The Major Political Myths (Continued)
2. The second myth I want to consider is the one perpetrated by the Palestinians and mindlessly repeated by the world press. It is the claim that the Palestinians were forcibly and unjustly evicted from their state by the Jewish people.
The first thing that needs to be considered here is that there was never such a thing as a Palestinian state. Palestine was simply a geographical name that was given to a section of the Middle East that was always under the control of some foreign power.
Between 1517 and 1917 — a period of 400 years — it was a part of the Ottoman Empire, whose capital was Istanbul. There was never a sovereign Palestinian state. There was never a Palestinian indigenous population with its own language and culture.
By the beginning of the 20th Century, Palestine was a desolate, barren land that was sparsely populated. Most of it was owned by absentee landlords. The people who lived there would have identified themselves as Syrians. In fact, the Arabs who lived there did not even begin to call themselves Palestinians until the mid 1960s.
But the major point that should be made is that when the Jews began returning to their homeland in the 1890s and early 1900s, they purchased the land from the Arabs at exorbitant prices. In fact, the prices quadrupled! Again, the Jews did not steal the land, nor did they evict the Arabs. They bought land that already rightfully belonged to them.
And it was a desolate land. All the trees south of the Sea of Galilee had been cut down. The valleys had turned into malaria infested swamp lands. It was a land no one wanted except the Jewish people.
The Bible had prophesied that the land would become desolate when the Jews were evicted, and it also prophesied that when they returned, it would once again become a land of milk and honey. Here is the prophecy concerning its desolation:
22) Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it, will say,
23) “All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah…”
Here is the prophecy concerning the reclamation of the land when the Jews returned:
34) The desolate land will be cultivated instead of being a desolation in the sight of everyone who passes by.
35) They will say, “This desolate land has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste, desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.”
And that’s exactly what happened, and so the newest myth the fertile imaginations of the Palestinians have conjured up is that the land was as wonderful as it is now when the Jews “stole it” from them!
In the fourth part of this series on the myths regarding Israel, we will look at the myth which claims the Palestinians have been kept in refugee camps by the Jewish people.