A Defending Crusader…

The best defense is to be good and offensive…or something like that.

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.

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6 Responses to “An Open Letter”

  1. Edmund said

    by this logic israeli’s are syrian as well. I doubt very much that you would accept such a claim even though technically it was part of greater syria or as the arabs called it Bilad al-sham. To simply use this thought process on one group of people is biased.

  2. Godefroi said

    You missed the point…or perhaps I didn’t express it clearly.

    I’m not saying that the area called Palestine, in which the Jewish National Home was legally created, is actually part of Syria. In fact, the borders of todays’ nation of Syria were determined in the same manner as those of Jewish Palestine (Israel). The point is that there has never been a separate Palestinian nationality or ethnicity, and there was no nationalism associated with “Palestinian” until the 1960s. Walid Shoebat has said “Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?”

    Contrast that with Israel, which was its own nation with its own people for 1,400 years. Even after it was finally completely subdued and renamed Palestina, Jews have always been there, and those that were forced to leave have always considered it their ‘home’…including those who became refugees from Syria.

    Jews have lived in and identified with the land of Israel for more than 3,000 years, while the “Palestinians” have claimed it for only 40. Have Arab regimes laid claim for longer than that? Obviously yes. To refer to them all as “Palestinians”, however, when “There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese” (Zuhair Muhsin, military commander of the PLO and member of the PLO Executive Council) is a gross error, at best.

  3. Edmund said

    Are their differences between Canadians and Americans? If Canada were to change its name, would the people be Canadian or would they adopt the new name? Because the region known as palestine was never under self governance how would people name themselves. Under Ottoman rule they must have identified with the Turks then under british rule they pledged to the Queen. You would be hard pressed to find someone who called themselves Israeli before 1947 simply because the name did not exist.

  4. Godefroi said

    The residents of Israel, since at least the time of David and Solomon, have called themselves Jews and/or Israelites. To them, the sons of Israel, the land has always been the land of Israel (see I Samuel 13:19)…their land.

    “Israeli” is a modern term. “Israelite” is an ancient one. Both refer to the same people.

    Again, almost NO ONE referred to himself as simply a Palestinian until 1967, and then one did so only as a tool against the state of Israel. Even the PLO leader Arafat wasn’t ethnically or nationally (impossibility aside) a Palestinian – he was Egyptian.

    Calling all of the Arabs there Palestinians is attempting to create an identity where there has never historically been one. The same is not true for ‘Israel’, ‘Jew’, ‘Israelite’, or ‘Israeli’.

    The distinction is important because of Arab claims (e.g. to their “historic homeland”) to the contrary.

  5. Edmund said

    If a person has roots in the region then how can they not claim it? Say a christian arab who’s family has been there since before he can, not being a jew what would his classification be? Trespassing Gentile?

    Point being that 1 people cannot lay claim to a land that has roots for many different people.

  6. Godefroi said

    1) He could be an Israeli citizen – as I alluded to in my initial post.

    2) Roots…like an oak tree, or like a turnip?

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