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The non-existent Palestine & Mark Twain

Did Mark Twain invent Palestine?


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    7

Hatuey

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I enjoy Mark Twain. He seems like somebody who was far ahead of his time. He had minorities as important characters in a story long before CSI and the WB. Anyways, I ran across some of his writings which talked about 'Palestine'. This struck me because I've heard supporters of Israel constantly state there was no such thing as Palestine.

You're all been had... there are no "Palestinian People!
Palestinian people do not exist
All Things Beautiful: The Myth Of Palestine
There's no such thing as "Palestine" - Israel Forum

Now Mark Twain lived over 120 years ago. He visited this non-existent Palestine. But he never called it 'Israel'. He never calls it Judea, Iudea or any other name that one could tie to Israel. He very clearly states that there are two places, one called Palestine and one which is called Israel. From the reading I gathered that one is where the other use to be or that at the very least they are close to eachother. Are they one and the same? Or are they two different places? Or was Mark Twain simply confused and make up the word 'Palestine' all by himself?

The Innocents Abroad said:
"Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse
that has withered its fields and fettered its energies. Where Sodom and Gomorrah reared their domes and towers, that solemn sea now floods the plain, in whose bitter waters no living thing exists -- over whose waveless surface the blistering air hangs motionless and dead -- about
whose borders nothing grows but weeds, and scattering tufts of cane, and that treacherous fruit that promises refreshment to parching lips, but turns to ashes at the touch. Nazareth is forlorn; about that ford of Jordan where the hosts of Israel entered the Promised Land with songs of rejoicing, one finds only a squalid camp of fantastic Bedouins of the desert; Jericho the accursed, lies a moldering ruin, to-day, even as
Joshua's miracle left it more than three thousand years ago; Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and their humiliation, have nothing about them now to remind one that they once knew the high honor of the leader's presence; the hallowed spot where the shepherds watched their flocks by
night, and where the angels sang Peace on earth, good will to men, is untenanted by any living creature, and unblessed by any feature that is pleasant to the eye. Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village; the riches of Solomon are no longer there to compel the admiration of visiting Oriental queens; the wonderful temple which was the pride and the glory of Israel, is gone, and the Ottoman crescent is lifted above the spot where, on that most memorable day in the annals of the world, they reared the holy cross. The noted Sea of Galilee, where Roman
fleets once rode at anchor and the disciples of the leader sailed in their ships, was long ago deserted by the devotees of war and commerce, and its borders are a silent wilderness; Capernaum is a shapeless ruin; Magdala is
the home of beggared Arabs; Bethsaida and Chorazin have vanished from the earth, and the "desert places" round about them where thousands of men once listened to the leader's voice and ate the miraculous bread, sleep in the hush of a solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and
skulking foxes. Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of the Deity beautify a land? "
 
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Kandahar

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Palestine was the name of the colony that existed there before the State of Israel was founded...and it's mentioned as far back as the Bible (e.g. the "Philistines"). I don't see how anyone could claim it never existed...there have been Jews and Arabs living side by side in that part of the world for millennia.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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The name Palestine has been used for ages to represent an area, a colony, and a Mandate. The issue is that there has never been a sovereign STATE named Palestine.
 

jamesrage

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I know in Mark Twains day there was no country called Palestine, of course nor was there a country called Israel.That part of the world was Part of the Ottoman Empire.
 

mbig

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I enjoy Mark Twain. He seems like somebody who was far ahead of his time. He had minorities as important characters in a story long before CSI and the WB. Anyways, I ran across some of his writings which talked about 'Palestine'. This struck me because I've heard supporters of Israel constantly state there was no such thing as Palestine.

You're all been had... there are no "Palestinian People!
Palestinian people do not exist
All Things Beautiful: The Myth Of Palestine
There's no such thing as "Palestine" - Israel Forum

Now Mark Twain lived over 120 years ago. He visited this non-existent Palestine. But he never called it 'Israel'. He never calls it Judea, Iudea or any other name that one could tie to Israel. He very clearly states that there are two places, one called Palestine and one which is called Israel. From the reading I gathered that one is where the other use to be or that at the very least they are close to eachother. Are they one and the same? Or are they two different places? Or was Mark Twain simply confused and make up the word 'Palestine' all by himself?
You have several Basic misunderstandings. Thus turning this question into a popularity poll.

There has never been a Self-Governing entity called 'palestine' since it last called ISRAEL. (aka Judea and Samaria).

'Palestina' was what the Romans RENAMED 'Israel' when they defeated it--- intentionally adding insult to injury by using the name of the Jews' former enemies, the Philistines.
Part of the map designation 'Palestine' that had been used for centuries with little meaning except geographical (similar to 'The Holy Land') was Renamed 'Israel' in 1948.

