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The History and Meaning Of "Palestine" and "Palestinians"
Eretz ^ | 2001 | Joseph E. Katz

Posted on 04/05/2002 8:28:06 AM PST by samtheman

The History and Meaning Of "Palestine" and "Palestinians"

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian Arab nation . . . Palestine is a name the Romans gave to Eretz Yisrael with the express purpose of infuriating the Jews . . . . Why should we use the spiteful name meant to humiliate us?

"The British chose to call the land they mandated Palestine, and the Arabs picked it up as their nation's supposed ancient name, though they couldn't even pronounce it correctly and turned it into Falastin a fictional entity."

--- Golda Meir quoted by Sarah Honig,

Jerusalem Post, 25 November 1995

Palestine has never existed . . . as an autonomous entity.

There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent 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.

-- from "Myths of the Middle East", Joseph Farah,

Arab-American editor and journalist,

WorldNetDaily.Com, 11 October 2000

From the end of the Jewish state in antiquity to the beginning of British rule, the area now designated by the name Palestine was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries..

-- Professor Bernard Lewis,

Commentary Magazine, January 1975

Talk and writing about Israel and the Middle East feature the nouns "Palestine" and Palestinian", and the phrases "Palestinian territory" and even "Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory". All too often, these terms are used with regard to their historical or geographical meaning, so that the usage creates illusions rather than clarifies reality.

Is Jordan Palestine? Here are two Jordanian State Stamps. On the left, one from 1949 with a picture of King Abdullah of the kingdom of Jordan and bears the label of Palestine in English and Arabic. On the right, a 1964 stamp bearing the likeness of King Hussein and pictures Mandated Palestine as an undivided territory including both present day Israel and Jordan.


It has never been the name of a nation or state. It is a geographical term, used to designate the region at those times in history when there is no nation or state there.

The word itself derives from "Peleshet", a name that appears frequently in the Bible and has come into English as "Philistine". The Philistines were mediterranean people originating from Asia Minor and Greek localities. They reached the southern coast of Israel in several waves. One group arrived in the pre-patriarchal period and settled south of Beersheba in Gerar where they came into conflict with Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. Another group, coming from Crete after being repulsed from an attempted invasion of Egypt by Rameses III in 1194 BCE, seized the southern coastal area, where they founded five settlements (Gaza, Ascalon, Ashdod, Ekron and Gat). In the Persian and Greek periods, foreign settlers - chiefly from the Mediterranean islands - overran the Philistine districts. From the time of Herodotus, Greeks called the eastern coast of the Mediterranean "Syria Palaestina".

The Philistines were not Arabs nor even Semites, they were most closely related to the Greeks. They did not speak Arabic. They had no connection, ethnic, linguistic or historical with Arabia or Arabs. The name "Falastin" that Arabs today use for "Palestine" is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Greco-Roman "Palastina"; which is derived from the Peleshet, (root Pelesh) which was a general term meaning "dividers", "penetrators" or "invaders". This referred to the Philistine's invasion and conquest of the coast from the sea.

The use of the term "Palestinian" for an Arab ethnic group is a modern political creation which has no basis in fact - and had never had any international or academic credibility before 1967.


In the First Century CE, the Romans crushed the independent kingdom of Judea. After the failed rebellion of Bar Kokhba in the Second Century CE, the Roman Emperor Hadrian determined to wipe out the identity of Israel-Judah-Judea. Therefore, he took the name Palastina and imposed it on all the Land of Israel. At the same time, he changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina.

The Romans killed many Jews and sold many more in slavery. Some of those who survived still alive and free left the devastated country, but there was never a complete abandonment of the Land. There was never a time when there were not Jews and Jewish communities, though the size and conditions of those communities fluctuated greatly.


Thousands of years before the Romans invented "Palastina" the land had been known as "Canaan". The Canaanites had many tiny city-states, each one at times independent and at times a vassal of an Egyptian or Hittite king. The Canaanites never united into a state. After the Exodus from Egypt probably in the Thirteenth Century BCE but perhaps earlier -- , the Children of Israel settled in the land of Canaan. There they formed first a tribal confederation, and then the biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and the post-biblical kingdom of Judea.

