By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The “liberation of Palestine” is widely recognized as a euphemism for the destruction of Israel. But the term “Palestinians,” according to American-Israeli political commentator and journalist Sha’i ben-Tekoa, is itself a commonly used deception. The “Palestinians,” he argues, don’t really exist. They are an “invented” people whose purpose is to serve as the means by which the destruction of Israel and the Jews will ultimately be achieved.
Ben-Tekoa, author of the new book Phantom Nation: Inventing the ‘Palestinians’ as the Obstacle to Peace, told Accuracy in Media in an interview that the term “Palestinian people” originated with a Columbia University professor, the late Edward Said, who had a major influence on the thinking of such figures as President Barack Obama in Middle East affairs. Said originally described himself as a Lebanese Christian, but then began identifying himself as an ancient Palestinian, saying that the “Palestinians” had as much right to a homeland as the Jews— and so the quest for their own “Palestine” was born.
Ben-Tekoa took courses from Said at Columbia before moving to Israel, where he runs a website on how to “Deprogram program,” meaning that the prevailing narrative about Israel being the obstacle to peace in the region has to be analyzed and deconstructed before the real truth can be understood.
He had conducted research for the Office of Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, and discovered that the term “Palestinians” didn’t emerge in United Nations resolutions until 1970, three years after the Six Day War that Israel won against the Arab states. “Before the 1970s there are no Palestinians on the table” for the United Nations to manipulate as a cause for “liberation,” he said.
“This is the language of liberation,” he says, “when there is nothing to liberate here. Palestine was liberated in 1948 when we Jews declared independence and returned it to their true ancient owners.”
Dr. Harris Schoenberg’s 1989 book, A Mandate for Terror: The United Nations and the PLO, describes how the world body came to endorse and embrace the terrorism campaign of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). In the 1970s, international terrorism was rampant. In 1972, Palestinian terrorists murdered 11 Israeli athletes at the Olympics in Munich, Germany. Two years later, PLO chief Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N. General Assembly in New York, wearing a gun.
Ben-Tekoa acknowledges a Soviet role in this phony “liberation” narrative as well. At its core, he says, the Palestinian cause is Islamic, with its hatred of Israel and the West. But he says the PLO, its first chairman Yasser Arafat, and many of its factions had their bases in the Soviet Union and were trained by the Soviets.
He adds, “Both Islam and Communism are totalitarian systems and both of them ideologically hate Jews and are behind the murder of Jews. So they work together. But the history of Jewish-Arab relations…goes back thousands of years [and] predates the monstrosity of modern-day communism. Islam is a religion which is steeped in hostility toward the Jewish people.”
Christians in the Middle East, he notes, are also targets of this hostility. “It’s a nightmare for them these days.”
He notes that the current president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who also serves as chairman of the PLO, did his Ph.D. work in the Soviet Union, at the KGB’s Patrice Lumumba University. The paper Abbas prepared offered the bizarre fantasy that there was no Holocaust and that the Jews murdered during World War II were actually killed by Zionists working with the Nazis.
The PLO’s first chairman was Yasser Arafat, identified by former communist intelligence officers as a Soviet operative. Ben-Tekoa says that Arafat was born in Cairo, Egypt, and his father was a lieutenant of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group that spawned many Islamist terrorist groups.
When the PLO was formed, ben-Tekoa said, “Arafat’s model was Fidel Castro. Arafat put on that military jacket and never took it off. He wanted to portray himself as a Third World liberation fighter but was a Muslim fanatic until the day he died.”
“Islam cannot tolerate the rebirth of the state of Israel,” he says.
As battles between Israel and the “Palestinians,” governed by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, continue in the Middle East, it would seem that the semantic battle has been lost, as even the United States government has accepted a so-called “two-state solution.” Such proposals were offered several times over the past 15 years, but were ultimately rejected by the Palestinians. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in 2009 that he is prepared to recognize a Palestinian state of some kind, subject to security conditions and their recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
Radical left and secular elements have brought the Jewish state to this point, ben-Tekoa argues, by adopting a so-called “peace process” with the Palestinians that has only brought “murder and mayhem” to Israel.
Ben-Tekoa believes that Netanyahu’s response should have been, “There are no Palestinians,” and “they have no right to a state.”
Nevertheless, he thinks Netanyahu “knows the threat,” not only from the “Palestinians” but Iran, and will do what is necessary to assure Israel’s survival.
The additional problem, he says, is that “the Muslim brother in the White House” has “betrayed” Israel and is facilitating the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
Obama “wants them to have the bomb,” he said, adding, “It will change everything here. It is our number one strategic threat.”