In the 20th century and until Israel was formed... the word 'Palestinian' generally referred to a Jew.
The Arabs not adopting the name until 1960 or so.
But thanks for posting Twain tho.. and there's dozens of others who reported the same sparse, desolate, land.

This Poll is a Bizarre way of asking a question that should be a String title with discussion/explanation in the Middle East section, NOT a Yes or No contest.
In fact, there is a related and explanatory string in the section right now.. only one down frm the top:
http://www.debatepolitics.com/middle-east/48220-myth-1-israel-stolen-land.html
 
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Tashah

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ludahai

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I know in Mark Twains day there was no country called Palestine, of course nor was there a country called Israel.That part of the world was Part of the Ottoman Empire.
Don't know why Twain used the name Palestine unless he was thinking of it in an ancient historical sense. That area was a part of Syria in Ottoman times.
 

Gardener

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The issue isn't whether or not there was a territory called Palestine. The issue is whether or not there was a people called Palestinians, defined as we do so today. For anybody who knows anything whatsoever about history, the answer is an emphatic No. Localized Arabs of the Levant did not begin to distinguish themselves as "Palestinian" " until the advent of Zionism, and the term didn't really take hold in the popular lexicon until a few decades ago. Heck, even in my own lifetime, the term was not in general use.
 

Apocalypse

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Hatuey, as others have stated above, the name Palestine was referring to the land, not to a sovereign state or to a nation.
The land was named Palestine by the Roman Empire after it has conquered it from the Israeli Kingdoms.
 
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I'm curious. What would Hautey's point be if I were to answer yes? What is it supposed to mean if I were to say that because of Mark Twain, I finally realize that Palestine existed in any context other than a state? Is this supposed to change any conclusion I've made when I've objectively examined the history of the creation of modern Israel?
 

Harshaw

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Imagine how different things might be if the area were still colloquially referred to as "Judea."
 

mbig

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Imagine how different things might be if the area were still colloquially referred to as "Judea."
Exactly. Jews being from Judea, and Arabs from Arabia, would change perceptions.

Thus...
"Palestinians" [are an] Arab people No one heard of before 1967 before Israeli governments certified this piece of Propaganda... As has been noted many times before, prior to 1948, that is before Jews had begun to call themselves Israelis, the Only persons known as "Palestinians" were Jews, with the Arabs much preferrring to identify themselves as part of the great Arab nation.
- David Basch


"...Palestine does not belong to the "Palestinians" and never did. They did not even call themselves Palestinians until the middle 1960s. Before that, the word "Palestinian" meant "Jewish," while the local Arabs called themselves simply "Arabs."
The creation of the PLO by Gamal Abdul Nasser in 1964 was a brilliant ploy to distort the parameters of the dispute, largely for propaganda purposes.
It was inconvenient to have a conflict between 20-odd Arab states with an area 530 times greater than Israel, a population more than 30 times greater than Israel's and enormously richer natural resources.
Far better to Invent a "Palestinian" nation that would be the eternal "underdog," - a nation consisting partly of Immigrants from Syria and other Arab countries who came to benefit from the rapidly growing economy Zionist Jews created..."
- westerndefense.org


"There is No language known as Palestinian. - There is No distinct Palestinian culture.
There has Never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians.
Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another Recent Invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9% of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of 1% of the landmass.
But that's too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today. Greed. Pride. Envy. Covetousness. No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough....""
- Joseph Farah, Arab-American journalist


So before the creation of the State of Israel, who were the Palestinians?

Until 1950, the name of the Jerusalem Post was THE PALESTINE POST;
the journal of the Zionist Organization of America was NEW PALESTINE;
Bank Leumi was the ANGLO-PALESTINE BANK;
the Israel Electric Company was the PALESTINE ELECTRIC COMPANY;
there was the PALESTINE FOUNDATION FUND and.... the PALESTINE PHILHARMONIC.
All these were JEWISH organizations.
In America, Zionist youngsters sang "PALESTINE, MY PALESTINE", "PALESTINE SCOUT SONG" and "PALESTINE SPRING SONG" In general, the terms Palestine and Palestinian referred to the region of Palestine as it was. Thus "Palestinian Jew" and "Palestinian Arab" are straightforward expressions. "Palestine Post" and "Palestine Philharmonic" refer to these bodies as they existed in a place then known as Palestine.
The adoption of a Palestinian identity by the Arabs of Palestine is a Recent phenomenon.
Until the establishment of the State of Israel, and for another Decade or so, the term Palestinian applied almost Exclusively to the Jews.
- Palestinians - The Peace FAQ
 
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