From the beginning of history to this day, Israel-Judah-Judea has the only united, independent, sovereign nation-state that ever existed in "Palestine" west of the Jordan River. (In biblical times, Ammon, Moab and Edom as well as Israel had land east of the Jordan, but they disappeared in antiquity and no other nation took their place until the British invented Trans-Jordan in the 1920s.)

After the Roman conquest of Judea, "Palastina" became a province of the pagan Roman Empire and then of the Christian Byzantine Empire, and very briefly of the Zoroastrian Persian Empire. In 638 CE, an Arab-Muslim Caliph took Palastina away from the Byzantine Empire and made it part of an Arab-Muslim Empire. The Arabs, who had no name of their own for this region, adopted the Greco-Roman name Palastina, that they pronounced "Falastin".

In that period, much of the mixed population of Palastina was forced to convert to Islam and adopted the Arabic language. They were subjects of a distant Caliph who ruled them from his capital, that was first in Damascus and later in Baghdad. They did not become a nation or an independent state, or develop a distinct society or culture.

In 1099, Christian Crusaders from Europe conquered Palestina-Falastin. After 1099, it was never again under Arab rule. The Christian Crusader kingdom was politically independent, but never developed a national identity. It remained a military outpost of Christian Europe, and lasted less than 100 years. Thereafter, Palestine was joined to Syria as a subject province first of the Mameluks, ethnically mixed slave-warriors whose center was in Egypt, and then of the Ottoman Turks, whose capital was in Istanbul.

During the First World War, the British took Palestine from the Ottoman Turks. At the end of the war, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and among its subject provinces "Palestine" was assigned to the British, to govern temporarily as a mandate from the League of Nations.


Travelers to Palestine from the Western world left records of what they saw there. The theme throughout their reports is dismal: The land was empty, neglected, abandoned, desolate, fallen into ruins.

Nothing there [Jerusalem] to be seen but a little of the old walls which is yet remaining and all the rest is grass, moss and weeds

-- English pilgrim in 1590

The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population"

-- British consul in 1857

There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent [valley of Jezreel] -- not for 30 miles in either direction. . . . One may ride ten miles hereabouts and not see ten human beings.

For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee . . .

Nazareth is forlorn . . . Jericho lies a moldering ruin . . . Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation... untenanted by any living creature . . .

A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds . . a silent, mournful expanse . . . a desolation . . . . We never saw a human being on the whole route . . . . Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil had almost deserted the country . . . .

Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes . . . desolate and unlovely . . .

-- Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1867

The restoration of the "desolate and unlovely" land began in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century with the first Jewish pioneers. Their labors created newer and better conditions and opportunities, which in turn attracted migrants from many parts of the Middle East, both Arabs and others.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, confirmed by the League of Nations Mandate, commited the British Government to the principle that "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish National Home, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object. . . . " It was specified both that this area be open to "close Jewish settlement" and that the rights of all inhabitants already in the country be preserved and protected.

Mandate Palestine originally included all of what is now Jordan, as well as all of what is now Israel, and the territories between them. However, when Great Britain's prot?g? Emir Abdullah was forced to leave the ancestral Hashemite domain in Arabia, the British created a realm for him that included all of Manfate Palestine east of the Jordan River. There was no traditional or historic Arab name for this land, so it was called after the river: first Trans-Jordan and later Jordan.

By this political act, that violated the conditions of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate, the British cut more than 75 percent out of the Jewish National Home. No Jew has ever been permitted to reside in Trans-Jordan/Jordan.

Less than 25 percent then remained of Mandate Palestine, and even in this remnant, the British violated the Balfour and Mandate requirements for a "Jewish National Home" and for "close Jewish settlement". They progressively restricted where Jews could buy land, where they could live, build, farm or work.

After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel was finally able to settle some small part of those lands from which the Jews had been debarred by the British. Successive British governments regularly condemn their settlement as "illegal". In truth, it was the British who had acted illegally in banning Jews from these parts of the Jewish National Home.


During the period of the Mandate, it was the Jewish population that was known as "Palestinians" including those who served in the British Army in World War II.

