Thursday, June 03, 2004

Ahmed Shuqeiry invented "Palestine"

Ruth Matar, Women in Green, writes:

The following was sent to me by Gilbert Simons from his as yet unpublished book on this subject.

"How did this artificial Arab country of Palestine come into being? Ahmed Shuqairy, a lawyer, created it out of thin air, at the bequest of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. From his pen came the Palestine National Covenant, a historical revisionist document creating a mythical state, concurrently eliminating Israel from the history books. He then created an organization, The Palestine Liberation Organization (the PLO), to destroy the reborn state of Israel, while 'liberating' his fictitious Arab Palestinian state, a circular tour de force. Nasser appointed him the PLO's first Chairman. No 'Palestinians' were involved.

"In his memoirs, Shuqairy reminisces: 'Firstly, I started by laying down the Palestinian entity on paper, like the engineer who traces the plan of a building with all of its foundations, details and measurements. I wrote, altered, erased and changed the order of the articles until I formulated the 'National Covenant' and the 'Fundamental Law' of the Palestine Liberation Organization.' (From the Summit to Defeat, with the Kings and the Presidents). Ahmed Shuqairy himself acknowledged before the Security Council: 'It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria' [which itself was not a nation, but a province of the Ottoman Empire for about 700 years until the Empire was carved up by the victorious Allies in 1918].

"PLO Claim: Ahmed Shuqairy, the author of The PLO Covenant or Charter, set down in Article 4: 'The Palestinian personality is an innate, persistent characteristic that does not disappear, and it is transferred from father to son....,' Article 7 reads: 'The Palestinian affiliation and the material, spiritual and historical tie with Palestine are permanent realities.' But then, Shuqairy ran into a problem. Creating a Palestinian identity on paper was one thing, but getting Arabs to behave as if it was real was another. Arabs had to be taught these 'innate characteristics,' an oxymoron. Blithely ignoring the contradiction, in the same Article 7, quoted above, Shuqairy added: 'The upbringing of the Palestinian individual in an Arab and revolutionary fashion, the undertaking of all means of forging consciousness and training the Palestinian, in order to acquaint him profoundly with his homeland, spiritually and materially, and preparing him for the conflict and armed struggle, as well as for the sacrifice of his property and life to restore his homeland, until the liberation - all this is a national duty.'

"Another contradiction which did not bother Shuqairy was to claim that the Arabs of the area were uniquely 'Palestinians,' while simultaneously asserting that 'The Palestinian people are a part of the Arab Nation,' (Article 1), thus no different from the Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa, which of course is a fact."

There has never been a distinct-Arab Palestinian culture, literature, dialect or national consciousness. Zuhayer Muhsin, head of Sa'iqa [sub-group of the PLO], in an interview with James Dorsey for Trouw, 31 March 1977 put the whole matter in perspective, admitting: "It is only for political reasons that we carefully underline our Palestinian identity, because it is in the interest of the Arabs to encourage a separate Palestinian identity in contrast to Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity is there only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new expedient to continue the fight against Zionism and for Arab unity."

1 comment:

Mac said...

Does the book have a title yet? When can we expect it to hit the shelves? Or does he not yet have a publisher?