The Palestinians’ Jew-Free History

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About five years ago, I was invited by the Hoover Institution to lecture at Stanford University over the course of a week. Coincidentally, Israel’s Independence Day fell during that week, so I was invited to speak at the celebration held by pro-Israel students. In my talk, I noted that the crux of the problem in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was that most Palestinians wanted Israel to cease to exist.

After my talk, a woman walked over to me and introduced herself as a peace activist. She told me that she could not agree with me because Palestinians, in her view, were quite willing to accept Israel’s existence.

As it happened, about 50 feet behind the pro-Israel celebration was an anti-Israel demonstration led by Palestinian students. So I told the woman to go over and introduce herself to the Palestinian students as a peace activist — that way they would immediately trust her — and ask them if they were willing to acknowledge the right of the Jewish state of Israel to exist. I told her that I would bet her $5 that they would not answer in the affirmative.

She accepted the bet and walked over the Palestinian students.

After about 10 minutes, she returned.

“So,” I asked her, “who won the bet?”

“I don’t know,” she responded.

“I don’t understand,” I replied. “Didn’t they answer you?”

“They asked me, ‘What do you mean?'” she answered.

I told her she owed me $5 but that I wouldn’t collect.

Earlier this month in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority, I interviewed Ghassan Khatib, director of government media for the Palestinian Authority and the spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. I asked him the same question: Do the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state?

He was more direct than the Palestinians students at Stanford.

His long answer amounted to: “No.”

There is no Jewish people, he told me, so how could there be a Jewish country? The Palestinian position is that there is a religion called Judaism, but there is no such thing as a Jewish people. (Interestingly, the Jews are referred to belonging to a religion only once in the entire Hebrew Bible — in the Book of Esther, by the anti-Semite Haman.)

In other words, Palestinians — people in a national group that never existed by the name “Palestine” until well into the 20th century — deny the existence of the oldest continuous nation in the world, dating back over 3,000 years.

Now, that’s real chutzpah.

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  • Clare

    This should put the final nail in the coffin of the Philistine Pals!

    This is astounding! The ignorance – ance of the lineage of Jacob makes it so, Number One??? This is the winner of stupidity, unsurpassed by any other in our century, out there for all to see. Who is left who would willingly associate themselves with this, well, delusion?

    The lineage of the Twelve Tribes of Israel is the embodiment of Judean and Christian way of life and thought! So, in my opinion, this kind of denial represents a mental illness.

  • tarleton

    these types of arabs are quasi medieval and murderous …the females are just as bad as the men …if not worse ..they're all potential throat cutters

  • Flipside

    I think you need to get in touch with the Jewish Virtual Library, because they think Mahmoud Abbas is awesome:

  • alphakilosingh

    Any country supporting or recognizing Palestine amounts to recognizing that Israel has no right to exist.

  • KathleenP

    Oh, who the hell cares what the Palestinians think of the Jewish state. We know most of them will never truly accept it. The only important thing is making it not matter. So let them become yet another miserable, corrupt "state" to join the legions of others in the ME. Israel still has the big guns, and that's as it should be. All those miserable Arab states know deep down that if they try to seriously f**k with the Jewish state they will get what's coming to them. Also as it should be. Neighbours don't have to love each other. In the end what keeps the peace is the better neighbour having bigger and better firepower. We forget this at our peril.

  • Mark

    Palestine is seeking recognition as a state. They are already recognized as a nation under international law; however, they do not have any land to call their own. Under Resolution 242, Israel has already withdrawn from more than 90% of the land they seized by winning in war. The Arab League, starting in 1967 continuing on today, refuses to allow any land for the Palestinians, refusal, not just in violation of Resolution 242, but in violation of decent human dignity and of the Palestinian people themselves.