by Felix Quigley

November 12, 2008

These are some facts or details that may not be known.


  1. There was not always, or perhaps closer to say ever, a Palestinian people
  2. The area which became Palestine was inhabited by the Jews the oldest nation ever
  3. The name of Palestinians was given to Arabs as a result of their failure in wars to destroy the Jews.
  4. There is a huge Nazi cum British and US Imperialist input to this process…the creation of this mystical people “The Palestinians”.
  5. We on 4international have documented precisely when and how this happened. Post 1945 the Nazis were recruited into the American state machine. This included the greatest Nazi criminal of all, easily the equal of Hitler, an Arab from this Palestinian area, his name Hajj Amin el Husseini, also called the Mufti of Jerusalem
  6. Leon Trotsky supported the Jews as a nation, and called on the Jews to set up their national home in Palestine, called for it to be defended by any and every means against Fascists. He saw what he called as “reactionary Mohammedans” as precisely that, a peculiar form of Nazism


These series of articles, historical in nature will give a new slant to the issue. We wish to separate ourselves from a number of tendencies. 1. Those on the Left like Chomsky who hate Israel and are opposed to the positions of Trotsky alluded to above. 2. Those Jewish leaders like Belman of Israpundit who link the fate of the Jews and Israel to the US ruling class whether democratic or republican, because it is this US (and European) ruling class which post 1945 joined Gehlen, Husseini and the Nazi Holocaust executioners


Our motto is undying opposition to all those capitalist classes and their state who all had a direct hand in the Holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis through their silence and cooperation with the Nazis. This includes the Irish capitalist class north and south.


We use many sources of information for these articles especially work by Joseph Alexander Norland, by Francisco Gil White and by Jared Israel even though in using their research does not imply political agreement. At the end of the articles we will publish comprehensive details of sources.

Jews’ ancestral land

  1. Palestine belongs to the Jews as their ancestral land, a land inhabited by Jews continuously for thousands of years. The Jewish connection to Palestine was recognized by the “International Community” in the form of the League of Nations’ mandate over Palestine.



This statement appears repeatedly in advocacy articles written from a pro-Israeli viewpoint, an example being quoted below. The statement is also corroborated by authoritative historians, but these works are not available on the web.



On the other hand, it is easy to establish and document definitively that the “international community” has accepted the Jewish historical claim to Palestine, and consequently the claim of the Jewish people to a national home in Palestine. To substantiate this statement, I quote from the preamble to the text of the League of Nations Mandate:


“Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country ; and

Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country…”

(The text quoted above may be found on many web sites; we selected to quote from the site of Yale Law School).




Among the parties present at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, were Felix Frankfurter and Chaim Weizmann on behalf of the Zionist movement, and the Emir Feisal on behalf of the Hedjaz (now Saudi Arabia). In the course of their meetings, Feisal wrote a letter addressed to Frankfurter and dated 3 March, 1919. The letter, which may be found at






Unless Feisal himself recognized the Jewish historical claim to Palestine, there would be no meaning to the sentence, “we will wish the Jews a most hearty welcome home”. Hence it is clear that the Jewish claim to Palestine was already well established even among the Arabs, when the League of Nations granted the British a mandate over Palestine on July 24, 1922.




As an example of the many web sites which deal with the Jewish connection to Palestine I quote from http://www.rosenblit.com/Palestine.htm:


In 135 CE, after having long-become a province of the Roman Empire,

Judea‘s third and last revolt against Rome was crushed by Emperor Hadrian; but Rome’s army also suffered devastating losses, including the complete annihilation of its illustrious XXII Legion. In furtherance of Rome’s costly victory, Hadrian — in a blatant propaganda effort to delegitimize further national Jewish claims to the Land — renamed the province Palestina (Palestine) after the Philistines, a long-extinct Aegean people who had disappeared from History approximately a millennium earlier.

However, although the province had been converted from Judea (– Land of the Jews –) into Palestina (– Land of the Philistines –), it continued to be populated by Jews, together with substantial minority populations of Christians and Samaritans, but hardly any Arabs, at least until the great Arab invasion of 638 CE, as a result of which, 73 years later, Byzantium’s Christian basilica known as the Church of Saint Mary of Justinian, which then sat atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, was remade into Islam’s Al-Aksa mosque. But even under the rule of the Arab and all subsequently superseding empires, the Jewish people nevertheless maintained a continuous national presence in “Palestine” — right up until the resurrection therein of the Jewish nation-state of Israel in 1948 CE.”


