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Archaeologists on Twitter tear down Netanyahu’s claims that Palestinians have ‘no connection’ to homeland

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The “Philistine-Palestinian” debate  has been brought to the forefront again, this time by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Seemingly triggered — along with the rest of Twitter — by Linda Sarsour’s comments that “Jesus was Palestinian,” Netanyahu took to the social media platform to highlight what he said was proof that Palestinians were not as connected to the land of Israel and Palestine as Jews are.

Linking to a new Israeli study of DNA collected from an ancient Philistine site in the Ashkelon coastal region, Netanyahu said the study “confirms what we know from the Bible – that the origin of the Philistines is in southern Europe.”

Netanyahu went on to reference the Biblical mention of a place called Caphtor, thought to be modern-day Crete, where the Philistines allegedly migrated from before arriving in Palestine.

He went on: “There’s no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later.”

“The Palestinians’ connection to the Land of Israel is nothing compared to the 4,000 year connection that the Jewish people have with the land,” the premiere concluded.

Palestinian activists and supporters were quick to tear down Netanyahu’s comments which they  said were setting a dangerous precedent for the denial of Palestinian human rights.

Ali Abunimah, journalist and co-founder of the Electronic Intifada news website called Netanyahu’s comments a “warning sign of genocide.”

“This racial eugenics should be seen as laying the ground for justifying the expulsion of the Palestinian people. It’s a warning sign of genocide. But remember these are the #SharedValues of @EUinIsrael,” he tweeted.

Palestinian-American writer and political analyst Yousef Munayyer also took to Twitter to call out Netanyahu for his comments, noting that the premier’s father changed their family’s surname to Netanyahu from Mileikowsky, “which means from Milikow, a village in Poland.”

“Here’s the thing, Jews as well as Palestinian Muslims & Christians and countless other peoples have a connection to the land. Zionism demands a hierarchy making Jewish connection supreme to legitimize itself. Problem isn’t history but misuse of it to deny human rights,” Munayyer continued.

The Philistine trope

For years Israeli leaders, lawmakers, and their supporters have employed a series of tactics in the media and on the international stage to discredit Palestinian claims to their homeland, or “prove” superior Jewish claims to the land.

From arguing in Israeli parliament that the letter ‘p’ does not exist in the Arabic language thus proving Palestine does not exist, to presenting at the UN replicas of ancient coins allegedly found at the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem centuries ago — it’s all been tried before.

One of the tropes that makes its way into the discourse on the conflict every so often is the debate of the Philistines and their relation to present day Palestinians. Coincidentally, it happens to also be a favorite talking point of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son. 

Known for their biblical conflict with the Israelites, the Philistines are an ancient people believed to have arrived in the region in the 12th century BC, ruling over what is present day central and southern Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The word Palestine is believed to be derived from ‘Philistia’, the name used by ancient Greeks to refer to the land occupied by the Philistines. The term was later revived by the Romans, who renamed the land ‘Syria Palaestina’, and was eventually adopted by Arabs in the early Islamic era into the name ‘Falastin’, which is still used today.

In spite of Israeli attempts to establish a connection between Palestinians and the Philistines — to further the narrative that Palestinians have a lesser connection to the land than the Jewish people — the Palestinian people have rejected this narrative, instead pointing to their continuous inhabitation of the land for centuries.

As Palestinian writer and activist Omar Ghraeib put it: “I don’t care how many articles try to dis Palestinians or cliam we are of different discent. We were here, we didn’t come & occupy any body’s land or home. And we are here to stay.”

‘Muddled and problematic claims’

While most of the reactions towards Netanyahu’s comments criticized Israel’s use of archeology to justify their actions against Palestinians, some archaeologist experts took to Twitter to point to the fact that, in their opinion, the study itself and the media portrayal of it were terribly misleading.

Archaeologist and professor at the University College London (UCL) Dr. David Wengrow linked to the study in a tweet, saying “There’s so much wrong here I almost don’t know where to start.”

Wengrow went on to highlight the problem with referring to ancient populations within the confines of modern day geographic references, like “southern Europe,” given that ancient civilizations were not so tightly bounded by borders as populations are today.

