, not in the Bible, not in other ancient records, not in the 19th century – only since Yasser Arafat
They are the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.
They are indistinguishable from those Arabs who live in the surrounding artificial states such as Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia or the other entities throughout the Middle East created by the colonial powers, France and Britain. Both powers were victorious after the Ottoman Turkish Empire lay defeated at the end of World War I.
Both of these European powers carved artificial borders across the corpse of what had been Turkey’s empire in the Middle East, and both France and Britain have left a resulting legacy of war and violence ever since. One such territory, previously occupied by Ottoman Turkey for 400 years, was the geographical entity known sometimes as Palestine.
But there is no such thing as a Palestinian people; no such thing as a Palestinian history; and no Palestinian language exists. There has never been any independent, sovereign Palestinian state in all of recorded history — let alone an Arab independent state of Palestine.
You will search in vain for Palestinian Arab coinage or Palestinian Arab archaeological artefacts specifically related to any Palestinian Arab king or ancient leader. But what you will find are coins, pottery, ancient scrolls, all providing conclusive, empirical and millennial evidence of Jewish civilization dotting the land known correctly as Israel — not Palestine.
The present-day so-called “Palestinians” are an Arab people sharing an overwhelmingly Muslim Arab culture, ethnicity and language identical to their fellow Arabs in the Middle East and North Africa, with few if any distinctions.
Yasser Arafat, the arch-terrorist, who imposed himself undemocratically upon the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians, was fond of creating the absurd myth that PalestinianArabs were descended from the Canaanites and the Philistines. As we know, the bigger the lie the bigger the number of people will believe it. And so Arafat twisted history in order to disinherit the indigenous native people of the land: the Jews.
Canaanites, without doubt, were the first known inhabitants of the Land of Israel before the first Hebrews, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives, settled there, and before Moses brought their descendants back to the Promised Land during the Exodus from Egypt.
The Canaanites lived both along the coastal plain and in the mountain regions, which run like a spine down the biblical territory of Samaria and Judea. Their language was similar to Hebrew and their territory stretched north into present day Lebanon and included the present day Golan Heights.
The Canaanites were finally subdued during the reign of King David. Most Canaanites were gradually assimilated into the Jewish people and were no longer a distinguishable people.
After the 8th century BC, the Canaanites no longer existed and the only people, therefore, who can trace back an historic link to ancient Canaan are the Jews, not the Palestinian Arabs. So much for Arafat’s nonsense and for the on-going attempts by today’s Palestinian Arabs, financed by vast Arab oil wealth, to hoodwink the world.
The term “Philistines” provides the source from which the term “Palestinians” is derived. Like the Arabs who gave themselves the concocted name “Palestinian,” the Philistines were alien peoples who entered the land from other lands, mostly from the Mediterranean island of Crete. That is why they were also known as the Sea People.
The modern “Palestinian Arabs” are primarily the descendants of those itinerant Arabs who illegally flooded British Mandatory Palestine from Arab territories as far away as Sudan, Egypt, Syria and what was Mesopotamia (modern Iraq). They were attracted during the early decades of the 20th century by new employment opportunities provided by the Jewish pioneers, whose heroic efforts were turning the desert green again and restoring centuries of neglect that the land had endured under a succession of alien occupiers.
Britain, during its Mandate over the territory, turned a blind eye to the flood of illegal Arab aliens entering, while at the same time often arbitrarily limiting Jewish immigration into their ancient, biblical and ancestral homeland. This was a betrayal of the Mandate given to Britain to facilitate a Jewish Homeland in the geographical territory known as Palestine.
The Philistines were non-Semitic peoples who had entered the land from their homes throughout the Aegean Islands in general and from Crete in particular. These ancient Cretans arrived in Southern Canaan and along the Egyptian coastline and were known as “Pelestim and Keretim” by the Hebrew tribes. It appears that their first settlement may have been Gaza. Later they settled in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gat and Ekron: the Pentapolis.
Their territory was primarily along the coastal Mediterranean; interestingly, a territory not dissimilar to the present day Gaza Strip. They attempted at different times to invade Judah but were turned back by the various Jewish biblical heroes and finally defeated by King David. From that time onwards they were diminished as a threat and as a separate people, finally disappearing from history and any “Palestinian” Arab attempt to claim a lineage with them is as absurd as that of links with the early Canaanites.
Moving fast forward to 73 AD, the first attempt of the Jews to reclaim their independence from the repressive yoke of Roman occupation ended when Jewish warriors and their families fled to the fortress of Masada from Jerusalem. The Romans had destroyed the Jewish capital city along with the Second Jewish Temple.
