Apr. 11, 2019
A few of my readers recently asked me to explain the difference between “Palestinians” living inside and outside of Israel’s borders. Who are the “Palestinians” anyway? First, see below:
“Palestine” does not exist today as a nation-state, but at multiple times in history, including the present, it has been one of the names of a place. The Romans, recalling the defunct Philistines – non-Arab Sea People – coined it after defeating [Jewish general] Bar Kochba in 135 CE to disassociate what had been Judaea from Jews. But, as shown by maps and travelers’ journals, Judea remained in use through the centuries. With the Ottoman Empire’s dismemberment after World War I, the League of Nations’ “Palestine Mandate,” comprising east as well as west of the Jordan River, was entrusted to Britain. As JNS’ Jonathan Tobin [former Jewish Exponent editor] pointed out this week in writing about that New York Councilman’s tweets, during the Mandate it was Palestine’s Jews, not its Arabs, who answered to the name “Palestinian.”
Today, of course, “Palestinian” refers exclusively to Arabs, and “Palestine” to “Palestinians’ future state,” comprising to some, “the West Bank,” “East” Jerusalem, and Gaza, and to others, Palestine west of the Jordan River, period.
Jerry Verlin, Brith Shalom Media Watch 4/7/19