League of Nations Mandate for Jewish National



With Britain accepting the mandate over Palestine, subject to the conditions of the League of Nations, Britain committed herself to establishing the Jewish National Home in Palestine by encouraging Jewish immigration and settlement.






We reproduce some of the articles of the League of nations mandate.


To establish the validity of this statement, suffice it to quote the relevant passages from the text of the League of Nations’ mandate; the source, as previously, is the Yale Law School; bold font inserted by me.


The text of the mandate stipulates:


Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory

should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people;


Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have selected His Britannic Majesty as the Mandatory for Palestine; …


Article 2.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such

political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the

establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.


Article 4.

An appropriate Jewish agency shall be recognised as a public body for the purpose of advising and co-operating with the Administration of Palestine in such economic, social and other matters as may affect the establishment of the Jewish national home and the interests of the Jewish population in Palestine, and, subject always to the control of the Administration, to assist and take part in the development of the country. The Zionist organisation, so long as its organisation and constitution are in the opinion of the Mandatory appropriate, shall be recognised as such agency. It shall take steps in consultation with His Britannic Majesty’s Government to secure the cooperation of all Jews who are willing to assist in the establishment of the Jewish national home.


Article 5.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power


Article 6.

The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and

position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall

facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall

encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency. referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews, on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.




Clearly, the Jewish claim on Palestine is not only recognized, but specific measures are stipulated as to how to ensure that the right is transformed into a reality, especially with regard to immigration, settlement and soliciting help from world Jewry. In contrast, there is no reference whatever to political rights of any other group, such as Arabs. In fact, in the entire mandate text there is no reference to “Palestinians”, only to “non Jews”.


Of course, the “International community” was well aware of non-Jewish residents in Palestine, and, indeed, ensured that their “civil and religious rights” be enshrined in the text but no political rights, such as sovereigny, are mentioned.




It was not deemed unjust to expect the Arabs to accept a Jewish National Home in a tiny corner of the Middle East, when huge Arab lands had just been liberated by the Allies from the Ottoman yoke, and when three new Arab kingdoms (Iraq, Transjordan and Saudi Arabia) were in the process of being born. This point of “injustice” was addressed many times by Churchill, Balfour and Col. Richard Meinertzhagen.


The bottom line regarding this point is that the “international community” and Britain in particular undertook the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine, and hence there is no justification for creating a second Palestinian-Arab state on part of this land.

The mandatory power, Britain, betrayed her mandate by slicing off the majority of the territory allotted to the Jews by the League of Nations; the Jewish people should not now be required to relinquish sovereignty over more territory.



(Jews have lost most of Palestine already)


(I will add these maps later…fq)








The entire story of Britain chipping away at the Jewish National Home is told by a map showing the 1920, 1921 and 1923 borders of Palestine. This map has been reproduced in web sites and in history books numerous times. For example, the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, or PASSIA, runs a site with numerous maps relevant to Palestine politics. Using this site, one can find an annotated map showing the boundaries of mandatory Palestine. (PASSIA is “an Arab non-profit institution located in Jerusalem/Al-Quds with a financially and legally independent status.

It is not affiliated with any government, political party or organization”.)

The same map is also reproduced in Martin Gilbert, p. 623 .



(Transjordania is excluded)


After WW I, the major powers at the 1919 Peace Conference in Paris agreed on granting the mandate over Palestine to Britain, along the lines of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 (Martin Gilbert, p. 42). The details were fleshed out in the San Remo Conference, April 1920, where the boundaries of Palestine were outlined to include contemporary Israel, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Jordan and the Golan Heights.


The political events in 1919-1920 that are relevant to this article include the crowning of the Emir Feisal of Hedjaz as King of Syria and his ouster by force at the hands of the French army that occupied Syria and Lebanon in July 1920 (shortly after the San Remo Conference). As a result, Faisal’s younger brother, Abdullah, made his way to contemporary Jordan at the head of a small band of fighters to help Faisal. Contemporaneously, the Palestinian Arabs had become vocal in their

opposition to the Zionist project.


Thus, at the Cairo Conference of March 1921, Churchill took another step in a long series of attempts to appease the Arabs: the east bank of Palestine was delivered to Abdullah as his future kingdom, together with a hefty subsidy (i.e., bribe), and the area was excluded from the Jewish National Home. In return, Abdullah gave up the attempt to reinstall his brother as king of Syria. This exclusion of “Transjordania” from the Jewish National Home was enshrined in the mandate given by the League of Nations to Britain on July 24, 1922.


