The history of PLO | AspenTimes.com

The history of PLO

Dear Editor:

Several letters published in The Aspen Times recently seem to defend the Palestinian Arabs’ rights to defend the Palestinian Arabs’ rights to their ethnic identity and homeland. What the authors overlook, intentionally or otherwise, is that there is no such thing as an indigenous Palestinian Arab, nor an original Palestinian homeland.

The Phoenicians, known by the Romans as “Sea People,” were seafaring raiders from the second millennium BC who emerged from the northwestern coasts of the Aegean. Raiders of the Aegean (or Mycenaean) civilization settled along the coast of Judea. Most were from the Greek mainland or islands, as well as from Crete, the Minoan Empire, Mycenae, the Peloponnese (Sparta, Corinth), and pre-Islamic Turkey. The only other inhabitants of this area were Jewish tribes and traders who had already inhabited Judea for many thousands of years.

To spite the Hebrews, who were a thorn in the Roman Empire’s side, the emperor ruled the area to be called “Palestina” (“People [and land] of the Philistines”). But the inhabitants of Palestine at the time were not peninsula Arabs. Deeper study will direct you to Canaan, Caesarea Maritima, Harod the Great, Caesar Augustus, the Hasmonian Empire and Dynasty, Constatine, and the languages spoken during these times – Koine Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.

Not until European Jews, who were being persecuted in the 1880s, began to emigrate to their original Semite holy land, did the Muslim Arabs protest. But not until 1947 did the peninsula Arabs decide to “defend” an existence for Palestine.

PLO executive Zahir Muhsein, as quoted in the Dutch newspaper TRAU on March 31, 1977: “The Palestinian people do not exist. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of the Palestinian people. … The creation of the Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle with the state of Israel … to oppose Zionism.”

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Tracy Wynn

Aspen

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