British policy was to curtail their numbers and progressively limit Jewish immigration. By 1939, the White Paper virtually put an end to admission of Jews to Palestine. This policy was imposed the most stringently at the very time this Home was most desperately needed -- after the rise of Nazi power in Europe. Jews who might have developed the empty lands of Palestine and left progeny there, instead died in the gas chambers of Europe or in the seas they were trying to cross to the Promised Land.

At the same time that the British slammed the gates on Jews, they permitted or ignored massive illegal immigration into Western Palestine from Arab countries Jordan, Syria, Egypt, North Africa. In 1939, Winston Churchill noted that "So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied . . . ." Exact population statistics may be problematic, but it seems that by 1947 the number of Arabs west of the Jordan River was approximately triple of what it had been in 1900.

The current myth is that these Arabs were long established in Palestine, until the Jews came and "displaced" them. The fact is, that recent Arab immigration into Palestine "displaced" the Jews. That the massive increase in Arab population was very recent is attested by the ruling of the United Nations: That any Arab who had lived in Palestine for two years and then left in 1948 qualifies as a "Palestinian refugees".

Casual use of population statistics for Jews and Arabs in Palestine rarely consider how the proportions came to be. One factor was the British policy of keeping out Jews while bringing in Arabs. Another factor was the violence used to kill or drive out Jews even where they had been long established.

For one example: The Jewish connection with Hebron goes back to Abraham, and there has been an Israelite/Jewish community there since Joshua long before it was King David's first capital. In 1929, Arab rioters with the passive consent of the British -- killed or drove out virtually the entire Jewish community.

For another example: In 1948, Trans-Jordan seized much of Judea and Samaria (which they called The West Bank) and East Jerusalem and the Old City. They killed or drove out every Jew.

It is now often proposed as a principle of international law and morality that all places that the British and the Arabs rendered Judenrein must forever remain so. In contrast, Israel eventually allotted 17 percent of Mandate Palestine has a large and growing population of Arab citizens.


What was to become of "Palestine" after the Mandate? This question was taken up by various British and international commissions and other bodies, culminating with the United Nations in 1947. During the various deliberations, Arab officials, spokesmen and writers expressed their views on "Palestine".

"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. . . . Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it."

-- Local Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937

"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not"

-- Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian to

Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, 1946

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria."

-- Delegate of Saudi Arabia to the

United Nations Security Council, 1956,

By 1948, the Arabs had still not yet discovered their ancient nation of Falastin. When they were offered half of Palestine west of the Jordan River for a state, the offer was violently rejected. Six Arab states launched a war of annihilation against the nascent State of Israel. Their purpose was not to establish an independent Falastin. Their aim was to partition western Palestine amongst themselves.

They did not succeed in killing Israel, but Trans-Jordan succeeded in taking Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem, killing or driving out all the Jews who had lived in those places, and banning Jews of all nations from Jewish holy places. Egypt succeeded in taking the Gaza Strip. These two Arab states held these lands until 1967. Then they launched another war of annihilation against Israel, and in consequence lost the lands they had taken by war in 1948.

During those 19 years, 1948-1967, Jordan and Egypt never offered to surrendar those lands to make up an independent state of Falastin. The "Palestinians" never sought it. Nobody in the world ever suggested it, much less demanded it.

Finally, in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Movement was founded, with a charter that proclaimed its sole purpose to be the destruction of Israel. To that end it helped to precipitate the Arab attack on Israel in 1967.

The outcome of that attack then inspired an alteration in public rhetoric. As propaganda, it sounds better to speak of the liberation of Falastin than of the destruction of Israel. Much of the world, governments and media and public opinion, accept virtually without question of serious analysis the new-sprung myth of an Arab nation of Falastin, whose territory is unlawfully occupied by the Jews.

Since the end of World War I, the Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa have been given independent states in 99.5 percent of the land they claimed. Lord Balfour once expressed his hope that when the Arabs had been given so much, they would "not begrudge" the Jews the "little notch" promised to them.

[Some of the material cited above is drawn from the book From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters.].

