"We are Arab people; when we report, we predate, and postdate, we add and we omit, but we do not mean to lie." - Ibn Qutaybah
We must ask this question, not in order to deligitimize the Arab people known as the Palestinians, but because their leaders are making baseless claims in order to delegitimize the Jews and the State of Israel.
Christians also must examine these claims because they are made by Muslims to undermine or distort the Bible and to mobilise the church against God’s covenant people and covenant land. Sadly, many have failed to be discerning and have fallen into Christian Palestinianism.
If the media and politicians took the trouble to consult history books instead of merely listening to what people are saying today, the present war of words over “the Middle east conflict” would be much more clear cut. Instead we are in the position where the most preposterous lies, told often enough and seriously enough, have become recognized as truth.
The Children of Israel were given the task of casting out the wicked people from the land of Canaan. You can read the list of tribes in Genesis 10 v15, Exodus 3 v8, Exodus 3 v17, Exodus 13 v5, Exodus 23 v23, Exodus 34 v11, Deuteronomy 7 v1-4, …………. They were largely successful, but not entirely. The Philistines arrived from Crete, in the Aegean, around the same time as Israel and were long term enemies. They were eventually destroyed, presumably in the Assyrian invasion of the area. See Jeremiah 47 v4, Isaiah 14 v29, Jeremiah 47, Amos 1 v8, Zephaniah 2 v5.
After the time of Jesus the Romans defeated Israel and scattered the Jews and renamed the land Palestina, after the ancient enemies of the Jews, in order to reinforce the defeat of the Jews. The land was laid waste over the centuries but continued to be home to small communities of Jews and Bedouin Arabs. For centuries, the land was not a nation but a neglected territory belonging to various empires, and nobody called himself a Palestinian. As the Zionists started living there, they were known as Palestinian Jews. The Arabs only started using the title, at the behest of Yasser Arafat, after their defeat in the war of 1967.
When the Zionists started to return to the land around the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries they were seen as a threat by the Arab communities and violent opposition was commenced, incited by the likes of Al Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem. In spite of this and the various discouragements from the British (mandated by the League of Nations to bring the Jews back) the Jews started to restore the land and create businesses and jobs. At this time Arabs from various surrounding lands moved to Israel for work and a better life. Many came from Transjordan, meaning that many Palestinians are actually Jordanians. The wars of the 20th Century complicated the issues, as is always the case when war displaces people and borders change.
Wildolive is indebted to Aviel Schneider and Israel Today magazine for most of the following information.
Ibraham Abdullah Sar-sur , Arab Knesset member and leader of the southern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
“We, the Palestinians, are the Arab Jebusites.” “The Jebusites founded the city of Jerusalem, which was actually called Al-Quds, even before the Jews invaded the country.” “Allah is testing the Palestinians, and just as the Crusaders and the British disappeared from Palestine, the Jews will suffer the same fate.”
Sheik Kamal Khatib , also of the Islamic movement,
“The mosque of Al Aksa (on the Temple Mount) was constructed 40 years after the creation of the world,” “Jews have no historical right to Jerusalem since the Palestinians are the descendants of the Jebusites.”(The mosque was built in 705AD, 73 years after the death of Mohammed)
Kamal Khatib alsoclaims that the king of Salem (Jerusalem) Melchizedek (Genesis 14 v18) was the high priest of the god of the Jebusittes, the ostensible forefathers of today’s Palestinians.
Yasser Arafat , his successor Mahmoud Abbas and legislator Hanan Ashwari all claim(ed) that the Palestinians are descendents of the Canaanites and that Jesus was a Palestinian.
Ahmad Abu Ziad and Khaled Dahamshe, Fatah members and residents of the old City of Jerusalem, regard themselves as descendents of the Philistines.
Azmi Bishara , former Arab MK, said
“There is no Palestinain nation!” “There is an Arab nation, but no Palestinian nation. This was invented by the colonial powers. When are the Palestinians mentioned in History? Never.”
Sheikh Salem al-Huzeil , leader of a bedouin tribe in southern Israel claims that his tribe and possibly other tribes in the area have Jewish ancestry. He told local Jewish leaders that his ancestors were Jews who were forced to convert to Islam following the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land 1300 years ago. Many Bedouin in Israel maintain customs that are foreign to other Muslims but which bear a distinct resemblance to Judaism.
Unidentified Palestinian Christians (for security reasons) say that Palestinian claims cannot match those of the Jews.
“I know that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob promised this disputed land to the Jews and not to the Palestinians.” .. “The lies of Islam should not discourage Jews and Christians since their only intent is to destroy these two older religions” … “there is no Palestinian nation; this is a political invention.”