(Later –  Britain’s useless attempts to appease the Palestinian-Arabs and the consequent emboldening of the Palestinian-Arab terrorists which ultimately backfired on the British



The exclusion of the east bank removed 78% of the total area allocated to the Jewish National Home by the League of Nations at San Remo.




In 1923, the Golan was ceded by Britain to France, the mandatory power over Syria and Lebanon. The circumstances under which this chunk of land was lopped off the Jewish National Home is explained in an article posted by Camera, as follows:


Having discovered the Golan lacks oil but that the Mosul area in northern Syria is rich in oil, the British cede the Golan to France in return for Mosul. Traditionally Mosul was part of Syria while the Golan was part of the Galilee. In return for the Golan, France relinquishes any claim to Palestine.


It is unclear how this act was reconciled with the League of Nations mandate which stipulated quite explicitly in Article 5:


Article 5.

The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power.




It should be noted, finally, that the famous “Resolution 242” refers clearly to “the principle” of “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”. There is no reference to withdrawing from all the territories, and as explained by the architects of the resolution, that was not the intention in the first place. Since Israel returned most of the territory occupied in the course of the 1967 War, namely, Sinai, as part of the 1979 peace agreement with Egypt, Israel is quite right in placing the stamp of “Enough is Enough” on any further withdrawals. The issue of Resolution 242 will be dealt with separately in greater detail in a forthcoming article.


To summarize, the Jewish National Home has already been reduced in size, and there is no justification for any further reduction, especially one designed to create a 23rd Arab state (which   would also be the second Palestinian-Arab state).


Reference: Some of the historical data were culled from of the tome written by the famous British historian, Sir Martin Gilbert:


Gilbert, Martin. Israel. New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc, 1998.

Where Martin Gilbert is quoted, the relevant page is noted.




(By a good writer called David Singer)



Palestine: Partition and Propaganda
David Singer – 6/24/2007
President Bush and Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stubbornly and foolishly continue to push for the creation of an independent Palestinian State between Israel and Jordan, as Hamas and Fatah turn the proposed site for such a state – Gaza and the West Bank – into battlegrounds of blood, misery and privation for the Arab populations caught in their deadly crossfire.

The 70th Anniversary of the Peel Commission Report released on 7 July 1937 presents a unique and impartial insight into understanding what the so called “Palestinian problem” was – and still is today – really about.

The Peel Commission recognised there was an insoluble conflict in Palestine between the Arabs and Jews necessitating the partition of Palestine into two independent sovereign states.

There was no mention of a third interested party – the “Palestinians” or “the Palestinian people” – who also deserved a separate state. This “people” was the subsequent creation of skilful Arab propaganda in the 50’s and 60’s in response to Israel’s creation in 1948.

The Peel Commission Report succinctly summed up the nature of the conflict in the following words:

“An irrepressible conflict has arisen between two national communities within the narrow bounds of one small country. There is no common ground between them. Their national aspirations are incompatible. The Arabs desire to revive the traditions of the Arab golden age. The Jews desire to show what they can achieve when restored to the land in which the Jewish nation was born. Neither of the two national ideals permits of combination in the service of a single State.”

In 1937 there was no independent State called Jordan. It was then called Trans-Jordan, it comprised 77% of the territory administered by Great Britain under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – the operation of which was specifically the subject of inquiry and consideration by the Peel Commission.

The right of Jews to settle in Trans-jordan pursuant to the Mandate had been “postponed or withheld” by Britain with the consent of the League of Nations from 16 September 1922 thus restricting the right of the Jews to reconstitute their national homeland in only the remaining 23% of Palestine.

The Peel Report records that:

“The articles of the Mandate concerning the [Jewish] National Home do not apply to Trans-Jordan and the possibility of enlarging the National Home by Jewish immigration into Trans-Jordan rests on the assumption of concord between Arabs and Jews.”

That concord never eventuated and Trans-Jordan remained an exclusively Arab reserved territory in 77% of Palestine – free of any Jewish settlement – until independence was granted by Great Britain in 1946 with the approval of the League of Nations at its last sitting before dissolution. No Jew resides there today.

The Peel Commission proposed partition into two independent Arab and Jewish sovereign States.

The Arab State was to be in all of Trans-Jordan – where no Jews and an estimated 300000 Arabs lived – united with a further part of Palestine in which only about 1250 Jews lived among about 750000 Arabs. This would have given the Arabs a sovereign State in about 90% of the territory of the Mandate.

