Palestinians, the Unpeople

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by Neil Godfrey


However, CNN’s swift termination of Hill and continued employment of former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum sparked wide backlash on Twitter. (Santorum once said that “all the people that live in the West Bank are Israelis. They are not Palestinians. There is no Palestinian. This is Israeli land.”) Many users questioned how any discussion could take place on the question of Palestine if every critique of Israel or any advocacy on behalf of Palestinians is instantly labeled as anti-Semitic.

By Rachel Leah,

CNN fires Marc Lamont Hill as contributor after he called for a “free Palestine” at the UN

“There’s another story going on here . . . a punishment of black radical thinkers in the United States”

Further extracts:

“But there’s another story going on here,” she added, “There is, more broadly, a punishment of black radical thinkers in the United States who define themselves as internationalists. Here, this is not just limited to the question of Palestine, but this is the case of what happened to Muhammad Ali in his opposition to the Vietnam War. It’s what happened in the sidelining of Martin Luther King Jr. in his opposition to the Vietnam War. It’s what happened to Paul Robeson in his declaration that the U.S. practiced a treatment of black people that is tantamount to genocide.”

Thus, CNN’s termination of Hill makes him part of a larger legacy, Erakat continued, of silencing and repudiating black activists in the U.S. for asserting that “they are part of a global struggle against racism and colonialism.” “When it comes to Palestine, that punishment becomes more cruel,” she added.

From the river to the sea . . . . a vision for all people, all races

“All that Marc was saying was that we need to be committed in the space of the United Nations to full justice for Palestinians, whether they’re in exile, whether they’re under occupation or whether they live in the state of Israel itself,” Kelley said. He added that the specific “from the river to the sea” phrase, which refers to  the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, that drew so much ire has been a standard slogan used in demonstrations for Palestinian rights and self-determination “for a century.”

“Nothing in that slogan indicates a calling for the destruction of Israel. It’s certainly calling for an end to occupation,” Kelley said, noting that such a belief is shared by people all over the world, including by some living in Israel.

“What [Hill] said was a vision of inclusion for everybody,” Erakat said, “and all of all things. He’s at the U.N., and when he said it, he gets thunderous applause. So the other thing to consider is that the majority of the world is in agreement with him.”

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10 thoughts on “Palestinians, the Unpeople”

  1. There are no such people as ‘Palestinians’ They are Arabs. As a biblical scholar that should be obvious. It has nothing to do with anti Semitism. That vast land was partially Hebrew territory. It should return to its rightful owners. But no matter what settlement is ever reached, the majority of Arabs have deep anti Semitism roots. Israel will always be threatened.

    1. Yes, ‘That vast land was partially Hebrew territory’, but largely only until 134 a.d. (ie. 1900 yrs ago). If the British had handled their ‘territory’ better in the first 30 yrs of the last century (i.e. the 20th century), things are likely to have been a lot less adversarial over the last 50-70 yrs.

      The Holocaust was the culmination of centuries of European Christian anti-Semitism.

      There were ~100,000 Jews living peacefully in Iraq until 2003-2005.

    2. Palestinians, like Israelis and other Arabs are Semites. Do you deny the right of Iraqis, Saudis, and Syrians to call themselves by their countries’ names because they are also Arabs? Do you really think occupation of a land thousands of years ago, confers ownership today? If so, doesn’t the priority of ownership belong to the Canaanites (aka Palestinians) whose land the ancient Hebrews seized? Or do you believe the Israelis have a right to the land because it was given to them by God?

      Israel is a threatened because once again they seized the land of the previous occupants, expelled as many as they could, and have held the rest in semi-captivity for 50 years. That’s not anti Semitism, just fact.

    3. Why Herodotus V Century BC called that part of Middle East Palestine and nobody at that time called it Israel and around the beginning of this era, during the Emperor Caesar Augustus period, that area was part of the Syria, and divided in three Syrian provinces Galilee, Samaria and Judea. Why that area was never known as Israel? True an Egypt’s pharaoh included a band of bandits called Israel among a group of marauders he claimed to have eliminated XIII Century BC, but this group of bandit did not at the time had a state of its own at the time, the whole are was known by the name of their cities and the name of their kings and none was known as Israel.I would say Israel never existed as a country before 1948. Before that it existed only in the literature. Israel before 1948 was a theological political literature invention.

  2. Is it not possible that the current residents of the occupied territories are the descendants of the original Canaanites? Book of Judges 1:27-36 specifically says that the Israelites “did not drive them out”, although they did force them into labor. Also several mentions in the book of Joshua 13, 15, 16, 17 say “they did not drive them out”.

    So if anyone can lay a claim from thousands of years ago, why not these people?

    1. Book of Judges is not History’ Did ever heard of Niels Peter Lemche book Ancient Israel, Thomas L Thompson books, Early Israel and Mythic Past: Biblical Past and The Myth of Israel and Keith W Whitelam’s book The Invention of Ancient Israel? What about The Minimalist School of Studies of the Old Testament also known as The Copenhagen School?

      1. If you follow the so-called “minimalists”, Elganned’s argument becomes even stronger, cause the writers of the Judges wrote about the situation they were facing in the early Hellenistic ages.
        Also do not forget that Samaria was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE, by Ptolemy I in 312 BCE and by Demetrius in 296 BCE.
        Orsolina Montevecchi in “Aegyptus, Anno 76, No. 1/2 (gennaio-dicembre 1996), pp. 81-92” in her article “Samaria e Samaritani in Egitto” (Samaria and Samaritans in Egypt) p.91 as she is trying to explain the absence of the Samaritan ethnicity in Ptolemaic Egypt writes :

        “The complicated events of that tormented period may have induced the Samaritans, fallen into disgrace after the rebellion and the destruction of Samaria, to declare “Ιουδαίοι” and to enlist as such in the wake of Alexander and of the diadochi. Perhaps here lies the reason for the absence of the “infamous” ethnic in Ptolemaic Egypt, and the exclusive presence of “Ιουδαίοι” in the village of Samaria in the Fayum.” (Translated from Italian to English with google translate)

        I personally believe that she is right, and that this situation is reflected in the Bible’s program to subjugate the surrounding areas to the Judeans by using the prestige that was given to the Judeans by the Greeks in the early Hellenistic ages e.g. Theophrastus and Megasthenes,

        1. I never said Samaria did not exist neither I deny that Judae or whatever the the variatons of the name of the people who lived in Jerusalem existed. What I say was an literary invention as the Kingdom of Israel. United Kingdon of Israel of David and Solomon only existed in texts never outside of books.

          1. I think you misunderstood me, I wrote this to show that even thought Judges or the Bible cannot be treated as history it reflects the early Hellenistic ages in Palestine. For this reason Elganned’s comment is valid.

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