the British imperialists and the Zionist colonialists from the 1920s onwards. It is true that when the first waves of Zionist settlers arrived to Palestine, the Palestinians saw themselves as Arabs and not a separate nation. However this fact does give the Zionists the right to steal their lands by using force?

 

Arab Nationalism began only in the 19th century at the time of the decline of Ottoman Empire. “As the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War in 1914 this loyalty could no longer be taken for granted, for two reasons. The first was the growth of a nascent Arab nationalism that drew inspiration from 19th-century Western ideas. Some Arabs looked to the nationalist movements of the Slavic (and mostly Christian) minorities of the Ottoman Balkan territories, which had, by the end of 1912, all won their independence. This Arab nationalism was largely fostered by educated urban elites – intellectuals, civil servants and former or serving officers in the Ottoman Army – living in great Arab cities like Damascus and Baghdad. A number of secret societies were formed, although none of these succeeded in spreading their ideas to the wider Arab population before the outbreak of the First World War.” [4]

 

Does the fact that Arab nationalism began at the end of the 19th century gives anyone the right to conquer them on the ground that prior to the 19th century there were no Arab nationalist movements? The imperialist thought that it is permissible to conquer the Arabs and so have the Zionists.

 

The Zionists claim that they did not steal the lands but that they bought the lands in fair prices from the landlords. But who were these landlords? Here is what a Zionist wrote to justify the removal of the Palestinian peasants from the land they toiled for generations.

 

Until the passage of the Turkish Land Registry Law in 1858, there were no official deeds to attest to a man's legal title to a parcel of land; tradition alone had to suffice to establish such title— and usually it did. … The Palestinian peasant was indeed being dispossessed, but by his fellow-Arabs: the local sheikh and village elders, the Government tax-collector, the merchants and money-lenders; and, when he was a tenant-farmer (as was usually the case), by the absentee-owner. By the time the season's crop had been distributed among all these, little if anything remained for him and his family, and new debts generally had to be incurred to pay off the old.[5] From these characters they bought the lands and evicted the peasants. This led to bloody conflicts from 1920 onwards between the Palestinians and the Zionist settler colonialists.

 

In spite of the fact that the Zionist bought lands by 1948 the Zionists owned less than 6% of the lands of Palestine.

 

 

 

Table 1. Share of Palestinian vs. Jewish land ownership as of April 1st, 1943 [6]

 

 

 

Category of land                                               Palestinians & others                      Jews                      Total

 

(Fiscal categories)                                                             Dunums (1000 sq. meters)

 

 

 

Urban                                                                    76,662                                                   70,111                   146,773

 

Citrus                                                                    145,572                                                 141,188                 286,760

 

Bananas                                                               2,300                                                      1,430                      3,730

 

Rural built-on area                                           36,851                                                   42,330                   79,181

 

Plantation                                                            1,079,788                                              95,514                   1,175,302

 

Cereal land (taxable)                                        5,503,183                                              814,102                 6,317,285

 

Cereal land (not taxable)                                 900,294                                                 51,049                   951,343

 

Uncultivable                                                       16,925,805                                           298,523                 17,224.328

 

Total area:                                                            24,670,455                                           1,514,247              26,184,702

 

Percentage                                                           94.22%                                                  5.8%                       100%

 

Roads, railways, rivers,

 

and lakes                                                                                                                                                             135,803

 

Total Area including roads,

 

railways, etc.                                                                                                                                                       26,320,505

 

 

 

The Zionists took the rest of the lands by force in 1947-48 and after 1967 and today they rule the whole of Palestine.

 

The Zionist claim that Palestine was unpopulated is also a lie.

 

If the argument of the Zionist was correct they could show an unusual growth of Arab population from 1922 to 1948 as result of migration to Palestine. The population of Palestine increase between 1922 and 1939, from 750,000 and 1,500,000. An important reason for the growth was Jewish migration: 35,000 immigrants between 1919 and 1923, 82,000 (1924-31) and 217,000 (1932-38).

 

 

 

Table 2. Population Growth in Palestine, 1922-1946 [7]

 

Year                                       Arabs                    Jews                      Total

 

1922 (Census)                     668,238                 83,790                   752,048

 

1931(Census)                      858,708                 174,606                 1,033,314

 

1939 (Estimate)                  1,056,241              445,457                 1,502,698

 

1946(Estimate)                   1,200,000              600,000                 1,800,000

 

 

 

No record of substantial Arab immigration was recorded in Palestine by the British government. According to all the reports of the period, Arab recorded" immigration to Palestine was minimal, casual, and unquantifiable it main source of growth was of natural causes (rate of births).[8]

 

“Between 1933 and 1935, 150,000 Jews immigrated to Palestine, bringing the country's Jewish population to 443,000 - or 29.6% of the total - from 1926 to 1932 the average number of immigrants per year was 7,201. It rose to 42,985 between 1933 and 1936, as direct result of Nazi persecution in Germany. In 1932, 9,000 German Jews entered Palestine, 30,000 in 1933, 40,000 in 1934 and 61,000 in 1935.”

