Origins of the Palestinian Identity

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Newt Gringrich says Palestinians are an "invented people." No one denies that the Palestinians are a "people."  The Israeli government, the United Nations, and the European Union have all recognized the Palestinians as a people with national aspirations. The question is whether these aspirations evolved organically, or else they were inspired by greater influence from the former Soviet Union and late Arab republics. Forty years ago, when the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded, the original charter made no claims to the lands of Israel.  The Palestinian leadership emphasized its status as part of the greater Arab struggle against Israel, and any spoils acquired from a conquered Israel would be given to Jordan and Egypt. Later decades saw several break-ups of the original Palestinian founders. Many joined Baathist Syria, a government that claims all of Israel -- and Jordan -- as part of Greater Syria.  Never has a Syrian leader recognized a...(Read Full Article)

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