American presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich recently claimed that the Palestinians are an “invented people.” That resulted in essays, blogs and commentaries to prove that Palestinians were not invented. In reality, said many, it is the Israelis who are the invented people. Israel displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948 to form the state of Israel and enclosed millions of others in outdoor prison-like conditions where they still remain, despite universal condemnation by the UN member states — except for Israel and the United States. Israel’s manifest destiny is comparable to that of its closest ally, America, which massacred Native Americans and rounded up the rest in reservations to construct its homeland.
Genocide of indigenous people is a common strategy employed by groups of people trying to lay claim to land and/or form a nation state. The Australians did it to the Aborigines. These nations all effectively defined themselves through a process of elimination of the Other.