1 readers online now  |  69 million page views


Reader comment on item: More Thoughts on Newt Gingrich and the Palestinians
in response to reader comment: Aha-- what?

Submitted by Amin Riaz (United Kingdom), Dec 20, 2011 at 20:07

First, the term arab encompasses many nationalities and mostly tribal families (hamulas). So be careful when you say "Arabs were ALWAYS there".

But that still doesn't mean - they weren't always there. It is only the Jews that have (tried) kept their identity separate always. Rest of hotch potch becomes Arabs. Racially - Jews and most Arabs are one Semitic race.

Second, just like your claim about the Jews migrating from persecution and attempted extermination from Europe, likewise the 'Arabs' you note also immigrated during the Ottoman and then the British empires. They were not indigenous to the land and families came from Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, and perhaps from other countries as well to be employed. So they have no more right than anyone that you argue against.

That is totally wrong and false - also it is against common sense and logic. That land was NOT sitting pretty - it has a long long history. Where do you want me to start?

Jordan - is a very recent country.


- According to Martin Gilbert, 50,000 Arabs immigrated to Palestine from the neighboring lands between 1919 and 1939 "attracted by the improving agricultural conditions and growing job opportunities, most of them created by the Jews".[

Even if Gilberts assessment is correct - this does not invalidate Arab claims over the land. By all intents and purposes that was natural increase. And quite different from European Jews landing there. Who were complete outsiders.

The wikipedia article you quote also goes on to say:

The overall assessment of several British reports was that the increase in the Arab population was primarily due to natural increase.[30][31] These included the Hope Simpson report (1930)[32], the Passfield White Paper (1930)[33] the Peel Commission report (1937)[34] and the Survey of Palestine (1945)[35]. The 1931 census of Palestine considered the question of illegal immigration since the previous census in 1922.[36] It estimated that unrecorded immigration during that period may have amounted to 9000 Jews and 4000 Arabs.[36] It also gave the fraction of persons living in Palestine in 1931 who were born outside Palestine: Muslims, 2%; Christians, 20%; Jews, 58%.[36]


... We also know that the original Palestinians in the 20th century were Jewish---they called their newspaper the Palestine Post and their orchestra the Palestine Symphony. In those days, the Arabs called themselves Arabs, or in some cases Syrians. Even after Israel's birth in 1948, no Arabs called themselves Palestinians. The "Palestinians" began calling themselves that only after the 1967 war, when Israel chased Jordan and Egypt out of Jerusalem, the West Bank, Sinai and Gaza.

Again most inhabitant of "Palestine" region were Arabs and not Jews. The sovereignty had belonged to them for over 2000 years and beyond.

All Arabs despite their new states call themselves Arabs. Palestine is national homeland. The other is more a race issue.

Again this is totally ridiculous claim that minority Jews somehow had that identity by themselves. If your assertion is even true.

It still goes against Israel. As it is a modern invention.


The name Palestine is Greek transmuted from Latin, and was applied by the region's ancient conquerors. Nearly all the cities in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza have Hebrew names---like Bethlehem, Nazareth, Hebron---and their current Arabic names are translations of these names. The capital of the West Bank, Nablus isn't an Arabic name, but a mispronunciation of Neapolis, or Latin for "New City."

Actually the name Palestine is even OLDER than the Greek. Yes - but that still does not mean the land belongs to European Jews. Who for over 2000 years (and that is a long time) were neither majority or were sovereign over that land. Then to claim natural rights? Ridiculous.

Answer me this - If American Natives started to assert more claim over USA - would you support returning that land?

Arabs because of Islam - simply maintained those name. Else say if Islam did not claim to have connections back to Judaism - they would have simply changed the names.


Mahmoud Abbas, however, in a dazzling display of chutzpah and mendacity at the U.N. recently, recounted a history of ancient Palestine full of Palestinians and a guy named Jesus (no mention of his religion), but no Jews at all. In fact, today's Palestinians are a group of Arabs left over after Syria and Jordan were formed from the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan (which the Arabs rejected and the Jews accepted).

Again you divert from history to assert your own falsehoods.... Palestine has a history - the identity developed long before Pipes gives it credit.

That does - Muslim culture at wide did not used to have concept of Nation-State - that for ALL ARABS is modern. This does not mean that they did not live there or regional identities were not formed. Those lands used be under Ottoman rule - yet still had their own identity. Yet Jewish Scholars repeatedly ignore all Ottoman sources - why?

This is a serious charge.

Here you lie - did you listen to Abbas speech... how is it that you know this?

Abbas was prepared to

This came out - with WikiLeaks - and it was Israel who repeatedly did not accept - because they want to keep West Bank - as they see it it is their religious right. Abbas was even prepared to give up Jerusalem.

And that is DANGEROUS. And it is lunacy

I know - because you read Jewish views that presented a choice selection. Before the British all Arabs states looked different. You fail to grasp that even without a state Palestine as an identity was there - like Kurds or Persians and etc.

Even your own false statement goes against you - if these were leftover Arabs - why were they leftover? Why couldn't they join Syria.... oh wait - they weren't Syrian - if Syrian or Jordan border did not include them. That region had the name Palestine.

Even YOU have admitted that.

Second there - are so many versions of this tale presented by the Jews - all with variations - some like Pipes claim they Jordanian. Then even Jordan was no identity.

This still does not make the land Israel. And neither explains how can imported people claim this was there land. Israel never existed there - and that most Jews were imports.

Also - whether Arabs left in fear or were actually driven out .... this still shows a huge number left their homes - Jews took over.

This still goes on especially in West Bank. Jews from America go and settle in West Bank.... what for?


Quoting biased non- academic sources at me is FRUITLESS. I dont fall for such tactics.


Jews were also living in other Muslim Majority regions - Iraq and Syria for example. Even Iran. But they are know


Israel is a modern invention - no 2 ways about it. However I do not advocate ending of Israel - I think it was wrong and unjust - but it is far too late. And now it would be wrong to kick out Jews or call for and end to Israel.

There is only one solution -

Jerusalem - Share.

West Bank and Gaza = Palestine

Israel keeps its border.

Golan Heights - do a deal with Syria or whatever.


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".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Refutation by Amin Riaz

Email me if someone replies to my comment

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".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)