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Alan Dershowitz, LLB, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University, in his 2003 book The Case for Israel, wrote:
"There have been two competing mythologies about Palestine circa 1880.
The extremist Jewish mythology, long since abandoned, was that
Palestine was 'a land without people, for a people without a land.'
(This phrase was actually coined by the British lord Shaftesbury in his
1884 memoir.) The extremeist Palestinian mythology, which has become
more embedded with time, is that in 1880 there was a Palestinian
people; some even say a Palestinian nation that was displaced by the
Zionist invasion. The reality, as usual, lies somewhere in between."
Mark Twain, American author, in chapter 56 of his 1867 book "Innocents Abroad", wrote:
[Jewish settlers] arrived in a desolate, sparsely populated region and
drained the swamps, irrigated the desert, grew crops and built cities.
They introduced industry, libraries, hospitals, art galleries,
universities -- and the concept of individual rights."
Yaron Brook, PhD, Executive Director of the Ayn Rand Institue, and Peter Schwarts, Board Chairman, in a 2001 article "Israel has a Moral Right to Exist," wrote:
all the lands there are for dismal scenery, I think Palestine must be
the prince. The hills are barren... The valleys are unsightly deserts
fringed with a feeble vegetation that has an expression about it of
being sorrowful and despondent... It is a hopeless, dreary, heartbroken
land... Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes... Over it broods the
spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its
energies... Nazareth is forlorn;... Jericho...accursed... Jerusalem... a
pauper village... Palestine is desolate and unlovely."
Shimon Peres, President of Israel, in a May 1998 La Monde Diplomatique editorial titled "Why Israel needs a Palestinian state," wrote:
"When Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, spoke of 'a people
without a land' looking for 'a land without a people', he was not aware
of the presence of an Arab population in Palestine or its future
Alan C. Brownfeld, Executive Director of the American Council for Judaism (ACJ), in a 2001 Media Monitors Network essay "The Myth of Palestine as 'A Land Without People," wrote:
early Zionists, as they promoted the slogan, 'A land without people for
the people without a land,' completely overlooked the fact that the
land in question was already populated and was hardly 'empty.'"