The remaining 10% was to become the sovereign Jewish State where about 400000 Jews and 225000 Arabs then lived, whilst a new Mandate was to be enacted “for the protection of the Holy Places, solemnly guaranteed by the League of Nations, to remove all anxiety lest the Holy Places should ever come under Jewish control.”

Transfer of the minority population in each State was also proposed to follow the precedent set by the exchange between the Greek and Turkish populations following the Greco-Turkish War of 1922.

The Peel Report noted:

“There was a time when Arab statesmen were willing to concede little Palestine to the Jews, provided that the rest of Arab Asia were free. That condition was not fulfilled then, but it is on the eve of fulfilment now. In less than three years’ time all the wide Arab area outside Palestine between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean will be independent, and, if Partition is adopted, the greater part of Palestine will be independent too. ”

The Report stated the advantages to the Arabs and the Jews of Partition in the following terms:

“The advantages to the Arabs of Partition on the lines we have proposed may be summarized as follows:–

(i) They obtain their national independence and can co-operate on an equal footing with the Arabs of the neighbouring countries in the cause of Arab unity and progress.

(ii) They are finally delivered from the fear of being swamped by the Jews, and from the possibility of ultimate subjection to Jewish rule.”

“The advantages of Partition to the Jews may be summarized as follows:–

(i) Partition secures the establishment of the Jewish National Home and relieves it from the possibility of its being subjected in the future to Arab rule.

(ii) Partition enables the Jews in the fullest sense to call their National Home their own; for it converts it into a Jewish State. Its citizens will be able to admit as many Jews into it as they themselves believe can be absorbed. They will attain the primary objective of Zionism–a Jewish nation, planted in Palestine, giving its nationals the same status in the world as other nations give theirs. They will cease at last to live a minority life.”

The Arabs rejected the proposal and therein sowed the seeds for the continuation of the conflict that still remains unresolved in 2007 in just the West Bank and Gaza – only 6% of Palestine – where sovereignty still remains unallocated between Arabs and Jews .

President Bush and Mr Olmert need to recognise that the proposal to create a State between Israel and Jordan – the product of the totally discredited 1993 Oslo Process – has turned out to be a dismal failure and that it flies in the face of the conflict and its history, geography and demography.

Looking back 70 years can be the catalyst and inspiration for a new direction in 2007 which consigns the idea of a third State in former Palestine to the garbage bin and substitutes for it the partition of the West Bank between Jordan and Israel to finally complete what the Peel Commission had recommended.

Failure to change course will have only two assured outcomes – continued death and suffering for both Jews and Arabs and a continuing threat to world peace.

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International — an organization calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine.





Jews developed desolate, empty land

The Jews have established their right to the land, inter alia, by developing a desolate, barren, virtually abandoned territory into a flourishing country.


For July, 2001, the CIA fact book gives the following population figures (in millions): Israel – 5.9; “West Bank” – 2.1. Thus, the total population in the area of Palestine that corresponds to Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza is approximately 8 million.


But on the eve of the 1880’s Jewish immigration to Palestine, the country was both desolate and virtually empty. While the population figures until the 1922 Census are estimates, they will suffice to support this thesis.




The following data are quoted from Palestinian sources, so that the argument of pro-Zionist bias cannot be raised. Specifically, the 1860 and 1890 estimates may be found in Palestine Remembered, while the 1922 Census data are cited from the official Palestinian site. The area concerned corresponds to contemporary Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza:


Total population in Palestine, in 1,000s: 1860 – 411; 1890 – 553; 1922 – 752.


Thus, forty years after the 1880’s Jewish migration to Palestine and the consequent Arab migration, the country still held less than 10% of its current population.


The fact that Palestine was desolate and empty even as late as the early 1920’s is further substantiated by the reports submitted by the British High Commissioner to the League of Nations. The following quotations are taken from the UNISPAL site, UNISPAL being the propaganda vector which the UN created specifically to support the Palestinian-Arab propaganda machine. (Surprisingly, I have not seen this material cited in any of the published books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.)




