Palestinian Identity as the “Anti-Israel”

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren has an interesting exchange of letters with the editor of Foreign Policy about Israel. One particular thing that Michael Oren wrote jumped out at me.

But a two-state solution is unfortunately unlikely and not because of Israel. We’d make most of the sacrifices — but only because the Palestinians lack the national cohesion necessary to sustain a state structure. Our identity exists entirely independently of theirs; theirs cannot exist without denying ours. Accepting us would sever the one thread that — sometimes — holds them together.

That’s an interesting way of putting it.

Obviously “Palestinian” identity is ahistorical. There was never any such country as Palestine or Palestinian people. It was a useful regional categorization for outside powers, not a local identity. But the Jordanians, many of whom are the same people, are equally ahistorical. Many Middle Eastern countries have manufactured identities and borders created by European powers.

They tend to be collections of tribes and families. In urban areas, their neighborhoods and cities define their identities more strongly than their national flags.

The problem with the PLO entity, aside from the terrorism and corruption, is that not only is its identity of rather recent vintage, but it’s also, as Oren points out, a negative identity. Its anthem is about endlessly fighting Israel. It really is the Anti-Israel.

That’s only natural since the PLO and the various Arab clans who live under its rule and call themselves “Palestinians” were used as a weapon against Israel by neighboring Arab countries. They’re a militia posing as a people. They have nothing in common with genuinely stateless people like the Kurds. They’re a collection of clans and armed gangs living off international aid.

And they can never move beyond that because their identity is derived from hating and fighting Israel. Without it, they have nothing in common. Even with it, they can’t live in peace with each other. Without it, they would fall apart completely.

There can never be a Palestine because it’s nothing more than a dark doppelganger,  a shadow form of Israel built purely out of hate and spite. It has no dreams or ambitions except destroying Israel. It’s a weaponized nationalism with nothing positive underneath. If it succeeded in destroying Israel, it would have no more reason to exist and be swallowed up by neighboring Arab countries.

  • Ban Liberals

    Aw, that’s okay, I’m “anti Fakeistine!”

  • Ruvane

    yes quite right the russians invented the PLO after the 67 war to crate trouble there are two states in the region a jewish one and an arab one there is no need for a third

    • Gee

      The KGB was involved but the PLO was invented in 1964 – before there was any “occupied territory”

      • Ruvane

        ok thanks

      • ColoursFed

        The Jew started to ‘occupy’ back in 1944, a fact that you Jews always like to hide from the world. The UN was then named the League of Nations, when all countries told you Jews NO!

        • Gee

          Moron – we started to occupy the land only 3,500 years ago.
          The UN was never called the League of Nations.
          Now back into your cave stupid

        • UCSPanther

          Hah! Look what happened four years later, schmuck.

  • DogmaelJones1

    An interesting “confession” by Oren, Daniel. And one that not quite says that “Palestine” is a nihilistic, death-worshipping concept. “Palestine” exists or is imagined solely as a weapon of destruction. Deny the “Palestinians” that fantasy, and their reason for existing goes poof.

  • Gee

    The fact is the Arabs live only for hate. They have no other reason for existence.

    • moby

      palestiniacs

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        pal-e-SWINE.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      See Syria. 160,000+ dead – Arabs/Muslims killing Arabs/Muslims.

      Syria proves that Israel isn’t the problem.

      Islam and Socialism are the problems.

  • Hard Little Machine

    When the Antarctic Ice Shelf falls into the sea the UN and the Arabs will blame it on the Jews and then accuse them of illegally occupying it.

    • Ofer

      Good one dude LOL. Sad but true

  • ColoursFed

    ‘Colours’ balloted it’s members on who to support, and it came back 86% against the Jew in the Middle East, and 99% against the Jew for involvement in England ‘OUT’. you’ve been Red Carded!

    • UCSPanther

      A worthless poll means nothing.

    • Ofer

      Here’s a poll for you: Who gives a flying F about Colours in the morning vs. who gives a flying F about Colours in the evening. Now that is a poll

      • ColoursFed

        it seems that you do, so who gives a flying F about Jews in the morning vs. who gives a flying F about Jews in the evening? Not us, but we do about Iranians!

        • Ofer

          Oh… we don’t have any problem with Iranians, we actually like them. We just need to take care of their Islamist crazy people, and we will do that as soon as we’ll finish analyzing and appreciating these amazing polls of Colours and yours. But here’s a brainer for you: How do you call societies and groups which have 86% and 99% agreement on whatever issue? Do you know that or do you want to make a poll about it?

          • ColoursFed

            all you and your friends say to us, is that Hitler was right about you all!

  • wileyvet

    Well said, Mr. Greenfield. That IS the reality unfortunately.

  • HøgeNord

    That’s right, if they succeed in destroying Israel, Israel would be swallowed up by neighboring Arab countries. That’s stated long ago:

    «Between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese there are no differences. We are all part of ONE people, the Arab nation. Look, I have family members with Palestinian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Syrian citizenship. We are ONE people. Just for political reasons we carefully underwrite our Palestinian identity. Because it is of national interest for the Arabs to advocate the existence of Palestinians to balance Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new tool to continue the fight against Israel and for Arab unity.

    A separate Palestinian entity needs to fight for the national interest in the then remaining occupied territories. The Jordanian government cannot speak for Palestinians in Israel, Lebanon or Syria. Jordan is a state with specific borders. It cannot lay claim on – for instance – Haifa or Jaffa, while I AM entitled to Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem and Beersheba. Jordan can only speak for Jordanians and the Palestinians in Jordan. The Palestinian state would be entitled to represent all Palestinians in the Arab world en elsewhere. Once we have accomplished all of our rights in all of Palestine, we shouldn’t postpone the unification of Jordan and Palestine for one second.»http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuheir_Mohsen