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“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” (source unknown, but often attributed to Mark Twain).

The ‘success’ of ‘Palestine’-related myths provides excellent examples of how we are surrounded by Orwellian inversions of truth. From the Guardian and the BBC to the Washington Post and NYT, the mainstream media are all likely to promote some elements of the fictional tale of the history of ‘Palestine’. Given how often we see these errors, I am actually left wondering whether today’s journalists actually have access to the archives of the very newspapers that they work for.

Truths that cannot be spoken


There are truths that today cannot be digested in the mainstream. Those that promote them are swiftly labelled ‘extremists’. Push these notions persistently and you will find yourself ‘cancelled’ -‘ no-platformed’ – and silenced, as a ‘racist’, or purveyor of hate.

Three examples:

  • Most ‘indigenous’ Palestinians are from families who migrated into the area in the last 170 years.
  • ‘Palestine’ has no form, was alien to Muslims, and was kept alive only as a romantic thought in Christian ideology.
  • The notion of the Palestinian ‘refugee’ in 2023 is just an absurdity.

It doesn’t matter how these statements may disturb your inner peace – they are either true, or they are not. The modern Palestinian cause is a toxic cocktail that was originally made up from an exercise in denialism, an attempt to deprive Jews of the right to self-determination, western thirst for oil, Christian supersessionism, antisemitism, rising Arab nationalism, Islamist ideology, and political horseplay between the world’s superpowers. If you mix these all together and let the cocktail fester for 100 years, then today’s pro-Palestinian movement, which toxifies everything it touches, becomes the inevitable result.

We are witnessing a concentrated rewrite of history.


It is within this false paradigm that Nur Masalha, a ‘pristorian’ (‘propogandist revisionist historian’) can produce a book like this, suggesting ‘Palestine’ ‘has a four thousand year old’ history:

Nur Masalha 4000 Year history of Palestine

In his fictional tale, Masalha hysterically tries to grab at every historical mention of the word ‘falastin’ that he could find, putting them all together in a ridiculous attempt to suggest ‘Palestine’ had real meaning outside of a religious Christian concept. The result is a convoluted, pathetic, mess.

As an example, on page 259 Masalha references a Syrian writer’s travelogue from the late 19th century (‘Numan Al Qasatli’) which had the term ‘Palestine’ in the title. Given Al Qasatli was employed by the British to help with the Christian funded ‘Palestine Exploration Fund’, I hardly think this is evidence of anything. But Masalha’s book was not written for critical eyes. The very fact Masalha needs to rely upon maps drawn for European Christians (such as by the monk Fra Mauroin his attempt to prove that ‘Palestine’ existed, just tends to help prove the opposite. It is all far too desperate.

The media’s 19th century Palestine

Reading western media today, you would clearly imagine a history of Palestinian splendour. This is a classic example -an article from the Guardian that romantically describes a late 19th century Jaffa – as ‘the commercial and cultural capital of Palestine’.

And when announcing the death of Rana Kabbasni in 1990, the Guardian statement lets readers known he was born in 1910 in ‘Acre (Akko) Palestine’:

This messaging is easy to find – and everywhere. Take the 2019 NYT description of the history of the clock tower in Yafo (Jaffa).

Yafo clock tower Palestine

Or perhaps to put the point across more forcefully, we can use this NYT example of ‘sun and ancient stone‘:

But how can this be? We know that ‘Palestine’ was alien to the Muslim world, and the Ottomans used administrative areas (sanjaks) to control their empire. This meant that an Arab in Acre (Akko) and the Arab in Sur (Tyre, today’s Lebanon) were neighbours, tied into the regional Beirut or Damascus districts (eyelets). The idea that an Arab from Akko would be rejected by the Arab from Sur as a foreigner with a different identity (as happened in 1948/9 when they deliberately stuck them into refugee camps as aliens just to perpetuate a conflict) would have seemed absurd to everyone.

The Guardian in 2015 wrote that Yaffo (Jaffa) had been the cultural and commercial capital of Palestine. In 1909 they wrote that everyone knew that it was a place to avoid:

Guardian 5 May 1909

Nowhere in its many 19th century descriptions of Jaffa did I find anything to support what the Guardian says today. As you will see, the media distortion covers far more than just its ‘splendour’.

Where was Palestine?