In his first report for the period July 1920 to June 1921, the British High Commissioner reported to the League of Nations as follows:


It is obvious to every passing traveller, and well-known to every European resident, that the country was before the War, and is now, undeveloped and under-populated. The methods of agriculture are, for the most part, primitive; the area of land now cultivated could yield a far greater product. There are in addition large cultivable areas that are left untilled. The summits and slopes of the hills are admirably suited to the growth of trees, but there are no forests. Miles of sand dunes that could be redeemed, are untouched, a danger, by their encroachment, to the neighbouring tillage. The Jordan and the Yarmuk offer an abundance of water-power; but it is unused. Some industries–fishing and the culture and manufacture of tobacco are examples–have been killed by Turkish laws; none have been encouraged; the markets of Palestine and of the neighbouring countries are supplied almost wholly from Europe. The seaborne commerce, such as it is, is loaded and discharged in the open roadsteads of Jaffa and Haifa: there are no harbours. The religious and historical associations that offer most powerful attractions to the whole of the Western, and to a large part of the Eastern world, have hitherto brought to Palestine but a fraction of the pilgrims and travellers, who, under better conditions, would flock to her sacred shrines and famous sites.


The country is under-populated because of this lack of development. There are now in the whole of Palestine hardly 700,000 people, a population much less than that of the province of Gallilee alone in the time of Christ.


As to the contribution of the Jewish population since the 1880’s migrations, the report notes:


After the persecutions in Russia forty years ago, the movement of the Jews  to Palestine assumed larger proportions. Jewish agricultural colonies were founded. They developed the culture of oranges and gave importance to the Jaffa orange trade. They cultivated the vine, and manufactured and exported wine. They drained swamps. They planted eucalyptus trees. They practised, with modern methods, all the processes of agriculture. There are at the present time 64 of these settlements, large and small, with a population of some 15,000. Every traveller in Palestine who visits them is impressed by the contrast between these pleasant villages, with the beautiful stretches of prosperous cultivation about them and the primitive conditions of life and work by which they are surrounded.




The spectacular manner and pace with which the immigrating Jews developed the country may be judged, inter alia, from the following passage, cited from the 1924 report of British High Commissioner to the League of Nations:


Industrial development has been stimulated by the arrival, among the

Jewish immigrants, of a considerable number of men with manufacturing

experience, and with capital. The majority of them come from Poland. They have established a number of new industries, mostly at present on a small scale, the greater number in the Jewish town of Tel-Aviv, adjacent to Jaffa. In addition, several large Jewish enterprises have been founded, and have either reached, or are about to reach, the producing stage. The most important of these enterprises are a cement factory, with an invested capital of £E.300,000; a flour mill, a vegetable oil and soap factory, and a factory of silicate bricks (made of cement and lime), each involving an expenditure of £E.100,000 or more; and, on a smaller scale, works at Athlit, on the coast, for the production of salt by evaporation, a silk factory and a tannery. The electric power station, with fuel engines, erected at Tel-Aviv under the concession granted to Mr. Rutenberg, has been obliged, after only a year’s working, to instal new engines, more than doubling its original capacity. Similar stations are in course of erection at Haifa and at Tiberias, to supply urgent demands for power and lighting there. The construction of the first hydraulic power station on the Jordan has not yet begun, but the preliminary measures have made further progress.

Jewish agricultural colonisation continues steadily. The extensive swamps of Kabbara, in the Maritime Plain, are being drained and brought under cultivation, in accordance with a concession granted to the Palestine Jewish Colonisation Association; the difficulties which had arisen in connection with the claims of about 170 Arab families resident on part of the land having been settled after prolonged negotiations. The town of Tel-Aviv is expanding with remarkable rapidity. The population, which was about 2,500 in 1920, is now estimated at over 25,000, and for some time past new houses have been completed at an average rate of two a day. There is much building activity also in Haifa and Jerusalem and their suburbs. The Bio-Chemical Faculty, and the Institute of Jewish Studies, of the

Hebrew University at Jerusalem have been inaugurated.






Together with economic development came the entrenchment of democratic political institutions, as the Peel Commission underscored in its 1937 report:


The Jewish National Home is no longer an experiment. The growth of its

population has been accompanied by political, social and economic

developments along the lines laid down at the outset. The chief novelty is the urban and industrial development. The contrast between the modern democratic and primarily European character of the National Home and that of the Arab world around it is striking. The temper of the Home is strongly nationalist. There can be no question of fusion or assimilation between Jewish and Arab cultures.




As to the contribution of the Jewish development to the Palestinian-Arab population, the report states:


The Arab population shows a remarkable increase since 1920, and it has had some share in the increased prosperity of Palestine. Many Arab landowners have benefited from the sale of land and the profitable investment of the purchase money. The fellaheen are better off on the whole than they were in 1920. This Arab progress has been partly due to the import of Jewish capital into Palestine and other factors associated with the growth of the National Home. In particular, the Arabs have benefited from social services which could not have been provided on the existing scale without the revenue obtained from the Jews.




