Photo Credit: unsplash

Social media sites such as Twitter portray a wonderful history of a state called Palestine – but first let us quickly remember the truth.

The historical facts:


For the Islamic world, the area of 19th century Southern Syria was a sparsely populated forgotten backwater with rival clans and nomadic tribes presenting a hazardous obstacle for every trip. The weakening of the occupying power (the Ottoman Empire) and growing global trade – resurrected European interest. It was Christian travellers recognising this area as their ‘Holy Land’ that put an anglicised version of the name given to it by occupying Roman forces – ‘Palestine’ – firmly back on the map.

European Christian and Zionist investment increased opportunity, and immigrants (mostly Muslims from the collapsing Ottoman Empire) began to flood into the forgotten backwater. This time period culminated in ‘Palestine’ being used as the name for the British Mandate, awarded to Britain by the League of Nations to resurrect the Jewish homeland.

‘Palestine’ was never anything but a name of European imperial colonial conquest (Greek, Roman, Crusader and then British). Even the root derives from the ‘Philistines’ – European Invaders from the Aegean. This is why when Arabs bringing Islam had invaded and colonised the area they didn’t adopt it, and even local usage soon fell out of favour. ‘Palestine’ was not native to the land and had no meaning at all to Muslims. It remained just Christian terminology for the Holy Land – the Jewish ‘Land of Israel’.

The anti-Zionist problem

This may all sound cold and heartless on the notion of a ‘Palestinian identity’ but it remains the historical truth.

None of this helps the anti-Israel crowd that is desperate to argue that Jews came and took over a prosperous land full of indigenous Palestinian people who had lived there as a nation for millennia. As Zionism rose – Muslim interest in the area simply rose to oppose it. They had no interest until the Jews sought to reclaim the land. The Christian world divided – with supersessionists seeing the rebirth of Israel as a direct threat to their own theology – while most Christians saw natural support for Zionism in their bibles. What had been a forgotten backwater was suddenly the most important thing in everyone’s heart.

Even the precious Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa (‘Haram al-Sharif’) built on the Jewish Temple Mount had been left to waste away. Don’t take it from me. This is from the Jordanian Royal website which explains that it was the Zionist ‘threat’ that made them wake up  – and led to the 1922 restoration of these holy sites that turned them from decaying relics into the iconic images we all know so well today:

But the anti-Jewish movement still needed a banner to gather around and in time, Arab – Soviet anti-Zionist mythology created the ‘Palestinian’ in order to do battle with Israel. They then set about rewriting history, both by belittling Jewish ties to the Land of Israel and embedding a narrative of the indigenous Palestinian hero/victim.

The Twitter history of the Palestinians

When your truth is rooted in historicity, the rest is easy. You have nothing to fear, and your role is to educate those around you. With the anti-Zionists- the opposite is true. Education is the enemy – and so they rely on distortions, outliers, misinformation, fake news, and ignorance to help spread their ‘word’. The result is that an army of anti-Israel activists base their ‘truth’ on a mountain of nothing but lies.

This is easily shown by turning to social media. Here are some examples of how ignorant anti-Zionist history is. As each of these examples have been used 1000s of times (with many of them receiving millions of views) I thought I would present them here – along with the truth behind the image:

Palestine Airways

These tweets hold up the ‘Palestine Airways’ plane as evidence of Palestinian life ‘before the Zionists arrived’:

Palestine Airways - twitter history

That plane actually has ‘the Land of Israel airlines’ written across it in Hebrew. Palestine Airways was a company founded by a Zionist Jew Pinhas Rutenberg, and in conjunction with both the Histadrut and the Jewish Agency in the British Mandate of Palestine. It was a ‘Jewish aviation company’ that had trouble maintaining its service due to Arab violence against Jews.

Qalandia / Jerusalem / Atarot airport.

This one is sinister. These tweets reference Zionist ‘theft’ and the ‘Nakba’ using an image of the Palestinian airport near Jerusalem:

In 1924 a military airstrip was built by the British Government on land owned by the local Jewish settlement ‘Atarot’, displacing part of the Jewish settlement in the process. In 1931 the British expropriated additional land from Atarot to expand the airport – demolishing homes and agricultural fields in the process. On top of this ‘Jewish’ land – the British built their airport. In 1948 the Jordanian Army looted and burned down the rest of the village – ethnically cleansing the residents. Only the Jews have been victims of war crimes and ‘theft’ here. Perversely this land is now considered ‘occupied Palestinian territory’.