Source: This essay is from the 15 February issue of "Time to Speak", except the paragraphs from "Is Jordan Palerstine...1967" was contributed later to EretzYisroel.Org

This page was produced by Joseph E. Katz

Middle Eastern Political and Religious History Analyst

Brooklyn, New York

Portions Copyright © 2001 "Time to Speak" Magazine,

Portions Copyright © 1984 Joan Peters, Portions Copyright © 2001 Joseph Katz

All Rights Reserved

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Israel; Syria
KEYWORDS: arabworld; eretzyisrael; godsgravesglyphs; israel; middleeast; palestine; palestinians; syria; worldhistory
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Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis ...
1 posted on 04/05/2002 8:28:06 AM PST by samtheman
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To: samtheman
Also read the following: A LETTER FROM ISRAEL
2 posted on 04/05/2002 8:40:00 AM PST by Tom Jefferson
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To: samtheman
preaching to the converted bump :)
3 posted on 04/05/2002 8:44:16 AM PST by malamute
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To: samtheman
Interesting piece. The big point: while the term Palestine may be derived from the same term used to describe the Philistines, this is insignificant considering that the Philistines were not Arab, and came from the north, not out of the Arabian desert. The modern Palestinians are not related to the Philistines.
4 posted on 04/05/2002 8:57:15 AM PST by RightWhale
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To: samtheman
Expand the Jewish state into all (soon to be former) Arab countries.
5 posted on 04/05/2002 9:09:19 AM PST by onedoug
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To: samtheman
6 posted on 04/05/2002 9:11:39 AM PST by wardaddy
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To: RightWhale
The modern Palestinians are not related to the Philistines.

I don't see the significance of this statement. Who is to say if the modern Israelis are related to the Israelites in any way but religion (and that has changed considerably). Even if all the myths are taken at face value the nation of Israel existed for only a very few centuries and that was about 3000 years ago.

This article (which gets posted about once a month) is an historical mishmash of bits and pieces taken out of context to prove a point the author wishes were true.

7 posted on 04/05/2002 9:16:42 AM PST by Seti 1
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To: samtheman
The national identity "Palestine" was adopted by "Palestinians" because it was seen as, and is a successful counter-argument to the "exchange of populations" argument for Israeli legitimacy. That is, the exchange of about one million arabs and jews from the middle east seems "fair." There were other contemporaneous exchanges too, for example India and Pakistan, or unrequited exchanges, Germans in East Europe.

To counter this, the idea of a Palestinian "nation" works as an argument, ex post facto, to explain that a discrete "nation" was affected, and therefore the fact that Jews left and were kicked out of Egypt, Libya, Jordan, etc. is argued as irrelevant.

The Palestinian Charter and other documents reflect this disturbance in pan-Arabism (now with a religious underpinning). They protest "too much" that there is a Palestinian identity, then go on to say in the future they will merge into a pan-Arab entity of some sort, acknowledging the weakness of the identity argument in itself.

The identity is fed by other things too. A common and long contrary experience with Israel, the denial of citizenship of "Palestinians" in countires like Lebanon, Syria, etc., and the use and management of their plight by various Arab states for redirecting internal dissent and pressures. Creating "Palestinians" is also profitable for UN doles and subsidies from other nations - if they decline the identity, the funds lessen. (Just like if they stop calling cities "refugee camps" funds lessen.) A newer force in propelling the identity is Western media and opinion whom are receptive to European ideas of discrete nations, an idea which has been accepted more and more in the "Arab nation" which absorbs western intellectual ideas and whims more and more - the latest being post-modernism and, interestingly, its obsession with identity.

It's all a goof complicated with numerous interests - the Jordanians know the identity is a goof - but they don't want "Palestine" back.

8 posted on 04/05/2002 9:22:57 AM PST by Shermy
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To: samtheman
But that's too much for the Arabs. They want it all.

yes and no. some arabs don't want it all, just the parts they have been kicked out of.

9 posted on 04/05/2002 9:26:03 AM PST by gfactor
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To: Seti 1
Who is to say if the modern Israelis are related to the Israelites

20% of modern Israelis aren't Jewish. Many Israelis are from Russia, America, elsewhere, and perhaps distantly related to the tibe of Judah; its been a long time since Rome. The point is the origin of the term Palestine.

10 posted on 04/05/2002 9:44:12 AM PST by RightWhale
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To: RightWhale
The point is the origin of the term Palestine

The point of the article is that the land never belonged to anyone called "Palestinian" and therefore was open to settlement by the Jews.