Historically documented and universally recognized, Masada, which rises to great height overlooking the Dead Sea, is where the heroic last stand took place and where the surviving warriors and their families took their own lives rather than be sent as slaves throughout the mighty Roman Empire. The Land where these stirring and epochal events took place was in the province known as Judæa. There is absolutely no mention of any place called “Palestine” before that time.
After the suppression of the Second Jewish Revolt in 135 AD against the Roman occupation, the Emperor Hadrian replaced the name of Judea (Yehuda in Hebrew from where the name Yehudim, Jews, originates) to Syria-Palæstina after the “Philistines” who were the ancient enemies of the Israelites. Hadrian did so with the explicit purpose of effacing any trace of Jewish history.
Ancient Romans, as well as so-called Palestinian Arabs, have fulfilled the Hebrew Scriptural prophecy that declares: “They lay crafty plans against Your People… they say: ‘come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more’.” — Tehilim 83:3-4 (Psalm 83:3-4). They failed, as Israel is reconstituted as a modern Jewish state in its ancestral and biblical homeland.
No such name as Palestine occurs in any ancient document. It is not written in the Bible, neither in the Hebrew Scriptures nor in the Christian Testament, not even in Assyrian, Persian, Macedonian, Ptolemaic, Seleucian or other Greek sources. There is no “Palestinian” people ever mentioned, not even by the Romans that invented the term.
If “Palestinians” allegedly are the historic inhabitants of the Holy Land, why did they not fight for independence from Roman occupation as Jews did? How is it possible that not a single “Palestinian” leader revolted against the Roman invaders or is mentioned in any historic record?
Why is there no Palestinian rebel group mentioned, as for example the Jewish Zealots? Why does every historic document mention the Jews as the native and aboriginal inhabitants, and the Greeks, Romans and others as foreigners dwelling in Judea; but no “Palestinian” people, neither as native or as foreigner? What is more, there is no reference to any “Palestinian” people in the Koran, although Muslims claim that their prophet was once in al-Aksa (meaning the farthest place) which Muslims, for political purposes, chose to be Jerusalem — an event not even mentioned in the Koran.
Saladin, a Kurd, knew the Jews and invited them to resettle in Jerusalem. He had no trouble in recognizing Jerusalem as their eternal capital city and the territory as their rightful Homeland. But he did not know any so-called Palestinians and to claim otherwise that Palestinians are the original people of Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, is not only counter to secular history but also is opposed to Islamic history.
The so-called “Palestinians” who claim Jerusalem want it so that they can take it away from the Jews for whom Jerusalem, known also as Zion, is the eternal, 3,000 year old Jewish capital.
Perhaps what links the modern day Arabs who call themselves “Palestinians” with the ancient Philistines is that both are invaders. The Philistines wanted to take from the Israelites the Holy Ark of the Covenant, while today’s so-called “Palestinian Arabs” want to take from the Jewish people the Holy City of the Covenant — Jerusalem.
A wealth of information about this and related subjects may be found at the following website. I encourage all to read it: www.think-israel.org/archives
So let me close, beginning with the words of a Christian Arab, Joseph Farah, who has made his home here in America and who knows of what he writes:
- “There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 per cent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one per cent of the landmass. But that’s too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today… No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough.”
Joseph Farah, “Myths of the Middle East”
Let us hear what other Arabs have said:
- “There is no such country as Palestine. ‘Palestine‘ is a term the Zionists invented. There is no Palestine in the Bible. Our country was for centuries part of Syria. ‘Palestine‘ is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it”. (*) Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi, Syrian Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937
“There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not”. (*) Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946
“It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but Southern Syria”. (*) Representative of Saudi Arabia at the United Nations, 1956
Concerning the Holy Land, the chairman of the Syrian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in February 1919 stated:
- “The only Arab domination since the Conquest in 635 AD hardly lasted, as such, 22 years.”
The preceding declarations by Arab politicians were issued before 1967 as they had not the slightest knowledge of the existence of any Palestinian people. How and when did they change their mind and decide that such people existed? When the State of Israel was reborn in 1948 the Arabs had still not discovered that “ancient” people. They were too busy attempting to annihilate the reconstituted sovereign State of Israel, and did not intend to create any Palestinian entity, but only to distribute the seized Jewish lands among the already existing Arab states.
The Arab armies were miraculously defeated by a tiny handful of Jewish defenders. The Arabs attempted again to destroy Israel in 1967, and were humiliated in only six days, in which they lost the lands that they had previously stolen and usurped in 1948. Those lands included Judea and Samaria, which comprise the biblical and ancestral Jewish heartland, tracing its history back some 4,000 years.
Now the world forgets such empirical history and prefers to name the ancestral Jewish territory the “West Bank”, which was illegally occupied by the Jordanian Arabs for 19 years from 1948 until its liberation in 1967.