An Open Letter
Posted by Godefroi on March 18, 2008
To the mainstream media outlets, and even some not-so-mainstream (e.g. Prime Time America).
I am consistently thoroughly disheartened by your coverage of the Arab-Israel conflict. Why? Primarily because of your insistence on the continued use of the misnomer “Palestinian” to identify the Arabs in Judea/Samaria and Gaza (both of which are continually, erroneously, referred to as “Occupied Palestinian Territory”). Your perpetuation of this falsehood is a disservice to everyone involved: to the (Israeli) Jews, who are the rightful – Biblically and legally – holders of the land, to the “Palestinian” Arabs who have been force-fed this propaganda device for 40 years, and to the listeners and readers of your articles.
To start, I believe a few quotes are apt.
First, according to former PLO Executive Committee member Zahir Muhsein:
“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.”
Another, from Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937:
“There is no such country as Palestine…There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine’ is alien to us.”
And another, from Syrian dictator Hafez Assad to the PLO leader Yassir Arafat:
“Never forget this one point: There is no such thing as a Palestinian people, there is no Palestinian entity, there is only Syria. You are an integral part of the Syrian people, Palestine is an integral part of Syria.”
Additionally, popular misconceptions to the contrary notwithstanding, Israel has not “occupied” Judea/Samaria or Gaza. Had the Arab nations not attacked Israel upon her founding, those territories would have remained Israel’s as part of the Mandatory “JEWISH Palestine.” A nation can not occupy territory that is rightfully its own. Jordan illegally occupied and illegally annexed Judea and Samaria. Egypt illegally occupied Gaza. Israel’s recapturing these areas in 1967 was not, and is not, an occupation.
Also, it would be appropriate for your reporters and commentators to note occasionally that had multitudes of Arabs not attacked Israel in 1948 and 1967, those residing in Gaza and Judea/Samaria would now have the full rights of citizenship that are enjoyed currently by the more than one million Arabs within Israel proper…rights that exceed those of most of their brethren in the Arab world.
While it is not my intention to attempt to discredit your reporting of the unpleasant situation of those who are under the authority of the Olmert or Abbas regimes (let alone that of Haniyeh), which I realize is usually the actual point of the stories, you should know that by mixing falsehoods into your narratives, your points are overshadowed by your inaccuracies.