History's Twists and Turns; Sympathy Shifts Away from Israel

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 6, 2003 | Go to article overview

History's Twists and Turns; Sympathy Shifts Away from Israel


Byline: Diana West, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In 1857, the British consul in Palestine, James Finn, told his government that Palestine "is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is that of a body of population."

Ten years later, Mark Twain visited the Holy Land, recording his impressions in "The Innocents Abroad." Jericho was "a moldering ruin," he wrote. About the Galilee, he noted "a desolation ... that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action." Which is pretty desolate. As for the land around Jerusalem, "The further we went ... the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became," Twain wrote. "There was hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive and cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country."

Things hadn't changed much by 1881, when British cartographer Arthur Penrhyn Stanley observed, "In Judea it is hardly an exaggeration to say that for miles and miles there is no appearance of life or habitation." To be sure, there were at this time Arabs (and Jews) living in Palestine, but 1881 hardly marks the shimmering high point of civilization Yasser Arafat would describe to the United Nations in 1974, when he conjured visions of "a verdant land, inhabited mainly by an Arab people in the course of building its life and dynamically enriching its indigenous culture."

Why the world came to accept the mendacious vision of a terror-kingpin over a wealth of historical impressions recorded by writers, scientists and officials is a tantalizing question. (On another memorable U.N. occasion, this same terrorist-fabulist hallucinagenically said "Jesus Christ was the first Palestinian fedayeen" or Muslim fighter of Christians.) Somehow, the weight of the world's collective understanding of history flipped: Myth turned to fact, and the facts were forgotten. I don't know when this happened. I just know I never came across such vivid eyewitness accounts of 19th-century Palestine as those above until I read them (and others) in the 2000 edition of Benjamin Netanyahu's excellent Middle East primer, "A Durable Peace: Israel and Its Place Among the Nations."

Mr. Netanyahu, current Israeli finance minister and former prime minister, himself exemplifies another hairpin turn of historical perception. The reason he didn't accompany the Israeli delegation to the Aqaba summit, he told CNN, concerned his own doubts about Palestinian ability to follow the so-called road map. "Until the Palestinians teach their children to accept Israel; until they actually go out and arrest, and even fight terrorists; and until they drop the right of return, this will remain a flowery path," he said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

History's Twists and Turns; Sympathy Shifts Away from Israel
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.