IT’S 1776 IN PALESTINE: NOVEMBER 29, 2012
by Eliyho Matz
Well, after sixty-five years of a convoluted labyrinth path, the Palestinian people finally reached the “almost” status of a nation. Thirty-five years ago when I arrived in New York, I spent quite a bit of time with Hillel Kook, better known in America as Peter Bergson. Peter Bergson had come to the United States as a young man from what was then called British Palestine. During WWII he was the head of the Irgun delegation in the USA. While most Jewish lay leaders and rabbis hesitated and were not sure what steps to take to save European Jews, Bergson conducted an aggressive campaign here in America and to some degree succeeded convincing the FDR administration to take some action to save Jews. For his efforts, leading Jews in this country informed against him to the FBI: his FBI file is large, but thankfully he was not deported.
After the War, between 1946 and 1948 Bergson directed his attention to creating the Israeli nation, which he called the Hebrew Nation. As an important means of advertisement and propaganda in America, he used the slogan “It’s 1776 in Palestine.” Most Americans understood clearly and related to what this signified, and thus in 1947 the United States supported the creation of the Israeli Nation.
It is a bit baffling now, after all these years that the Palestinians have struggled to define themselves politically, that the United States and Israel have found fault with that effort of self-determination. Therefore, let us say it again today: “It’s 1776 in Palestine, November 29, 2012.”