To prove this let us look at the Guardian and NYT archives. After all, isn’t this exactly where Guardian and NYT journalists would turn to first when referencing a historical point? And we find that back in the 19th century, these media outlets viewed the world a little differently:

This is how the NYT (left) and Guardian (right) actually described Akko in the 19th century (Acre):

As being part of ‘Syria’. And this is also how the New York Times described Yafo (Jaffa) in 1840:

NYT 7April 1958

The Guardian on the ‘development of Syria’ from Akko (Akka) to Haifa in 1892:

And it is not just the NYT and Guardian. It is everywhere. There is not a journalist alive who will not be left scratching his head if they ever dare to look in their own newspaper archives. Here is an 1891 report on a railroad from Joppa (Yafo) to Jerusalem *in Syria*:

From Joppa to Jerusalem in Syria railroad
The Reading Times, 30 April 1891

These two, Bethlehem and Nazareth -two of ‘Palestine’s’ key historical towns, are particularly notable:

The Boston Globe 08 Apr 1873 and The Times 05 Jan 1887

Searching for the Indigenous people of Palestine

On the subject of the indigenous people of Palestine – who have apparently resided in these lands for 1000s of years, today’s media is also quite adamant. They call them the indigenous population. Examples from both the Guardian and NYT:

NYT 24 Jan 2001 and Guardian 2 May 1998

And yet again we find that inside easily accessible newspaper archives there is evidence of a very different history:

Newburn SPR 26 Sep 1834
Morning Post 1 Sep1860
Syria not Palestine
Granville Free 10 May 1878
Palestine population
News and Observer 4 Jul 1886
The Star 1 Jul 1884
Bethlehem in Syria, not Palestine
Allentown 2 Jul 1879
the Birmingham J&G 3 may 1856

This is from a description of the population of Jaffa in 1875:

IOM Weekly, 13 Feb 1875,

A Jewish person today living in the land of his ancestors is treated by much of the media as a colonial invader, while the ‘Palestinians’ – a mixture of immigrants from North Africa, Bosnia, Sudan, Arabia, Circassia, Greece, and Turkey, standing alongside the descendants of 1000s of Christian missionaries and the remnants of some Egyptian and Turkish soldiers that never left – are treated as an ‘indigenous’ population?

Even worse? When the tide turned and the descendants of these Egyptians and Syrians went home, they were called ‘refugees’ and locked away into camps.

It is time to just scratch our heads in wonderment at just how easily we are all being duped.

The butchers of history

When these Christians used the term ‘Palestine’ – they meant ‘Holy Land’ – which in turn referred specifically to the Jewish homeland. That is what the historical resurrection of ‘Palestine’ was all about. It was the Christian funded ‘Palestine Exploration Fund‘ that literally put ‘Palestine’ back onto the map in the latter part of the 1800s – fuelled by a Christian ideology that had an interest in the Jews returning home. When you see ‘ancient maps‘ of Palestine spread around online as ‘proof’ Palestine existed – this is often what they are based on.

But it gets worse. If Ramallah and Jerusalem are in their ‘Palestine’, how are Amman and Irbid not in their ‘Palestine’? They used to be as much ‘Palestine’ in the eyes of the Christian west as Nazareth and Capernaum:

Amman, Palestine?

I highly doubt the Times or Guardian would ever dream of describing Irbid or Amman as cities in ‘Palestine’ today. A BBC report on ‘historical Jordan‘, does not even contain the word ‘Palestine’. Can you imagine the BBC doing a piece on Akko without referencing the fictional place? Remember this from the Guardian?

Akko Palestine. In 1910?

But Akko was nothing to do with Palestine. Nor ancient Philistia. Akko was in Syria, or Lebanon. The Guardian’s own archives will tell them this over and over again;

Guardian 2 Apr 1903

Which raises serious questions about the non-factual, ahistorical, and spiteful misuse of ‘Palestine’ as a description throughout mainstream media. And if Palestine is based on the Christian Holy Land’ then the Palestine they reference is just the western part of it.  The ‘PEF’ survey of Palestine often erroneously presented as a map of all of Palestine was just the result of surveys into ‘Western Palestine’:

Which means of course that there was also an ‘Eastern Palestine’. The survey of ‘Eastern Palestine’, also produced maps, which include Amman and its neighbouring towns:

East Jordan Palestine
Boston Globe 9 Dec 1872

The newspapers all knew it back then but appear to have forgotten it for some reason. Say ‘Jordan is Palestine’ today – another simple fact based on historical truth – and you will certainly find yourself cancelled.

Today’s media have engaged in a massive revisionist campaign that suggests a prosperous nation called Palestine, really existed – yet *exclusively* in the area in which Israel exists today. It is utter, ahistorical, bunkum – that has been explicitly designed to undermine the Jewish homeland.

Look at this explicit lie about ‘Palestine’ from the Guardian in 2003 – deliberately written to undermine the Jewish Home:

Guardian 6 mar 2003

How many more times – IT WAS NOT PALESTINE -so why do you say that it was? To undermine the Jews. There can be no other reason for it.

The truth is obvious. You only need to open your eyes and your mind – and then find the courage to speak it.

{Reposted from the author’s blog}

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David Collier has been writing on the subject of Israel for years and is currently researching anti-Zionist forces on the university campus. During the Oslo years, he coordinated projects between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority and published his own newspaper which was printed in Ramallah.