Select Page


June 16, 2012 by William H. Scarle, Jr.

There seems to be a persistent misconception in world opinion that some part of Israel belongs to someone else.  There is not now, nor was there ever a Palestinian state or a Palestinian people.  There are Arabs living in Israel.

Prior to the victory over the German alliance in the First World War the territory we now know as Israel was governed by the Ottoman Empire. After the defeat of Germany and the Ottomans it was no longer Moslem territory.  It was governed by the British Empire.  The new government of Turkey did not claim it was theirs.  It clearly was not.

In 1948 the United Nations proposed a divided Palestine made up of two nations, one Arab and one Jewish.  The Arabs refused and when Israel was declared an independent state the Arabs went to war with Israel and lost.  The territory adjacent to Jordan, along the Jordan River to the east, was under possession of the Jordanian forces when the cease fire was signed, and Israel was content to allow Jordanian possession so they could get about the business of building a nation.  The legal status of the ownership of what was called the West Bank was naturally in question.  It certainly did not belong to Jordan.  They had lost the war.

In 1967 the Arabs, in the name of Mohammed, went to war against Israel and again lost.  This time Israel took possession of the West Bank.  It became a part of Israel.  There is no question in international law that the land belongs to Israel.  The 1967 War was a war of aggression against the sovereign state of Israel, and territory lost in such a war belongs to the victor.

It is only within the skewed religious thinking of the Moslem mind that a territory lost in war can still be said to belong to the looser.  This is precisely what is involved in the current linguistic battle of the so called “Palestinian Territory.”  There is no “Palestinian Territory.”  There is only Israel.  According to Moslem thinking any territory that was ever “Dar Islam,” that is in possession of Moslem authority, remains perpetually Moslem territory.  This is an inference from the structure of Islamic thinking which makes no separation between what we would call religion and politics.

It would be absurd for Great Briton to claim that the United States was actually English territory, and the USA was simply squatting on their land.  No one would think of claiming that Mexico was actually Spanish land under occupation by so called Mexicans.

In light of this rather obvious reality, what on earth does it mean to claim Israel is building settlements on Palestinian land?  There is no Palestinian land.  There is no Arab state.  Neither is there any such thing as a “Palestinian people.”  That is another story, but in fact there are only Arabs living in Israel, some of which have tried to create a fiction that they are somehow a people whose land has been stolen.

I am not trying to make a complex situation simple.  The reality has created some difficult problems.  But the reality cannot be altered.  There is no Palestinian state, and there never has been.

(Bill Scarle can be contacted at