"A land with no people is for a people with no land".
Had the Zionist leadership admitted the existence of an indigenous people, then they would have been obliged to explain how they intended to displace them. To disprove this baseless myth, let's quote Ben-Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister) who stated as early as 1918 that "Palestine is not an empty country". According to Shabtai Teveth (one of Ben-Gurion's official biographers), Ben-Gurion stated in an article published in 1918 that:
"Palestine is not an empty country . . . on no account must we injure the rights of the inhabitants."
To destroy this baseless myth, click here to view a page that was scanned from a book which was conceived and edited by Ben-Gurion himself, stating that Jews made up 12% of the total Palestinian population as of 1914. It's not only that the majority of the Jews in Palestine were not Zionists (by Ben-Gurion's own admission), but they were also not even citizens of the country since many had recently fled anti-Semitic Tsarist Russia.
As the Ottoman census records show Palestine was widely inhabited in the late 19th and early 20th century, especially in the rural areas where agriculture was the main profession. According to Justine McCarthy (p. 26), an authority on the Ottoman Turks, Palestine's population in the early 19th century was 350,000, and in 1914 Palestine had a population of 657,000 Muslim Arabs, 81,000 Christian Arabs, and 59,000 Jews (including many European Jews from the first and second Aliyah).
So the Jewish population in Palestine as of 1914 were under 8% of the total population, which was much smaller than the Palestinian Christian Arab population. It should be noted that our source, Justine McCarthy was quoted by many Israeli Jewish scholars like Benny Morris and Tom Segev. In that regard, it's worth quoting one of the most ardent Zionists, Israel Zangwill, who stated as early as 1905, that Palestine was twice as thickly populated as the United States. He stated:
Righteous Victims, p. 140 & Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 7-10)
In other words, Palestinians were recognized by the Zionist leadership as "humans" who populated Palestine, however, that was not good enough of a reason to "grant" them the same political rights as Jews, who mostly lived outside of Palestine. Consequently, this ideology was the prelude to the wholesale DISPOSSESSION and ETHNIC CLEANSING of the Palestinian people during the 1948 war.
Soon after the first Zionist Congress in Basel (Switzerland) in 1897, a Zionist delegation was sent to Palestine for a fact finding mission, and to explore the viability of settling Palestine with persecuted European Jews. The delegation replied back from Palestine with a cable that stated:
"The bride is beautiful, but she is married to another man." (Iron Wall, p. 3)
Ze'ev Jabotinsky, the founder of the Israeli political Right, in 1926 who explained that:
" ... the tragedy lies in the fact the there is a collision here between two truths .... but our justice is greater. The Arab is culturally backward, but his instinctive patriotism is just as pure and noble as our own; it cannot be bought, it can only be curbed ... force majeure."(Righteous Victims, p. 108)
The questions which beg to be asked are these:
- Do two wrongs make a right?
- Is it just to solve an injustice by perpetrating another injustice?
- If at one point, Palestinian injustice becomes greater than Jewish injustice, does that justify perpetrating war crimes to solve their injustice?
It's really amusing that while nearly all Israelis and Zionists believe that Hawaii, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Tahiti, and Iraq were all populated by indigenous people prior to WW I, however, they find it extremely difficult to imagine that the "Promised Land" (one of the most strategic areas in the world) had any indigenous people whatsoever. It's as if the "Promised Land" had been waiting for over 2,000 years for Israelis and Zionists to settle it and make it bloom, click here to read our response to this argument.
Finally, it's not only that Palestine enjoyed a strategic commercial location (being the land bridge between Asia and Africa), its lands were also fertile and planted with all sorts of trees a long time before the Zionists came to its shorelines. So to claim that Palestine had no people until the Zionists came to settle it, is an absurd claim. Sadly, many Israelis and Zionists hate the idea of an indigenous Palestinian people to the point that they've created a fictitious world based on illusion. In that respect, the Palestinian people have a simple message: Over 8.5 million Palestinians are not going away. The sooner the Israelis and Zionists understand this simple message, the faster they will wake up from their delusional coma.