 

Another Zionist lie is that the Zionists advance Palestinian economy and raised the level of living of the Palestinians.

 

“In the real history, the Zionists bought lands from landlords who lived in Lebanon and removed by force the fallahins who worked the lands for many generations. In the 1920s, the Histadrut launched a campaign to promote Jewish labor (Avodat Ivrit) and Jewish produce (Totzeret Haaretz), which was essentially a boycott of Arab labor and produce. David HaCohen, former managing director of Solel Boneh, described what this meant:

 

“I had to fight my friends on the issue of Jewish socialism to defend the fact that I would not accept Arabs in my trade union, the Histadrut; to defend preaching to housewives that they should not buy at Arab stores; to defend the fact that we stood guard at orchards to prevent Arab workers from getting jobs there … to pour kerosene on Arab tomatoes; to attack Jewish housewives in the markets and smash Arab eggs they had bought … to buy dozens of dunums [of land] from an Arab is permitted but to sell God forbid one Jewish dunum to an Arab is prohibited; to take Rothschild the incarnation of capitalism as a socialist and to name him the ‘benefactor’ — to do all that was not easy.[9]

 

“The policy of dismissal of Palestinian Arab workers from firms and projects controlled by Jewish capital initiated violent clashes. In the four Jewish settlements of Malbis, Dairan, Wadi Hunain and Khadira, there were 6,214 Palestinian Arab workers in February 1935. After six months, this figure went down to 2,276, and in a year's time, went down to 617 Palestinian Arab workers only. Attacks against Palestinian Arab workers also took place. On one occasion, for instance, the Jewish community forced a Palestinian Arab contractor and his workers to leave their work in the Brodski building in Haifa. Among those who were systematically losing their jobs were workers in orchards, cigarette factories, mason's yards, construction, etc.[10]

 

As to the claim that Arab economics gained from Zionist colonization “the fact is that Between 1930 and 1935, Palestinian Arab pearl industry exports fell from PL 11,532 to PL 3,777 a year. The number of Palestinian Arab soap factories in Haifa alone fell from 12 in 1929 to 4 in 1935. Their export value fell from PL 206,659 in 1930 to PL 79,311 in 1935.” [11]

 

“The second wave of 30,000 Zionist immigrants came between 1905 and 1914, many of whom were Labor Zionists who wanted A Jewish state. The perceived threat of displacement was widespread among Arabs. Starting around 1910, Arab newspapers railed against Jewish land acquisition. Among the peasantry, rumors spread alleging an Anglo-Jewish conspiracy to remove Muslims from Palestine. Palestinians say evictions destroyed their way of life, forcing them to move from rural Palestine to crowded cities in search of work.” [12] They were right as the Nakba proves.

 

 

 

The UN Partition Plan in 1947

 

 

 

Another false Zionist claim is that if the Arabs would had accepted the partition plan the Palestinians would have a state and there will not be any problem of the refugees.

 

It is true that the Arabs Rejected the partition and the Zionists said that they accept it. However in reality they never accepted a Palestinian state even on a portion of Palestine.

 

The inevitable outcome of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine was the Nakba, the “cleansing” of the existing Arab population from Palestine, because a Jewish majority was necessary to make a Jewish state viable. The Zionists using massacres drove out most of the Palestinians. How could the Palestinians accept this plan? The Jewish state was to cover 56 percent of the area of Mandate Palestine, with 498,000 Jewish and approximately 494,000 Arab Palestinians residents (51 percent Jews and 49 percent Arab Palestinians). At that time, Jews owned just 10 percent of the land of the proposed Jewish state. The proposed Arab state was to occupy 43 percent of mandate Palestine with a population of 725,000 Arab Palestinians and around 11,000 Jews. [13]

 

The Zionist consent to the partition was a political and diplomatic dishonest maneuver. First of all the Zionists knew that the Arabs would not accept this grossly unfair partition. Secondly Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, wrote to his son Amos on 5 October 1937 (about the first plan to divide the country):

 

