The Invention of ‘Palestinians’

Millennia before Palestinians appeared on the world stage following the Six-Day War, the “West Bank” was already known as Judea and Samaria. “Palestine” dates from the League of Nations Mandate (1923) that granted England governing power over the land, including Trans-Jordan, that was previously controlled by the defeated Ottoman Empire. The Mandate recognized “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine.” “Palestinians” were not mentioned; Arabs in the Land of Israel lacked national consciousness as a people. Two decades after the birth of Israel, following the Six-Day War, they borrowed so extensively from Jewish and Zionist sources as to virtually constitute historical plagiarism.

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