Roni Shaked , Israeli Arab affairs expert says that the Palestinian leadership is creating a historical myth on which to base their claims to the land, but ironically, they use biblical nations as evidence though they don’t believe in the Bible. In addition, the Bible says these nations disappeared. “The average Palestinian from Hebreon, Bethlehem, Nablus and other Palestinian cities doesn’t know the biblical nations of the Jebusites, Canaanites and Philistines because they are not mentioned in the Koran,” “They don’t have a clue what their politicians are talking about.”
Mordechai Kedar , a top Israeli expert on Islam.
“With these claims the Muslims believe they have an older historical right to Jerusalem and the land than the Jews, even though this is nonsense. The Muslims want to falsify the biblical promise of the Land of Israel to the Jews; they want to show that they obtained the legal rights to this piece of real estate before the first Hebrew, Abraham, laid claim to this land.”
Most of the Palestinians did not originate in the land and this is “evident from the family name of many Palestinians: al-Masri - (Egypt), al-Iraqi – (Iraq), al-Trabelsi – (Tripoli, Lebanon), al-Khurani – (southern Syria), al-Tzurani – (Tyre [Tzur], Lebanon), al-Tzidoni – (Sidon, Lebanon), al-Zarkawi – (Zarqa, Jordan), etc. Does this mean that the Egyptians, Lebanese, Jordanians and Iraquis are also descendents of the Canaanites and Jebusites?”
Gershon Nerel , Messianic Jewish historian, speaks of the Palestinian’s dangerous revision of history and calls this duplicity to reject the validity of the biblical promises regarding the land while using the biblical Jebusites and Canaanites to validate their claims for their ancestry.
Tsvi Sadan , editor of the Hebrew language Messianic magazine Kivun remarked that this is spiritual warfare over the inheritance of the Holy Land. He believes that Israel needs a new public relations strategy.
“The problem is that Israel does not emphasize the religious, historical character of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as the Palestinians do from an Islamic point of view, Israel defends its policies towards the Palestinians primarily on the basis of security.”
Israel explains its religious claim to the land through politics while the Palestinians explain their political claim to the land through religion.
Zahir Muhsein, PLO executive committee member said, March 31, 1977, in an interview with the Dutch newspaper Trouw.)
"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 leadership, including Ahmed Shukar and Yasir Arafat, has openly admitted Palestinian "peoplehood" is a fraud; read this.
King Hussein of Jordan said, on 26th November 1981, In an interview with the Arabic newspaper A-Nahar al-Arabia.
"The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan,"
Prince Hassan of the Jordanian National Assembly was quoted as saying on February 2, 1970.
"Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is only one land, with one history and one and the same fate,"
Abdul Hamid Sharif, Prime Minister of Jordan declared, in 1980.
"The Palestinians and Jordanians do not belong to different nationalities. They hold the same Jordanian passports, are Arabs and have the same Jordanian culture."
Farouk Kaddoumi, then head of the PLO Political Department, who gave the statement to Newsweek on March 14, 1977
"There should be a kind of linkage because Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as one people,"
"There is no such thing as 'Palestine' in history." According to Arab-American columnist Joseph Farah,
"Palestine has never existed - before or since - as an autonomous entity. It was ruled alternately by Rome, by Islamic and Christian crusaders, by the Ottoman Empire, and briefly by the British after World War I. The British agreed to restore at least part of the land to the Jewish people as their homeland. There was no language known as Palestinian. There was no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a Palestine governed by the Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc."
* The current queen of Jordan is an Arab 'Palestinian'.
* Approximately half of Jordan's prime ministers since 1950 have been Arab 'Palestinians'.
* More than 2/3 of the Jordanian people are Arab 'Palestinians'.
* The majority of citizens residing in the capital of Amman are Arab 'Palestinians'.
Britain created an entirely new province by severing 77% of mandated Palestine (and an additional 3% was also allocated to Syria), on the eastern bank of the Jordan River (some 35,000 square miles), and establishing the state of Transjordan. Faisal, who had been King of Syria, was deposed by the French, so the British offered him the throne of Iraq, which he accepted. Faisal's brother Abdullah was installed as the new nation of Transjordan's ruler on April 1, 1921
On April 24, 1950, Abdullah formally merged all of Arab-held Palestine with Transjordan and granted citizenship to all Arab residents and settlers (the vast majority of whom arrived the 1920s for economic reasons). The Hashemite Kingdom was no longer only across the river so the prefix "Trans" (meaning "across") was dropped, and henceforth, the land became known as Jordan.
Jordanians, for decades, were avid proponents of the ‘Jordan is Palestine’ position. They used that position as justification for the annexation of the West Bank, arguing that Palestine was one single, indivisible unit, and that Jordan was the legitimate governing body of Palestine...
"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."( Israel Matzav)
Geert Wilders, who heads the third-largest party in Holland, said
‘Jordan is Palestine,’ ‘Changing its name to Palestine will end the conflict in the Middle East and provide the Palestinians with an alternate homeland...There has been an independent Palestinian state since 1946, and it is the kingdom of Jordan.’Wilders also called on the Dutch government to refer to Jordan as Palestine and move its embassy to Jerusalem.
