28 DECEMBER 2002, Page 27

From Dr Azzam Tamimi

Sir: I commend Geoffrey Wheatcroft for his courage and well-informed position. However, I would like to draw his attention to a missing factor in his piece — namely the other victims of Zionism, the Palestinians. While seeking to drive Jews out of their own homes in Europe in order to accomplish its political ambition, Zionism had no concern whatsoever for the population of Palestine — Muslim and Christian Arabs — some of whom are descendants of the Canaanites, some, of the Israelites, and some of various peoples that conquered and inhabited the land over the past four millennia or so.

One of the myths created and propagated by the Zionists over the years was that Palestine was a land without a people for a people

without a land. The very reason why the bloodshed in Palestine has not ceased since Israel was created is that Palestine has always been inhabited by its own people, the Palestinians. Conversely, the majority of Israel's Jews today have dual nationality because they had, and still have, an original homeland. What choices have the Palestinians been left with? Either salute the invaders of their land, give up their legitimate rights and search for another homeland elsewhere, or do what every other people in the history of humanity has done: put up a resistance and wage a struggle for freedom and justice, and go down in history as an honourable and dignified people.

Azzam Tamimi

Director, Institute of Islamic Political Thought, London NW2