”…Of course the partition of the country gives me no pleasure. But the country that they [the Royal (Peel) Commission] are partitioning is not in our actual possession; it is in the possession of the Arabs and the English. What is in our actual possession is a small portion, less than what they [the Peel Commission] are proposing for a Jewish state. If I were an Arab I would have been very indignant. But in this proposed partition we will get more than what we already have, though of course much less than we merit and desire. … What we really want is not that the land remains whole and unified. What we want is that the whole and unified land be Jewish. A unified Eretz Israeli would be no source of satisfaction for me-- if it were Arab. … we can no longer tolerate that vast territories capable of absorbing tens of thousands of Jews should remain vacant, and that Jews cannot return to their homeland because the Arabs prefer that the place [the Negev] remains neither ours nor theirs. We must expel Arabs and take their place. I am confident that the establishment of a Jewish state, even if it is only in a part of the country, will enable us to carry out this task. Once a state is established, we shall have control over the Eretz Israeli Sea. Our activities in the sea will then include astonishing achievements. Because of all the above, I feel no conflict between my mind and emotions. Both declare to me: A Jewish state must be established immediately, even if it is only in part of the country. The rest will follow in the course of time.[14]

 

Third of all, just days before Israel will declare its independence, Golda Meir, then head of the Political Department of the Jewish Agency traveled to Amman to meet with King Abdullah of Transjordan. This was the second meeting between the two, with the first occurring in early November 1947 at Naharayim on the banks of the Jordan River.

 

Abdullah shares the Zionist leadership’s fear of a Palestinian state led by the Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al Husayni emerging as a result of the UN Partition decision. In the November 1947 meeting with Golda Meir, he states his intention to annex the Arab parts of Palestine. Meir responds that the Zionist leadership will not oppose that plan if it means that there would be no clashes between Jewish and Jordanian forces. [15]

 

In addition the Zionists oppose the return of the Palestinian refugees on the ground it will destroy Israel as a Jewish state. This argument shows that the Zionists would expel the Palestinians who were supposed to live in Israel according to the partition plan to create a state with Jewish majority.

 

 

 

Genetic Evidence?

 

 

 

Finally in their attempt to prove that the European Zionist settlers are the same people as the ancient Jews they rely on the doubtful method of genetic studies.

 

A very doubtful method that easily leads to racist theories, however even these genetic studies do not prove the Zionist claims. What they prove according to the research is that the Jews from the Arab countries and Muslim Arabs have very similar Y chromosomes from the ancestors who lived in the region some thousands years ago. Geneticist Ariella Oppenheim of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who examined the Y chromosomes of 143 Arab Palestinians citizens of Israel and 119 Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews found that Arabs could trace their ancestry to men who had lived in the region for centuries or longer. Also Oppenheim's team found that “Jews have mixed more with European populations, which makes sense because some of them lived in Europe during the last millennium.[16] In other words Arab Muslims and Arab Jews have very similar Y chromosomes while the Ashkenazi Jews have a different one.

 

The Israeli biologists Falk wrote: “By the 1870s and 1880s the claims that Jews belonged to a race that could be discerned in terms of the natural sciences, were repeatedly brought up, and the traditional hatred against them became increasingly physical in character…., the Zionists-to-be stressed that Jews were not merely members of a cultural or a religious entity, but were an integral biological entity, even though they had been dispersed and had no country of their own. In other words, when the Zionists adopted the concept of Volk in terms of a nation-race, they claimed a different meaning to Jewishness than the centuries-long claims that the Jewish people were a distinct religious socio-cultural entity, rather than a biological entity.. The term anti-Semitism was coined in the 1870s by the German publicist Wilhelm Marr (1819–1904). Anti-Semitism conceived the socio-cultural traits of Jews to be a consequence of their biological essence. Jew-hatred became racism: hatred of the Semitic race, anti-Semitism; it endowed biological justification to socio-cultural discrimination.

 

The insistence on the biological identity of the Jews, and the search for the phylogenetic relation of present-day Jewish communities to each other and to the ancient people of the Land of Israel, always applying the most updated scientific techniques, became a common obsession among Israeli and non-Israeli researchers.

 

The Jewish-British physician-virologist and eugenicist Redcliffe Nathan Salaman (1874–1955) was one of the first to examine the implications of the young science of genetics to Jews. Already in 1911, in the first volume of the Journal of Genetics, he published a paper entitled “Heredity and the Jews” (Salaman, 1911). In this paper Salaman tried to examine the distinct biology of the Jews with the new tools of Mendelian inheritance, which provided the basis for modern hereditary theory:

 

Salaman put special emphasis on the claim that Jews comprised a coherent biological entity. He pointed out that “Ethnologists may be said to agree that the Jew is not racially pure, but on the other hand […] the Jews constitute a definable people in something more than a political sense, and that they possess though not a uniform, still a distinguishable type” (Salaman, 1911, p. 278). Since Jews vary with respect to color, cephalic index and stature as any other population, “Jews cannot be defined according to any of these standards. There is, however, one characteristic which rarely escapes attention, and that is the Jewish facial expression” (Salaman, 1911–1912, p. 190). A Jew, according to Salaman, may be recognized by his facial features. (…)

