Two questions can be distinguished: How many people lived there? and, Was there a Palestinian national consciousness when the Zionists began to arrive? The demographics are very weak because of the lack of census (read “The Arab and Jewish Population in Palestine – During the Ottoman Empire and the British Rule” in MidEast Web). The land we know today as Israel- Palestine was scarcely inhabited (during the 1800s), by 250,000 people (20,000 to 25,000 Jews). The territory had a migratory wave during the nineteenth century for several reasons: the construction of the Suez Canal caused the emigration of Egyptian clans that didn’t want to be forced to work. Also, the moderate modernization after the government of Muhammad Ali fostered the settlements. The increase in Arab immigration multiplied with the arrival of Zionists and the British Mandate. A massive immigration occurred, increasing the Arab population from 250,000 (in 1800) to 1,300,000 people in 1947. Moreover, if in 1881 someone would have asked a local Arab if he was “Palestinian”, it would have scared him. Palestine is a European word (European Jews used the term), and not even the Ottoman or the Mamluks used it to name the land and its inhabitants. It seems incredible, right? Not so much: try asking an Arab-speaking person to say “Palestine” with a P, and you’ll see how he will only be able to say “Balestine”. This is another proof that the name of the people is not autochthonous. The expression “a land with without a people” is an exaggeration of the situation of those years. There were local Arab-speaking inhabitants that did not form a people. This statement can be verified by thousands of testimonials from that time: “There is no such thing called Palestine in history, absolutely not”, stated Professor Philip Hittu (an Arab historian in 1946). Such a statement does not determine that there is not a Palestinian people at present.