The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: ‘no such thing as a Palestinian’

Book review: Rashid Khalidi emphasises the exercise of Israeli power, its toleration by the US, and the high level of Palestinian suffering

The destroyed terminal of the Gaza Strip’s former Yasser Arafat International Airport in the Palestinian enclave’s southern city of Rafah. Photograph:  Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images

The destroyed terminal of the Gaza Strip’s former Yasser Arafat International Airport in the Palestinian enclave’s southern city of Rafah. Photograph: Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images

Golda Meir, a prime minister of Israel, once said that there was no such thing as a Palestinian. “It is not as though there were a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself as a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist.”

Of course, 100 years ago there was no such thing as an Israeli either. The “Israeli” and “Palestinian” nations have come into being simultaneously, and in conflict. The assertion of one is often formulated as the denial of the other.

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