Tourism and visiting Palestine

Sometimes, the appropriation of  the Jewish story in ‘Palestine’ (the Arabs wanted little to do with it) by anti-Zionists brings about side-splitting moments. The ‘visit Palestine’ tourism posters provide such an opportunity. In the tweet on the left is a screenshot from a PRESSTV (Iranian mouthpiece) interview with Shahd Abusalama – a key figure in the UKs anti-Israel activist circle.  Abusalama actually has the poster on her wall.

The image in the post was created in 1936 by a Jew named Franz Krausz and published by a Zionist Development Agency. Krausz, who fled Europe during Hitler’s rise, designed a variety of posters for Zionist groups encouraging Jewish tourism and immigration to the Land of Israel.

The British mandate government

The League of Nations Mandate to recreate the Jewish homeland was awarded to Great Britain who set about putting in place the trappings of government – and in 1927 the British decided to create a currency for the area.. This all provides material for people who set out to deceive. Probably the most well-known of these examples is the image of the coin with Palestine written on it. Displayed as proof that ‘Palestine existed’ – these images have been shared millions of times across social media platforms:

coins palestine - twitter history

The coin has ‘Palestina’ written in Hebrew, and more importantly contains in brackets the Hebrew letters ‘Aleph’ and ‘Yud’ – the abbreviation of ‘Eretz Yisrael’ (the Land of Israel) and part of the mandate’s official title when written in Hebrew.

The British also issued postage stamps:

The anti-Zionist lies do not come out of thin air. These lies are what these people are taught. In Palestinian schools, textbooks were found in which the Hebrew had been digitally removed from images of the stamps. What makes it even worse is that these were used inside UN schools funded by the west:

One of the funniest of these examples is this one. They even went for the manholes:

Manhole Cover - Zionist - Twitter history lesson

In the image, which reads ‘Government of Palestine P.W.D Haifa District’ are two giveaways. The first is the Hebrew writing in the top right which spells out ‘Kremener’. The second is the logo underneath.. Alexander Kremener was a German Jew who had fled Hitler in 1933. These were made by a company owned and run by Zionist Jews.

British documents

Some even try to use an image of official British documents to prove that ‘Palestine’ existed. These literally have the words ‘British’ plastered throughout. First there is this British Passport:

And then the British driving  licence:

The Palestine Football team

Another much used (and funny) example is the idea that the imaginary state of Palestine had a football team:

The team sent to Australia in 1939 was the Maccabi Tel Aviv side – with a few players taken from other local Jewish teams to legitimise the use of ‘Palestine’:

This from the Daily Telegraph, 3 June 1939:

The emblems of the modern identity

Far too many just do not understand the history. 4400+ retweets and half a million views just for posting an image of this flag with the words ‘Palestine will be free’:

The history of this flag only goes back 59 years. It was adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 1964 as a symbol for the liberation of Palestine at a time when all of Judea, Samaria (the West Bank of the River Jordan) and Gaza was in Arab hands. Which means this 1964 flag was born as a symbol for the total destruction of Israel.

The absence of real history does lead to absurdity. In 2021 the Palestinians ‘lowered‘ the flag as an act of mourning for the Balfour Declaration – that took place 47 years before the flag had even been invented.

Twitter history – ‘Free Palestine’

And finally, there is the outline of the ‘state’ itself. With half a million views and almost 5000 retweets, this one sure is popular. It is a map of the ‘Palestine’ that anti-Israel activists want to be ‘free’:

Twitter history - map of Palestine

This map did not exist until the 20th century when colonial powers drew it. It is a map created to facilitate the rebirth of the ancient Jewish homeland. The only thing that separates an Arab in Akko from an Arab in Southern Lebanon, or Syria or Jordan, is a colonial pen.

When the Muslims last had control (this from 1899) this is what the map looked like – with the entire area split into Ottoman administrative areas:

Twitter lesson map

It was the colonial powers that drew the new lines. Adding space (the deserts) south of their Holy Land in order to give the Jewish homeland some ‘depth’. In the end the British chopped it up anyway – and gave away some of the Holy Land to create Trans-Jordan (now Jordan).

When they hold up the ‘free Palestine’ map they are worshipping a colonial construct.

There is nothing authentic about their argument at all.

{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.