I got a little grief about this article. Some people thought that I was being unnecessarily harsh on Muslim countries and too easy on Israel. So here is some more evidence that when Saeb Erekat declared that "There is no country in the world where religious and national identities are intertwined," he was talking total tosh.
The flag of Saudi Arabia features the shahada - the Islamic declaration of faith - in white Arabic script on a green background; on the Iranian flag, the Islamic phrase "Allahu Akbar" (God is great") appears 22 times. And then there is Erekat's own Palestinian Authority, whose Basic Law provides in Article 4 that "Islam is the official religion in Palestine."
When the League of Nations entrusted Britain with the Mandate for Palestine in 1922, it expressly recognized "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and the rightfulness of "reconstituting their national home in that country." By that point, Britain had already transferred 80 percent of historic Palestine to Arab rule - to what is today's Muslim kingdom of Jordan. All that remained for a Jewish state was the residual 20 percent. But there, at least, it was clear that the Jewish community was "in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance," as Winston Churchill underscored at the time.
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