Even the PLO knows the Jews are indigenous to Israel – Opinion

The Jewish people originated in and are indigenous to what is now the modern state of Israel.  Jews are from Judea.

Even the masterminds of Palestinian terrorism, those who founded the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), understood and acknowledged this fact when they drafted their charter in the 1960s, which tellingly states, “Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people.”

Why did they refer to Arab Palestinian people rather than just Palestinian people?

The answer is that even the PLO knew they couldn’t erase history, so they chose instead to rewrite history. This is something they continue to do to this day, with many anti-Israel activists insisting that Jews are European occupiers of a land to which they have no right, a ludicrous claim on its face given the fact that a majority of Israeli Jews are not of European descent.

Who is a Palestinian, according to the PLO?

To deal with the inconvenient historical fact that Jews are the indigenous population of Israel, the drafters of the PLO charter created an arbitrary dividing line to determine who would be considered a Palestinian. First, the PLO charter deems any Arab who had lived in the entirety of what is now modern Israel prior to the re-establishment of the Jewish homeland to automatically be Palestinian, without regard to whether they were residents in the land. Further, the PLO charter deemed any Arab (but not Jews) born after 1947 to a Palestinian father to be a Palestinian.

Jews, on the other hand, were excised from their own national identity under the PLO charter. Only Jews who had resided in what is now modern Israel prior to “the Zionist invasion” would be considered Palestinian. And what did the PLO even mean when they called it “the Zionist invasion,” 1948 or the 1800s? The latter, of course.

Jews were forcibly removed from Israel after the destruction of the Second Temple and dispersed across the globe, making Palestine, as conceived by the PLO charter, a nearly Jew-free land before the Zionist movement was ever founded.

Imagine if, at the time of the founding of modern Israel, Jews had made a similar declaration with regard to Arabs. To wit, Israel would only recognize those “Arab Palestinians” who resided in the land and identified as “Palestinian” prior to the time of Abraham. This would obviously be an impossibility since the term “Palestinian” was created by the Romans after the Bar Kokhba revolt in around 130 C.E., while Abraham arrived in the Land of Israel approximately 2,000 years before the first use of the term Palestine.

Recently, antisemitic activists have escalated their attacks on Jews, claiming we are “settler-colonists” of a land they call Palestine. In my latest new law review article, I examine the question of colonialism and Israel. Part of my research involved tracing the history of the Jewish presence in Israel and comparing it to the waves of actual settler-colonists, ending with Palestinian Arabs, who displaced the indigenous Jewish population.

The only way that anti-Israel activists can strip Jews of our status as the indigenous people of the land and eliminate Jewish self-determination is to do as the PLO charter did: ignore history and designate a time when Jews had been ethnically cleansed from our own homeland as the point in time when Jewish history in Israel starts.

There are settler-colonists in Israel, and they are Palestinian Arabs. Nonetheless, Israel welcomes these settler-colonists and provides them with rights that no other country would provide to invaders and occupiers. It’s time for Palestinian Arab activists and their supporters to accept history and thank Israel for the gracious hospitality extended to newcomers.

Marc Greendorfer is the president of Zachor Legal Institute, a US-based non-profit civil rights legal organization.

Original Article Published in Jerusalem Post.

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