Palestinian-Jordanian-American real estate tycoon Mohamed Hadid — best known as the father of models Gigi and Bella Hadid — claimed on May 7 that former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir was a “proud Palestinian” and that her comments about Palestinian identity proved that there was “religious coexistence and tolerance” in “Palestine” until Zionism came along to spoil it. The report on this latest absurdity by Hadid, who shares the virulent anti-Israel views – expressed in tweets, and through the Instagram accounts of his catwalk-strutting daughters – can be found here: “Mohamed Hadid: Golda Meir ‘proud Palestinian,’ shows coexistence before Zionism,” by Michael Starr, Jerusalem Post, May 9, 2022:
“She [Meir] was [sic] proud Palestinian,” Hadid said on Instagram, of a video excerpt that he posted of an interview of Meir by Thames TV in the 1970s. “There was [sic] Jews, Christian, Muslim, Palestinians, all Arabs [sic]. Israeli prime minister Golda Meir reiterated that she was a Palestinian, carrying a Palestinian passport, in this segment, even though the full interview reflects her colonial Zionist ideology bent on ethnic cleansing and erasing Palestine.”
When Golda Meir said she was a “Palestinian,” that was meant not as a sign of ethnic or of any other identification with the Arabs in Mandatory Palestine, who in fact never called themselves “Palestinians” until the Six-Day War. It was purely a geographic term. There was no “religious coexistence and tolerance” as Hadid claims existed, until the “colonial Zionist ideology bent on ethnic cleansing” ruined everything. He’s forgetting the murderous attacks on Zionist pioneers, the massacres at Tel Hai, Nebi Musa, and Jaffa in 1920, the Jerusalem stabbings in 1921, the 1929 massacres in Safed and in Hebron, where every last Jewish man, woman, and child in the latter city was murdered, the Jaffa massacres in 1936, the hundreds of attacks by Arabs on Jews during the Arab Revolt that lasted from 1936 to 1939. And Mohamed Hadid chooses to forget the “spiritual” leader of the Palestinian Arabs from the 1920s till the late 1940s,, Hajj Amin el Husseini, who spent the war years in Berlin, where he met with Hitler and congratulated him on the Final Solution, was befriended by both Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Eichmann, and may even have visited Auschwitz to enjoy the spectacle. El Husseini helped to raise several S.S. brigades from among the Muslims in Bosnia, and from Berlin he broadcast into the Middle East, where he encouraged the Arabs of Palestine to keep on murdering Jews. Mohamed Hadid fantasizes – lies – about this being a time of “religious coexistence and tolerance.” It was, rather, a time of unremitting violence visited on innocent Jews by the Arabs who wanted to make sure that they would not be able to live peacefully on the lands that they had bought and settled on in Mandatory Palestine.
The word “Palestinian” in the days of the Mandate referred only to the Jews, never to the Arabs. Jews who had settled in the Mandate would be called by other Jews, in Europe and America, “Palestinians.” When Vladimir Jabotinsky, or Israel Zangwill, or Isaac Bashevis Singer, for example, in the 1930s would write of “Palestinians,” that word always meant Jewish pioneers who had gone out to Mandatory Palestine to help build what would eventually be the State of Israel.
Let’s listen to exactly what Golda Meir said in the interview clip that Hadid posted on Telegram:
“I’m Palestinian. From 1921 until 1948 I carried a Palestinian passport. There was no such thing in this area as Jews and Arabs and Palestinians,” Meir said in Hadid’s clip.
In the full interview, not included by Hadid, Meir goes on to say that “There were Jews and Arabs,” and describes Palestinian identity as” a modern development.” “When were the Palestinians born?” By that she was alluding to their deliberate arrival on the scene—an invented people — just after the Six-Day War.
