Letter: No historic case for Palestinian state

No historic case for Palestinian state

To the Editor:

On the Feb. 14 Eagle op-ed page, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman states that the two-state solution will not happen. ("Abandon fantasies of the Middle East.") He strongly implies that Palestinians should have a state but they were sabotaged by Netanyahu, Hamas and even Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr. Friedman, and most of the world, think that the Palestinians are a unique separate people entitled to their own homeland. This is historically false. In the 400 years of the Ottoman Empire, ending with World War 1, what is now Israel was southern Syria and there was no physical entity called Palestine. Arabs and some Jews lived there.

During the British Mandate until 1948 there were the Palestine Symphony, the Palestine Agency and the Palestine brigade in the British Army — they were all Jews!

In 1968, Yassir Arafat, who was born in Egypt, began calling the Arabs of the West Bank Palestinians. Previously, while the West Bank was occupied by Jordan from 1948 to 1967, the Arabs living there were an integral part of the Arab people. There never was a movement among them to create a separate state of Palestine.

In all of history, from biblical times, there has never been a state of Palestine. Pundits like Mr. Friedman should study history and tell their readers the facts.

Martin Silver, Lenox


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