 

Many efforts were made to find “typical” Jewish blood-type combination, and phylogenetic kinships between geographically and culturally close and distinct Jewish communities. These studies were summarized in 1978 by Mourant and colleagues in The Genetics of the Jews (Mourant et al., 1978). Efforts to deduce from such studies converging blood group frequencies of the hypothetical ancient Jews were not successful, yet as a rule, they did not discourage the authors from claiming for the reality of communities of progeny of common ancestry (see, e.g., Muhsam, 1964)

 

These models of Darwinian evolution interpreted into vertical phylogenies are, of course, in agreement with the traditional Jewish historical lore of the contemporary Jews being the direct progeny of the historic residents of the Land of Israel.

 

Historian Shlomo Sand (2009) and many others brings evidence of extensive community-wide proselytizing events, from North-Africa all the way to Southern Russia.[17]

 

Another example for the use of ethnic-biological racist argument is the right wing Begin-Sadat center for strategic studies that in order to deny the colonialist character of the Zionist settler state claims that the real colonialist settlers are the Palestinians, because the Israelites were the original people of Palestine. Alex Joffe wrote:

 

The concept of “settler colonialism” has been applied with almost unique vehemence against Israel. But the fact that Jews are the indigenous population of the Southern Levant can be proved with ease. In contrast, historical and genealogical evidence shows Palestinians descend primarily from three primary groups: Muslim invaders, Arab immigrants, and local converts to Islam. The Muslim conquest of Byzantine Palestine in the 7th century CE is a textbook example of settler-colonialism, as is subsequent immigration, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries under the Ottoman and British Empires. The application of the concept to Jews and Zionism by Palestinians is both ironic and unhelpful…..A wealth of evidence demonstrates that Jews are the indigenous population of the Southern Levant; historical and now genetic documentation places Jews there over 2,000 years ago, and there is indisputable evidence of continual residence of Jews in the region." [18]

 

It is not difficult to grasp why this entire pseudo-intellectual argument is false. The indigenous population of the Southern Levant was Canaanites and not Jews. 2000 years ago the Jews were exiled by the Romans and ceased to be a nation. Since the 7th century for 1400 years the majority of the people of Palestine have been Arabs. The Zionists, who arrived to this country in the last 120 years and expelled most of the Arabs, are European settler colonialists and not the same Jews who went to exile.

 



[1] Israel Science and Technology Directory History of Israel: What is Palestine and Palestinians

[2] Judith Davis: How “Palestinians” Arrived in Palestine, Times of Israel Nov 20 2014, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/how-palestinians-arrived-in-palestine/

[5] Moshe Aumann: Land Ownership in Palestine, 1880-1948

[6] A Survey of Palestine, prepared by the British Mandate for the UN, p. 566, http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Maps/Story573.html

[7] Sources: Palestine Government, A Survey of Palestine (3 vols., Jerusalem, 1946), vol. 1, p. 41 and Cunningham Papers (St. Antony’s College Oxford, Middle East Centre), Box 1, File 2, tg 1775 of 23 September 1946

[8] Joseph E. Katz: Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst, Brooklyn, New York (Substantial Immigration of Arab Migrant workers into Western Palestine from 1880-1948)

[9] David Hirst: The Gun and the Olive Branch, Nation Books, 2003, Second edition, p.185, citing Haaretz, 15 November 1969

[10] Ghassan Kanafani: The 1936-39 Revolt in Palestine, published in English by Committee for a Democratic Palestine, New York, 1972 and by Tricontinental Society, London, 1980 http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/02/13/the-1936-1939-revolt-in-palestine/ and https://www.marxists.org/archive/kanafani/1972/revolt.htm

[11] Ibid

[12] Franklin Foer: Selling Land To Jews, May 18, 1997, https://slate.com/news-and-politics/1997/05/selling-land-to-jews.html

[13] Muhsin Yusuf: The Partition of Palestine - An Arab Perspective

[15] Center for Israel Education: Golda Meir Has Secret Meeting with King Abdullah in Amman, 2018, https://israeled.org/golda-meir-secret-meeting-king-abdullah-amman/

[16] Ann Gibbons: Jews and Arabs Share Recent Ancestry, 30 October 2000, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2000/10/jews-and-arabs-share-recent-ancestry

[17] Raphael Falk Genetic markers cannot determine Jewish descent. Front Genet. 2014, 5: 462, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4301023/