YOUR correspondent Mr. Paul (Letters, August 21) is woefully misinformed about history.
The Palestinians originated before the building of the pyramids and have their origins in the Natufians long before that.
Palestine was commonly known in biblical times: Joel 3:4 King James Version (KJV) 4 – “Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? Will ye render me a recompense?”
But the irony of Mr. Paul’s fiction is that the origins of all the present problems are encapsulated in Herzl’s vision of a Jewish state in Palestine: “Zionism seeks to secure for the Jewish people a publicly recognized, legally secured homeland in Palestine.” (1897). The original in Herzl’s own hand in German clearly says Palestine (Herzl was Hungarian).
The people of Palestine are by definition Palestinians, and Herzl had no doubt of their existence. It was indeed created as Israel in 1948, one of the newest nations on earth, whereas Palestine is one of the oldest. And the current land of Israel is built on 52 per cent of former Palestinian land (under the British Mandate and UN auspices).
So the irony is that if there were no Palestinians there would be no Israelis.
And of course the Palestinians are native to the Middle East whereas most modern “Israelis” are of eastern European origin. Netanyahu’s father was Polish, and so was the founder of Israel in 1948, David Ben Gurion.
H Finlayson, Emeritus Professor of History Tudor Court, Ipswich.