11 posted on 04/05/2002 9:50:54 AM PST by Seti 1
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To: Seti 1
The point of the article is that the land never belonged to anyone called "Palestinian" and therefore was open to settlement by the Jews.


Correct! You are finally beginning to get it!

12 posted on 04/05/2002 9:58:27 AM PST by dennisw
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To: Seti 1
The modern Palestinians are not related to the Philistines. "I don't see the significance of this statement."

They are Arab opportunists from adjoing Arab lands--for the most part, they have no equitable, legal or historical claim to any of the land. Their ancestorial claim advanced by Abas is a fraud--the original Palestinians were Greek and are long gone and unreleated to the modern contestants who have appropriated their name.

"Who is to say if the modern Israelis are related to the Israelites in any way but religion (and that has changed considerably)." Modern DNA evidence is sufficient to convince any trier of fact.

"Even if all the myths are taken at face value the nation of Israel existed for only a very few centuries and that was about 3000 years ago." The author here is not up to date on the historical evidence which has advanced significantly over the last several years--at this point, the evidence supports the biblical date of Exodus at 1461 BC. So your knowledge of the history is off a little also--Israel was in the land from 1420 to 176 AD--1600 years; maybe less 70 years of the Babylonian captivity. Certainly if nationhood in the land resolves the issue, the Palestinians have no claim not dwarfed by Israel.

13 posted on 04/05/2002 10:13:36 AM PST by David
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To: samtheman
Let's not get into an exercise of rationalization to justify what can't be justified. The "historic" claim by modern Israeli's to the land called Israel is a stretch at best. In the entire history of the region, Jews (not the Europeans now claiming to be Semitic) have controlled the region for only a few hundred of the 480,000 year history.

There has been continuous human habitation for 480,000 years.(Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon and Homo Sapien). There is evidence of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon coexistence.

10,000 BC: first permanent settlements in Israel

7,000 BC: walls of Jericho built

1950 BC: Abraham leaves Ur (Iraq)for Canaan.

1600 BC: Hebrews move to Egypt voluntarily abandoning the Holyland.

1486 BC: Canaanite army defeated at Megiddo by Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose, consolidating Egyptian rule over Canaan

1300 BC: Moses leads the Jews out of Egypt

1200 BC: Philistines arrive by ship and give the name "Palestine" to the area; Jews start to arrive in Land of Israel

990 BC: Jerusalem captured by King David and Israel unified as one nation

950 BC: First Temple built by King Solomon forcing Hebrew unity by controlling the Ark of the Covenant

928 BC: After a fight over taxation, Israel splits into two nations: "Judah" in the south and "Israel" in the north

824 BC: Assyria conquers Palestine

710 BD Assyria conquers Israel

586 BC: Babylon conquers Judah.

597 BC: Babylonians send army to put down a rebellion and take prominent Jews into exile

586 BC: Babylonians arrive to put down another rebellion, destroy the First Temple, and remove more Jews into exile

539 BC: Babylonians defeated by Persians

538 BC: Cyrus the Great of Persia allows the Jews to return to Israel and rebuild temple in return for loyalty oath to Persia

515 BC: Second Temple built

332 BC: Alexander the Great of Macedonia conquers Persia and takes over their empire, including Palestine; Hellenization of Israel begins

170-164 BC: Maccabee revolt against forced Hellenization; Jewish independence

63 BC: Roman legions, under General Pompey, conquer Jerusalem

37 BC: Herod the Great installed by Romans as vassal king

4 BC: Jesus born

AD 30: Jesus crucified

AD 66-70: Jewish revolt, war with Romans, destruction of Jerusalem and Second Temple

AD 73: Masada falls ending control of a terorist organization the Sicarii. Evidence exists that the Sicarii, massacred 25 men women and childred who occupied Masada before they siezed it in AD 71

AD 130-2: Hadrian outlaws circumcision and plans to rebuild Jerusalem as a pagan city

AD 132-135. Bar Kochba rebellion. Jews crushed by Romans, sold into slavery, and driven into exile (the Diaspora). Jerusalem is rebuilt as Aelia Capitolina.

