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Who Are the Palestinians?  
by Yashiko Sagamori

 November 25, 2002

(Received by  Avigdor Bar-Hai)    

 A rebuttal:

 If you are so sure that "Palestine, the country, goes back through most of recorded history", I expect you to be able to answer a few
 basic questions about that country of "Palestine":

 1. When was it founded and by whom?
 2. What were its borders?
 3. What was its capital?
 4. What were its major cities?
 5. What constituted the basis of its economy?
 6. What was its form of government?
 7. Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat?
 8. Was Palestine ever recognized by a country whose existence, at  that time or now, leaves no room for interpretation?
 9. What was the language of the country of Palestine?
 10. What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine?
 11. What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and  try and find the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian  monetary unit    against the US dollar, German mark, British pound,  Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date.
 12. Have the Palestinians left any artifacts behind?
 13. Do you know of a library where one could find a work of  Palestinian literature produced before 1967?
 14. And, finally, since there is no such country today, what caused  its demise and when did it occur?

        If you are lamenting the "low sinking" of "once proud" nation. Please  tell me, when exactly was that "nation" proud and what was it so  proud of?

       And here is the least sarcastic question of all: 

       If the people you  mistakenly call "Palestinians" are anything but generic Arabs
 collected from all over - or thrown out of - the Arab world, if they  really have a genuine ethnic identity that gives them right for  self-determination, why did they never try to become independent  until Arabs suffered their devastating defeat by Israel in the  1967Six Day War?

      I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern day  "Palestinians" to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology  for history won't work here.
      The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arab  countries have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they  still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their  evil goal through military means, they decided to fight Israel by  proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization,  cynically called it "the sole legitinate representative of the Palestinian people" and installed it in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria. 
     How  else can you explain the refusal by Jordan and Egypt to  unconditionally accept back the "West Bank" and Gaza, respectively,  in the aftermath of the 1967 war?
     The fact is, Arabs populating Gaza, Judea, and Samaria have much less  of a claim to nationhood than the American Indian tribe that  successfully emerged in Connecticut with the purpose of starting a  tax-exempt casino: at least that tribe had a constructive goal that  motivated them. The so-called "Palestinians" have only one  motivation: the destruction of Israel, and in my book that is not  sufficient to consider them a "nation" -- or anything else.   Their  leadership is nothing but a terrorist organization that will one day  be dismantled.

     In fact, there is only one way to achieve piece in the Middle East.  Arab countries must acknowledge and accept their defeat in their war  against Israel and, as the losing side, should pay Israel reparations  for the more than 50 years of devastation they have visited upon it.  The most appropriate form of such reparations would be the removal of  the terrorist organizations from the land of Israel and acceptance of  Israel's ancient sovereignty over Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

     That will mark the end of the Palestinian people. What are you saying  again was its beginning?

 Yashiko Sagamori is a New York-based Information Technology consultant.