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Smotrich: “There’s No Such Thing As The Palestinian People”

Finance Minister Betzalel Smotrich said on Sunday evening that “the Palestinian people are an invention that is less than 100 years old.”

Speaking in Paris at a memorial event for Likud activist Jacques Kupfer, Smotrich said, “There’s no such thing as Palestinians – because there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. We need to tell the truth without bowing to the lies and distortions of history by BDS and pro-Palestinian organizations.”

“Do you know who the Palestinians are?” Smotrich asked. “My grandfather, who was the 13th generation in Jerusalem, is the real Palestinian. My grandmother, who was born in Metula more than 100 years ago to a family of pioneers, is Palestinian.”

“According to international law, there are five characteristics that define a nation – history, culture, language, currency and historical leadership. Who was the first Palestinian king? What language do the Palestinians have? Has there ever been a Palestinian currency? Is there a Palestinian history or culture? There isn’t any.”

“There are Arabs who are in the Middle East and who arrived in Israel at the same time as the Jewish Aliyah and the early days of Zionism. After 2,000 years of exile, the people of Israel are returning home and there are Arabs who don’t like it. So what do they do? They invent a fictitious people and claim fictitious rights in the land of Israel just to fight the Zionist movement.”

“That is the historic and Biblical truth and it must be told to the Arabs in the land of Israel and here at the Élysée Palace. This truth should also be heard by the Jewish people in the State of Israel who are a little confused and also heard in the White House in Washington. The whole world needs to hear this truth because it is the truth – and the truth will win.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

22 Responses

  1. He is 100% right. Unfortunately many people in the world fall hook line and sinker for the lies about the so called “palestinians “.

  2. Believe it or nor:- Smotrich is Factually 100% correct, hence taht we love you & admire you, בצלאל Smotrich, and look forward to many more years of your great leadership.

  3. So who lives in Gaza now?
    Who are the people sending explosive balloons into Israel?
    I’m not trying to contradict this article, I’m trying to understand.

  4. Someone should alert him that the same is true for the ‘israeli’ people. Which began with the unfortunate events of 1948….

  5. There weren’t in 1914 (all of what is now Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel was considered one country, with a single dialect of Arabic). Even in 1947 most Arabs in the region still saw themselves that way. The Israelis changed that. The experiences of 1947 to the present differentiated the Palestinians from the rest of the Arabs in the immediate region.

    Of course if you are Hareidi, and are willing to agree to to a unified Islamic regional state with includes an autonomous Jewish homeland (what both the Hareidim and the Zionists agreed to in negotiations with the Arabs over a century ago, much to the horror of the Brits who responded by starting an Arab-Jewish conflict that hadn’t previously existed), then it makes little difference whether the Palestinians have evolved into an separate ethnic group or not. But if what you want is a sovereign independent state under Jewish control, you have to deal with Palestinian claims, and those claims have created a new Palestinian ethnicity.

  6. This represents the kochi veotzem yodi mizrachi approach which our gedolim are vehemently against.

    Now that he’s in public office, he should realise that these pronouncements are extremely unwise, and the inevitable headlines help the opposition brand the government as far right.

  7. Yomam

    He’s saying the “Palestinians” weren’t around before the state of Israel so they can’t say we stole their land

    Just fyi there was a country called Palestine that the British made when they conquered it from the ottomans

  8. All these word games about “Palestinians” and “Israelis” may be useful abstractions for academic journals and historical society meetings but don’t matter on the ground. The reality is that the needs of both sides will somehow have to be accommodated in some manner.
    PS: Al daas hamakom: You were born in 1948??….I would’ve guessed you were a bit younger.

  9. @akuperma – I’m chareidi and the last thing I want is a “unified Islamic regional state”. The autonomous Jewish homeland sounds attractive, but for how long can I honestly expect that to last under the Islamic rule?
    I’ll take our current setup any day over what you assume all chareidim are interested in.

  10. A guy like this has no business being a cabinet Minister. Statements like his do nothing to help. They only make a bad problem worse. It was irresponsible of him to say this and unfortunately many Jews might pay the price for his irresponsibility.

  11. Kinsler: if you brush up on your Rashi you”ll see that Torah is also called Raishis. The traifa medina was built on eradicating Torah…….

  12. I support Israel because it’s the only democracy in the Middle East, and I believe in democracy. I have some other talking points too, like did you know Jordan is a Palestinian state? Yup. Anyway, we need to fight BDS, every serious problems that go against our principles of a democracy. I should run for government office. I can talk the talk too.

  13. kinsler: Given the most Israelis reject Torah, the last thing you want to do (if you are pro-zionist) is to refer to Rashi’s first sentence.

  14. al daas atzmecha – the term “Am Yisrael” predates the current state by millenia – and the current State of Israel declared independence as a Jewish state, which it then named the State of Israel. Nobody claimed that there is a “people” called an Israeli people – they claimed the right to the land on the grounds of being Jews.

    akuperma – you can continue with your fantasies about a utopia that never existed prior to the arrival of the nefarious British. Under Islamic rule, Jews were at best treated as a tolerated but disliked minority, subject to discriminatory rules due to their status as “dhmini”. You may festishize the degredation of Galus, where we were being punished “as we deserved” – but now that HKB”H gave us the opportunity to live in safety in our own land – and, even better, under Jewish rule – we have an obligation to be grateful. As to the fact that E”Y is not (yet) run according to the Torah – the Gemara says that we celebrate Chanukah even though the Malchus Chashmona’im ultimately went off the Derech because “shechazera malchus l’Ysirael yoser m’matayim shana” – it brought back Jewish sovereignty to E”Y for more than 200 years (actually, it was a bit less). This was viewed as an inherent positive, even if the Jewish rulers were not Tzadikim.

    an Israeli Yid

  15. Yomam valayla: some of those living in gaza now who are firing rockets at Israel to kill jews are decedents (children and grandchildren) of the arabs of ottoman palestine. the rest are a hybrid mix of egyptians and saudis.

    al daas hamakom: yes that is correct. a hebrew, yehudi, israelite, jew, yid, and israeli are all the same thing. there is no such thing as the “israeli” nation.

    akuperma: there are no ethnic palestinians. there are arabs who live in the geographic region known as “palestine”, and they can refer to themselves palestinians if they want because they have lived there for 2-3 generations, but they are in no way a nation or race separate from the arabs.

    coffee addict: palestine was never a country even under british control. it was administered as a mandate under military rule on behalf of the league of nations between 1920 and 1948 as a temporary measure until a decision was made.

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