They Say, We Say: Palestinian nationalism was never the real issue

They Say We Say We know that pro-Israel does not mean blindly supporting policies that are irrational, reckless, and counter-productive. Pro-Israel means supporting policies that are consistent with Israel's interests and promote its survival as a Jewish, democratic state.

You've heard the arguments of the religious and political right-wing, and so have we. They've had their say. Now, we'll have ours.

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Do the Palestinians exist?

They Say:

The Jewish people fought to establish the state of Israel, taking on armies from Arab states and the local population. The Palestinians and Arabs fought to stop Israel from being born and to destroy it, not to establish a Palestinian state. This proves that Palestinian nationalism was never the real issue.

We Say:

Modern Arab states in the eastern Mediterranean (Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan) were created as their populations struggled to free themselves from post-Ottoman colonial powers (Britain and France) in the first half of the 20th century. Each state had its own unique circumstances. So did the area that today is Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The initiative to divide this area, then known as Mandatory Palestine, into two states, a Jewish state and an Arab Palestinian state, which was anchored in the United Nations' 1947 Partition Plan, was the local manifestation of this broader process in the Middle East, the process of ending colonial rule.

True, a Palestinian state did not come into being during this period, but such a state was endorsed by the international community at the same moment that the international community endorsed the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1947.