The Arab claims that the Jews have obtained too large a proportion of good land cannot be maintained. Much of the land now carrying orange groves was sand dunes or swamps and uncultivated when it was bought.

The Jews contribute more per capita to the revenues of Palestine than the Arabs, and the Government has thereby been enabled to maintain public services for the Arabs at a higher level than would otherwise have been possible.




The Arabs let this land go to wreck and ruin.


The fact that prior to the Jewish migration, Palestine was virtually empty and desolate is also supported by numerous accounts provided by travellers, archaeologists and diplomats of the 18th and 19th Centuries. A list of these may be found, inter alia, on the pro-Israeli Web site of EretzYisroel as well as on pp 41-44 of:

Netnyahu, Benjamin. Durable Peace. New York: Warner Books, 2000.


Of all the travellers’ accounts, the best known is Mark Twain’s journalistic report of his 1867 tour of Palestine and other countries. Unlike the other accounts mentioned, which are virtually inaccessible to the average reader, Mark Twain’s book is on the shelves of many a public library. Following are a few quotations from:


From Mark Twain. The Innocents Abroad. Pleasantville (NY): Readers Digest, 1990 (first published 1869).432 pp.


There is not a solitary village throughout its [the valley at the foot of Mount Tabor] whole extent – not for thirty miles in either direction.


There are two or three small clusters of Beduin tents, but not a single

permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten

human beings. (P. 311)


The further we went [on the way from Samaria to Jerusalem] the hotter the sun got and the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became. There could not have been more fragments of stone strewn broadcast over this part of the world if every ten square feet of the land had been occupied by a separate and distinct stonecutter’s establishment for an age. There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country. No landscape exists that is more tiresome to the eye than that which bounds the approaches to Jerusalem… (P. 358)


Of all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be the prince. The hills are barren, they are dull of color, they are

unpicturesque in shape. The valleys are unsightly deserts fringed with a feeble vegetation that has an expression about it of being sorrowful and despondent. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee sleep in the midst of a vast stretch of hill and plain wherein the eye rests upon no pleasant tint, no striking object, no soft picture dreaming in a purple haze or mottled with the shadows of the clouds. Every outline is harsh, every feature is distinct, there is no perspective–distance works no

enchantment here. It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken land.


Small shreds and patches of it must be very beautiful in the full flush of spring, however, and all the more beautiful by contrast with the farreaching desolation that surrounds them on every side. I would like much to see the fringes of the Jordan in springtime, and Shechem, Esdraelon, Ajalon, and the borders of Galilee but even then these spots would seem mere toy gardens set at wide intervals in the waste of a limitless desolation.




Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Where Sodom and Gomorrah reared their domes and towers, that solemn sea now floods the plain, in whose bitter waters no living thing exists – over whose waveless surface the blistering air hangs motionless and dead – about whose borders nothing grows but seeds, and scattering tufts of cane, and that treacherous fruit that promises refreshment to parching lips, but turns to ashes at the touch.


Nazareth is forlorn


Nazareth is forlorn; about that ford of Jordan where the hosts of Israel entered the Promised Land with songs of rejoicing, one finds only a squalid camp of fantastic Bedouins of the desert; Jericho the accursed lies a moldering ruin today, even as Joshua’s miracle left it more than three thousand years ago; Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and their humiliation, have nothing about them now to remind one that they once knew the high honor of the Saviour’s presence; the hallowed spot where the shepherds watched their flocks by night, and where the angels sang, “Peace on earth, good will to men,” is untenanted by any living creature and unblessed by any feature that is pleasant to the eye.


JERUSALEM A PAUPER VILLAGE (Fits with later Karl Marx visit and report on Jerusalem)


Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all

its ancient grandeur and is become a pauper village… Palestine is

desolate and unlovely… (P. 394-5)




(I will add a link to a separate article on this, such is its importance)




What has all this to do with the Jewish claim to Palestine and the question of a second Palestinian- Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza?


The connection is this: the Palestinian-Arab population might have had a claim of equal validity to that of the Jews, had they populated and developed the land. But in fact, during the occupation of Palestine by the Ottoman Empire, the Palestinian Arabs left the country unpopulated and desolate, relative to its potential. The Jews, on the other hand, had a historical claims and international backing to their claim and proceeded to realize the potential of the land by settling and developing it.






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