AD 200-215: Mishnah edited in Israel by Rabbi Ha Nasi „h AD 313: Roman emperor Constantine converts to Christianity, grants freedom of worship to Christians throughout Empire

AD 395: Rome splits into western and eastern (Byzantium) empires

AD 638: Omar defeats the Byzantine army at the Yarmuk River (in Syria); Muslims rule Palestine

AD 1009: Caliph El-Hakim destroys Holy Sepulchre

AD 1071: Seljuk Turks forbid Christians to enter Jerusalem

AD 1095: Pope Urban II launches Crusades

AD 1099: Crusaders take Jerusalem

AD 1187: Saladin retakes Jerusalem

AD 1188-92: Third Crusade under Richard I the Lionheart fails to retake Jerusalem but wins access for pilgrims.

AD 1400: Israel under Mameluke rule from Egypt;

AD 1516: Mamelukes defeated by Ottoman empire

AD 1537: Suleyman the Magnificent orders new walls and gates built around Jerusalem

AD 1896: Theodor Herzl publishes Der Judenstat, which leads to formation of the World Zionist Congress

1917: British General Allenby captures Jerusalem from the Turks.

1923: British split off 70% of Palestine and hand it over to Emir Abdullah as "Jordan"

November 29, 1947: United Nations votes for the partition of the remainder of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem a neutral international city.

May 14, 1948: State of Israel declared.

14 posted on 04/05/2002 10:23:36 AM PST by Diogenes of Sinope
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To: David
...the evidence supports the biblical date of Exodus at 1461 BC.

Gee, I should have written 3463 instead of "about 3000". You sound like Bishop Usher. It pretty well depends on whose evidence you prefer to believe. I accepted the Exodus story for the sake of argument but if you wish to get into that we'll have to open a new thread. The evidence I read calls the Exodus story a folk memory of the Hyksos expulsion. It is quite clear (in the evidence I prefer to trust) that the Exodus could not have occurred as written many centuries after the facts in the Torah.

15 posted on 04/05/2002 10:25:10 AM PST by Seti 1
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To: David
Modern DNA evidence is sufficient to convince any trier of fact.

Yes, a very interesting study, recently published. I'll wait for some replications.

16 posted on 04/05/2002 12:28:03 PM PST by Seti 1
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To: David
Israel was in the land from 1420 to 176 AD--1600 years; maybe less 70 years of the Babylonian captivity.

I'm not sure what "in the land" is supposed to mean but in all those years except a very few hundred the land was owned by Egypt, Persia, Greece, or Rome with the Hittites and Assyrians coming in for briefer shares. By the way, all this marvelous evidence you mention has yet to turn up any mention of David, Solomon or the early Biblical kings, although there is plenty of evidence for somewhat later kings and contemporary kings of neighboring states. There is almost no evidence for Israel in this early period--just one mention on an Egyptian stele, and that mention does not include the heiroglyph for "state" indicating that Israel at this time was a nomadic tribal group.

Or did I get off the subject?

17 posted on 04/05/2002 12:46:26 PM PST by Seti 1
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To: Seti 1
This is all fine, but possession is 9/10s of the law. The Jews are there, have several Nukes and have won every war, time for the Arabs to figure this out and go for peace. I am sure as soon as Arabs develop Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, Individual rights and so forth this will happen.
18 posted on 04/05/2002 1:53:27 PM PST by pwatson
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To: pwatson
Are you saying that if the Palestinians can take the land back by coercive force they are entitled to keep it?
19 posted on 04/05/2002 2:18:40 PM PST by Diogenes of Sinope
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To: Diogenes of Sinope
Jews have been living on that land --- in smaller or greater numbers --- since biblical times. This is not a trumped-up attachment on the part of the Jews. After WWII, the European Jews didn't just cast about in search of some nice Mediterranian beach-front property... they decided it was time for all of them to go home. They went home. And that's where they are today. If the rest of the Arab world truly cared for the Palestinians (instead of truly detesting them and exiling them from Jordan, Kuwait and other places) they would have used some of their vast tracts of empty land, emulated the Jews, turned desert into garden, and given the Palestinians a home in the greater pan-Arab world... which is what they really want anyway.
20 posted on 04/05/2002 2:45:27 PM PST by samtheman
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