Smotrich is right in this. PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein said this in 1977:
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct “Palestinian people” to oppose Zionism.
For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.
The “Palestinian” nation was invented as a tool of the jihad against Israel. Instead of tiny Israel surrounded by huge and hostile Arab states, the picture suddenly changed to the powerful Israeli war machine victimizing an even tinier people. Find out more about this in The Palestinian Delusion.
“Israeli minister says there’s ‘no such thing as a Palestinian people,’ inviting US rebuke,” by Hadas Gold, Amir Tal and Abeer Salman, CNN, March 21, 2023:
Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich denied the existence of a Palestinian people or nationhood over the weekend, prompting a rebuke from the United States just weeks after calling for a Palestinian town to be “erased.”
Smotrich, a Jewish nationalist, argued that the idea of Palestinian nationhood was invented in the past century in response to the Zionist movement to found modern-day Israel.
“Who was the first Palestinian king? What language do the Palestinians have? Was there ever a Palestinian currency? Is there a Palestinian history or culture? Nothing. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people,” Smotrich said at a speech in Paris.
US National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby on Monday objected to the comments, saying they would not help to calm tensions in the region.
“We utterly object to that kind of language. And It’s extremely unhelpful to – again – trying to de-escalate the tensions and trying to find a viable two-state solution going forward,” Kirby said, speaking to Israeli Channel 13. “We don’t want to see any rhetoric, any action or rhetoric – quite frankly – that can stand in the way or become an obstacle to a viable two-state solution, and language like that does.”
The Palestinian Authority presidency slammed Smotrich’s remarks as “racist,” calling them “an attempt to falsify history.”
In a statement, the PA asserted that the Palestinian people “have existed on this land forever.”
Hamas, the militant Palestinian Islamist movement that runs Gaza and calls for Israel’s destruction, also called Smotrich’s comments racist, saying they “clearly reflect the fascist policies of colonial settlement expansion and forced eviction of the Palestinian people, on which the occupation state was founded,” in reference to Israel….