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Palestinian “nationalists” themselves concede the point.In an interview several years ago on Israeli television, Azmi Bashara, at the time a Knesset member but now in hiding because he is wanted by Israel for espionage and treason, said:
I don’t think there is a Palestinian nation. I think there is an Arab nation. I think that this [the term “Palestinian nation”] is a colonial invention. Palestine, up to the end of the 19th century was southern Syria.
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian stateis only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israelfor our Arabunity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. 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. For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifaand Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.
Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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