There is evidence that many “Palestinians” who have lived in Israel since earlier times are actually descendants of Jews who converted to Islam rather than leave their homeland. There is evidence in family names, Jewish customs preserved, tradition and even DNA evidence.
Tsvi Misinai, a retired Jewish hi-tech entrepreneur has researched this idea and explains his views under the title of “THE ENGAGEMENT” http://www.the-engagement.org/
He explains in his booklet, ( THE ENGAGEMENT download in PDF)
“A series of genetic and historical studies reinforce earlier work of David Ben-Gurion (the first prime minister of Israel) and others, in their finding: a solid majority of the Palestinians (89.5%) are descendants of Jews who remained in the country following the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple. The ancestors of most of the Palestinians were forced to convert to Islam.”
While a figure as high as 89.5% is incompatible with some of the factors detailed above, the implications of sections of Israel’s enemies actually being Jewish in origin and custom needs serious consideration. What if they realise their heritage and return to it?
“ A viable and doable alternative to the Two States Solution is the creation of a singlestate that shall lack the problems of a binational one. A just and lasting solution requiresthe return of the majority of the Palestinians to the people of Israel – an engagement of peace between the Palestinians and the Jews. The solution will liberate both the Palestinians and the Jews from the tragedies of the conflict.”
The above may not fit well with normal Christian eschatology but should prompt us to realize that God’s plans may involve factors we had not even dreamed of.
There is a body of people whose presence and existence is being used as a weapon against Israel in the world opinion forum. But this case is invalid. Palestinian Refugees are unique in inheriting this status down through the generations instead of being settled and becoming citizens. Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN resolution, not a single Palestinian would have become a refugee and an independent Arab state would now exist beside Israel.
See Jewish Virtual Library www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/refugees for a deeper analysis.
The Arabs from Israel who became refugees did so because they were told by Arab leaders to leave their homes until Israel was destroyed, at which time they could return and take over the property of the Jews. It did not happen this way and they were left in Arab lands that refused to help them but kept them as pawns.
Here an Arab Israeli tells his family story
At the same time a greater number of Jews were thrown out of Arab nations, leaving their homes and assets behind. The new and impecunious state of Israel absorbed them all while the Arab states refused to help their brother Arabs.
Some are describing what happened to the Arabs using all sorts of modern, negative terms such as ethnic cleansing, apartheid, racism etc but this type of population exchange has always been a feature of the aftermath of war. When the British sorted out the religious/racial mess in India by dividing the land into India (mostly Hindu) and Pakistan (Muslim), populations were exchanged and got on with building their lives in their new homeland.
Only the Arab refugees have maintained their refugee status and even had a United Nations department set up to perpetuate their refugee status. See Honest Reporting on UNRWA - www.honestreporting.com from which the following is taken.
Unlike the millions of refugees around the world who are the concern of the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), only the Palestinians have their own dedicated UN agency. While other refugees (including Jewish refugees from Arab lands) are successfully integrated and absorbed into other countries, why do Palestinian refugees still exist over 60 years after Israel's creation? As Lanny Davis writes:
UNRWA's definition of the refugees to whom it devotes its time and attention are well beyond the original 900,000 Palestinian refugees who were identified in 1950. Today the number served is over 4.5 million. Why? Because UNRWA has defined its mission to serve the descendents of the original 900,000. This means grandchildren or even great-grandchildren of the original Palestinian refugees are the focus of UNRWA's attention — in refugee camps located in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza. (Some might ask: Why haven't the Saudis, with all their oil money, contributed to finding homes for the great-grandparents, parents, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original Palestinian refugees over these 60 years?)
UNRWA, it could also be argued, is a negative influence on prospects for peace. There have been reports of Hamas members and potential terrorists being on the UNRWA payroll along with the use of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel textbooks in UNRWA-sponsored schools. Davis also takes issue with the anti-Israel statements of UNRWA spokespeople.
UNRWA's grant of refugee status to the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original Palestinian refugees according to the principle of patrilineal descent, with no limit on the generations that can obtain refugee status, has made it easy for host countries to flout their obligations under international law. According to Article 34 of the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, "The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalisation of refugees," and must "make every effort to expedite naturalisation proceedings" – the opposite of what happened to the Palestinians in every Arab country in which they settled, save Jordan. In fact, the bulk of UNRWA's funding comes from western donors with only a small proportion from the Arab states.
"Seven million Jews worry about the fate of Gilad Shalit, while 300 million Arabs couldn't care less what happens to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians," said Walid Taha, who lives in the Shatila camp in Beirut.
That is who the Palestinians are, politically. Who are they as people? (new page coming)
“Our problem is not that the Arabs are inventing their history, but that the Jews are forgetting theirs.” Mordechai Kedar
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And Just a reminder of a couple of inconvenient truths about Palestinian positions in the past.