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Letter from Richard Sherman to Setonian, RE: Dareen Abukawaik’s confusion over "Palestine"

Dear Letter to the Editor:

Part of Dareen Abukwaik's confusion is that she believes - possibly based on erroneous information from relatives -- that she is from "Palestine" when in recorded history there has NEVER been a country called "Palestine". ("Why Arab American Youth Care About the U.S. Census")

"Palestine” was a Roman designation of an area, not a country, a designation designed to obliterate 1500 years of indigenous Jewish culture. For one thousand years up until nearly World War One, the name “Palestine” did not appear on any map. There was the British Mandate for Palestine (1920-1948) — a TRUST, not a country.

On November 30, 1947 the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine rejected an independent state when it was offered on that proverbial silver platter by the United Nations General Assembly. Their leader, Nazi war criminal the Grand Mufti Amin al- Husseini, when he rejected that independent state simultaneously commanded the Arabs to “Murder the Jews. Murder all of them.” Since then the Arabs have — to use the Grand Mufti’s terminology — murdered over 28,400 Jews.

The Arabs have also proceeded to expressly reject an independent state, under any name including Palestine in 1948, 1967, 1994, 2000, 2008, 2019 and 2020. The Palestinian Authority does not rule a country and is not a country.

With due respect to Ms. Abukwaik, it is unlikely that she knows as much about "Palestine" as a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Zuheir Mohsen, a member of the Executive Committee of the PLO and a military commander of the PLO, in 1977 in an interview with the Dutch newspaper "TROUW" declared the Palestinian people to be a propaganda invention:

"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct 'Palestinian people' to oppose Zionism.

"For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we claim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan". ("The Palestinian Delusion: The Catastrophic History of the Middle East Peace Process", Robert Spencer, 2019, pp 95-96; See also: "Can 'The Whole World' Be Wrong? Lethal Journalism, Antisemitism and Global Jihad", Richard Landes, 2022, p.198)

One of the most famous (infamous?) examples of this fiction of the "Palestinian Arab" is Edward Said. He spent his entire childhood, boyhood and young adulthood in Cairo. By any rational standard, he was Egyptian. Yet throughout his career he constantly wrote and spoke with mendacious enthusiasm that he was "Palestinian" -- practically right up until his death. He knew that without "Palestinian" gravitas, his opinions were worthless. The New York Times has had to correct this "error" at least three times... including in his original obituary.

Edward Said's "leadership" in creating fictional Palestinian Arab narratives like Ms. Abukwalk's has infected much of American higher education. ( " ' My Beautiful Old House' and Other Fabrications of Edward Said", Justus Weiner, Commentary Magazine, September 1, 1999).

Finally, Ms. Abukwaik might want to study Article 80 of the United Nations Charter, an international treaty that all 193 members are required to obey, as well as the Palestine Mandate in the League of Nations which is incorporated by reference into Article 80.

Article 80 declares all of what is Israel including Judea and Samaria to be the reconstituted homeland of the Jewish people, recognizing the Jewish people's 4000 year presence on the land. ...and the land as sovereign Jewish territory. Simply put one cannot occupy one's own sovereign territory.

She also might want to study the words of Eugene Rostow, Dean of Yale Law School(1955-1965) and Under Secretary of State in a Democratic administration(1965-1969):

"Legally the West Bank and Gaza are unallocated parts of the Palestine Mandate...and as far as the claims of the Arabs who live there goes, it must be remembered that, in contrast to other League of Nations mandates, the Palestine Mandate was not established as a trust for the indigenous population of the area, to be terminated when the population was ready for self government.

It was set up under a different article of the League Covenant as a trust for the Jewish people, in recognition of their historic connection to the land on the condition that the civic and religious rights of the Muslims and Christians be respected.

"Moreover the right of the Jewish people to settle in the West Bank has never been terminated...Jewish settlement in the West Bank exercise of a right protected by Article 80 of the United Nations Charter and hence necessarily part of the domestic law of the West Bank". Eugene Rostow, "Commentary Magazine", October, 1989.

Richard Sherman


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