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May 20, 2003

the erasure of a people

According to Amos Elon's review of Queen Noor's autobiography in The New York Review of Books (May 29, p. 7), the Queen once suggested to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife that it would be good if Israeli textbooks stopped spreading the "propaganda" that Palestine in the 1940s was "a land with no people for a people with no land."

"What do you mean?" Mrs. Netanhayu replied. "When the Jews came to this area, there were no Arabs here. They came to find work when we built cities. There was nothing here before that."

I find this retroactive erasure of a population truly chilling. (Mid East Web, while obviously not an impartial source, provides plausible statistics on the demographics of British Palestine.)

Posted by peterlevine at May 20, 2003 11:03 AM


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