To anyone confused about the meaning of Anti-Zionism in the strange world of Tony Greenstein, here is a post of his to the Israeli Alef list. Worthy of Golda Meir!
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 16:49:24 -0700 (PDT)
From: tony greenstein firstname.lastname@example.org
After the long celebration of “The Invention of the Jewish People” (in which I take side with Prof. Sand), perhaps now is the time to investigate “the Invention of the Palestinian Peoplehood”. I believe that a very short research will discover that it was invented by the British occupation authorities right after WWI. Since the Philistines were absorbed by the Judeans during the kingdom of David (according to the Biblical myth, of course), there was nothing like “a Palestinian People”, until the 20th century.
ironically Yedidya is quite right. But for the Zionists there would have been no Palestinian people. It was the British Mandate and the Zionist settlement project which created this people who would otherwise be living in Southern Syria, Arabia or whatever.
And folks, he adds this, because I complained that what he said was Zionist information:
Maybe Mary would like to explain why it is ‘Zionist propaganda’. Or does she merely want to echo Jacob that the Palestinians as a nation have existed for 3,000 years? Nations are political and historical formations and the Palestinian nation or people came into existence as a result of Zionist colonisation of Palestine. There was no specific territorial entity called Palestine within the Ottoman Empire and the people within what is now known as Palestine/Israel saw themselves as part of the Arab nation and even Syrians rather than as Palestinians. Being Palestinian is a specific historical category, it isn’t something fixed for all time and the temptation to write back into history from what has transpired should be resisted.
Mary responds: Tony, you used the word People. Or have you forgotten so quickly by trying to move the mirrors around? The Palestinians were a people since the time they inhabited that land, that is, as long as humanly possible, and if you don’t seem to get it, read the comment by Ismail that I left on your blog. No, I’ll reprint it here so that everyone can understand how mad you are and how clearly absorbed into the Zionist narrative you are that you don’t even notice that you dismiss millions of humans and their belonging.
I find this unbelievable.
Where is the Palestinian state, that the zionists kindly provided to us? And who was living in Palestine [the land of Canaan] since history began, and long before the Hebrew tribes came to the Land of Canaan as invaders, and were driven out by other invaders, the Romans? Palestine has been invaded by scores of foreign invaders including the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Hebrew tribes, the Romans, the Turks and the British. Invaders come and go and have no right to conquered land anymore than the Romans to England which they conquered for hundreds of years.
There are many honourable Israelis and Jews who knew the historic facts and had the integrity to speak out. I met and knew the late Israel Shahak in 1970, when we were both invited speakers at St. Andrews University in Scotland, on the subject of Palestine and zionism. When I asked him how did he get involved in this conflict, he told me hoerrifying experiences he witnessed the Israeli forces subjecting Palestinian university students to, in Ramallah, which are horrible to relate here. He described their activites to what the Nazis did to Jews in Belsen, where he was held. He said after what he saw in Ramallah, he vowed ro fight Zionism to his dying days, and he did that. He was a man of unique honour who deserve to be acclaimed by all those who care about humanity and justice.
As to this outrageous statement you quoted, I’ll let the late Jewish Professor Maxime Rodinson, who was Professor of History at The Sorbonne University in Paris, who stated in his book Israel and the Arabs, 1968: ” The Arab population of Palestine was native in all the senses of the word and their roots in Palestine can be traced back at least forty centuries.”
If that statement, you quoted, truly expresses the sentiments of Tony Greenstein, then I know where I stand in relation to this controversy, that I got involved in unknowingly.
I trust you do not think that, I hope…
Interestingly, I see the name of Zalman Amit included below. What is his role in this?
He lives in our neighbourhood in Nova Scotia and he is a good man and a friend of ours.
Thank you, Mary. I am simply bewildered, and I will leave it that. May be, I should ask Tony Greenstein if this statement represents his views.