As a Muslim who was born and brought up in Saudi Arabia, one of the main goals in my life had been to become a martyr while fighting the Jews in Palestine (or Hindus in Kashmir, depending on where I was). If there was one belief that I held on to, which was as dear to me as La-ilaha-ilAllah-Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah, was that the land that the Zionists were living in was the land of Muslims and it must return to the sons of Islam.
Secondly, I held on to the belief that the Jews never had any right to the land; that because they hated Muslims, and were conspiring to conquer all Muslim lands and subjugate us, they had started with Falasteen. And the evil Jews didn’t even stop there. In 1967, as if they hadn’t already taken away enough from my Palestinian brethren, they occupied Al Quds. After that, as the Jews and their lies go, they claimed to have been in Al Quds for the last 3000 years. They claimed they had made a temple there in the time of Solomon but we all had already been informed that there had never been a temple there, just Solomon’s Palace called the “Haikal-e-Suleimani” or “Haikal Suleiman”—either way, there was no temple and had never been. The Jews, on the other hand, were and had always been the most vicious of liars and the worst of enemies to the Ummah of Islam.
That is what I grew up with. Just for clarification, Falasteen is Arabic for Palestine and Al Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
Then, when I was about sixteen years old or so, I lost faith in the self-centered, victim-playing, brainwashing, and bloodthirsty politico-religious ideology of Islam. When I was a Muslim, it was as if my brain had been put in a straitjacket, and when I lost faith in Islam, it was as though my brain broke free for the first time in my life. I could think freely and question everything and anything I wanted to.
It was when I realized my brain’s potential to process information and then judge whether it was factual or not that I thought, “well, wait a minute, if Islam is not true then it is also possible that what Muslims say about others isn’t true either”, or something to that effect. It was thoughts like that that I came about my study of the so called Falasteenis, or Palestinian people.
Instead of starting with my own boring thoughts and words that seem to go on endlessly, I will just try to quote different people over the history who have used the words Palestinian or Palestine. Here we go:
There is no such country as 'Palestine'; 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented!
Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi to the Pell Commission in 1937
It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria.
Ahmed Shuqeiri to the UN Security Council in 1949
Jordan is linked to Palestine by a national relationship and a national unity forged by history and culture from earliest times. The creation of one political entity in East Jordan and another in Palestine would have no basis either in legality or as to the elements universally accepted as fundamental to a political entity.
Declaration of the 8th Palestinian National Congress
Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan, and Jordan hails every Palestinian who seeks to do his duty to his cause and his country.
The Jordanian Foreign Minister (Adwa'min pp. 4-5)
There are no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. We are all part of one nation. It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity in contrast to Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity is there only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new expedient to continue the fight against Zionism and for Arab unity.
Zuheir Mohsein, Member of the Supreme Council of the PLO
Palestine and Syria are one homeland. The Arab people will win by the
sword; the victory will be won by the Jihad of the Arab world.
Abdul Malik Dahamshe, an Israeli Arab Knesset member,
at a solidarity visit in Damascus, Syria [David Makovsky, Jerusalem Post,
January 24, 1995]
There is no difference between one Palestinian and another. We are all
Palestinians and we are all Syrian Arabs.
Arab MK, Abdul Darawshe [Jerusalem Institute of Western
Defence, Bulletin 3, August 15, 1997]
Above are several statements over the years by Arabs who mentioned Palestine or Palestinians. Most of these statements reveal what Arabs really think about the term. Everyone knows that there never existed a Palestinian people but now there seems to be a need to shout out to the world, “Oh give these Palestinian people their land”. My question is, “Where are the Palestinian people that we should give them their land?”
The words, Palestinian people, are used in the media and at the UN so much now that we have forgotten that there was a time when Arabs actually protested against the use of these words to describe them. They did not want to be called Palestinians, they wanted to be called Arabs or better yet, Syrians. Take a read of the following:
The above quotes are from the book “JEWS” by George E. Berkley. I have to be honest that I have not read the whole book. The only reason I even know about this book is because of its chapter 32 (that’s where the quotes are from, pages 287, 292-293) and the only reason I know about that is because it is really hard to find other books that talk about this history in as clear terms as George E. Berkley did in his chapter 32. There are other references, if anyone is interested, but they are all scattered. This was the only place I found where I could read it all condensed in the form above.
Now, of course, that does not conclude my article. I will put my boring thoughts here, just a bit. I have said this for years, Jordan is Palestine, Palestine is Jordan. Arabs have their country, they should move there and stop whining. Jordan, or Transjordan as it was called, only came about to make Arabs happy. They got what they wanted, they need to stop asking for more. In fact, in 1948, they could have gotten more but they wanted it all to themselves so they rejected the whole proposal.
Why is it that so many these days have forgotten what happened a mere 70 years ago. Forget 70 (for if people have found it easy to forget the Shoah, I don’t expect them to remember what happened around the time Israel was born either), but they have forgotten what happened a mere 40 years ago, or 20 or 10. It is easy to always side with the wrong and popular, I think and hard, and sometimes impossible, to stand with what is right.
Today the whole world is living the lie that Arabs created 40 years ago; that they are a Palestinian people whose land it is that the Jews have stolen. This is what is taught in history books and this is what is accepted as the most accepted version of the truth. You deviate from it and you’re just wrong, doesn’t matter what the facts are, you’re wrong!
Before I finish (and to stop myself from ranting on), I want to add another point. History shows us that there were people that called themselves Palestinians. But history also shows us that those people were anything but Arabs. Consider the following letter written to the New York Times in 1975 (it was later printed in The Palestinians: A Political Masquerade, Published by Americans For A Safe Israel by Arthur Kahn and Thomas Murray):
Your newspaper frequently uses the term "Palestinian" to describe a section of the Middle East population which is Arab, to differentiate it from Israeli Jews. As the holder of a Palestinian Identity Card and a Certificate of Discharge from a Palestinian Unit of the British army, I find this practice annoying and certainly untrue.
We Palestinian Jews wore the uniform of the British Army, and on our shoulder epaulettes the single word, "Palestine" in English. We tried to get permission to wear Hebrew insignia, fly the Jewish flag and be recognized as Palestinian Jews, but-no, Palestinian meant Jew and Arab, and who cared if there were fewer than 3000 Arabs as compared to 36,000 Jews in khaki? In British army nomenclature, the equivalent of a GI is BOR, meaning British Other Rank. We were formally known as POR , Palestinian Other Ranks.
So we fought the war as Palestinians, set up the Jewish Brigade as Palestinians, and I'll be damned if I agree that only Arafat and his assassins are Palestinians.
As a Palestinian, I was arrested by the British on suspicion of smuggling immigrants into the country. As a Palestinian, I had the honor of commanding the 329th Palestinian Companyof the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (all Jews). There were no equivalent Arab units. Once a British general said to me, "Migawd I have so many things to dislike you for, for being a Jew, American born, a Palestinian-and you don't even know how to handle a knife and fork!
So cut it out, please. Call them what you will, but not Palestinians.