The whole concept of “Palestinians” is a relatively new creation. It is effective propaganda as it has permeated Western thinking in recent decades, but historically there was never any such nation, people, or identification until it became politically expedient to use the term against Israel after the Six Day War in 1967.
1967 was not a good year for the Arabs, because they fomented a war in which Israel reclaimed the land some call Judea and Samaria, and others now call the Occupied West Bank Territories or Palestine. You could start calling Texas the Occupied North Bank Territories – or Apachestine – and start claiming that Apachestinians need there own independent nation… and if enough millions of people support the idea, it could catch on, and be equally relevant…
When the Romans finally conquered Judea, they renamed the area Palestine after the ancient Philistines, who no longer existed – but the choice was an intentional insult against the Jews of behalf of Rome to rename the land after an enemy people who had been erased in the sands of time. Perhaps a more modern analogy would be a situation in which France were conquered and renamed Vichy-Germany. The French might not like it.
The name “Palestine” was used administratively by the Roman Empire, and the Byzantine Empire. The Ottoman Empire referred to the area as the Mutassariflik of Jerusalem. When Ottoman rule ended in 1917 the British took over, and since Britain and Europe had been influenced by the Romans, the Roman name stuck and was used again by the British. The two groups of people who wanted the land were the Jews – who wanted to reestablish a national homeland where Israel and Judea had existed before the Romans conquered and nearly destroyed them – and the Arabs, who wanted to prevent the reestablishment of a Jewish homeland.
The important point to make here is that the Arabs did not ever have an independent identity as Palestinians. They might identify with the Arab people inhabiting most of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Arabia, Egypt, and many other nations, but there was no “Palestinian people” and they would have been happy to have the land under the control of Egypt or Syria or any other Arab nation. There was no Palestinian capital city, or flag, or religion – though most Arabs are Muslim. There was no Palestinian language; they speak Arabic. In fact, Arabic does not even have a letter “P” – you would have a hard time finding nations or cities in the Arab world starting with the “P” sound. The word Palestine, in the early 20th century, was used more by the Jews in referring to the land around Jerusalem – for they were also largely from Europe and influenced by the Roman name, as the British had been. But there was no “Palestinian people.” In 1948, the Jews declaring independence for Israel were the ones identifying themselves with Palestine, but they chose the name Israel, freeing up “Palestine” for later use by others…
When the British territory “The Mandate of Palestine” was handed over to the locals, the Jews got the smaller portion in the West, which became Israel, and the Arabs got the majority in the east, which became Trans-Jordan, as they controlled land on both sides of the Jordan River. The local Arabs were not shouting for their own homeland, because they already had it – it’s called Jordan today. Jordan is the nation of Arab Palestine. Their only complaint was they did not want to share it with the Jews. You see, the Jews claim is that if you go back 100 generations, the land was Jewish. Arabs claim if you go back 50 generations, the land was Arab. And depending on how far back you go to base your decision of why your people should forever own the land… you can have a strong opinion in your favor either way.
Of course the Bible tells us God said the land is for the Jews, and the political reality is that there are Jews in Israel. There are also Arabs who want the same land for themselves. And they have millions of allies in neighboring Arab countries with fanatical supporters willing to die and lots of oil money to back them, because the rich elites ruling Arab nations want their overzealous fanatics who are willing to die martyring themselves for a cause to be focused on Jews in Israel, not a cause focused on overthrowing their own corrupt government. So Arab leaders who want to maintain their wealth and power do everything they can to focus the anger of the masses on the Jews.
Yasser Arafat, the most well known name from PLO leadership, was Egyptian. But he found a niche and did quite well for himself after 1967, championing a new cause for an independent “Palestinian” homeland. Unfortunately for Israelis, the Arabs do not merely hope to regain the part of Jordan lost in the war in 1967. They want to eradicate the Jewish people. It is not a question of “where should our border with you be” so much as “we will kill you all if we get the chance.”
This is why hatred of Jews is encouraged. It makes peace impossible. It distracts Arab people from the cause of their domestic problems. America and Russia were ideological enemies; but when Gorbachev led the Soviet Union in its final years, America believed the Russians wanted peace, and the Cold War ended. So such rapprochement seems possible in the Middle East.
The Palestinian Authority glorifies Arab murderers, naming streets and public squares after the terrorists who attack Israelis and Jews. “Since October 1, there have been dozens of Arab terrorists — many of them teenagers inspired by the endless incitement broadcast over PA government-run media and taught in PA-approved classrooms — who have carried out more than 60 stabbings, six vehicle ramming attacks and five shooting attacks against Israelis and Jews. At least 10 Israelis died and well over a hundred have been wounded…
Moreover, the PA government confirmed publicly that the issue of “new settlements” is not behind the latest round of Arab violence — nor has the issue of “settlements” been the issue igniting Arab violence over the past 20 years. It is the issue of Israel’s entire existence — as the more direct Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization explains in its forthright founding charter, which proclaims its determination to annihilate the State of Israel at all costs — that the Palestinian Authority finds so upsetting.” (Palestinian Authority: It’s Really About Israel’s Existence, Stupid)
“An article in the Palestinian daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida last week claimed the song is often heard on the streets these days. The paper interviewed a Ramallah street stall owner who said “discs of national songs make up 90% of his sales… The newspaper also interviewed children in the Gaza Strip who, it claimed, are fond of intifada songs and ‘are determined to take part… in the mass insurgency, in order to help the Al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied Jerusalem in their own way.’ One 11-year-old girl told the paper she often watches a Hamas music video, ‘On the Borders,’ which encourages rocket attacks and kidnappings of Israeli soldiers and is sung by a child in military uniform. ‘I love the songs, I love to sing them. My siblings also sing them at home, and we always see mom and dad turn on the TV when these songs are on. We also see Martyrs killed by the Jews. I always hear the song ‘On the Borders,’ and long to fight the occupying Jews when I grow up.’” (from Songs encouraging violence said to be Palestinian hits)
(You can watch the love and peace expressed in the Palestinian children’s TV show above HERE)
Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu recently said: “Yesterday was a tough day. We had four terrorist attacks. This morning began – we had an attack in which two terrorists tried to murder a bus full of school children. There is no question that this wave of attacks is driven directly by incitement – incitement from Hamas, incitement from the Islamist movement in Islam, and incitement, I am sorry to say, from President [Mahmoud] Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. We have to stop the terrorism. To stop the terrorism, we have to stop the incitement… I think it’s time that the international community told President Abbas to stop the incitement and hold him accountable for his words and his deeds.”
I wish there was a reasonable way to achieve a stable peace in the Middle East, but we would have to have reasonable partners in a peace process. The Bible makes it clear Israel will be at war again, that Jerusalem will be burdensome, and that it will take an apocalyptic war and the Second Coming of Christ to settle the matter God’s way – in Israel’s favor.
(If you care to see my take on how end times prophecy will play out before that final determination, check out Antichrist 2016-2019)