All identities are fabricated, each nation is “an imagined community” as Benedict Anderson calls it. But a few of them are totally imaginary and they have no solid basis at all. They are given a kiss of life for political gain and a people buried centuries ago comes to life again. An example of this kind of nation building or identity construction process is of Macedonians. While I was writing my MA thesis, I spent quite some time studying it. Macedonians first came with the idea that they were Bulgarians in origin. After a while they became Serbians. Then Tito came in and his great effort to create a particular Macedonian identity “bore fruit”. Slavo-Macedonians of Balkans became Macedonians. Now Macedonians, a Slavic tribe of the region became ‘Macedonians” that we know from history books. They even demanded land from Greece with “greater Macedonia” in their mind. However, neither Philip (Philippos) the Macedon nor his son Alexandre the Great (Alexandros) were Slavic. We can’t say they were genetically Greek either but we know that they were members of a Greek tribe. Macedonians now claim that Alexandre was Macedonian. Yes he was Macedonian but ancient Macedonians were not Slavs like the contemporary Macedonians. Alexandros wrote in Ancient Greek and his dream was not the greater Macedonia which Tito dreamed of once. Why am I telling you all these Balkan tales? Because Palestinian identity is another example of this type of nation building process. Just like Macedonians they claim to come from an ancient tribe whose native language was not Arabic, nor were they Arabs. They were a people of Aegean origin, Philistines. Now the contemporary Palestinians demand “their” so-called homeland, Palestine which was an ancient region. But in fact it didn’t belong to them because they aren’t descendants of Philistines. Is there any historical and cultural proof that there is a direct connection between Philistines and Palestinians?
Without a doubt every nation building process begins with a historical reference to an ancient nation. But majority of the nations don’t claim to be descendants of a nation which is totally different from them. For example Turks claim that they are coming from Middle Asia but both the ancient tribe and the modern nation are Turks. Both speak more or less the same language. We can still communicate with Turks in Middle Asia in Turkish. So there is an obvious cultural continuity between these Turkish communities. What Palestinians and Macedonians claim is not much different from Germans claiming to be descendants of ancient Turks in Middle Asia. No historical connection, no common language, no cultural similarity, nothing. A perfectly unfounded, fabricated identity.
I think this is important because it is about our perception of truth. Undoubtedly now there is a nation that accept themselves as Palestinians. I don’t deny their existence. However we can’t accept all their semi-scientific propaganda if we are to learn about ancient tribes. I would really like a historian to write a comparison between Macedonians and Palestinians, two totally fabricated nations which have neither historical nor cultural nor genetic link with their so-called ancient ancestors. They try to put on these ancient identities by sneaking this or that cultural and historical element of other neighbouring tribes. For instance, Palestinians now assert that Jesus was Palestinian. The shortest joke of all time. If we don’t analyze such identity fabrication processes, in 200 years “Jesus was Palestinian” might become a historical fact even if it is a lie and we all know it. Since we just celebrated Christmas, let us remind whole world once again that Jesus was a Jewish rabbi and Palestinians are still writing themselves a story.