Netanyahu insists that the Palestinians be kept stateless and, since Trump seems to believe whatever the last person he talked to alleged, likely Netanyahu will win out. Juan Cole reports.
THE TRUMP-NETANYAHU SHOW on Wednesday was par for the course in American and right wing Israeli discourse about the Palestinians.
Nobody brought up that British colonialists conquered Palestine during World War I and, instead of preparing it for statehood, as they promised the League of Nations they would do, they set the Palestinians up for destruction as a people. These actions contrast with Iraq, which the British did bequeath to the Iraqi nation.
No one brought up that 60 per cent of Palestinian families were kicked out of their homes in 1948 by militant European Jewish colonialists brought there by colonial Britain, and that these families are still homeless and stateless, whereas the Israeli perpetrators have never paid a dime in reparations for the billions of dollars worth of property they stole from the Palestinian people.
No one brought up that Europeans who committed the Holocaust have not borne the cost of that monstrous crime against humanity, but rather the innocent Palestinians have.
The fact is that by about 1300AD, there were virtually no Jews in Palestine. And, yes, there was a Palestine — a recognised geographical concept, coins with “Filistin” written on them, diaries of Palestinian travelers who said they missed “Palestine”, and a distinctive Palestinian dialect of Arabic. The people who lived there were almost all Christians and Muslims, 1300-1850. My recollection is that the French found about 3,000 Jews there in 1799 when Bonaparte invaded, when the general population must have been around 200,000.