The prime minister’s son claimed that there is no Palestine if there is no ‘P’ in the Arabic alphabet -- the latest defence for the Israeli occupation.
It all started when Yair Netanyahu, the son of the recently re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, posted a tweet from a Palestinian village that was ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian inhabitants by Haganah, Irgun and Lehi -- Zionist groups that are widely considered terrorist organisations -- between 1947 and 1948.
The deliberately provocative tweet set off a chain reaction which resulted in online users reminding Yair Netanyahu of the history of the village.
aru u stupid ?— Palestine Alqadi (@ALQadiPAL) April 22, 2019
this is Palestine
u need to study more
The now abandoned Palestinian village of Lifta is one of the few to be frozen in time.
Many Palestinian villages that were either abandoned by Palestinians or their inhabitants were forced to leave due to Zionist paramilitary organisations. They were demolished or repopulated with Jewish inhabitants in a bid to change the demographics and history of the land.
Yair Netanyahu, however, chooses to double down. Firstly by claiming that there is no ‘P’ in the Arabic language and therefore no such as thing as Palestine or Palestinians.
Hi all the idiots that twist “Palestine”. There’s no such thing! There is even no P in Arabic. Palestine is name the Romans gave to the land instead if Judea, as a punishment to the Jews for their revolt, 700 years before Mohammad was born. You arabs bending in *arabia* and we— Yair Netanyahu 🇮🇱 (@YairNetanyahu) April 22, 2019
And then claiming that there will never be a Palestine.
And we Jews belong to *judea*. You Arabs already have 22 countries, and Muslims have 50! There was never an Arab country name Palestine and there will never be. BTW did u notice it’s exactly the same flag as Jordan? Israel is the Jewish state from the river to the sea!— Yair Netanyahu 🇮🇱 (@YairNetanyahu) April 22, 2019
It didn’t take long for online users to point out the flaw in his reasoning.
There is no J in Hebrew, do you think Jews don't exist? https://t.co/Np3GY0R8v3— The Afrikomen (@aptly_engineerd) April 23, 2019
And since the Arabic language doesn’t have other Latin letters, online social media users make other suggestions for land Israel could occupy.
There's no "V" in Arabic either, so I guess Israel can occupy the rest of the Levant.— ساري فريتخ (@TheHolyLander) April 22, 2019
You know, actually modern Hebrew doesn't even pronounce most Semitic letters. What logic can we come up with now? Why are you such an dummy, why?
One user, however, suggests that under one proposed definition of anti-Semitism, if someone denies the Jewish peoples’ right to self-determination, they could be considered anti-Semitic. How then to deal with Yair Netanyahu’s denial of Palestinian self-determination?
According to Deborah Lipstadt and the IHRA definition of anti-antisemitism, if someone would say the same about the Jews, he/she would be a Jew-hater. Does this make Yair Netanyahu a Palestinian-hater?— mihai martoiu ticu (@martoiu) April 23, 2019
cc: @deborahlipstadt pic.twitter.com/Q5mLlQoOhB
And others had a simpler explanation for Netanyahu’s behaviour.
It's worth noting that while Yair Netanyahu is exceptionally racist, the crux of this sentiment is pretty widespread & even banal among Israeli Jews. https://t.co/Ou0AiWQYb9— Emily L. Hauser (@emilylhauser) April 23, 2019
Netanyahu is not the only one making the smart argument that because there is no ‘P’ in the Arabic alphabet there is no Palestine.
Anat Berko, an Israeli lawmaker from Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, said in a discussion in parliament with regard to the Palestinian state: “As we’ve noted, the letter ‘P’ doesn’t even exist in Arabic, so the borrowed term [Palestine] is worth looking into.”
In the Arabic language, Palestine is referred to as ‘Fah-lah-steen’, the ‘F’ is an Arabic letter. But racism isn’t grounded in logic, of course.