There was NO Palestinian Arab nationalist consciousness at all.
Sha’o ben-Tekoa (Phantom Nation Inventing the Palestinians as the Obstacle to Peace) shows this very conclusively and he uses the writings of Khalidi to do so. The fact that he can use him is most telling.
Sha’o ben-Tekoa goes on to document the two occasions which are of note. It was the founding of newspapers.
The first was a newspaper called “el Karmil” in 1908. Rashidi called it the first “Palestinian” paper.
The name of that newspaper does not refer to any nation. Sha’o ben-Tekoa claims it is the name of a hill!!!
Sha’o ben-Tekoa also points out this was 45 years after the first Zionist paper. But more important than that is that no Arabs were calling themselves “Palestinians” (period we talk about here is the run up to World War 1) so how can Rashidi call it the first “Palestinian” consciousness. This is magic making.
In this book Sha’o ben-Tekoa is quite relentless in exposing this word “Palestinian” or “Palestinians”. This is only a sample. I feel this is needed and is a guide to the way forward.
There is often much talk about “Hasbara”. But Hasbara is very difficult for people, like Netanyahu, who have compromised their principles and accepted the “Palestinian” Arab State idea.
This in turn points to the type of leadership that needs to be built in Israel to lead in the coming battles, the present leaders in the Gaza War having proved totally useless.
Back to Sha’o ben-Tekoa … It looks to me that the Jews were building their country, building their “Palestine”
The Arabs were reacting to this.
Can we pause and internalise that word…Reacting…Not an authentic deep rooted nationalism.
They began to organise but against this building of the Zionist “Palestine”, or any country (name being immaterial) (At the same time immigrants flocking in to follow the industry and jobs created plus higher standard of living)
After that first newspaper…Three years later “Falastin” was launched but not by Muslims by Christians, that is Christian Arabs.
They were copying the Zionists, the Christian West and the Jews, who were alone using the name Palestine. Falastine is the Arab corruption of the name.
The whole book and life work by Sha’o ben-Tekoa is a bit of a jewel for those who are fighting to prick the balloon of this phenomenon, a “tall story” repeated millions of times. There is another major “tall story” and that is the Srebrenica “Massacre”.
These are the new Fascist Media centres sharpening their teeth.
There is no leadership whatsoever in Israel. There are all kinds of groups and individuals. But explore their politics and they are massively unprepared.
Look at some of them: Over this weekend Frontpagemag is lining up against the Russian Ukrainian anti-Fascists and by the way lining up with the Obama US and EU pro-Fascists.
Look also at Steven Plaut. Plaut has put forward 40 or so points and they have been liked. But Plaut is an explicit hater of Trotskyism, meaning me and us, that is everything on this blog 4international.
These are hardly small issues. How can there be a leadership that can lead in the stress of revolutionary and counter revolutionary events.
I stress it is not possible.
4international is a big fan of this book by Sha’o ben-Tekoa (Phantom Nation). I am not saying that we agree on political programme. I am saying that his research on this issue has got a lot of valuable things to contemplate.
The way to deal with George Galloway, an old and bankrupt political person, is not to smack his jaw, but to challenge the ideology, not as an individual initiative but in the course of training a new leadership.
That is the way we work. It is political struggle first and foremost, a political awakening.