I would like to respond to recent articles appearing in The Eastern Echo that concern the Israeli – “Palestinian” conflict. A study of history will show that there is no such thing as a “Palestinian” people, language or culture. The people currently being called “Palestinians” are Arabs like their neighbors.
From where then, did the name Palestine originate? The second Jewish Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E. From 132 to 135 C.E. there was a Jewish uprising because the Romans, who were rebuilding Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, were going to dedicate the site to the Emperor Hadrian and one of their gods, Jupiter.
After the Romans defeated the uprising, they added insult to injury by renaming the land of Israel to Provincia Syria Palestina, after the ancient Israeli enemies, the Philistines.
The Philistines originally had come from across the Mediterranean Sea and settled along the coast of what was then called Canaan. This settlement occurred before Abraham came along and fathered his sons Ishmael (Arabs) and Isaac (Hebrews).
Therefore, the claim by the present day Arabs-who-call-themselves-Palestinians that they are descendants of the Philistines, is impossible.
After the Romans renamed the land, all people living there were called “Palestinians.” There has been a Jewish presence in the Holy Land even during the Diaspora, while there were no great numbers of Arabs there until the Muslims came during the Seventh Century of the Common Era.
In more recent times, the “Palestinian” symphony orchestra was made up entirely of Jews, and the “Palestinian” Post was a Jewish newspaper. Arabs in the land actually rejected being called “Palestinians” until the late 1950s, early 1960s.
In 1964, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in Cairo, Egypt by Egyptian President Nasser. At the time, Israel had nothing to do with Gaza or the West Bank. These areas were completely under control of the Arabs.
So, what were they trying to be liberated from? Nothing. It was an excuse to cover up the real intention of those bent on the destruction of Israel. This is no reflection on the millions of Arabs who want and love peace.
The Arabs who are currently being called “Palestinians” have one of the highest literacy rates (92 percent) and life expectancy rates (Gaza and the West Bank rank 3rd out of 14) among Muslim Nations. If these people are being oppressed, it is by their own leaders.
Yasser Arafat (who, by the way, was born in Cairo, Egypt, so he was not “Palestinian”) was the chairman of the PLO from 1969 until his death. He took foreign aid (including U.S. money) and deposited it into personal Swiss bank accounts. These accounts totaled in the billions (spelled with a ‘b’) of dollars when he died.
The Arabs have 600 times the land mass as Israel, yet do not absorb the “Palestinian” Arabs into their lands. This is what Transjordan (now known as Jordan) was created for.
The United Nations is not much help. Out of all the countries on the planet, one-third of the U.N. debates have been over Israel. They try to pressure Israel into giving back land which it won in self defense after being attacked during wars in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. (The Sinai Peninsula, and other land, was given back).
There is also pressure to divide Jerusalem with the “Palestinian” Arabs. Jerusalem is the Holy City to Jews and Christians as it is mentioned over 800 times in the Old and New Testaments (close to a thousand times if you count Zion, which is a poetic form).
Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran. Not once. Only in the commentaries, which were written later, is the city mentioned, but not in the actual text. Muslims have Mecca and Medina as their Holy Cities. The U.N. and leaders around the world are wrong concerning the issues of dividing the land and in condemning Israel’s right to defend itself.