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Semantics

Reader comment on item: Pretending There's a Country Called "Palestine"

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Aug 6, 2009 at 12:47

Well, some would argue that there is no country called Taiwan. Yet I've known people from there who love to see themselves as the vanguard of a future, united, post-Communist China who say "I'm from Taiwan." And, having lived, worked, and enjoyed myself on that island, I wish it to gain international recognition regardless of whether it calls itself the rump of Sun Yat-sen's Chinese Republic founded in 1911, Taiwan, Great Liuqiu, or even Bob.

The piece of land between the Jordan and the Med was called Palestine while the Brits ruled it; the same name had currency among Western travellers who visited the place while the Ottomans ruled it; Jews from that piece of land were called "Palestinian" before WWII; the Greeks and Romans came up with the name because the Philistines were the first inhabitants of the land they encountered when approaching by sea from the west...

Hence, while I personally prefer the Biblical connotations of 'Eretz Yisroel and firmly recognize that a predominantly Jewish nation called Israel (after all, there are Muslim and Christian Arabs, Circassians, and Armenians there, too), I can live with people speaking of "Palestine".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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