Meir was making a point she made many times. There were “Jews and Arabs” in Mandatory Palestine, but there was no separate “Palestinian” identity. When the Jews used the word, it was simply as a geographic designation for themselves: a “Palestinian” was always a Jew, never an Arab, who lived in Mandatory Palestine. Their identity cards read “Jew” and those of the Arabs read “Arab.” When Meir speaks about the “Palestinian” as a “modern development,” she is referring to the fact that it was not until the mid-1960s that the word “Palestinian” began to be used by a handful of the Arabs; use of the word, to apply to the Arabs “between the river and the sea,” only really took off after the Six-Day War, when Arab propagandists began a conscious campaign, suggested to them by Soviet advisors, to rename themselves as “Palestinians” for political reasons. Golda Meir scoffed at the idea: “Where were the Palestinians born”? And she knew perfectly well – and Mohamed Hadid does too – why the Arabs who had left Mandatory Palestine and Israel between 1947 and 1949, and those who remained, carefully renamed themselves after the Six-Day War the “Palestinians.” By sleight of word, they could present themselves as a tiny people, bullied by the powerful Zionists, whereas before, when they were known only as “Arabs,” the Arab-Israeli conflict was seen as what, in fact, it always has been — a monstrous gang-up by the vast Arab people, already possessing nearly two dozen states, against the single, very tiny Jewish state.
Zuheir Mohsen, head of the Palestinian terror group As-Saiqa, and a member of the PLO’s executive committee, explained why the “Palestinian” identity proved so useful in a 1977 interview given to the Dutch newspaper Trouw: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel for our Arab unity … Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism. There is no differences between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese. We are all part of one people, the Arab nation […] 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.“
Meir argued that there was no difference between Arabs on the West and East of the Jordan river — they shared the same religion, language, culture, cuisine, folktales, dances — and that there was no reason that Jordan couldn’t have established a Palestinian state in the West Bank when they had ruled between 1949 and 1967.
In 1969, Meir told Frank Giles, a Times journalist, in an interview, that “there was no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was either southern Syria before the First World War and then it was a Palestine including Jordan. It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country from them. They did not exist.”
In a 1970 interview with Thames TV, Meir said:
“When were Palestinians born? What was all of this area before the First World War when Britain got the Mandate over Palestine? What was Palestine, then? Palestine was then the area between the Mediterranean and the Iraqian border. East and West Bank was Palestine. I am a Palestinian, from 1921 and 1948, I carried a Palestinian passport. There was no such thing in this area as Jews, and Arabs, and Palestinians. There were Jews and Arabs. […] I don’t say there are no Palestinians, but I say there is no such thing as a distinct Palestinian people.
In a 1972 interview with The New York Times, Meir was asked if she stood by the comments; she replied: “I said there never was a Palestinian nation.”
“Golda is saying the Jews were the ones considered the ‘Palestinians’ back then!”…
Mohamed Hadid shares an interview in which Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir explains Arab Palestinian identity is a modern invention and he [Hadid] doesn’t even realize what an own goal this is,” remarked Israeli writer Emily Schrader.
Let’s repeat what Hadid said in his Instagram account:
Her remarks [about being a “Palestinian”] do prove though, that tolerance, co-existence and peace were prevalent in Palestine pre-1948, where all faiths were welcomed and received equal rights in the holy land. Then arrived colonial Zionism with the founding of the State of Israel and with it forced expulsions, nakba, occupation, apartheid and war crimes being committed daily to this day, that Golda Meir was directly complicit in, making her what?
Thousands of Jews were murdered, and many more thousands wounded, by Arabs in pre-1948 Palestine, that place where Mohamed Hadid wants us to believe that “all faiths were welcomed and received equal rights in the holy land.” He also wants us to believe that the Jews were guilty of every conceivable crime: “forced expulsions, nakba, occupation, apartheid, and war crimes” that were, and are, being “committed daily” by the criminal Israelis including, when she was alive, that “war criminal” Golda Meir.
Golda Meir was a tough, no-nonsense lady, but also could be extremely funny. There are many stories told about her, in peace and war. I’ll leave you with just this one:
Someone came to her wanting a political favor, and trying to ingratiate himself, in Uriah-Heepish fashion, told her how unworthy he felt to be asking for this favor. Golda looked at him and said: “Don’t be so humble. You’re not that great.”
Even standing on tiptoe, Mohamed Hadid can’t reach the hem of her dress.