By Yashiko Sagamori *
If you are so sure that “Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history”, I expect you to be able to answer a few basic questions about that country of “Palestine”:
1. When was it founded and by whom?
2. What were its borders?
3. What was its capital?
4. What were its major cities?
5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
6. What was its form of government?
7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
9. What was the language of the country of Palestine?
10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?
11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and try and find the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the US dollar, German mark, British pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.
12. Have the Palestinians left any artifacts behind?
13. Do you know of a library where one could find a work of Palestinian literature produced before 1967?
14. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused its demise and when did it occur?
If you are lamenting the “low sinking” of “a once proud” nation, then please tell me, when exactly was that “nation” proud and what was it so proud of?
And here is the least sarcastic question of all: If the people you mistakenly call “Palestinians” are anything but generic Arabs collected from all over – or thrown out of – the Arab world, if they really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for self-determination, why did they never try to become independent until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat by Israel in the 1967Six Day War?
I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won’t work here.
On the real world
The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal through military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it “the Palestinian people” and installed it in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. How else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to unconditionally accept back the “West Bank” and Gaza, respectively, in the aftermath of the 1967 war?
The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less of a claim to nationhood than the American Indian tribe that successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that motivated them. The so-called “Palestinians” have only one motivation: the destruction of Israel. In my book that is not sufficient to consider them a “nation” – or anything else – except what they really are: a terrorist organization that will one day be dismantled.
In fact, there is only one way to achieve piece in the Middle East. Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war against Israel and, as the losing side, should pay Israel reparations for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited upon it. The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of their terrorist organization from the land of Israel and acceptance of Israel’s ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.
That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying again was its beginning?
* Yashiko Sagamori is a New York-based Information Technology consultant. This essay is a response to a letter by a newspaper reader who referred to the so-called “Palestinian people”.
1. This version was reprinted from Christian Action for Israel
2. The article appeared first in Arutz Sheva and is reprinted with their permission.