Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Slice Of Reilly: A Catholic Thinker On 'Understanding the Palestinians as the "invented" people they are and [why] the invention was made'

Robert R. Reilly is music critic for CrisisMagazine and author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created The Modern Islamist Crisis (2010).

His latest article, "Why "Invent" The Palestinians?', written in the wake of the furore over Newt Gingirch's description of the Palestinians as an "invented" people, constitutes a masterly and most accessible overview of the historical reality to which Gingrich referred.

The peg on which Robert Reilly hangs his analysis is this remark of Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser in the Bush administration:
"There was no Jordan or Syria or Iraq, either, so perhaps he [Gingrich] would say they are all invented people as well, and also have no right to statehood. Whatever was true then, Palestinian nationalism has grown since 1948, and whether we like it or not, it exists."
Observes Reilly:
"This critique seems to confuse two things. Palestine, of course, has never been a state. In 1920, Palestine was carved out as a territory by the British, against the wishes of the Arabs living there who thought of themselves as inhabitants of Greater Syria. When it was within their power the Arabs never thought to create Palestine as a country, nor did the Ottomans. Were it to become one, it would have to be "invented," just as have been all other states, like Jordan, Syria or Iraq, all of which are 20th-century creations. In this respect, Abrams is correct.However, states are human constructs; peoples are not. Peoples exist according to ethnic and linguistic distinctions. For instance, the Kurds are a distinct people, as are the Berbers. So are the Arabs. They were not "invented"; they simply are. Ignore them at your peril. Their existence, however, does not translate automatically into a right to Kurdish, Berber or Arabic statehood. For that, other things are needed, including viability.Never having possessed a state, do the Palestinians nonetheless exist as a people? Are they distinct linguistically or ethnically from the sea of Arabs in which they live? The answer is no. In this Gingrich is right. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people and to speak of them as such is clearly an "invention." The real question that needs to be asked is why have they been "invented"? The answer to this can be suggested by an analogy that removes us from the immediate passions of the Middle East in order to see this situation more clearly.'
Read the rest of his splendid article here
(Hat tip: B.L.)


  1. His argument is self-defeating, because he's right that there is really no Iraqi people or Jordanian people anymore than there is a Palestinian people. In fact Iraq might do better if it was allowed to split up into Sunni, Shiite, and Kurd countries. Arab Muslim Jordan was originally supposed to be part of Israel, and still should be, and the MUSLIM ARABS there and in the JEWISH STATE OF ISRAEL need to resettle in some of the millions of sq. mi. of Arab territory and LEAVE POOR OUTNUMBERED SURROUNDED ISRAEL ALONE.

    One day I hope to see an Israel that stretches from the Nile to the Euphrates and has at least 200-300 million Jewish people living in it as a shining light in the mad darkness of the Muslim World. If the Allah Akbars would lower their hate shields and listen, the Jews might teach them a better way to live.

    Scope Israel's history free in your browser with the Historyscoper this year and master all the key facts that prove that Israel rightfully belongs to the Jews not the Arabs, even without holy books brought into the debate:

    Keep up with the serious Islam Watchers:

  2. Yes Daphne... splendid indeed, but nothing we didn't already know.

  3. 200 -300 million Jews. Oy Gevelt. 200-300 million opinions. If only 12 million of us creates so much hatred I dread to think with these numbers.

  4. Thanks for your comments, TLW, Shirlee, Steve.
    Clogger is playing up and won't let me comment on comments as usual!