“In antiquity the Eastern Mediterranean was a place of constant mixture, not bounded groups of “Europeans” and “Levantines” occasionally linked by “admixture” – that is just what we made of it,” Wengrow said.

He called the study a “clear-cut case where modern genetic studies are being (mis)used to revive outdated arguments about ancient migrations that have their origin in racial theory.”

In a separate series of tweets, archaeologist and writer Michael Press pointed out that the study, which presented as “definitive conclusions and sweeping statements” were based only on the DNA of a total of 10 ancient individuals.

“When you read the study, you see that the news stories bury or  ignore what might be the most interesting thing: *most* of the DNA of  *all 3 groups*, including the supposed early Iron Age immigrants, is said to be “local”!” Press tweeted.

He noted that such conclusive interpretations of the study should not have been made without a significantly larger sample.

“The point is this: far from letting the ancients “speak for themselves”, the DNA only show a Greek or southern European origin b/c it’s interpreted in the light of a century of Philistine research that suggested that!” he said.

Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is the Palestine correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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46 Responses

  1. bcg on July 10, 2019, 11:27 am

    Well, just consider the British ( ) – clearly they’re part of Germany. No, wait, Belgium…on second thought, Viking…or maybe Celt….then again, Roman?

    From a human rights standpoint, none of this stuff matters, just as it doesn’t matter who lived in “Israel” in 500 B.C.

    • RoHa on July 10, 2019, 7:49 pm

      Since I was born in what used to be part of the Roman Empire, and have a deep cultural connection through Latin lessons at school and reading Lindsey Davis’ novels and Asterix comics, I claim the entire Roman Empire.

      So push off, Netanyahu. Aelia Capitolina is mine!

      • LiberatePalestine on July 11, 2019, 12:30 am

        I speak Latin proficiently and feel the same deep cultural connexion to the lands described in so many classical texts. So the Zionists and their settler-colonial garrison population will have to make way for both of us.

      • Talkback on July 11, 2019, 11:39 am

        No, no, no! Let’s restore the New Kingdom of Egypt within its borders that included Canaan long before Hebrew chieftains arrived and ruled over some small villages.

      • Mooser on July 11, 2019, 8:18 pm

        “Aelia Capitolina is mine!”

        Don’t get so far ahead of yourself, there, Spartacus. Okay, you’ve seen your destiny in a vision, but now it’s time to make that vision a reality!
        Start by surreptitiously gathering an army of runaway-slaves, escaped prisoners and banned commentors. Than, march on Rome, a demonic horde demanding redress. “It’s him!” they’ll all cry, “The Devil with the redress on.”

    • Abe Bird on September 16, 2019, 6:39 am

      Yet, what all these archaeological findings has to do with the actual political debate and conspiracy theories about the nowadays Arab Palestinian people?
      Have you some facts-based intellectual claims to link today-Arabs to these ancient Greek sea-peoples?

  2. eljay on July 10, 2019, 1:09 pm

    It is a disease of the Zionist mind that enables it to:
    – accept the fantastical Zionist “fact” that geographic Palestine was and is the homeland of every person in the world who chooses to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish; but,
    – deny the very real fact that geographic Palestine was and is the very real homeland of all geographic Palestinians (i.e., people living in or up to n-generations removed from the region).

    • Abe Bird on September 16, 2019, 6:40 am

      This is you mind. Not Zionists’!

    • eljay on September 16, 2019, 8:29 am

      || Abe Bird: This is you mind. Not Zionists’! ||

      Hi, Abe. (Can I call you Big?) Let’s see if this my mind. Not Zionists’!

      1. Do I accept the fantastical Zionist “fact” that geographic Palestine was and is the homeland of every person in the world who chooses to embrace the religion-based identity of Jewish?

      No, I do not. Fail #1 for Abe.

      2. Do I deny the very real fact that geographic Palestine was and is the very real homeland of all geographic Palestinians (i.e., people living in or up to n-generations removed from the region)?

      No, I do not. Fail #2 for Abe.

      Better luck next time.

  3. LiberatePalestine on July 10, 2019, 1:57 pm

    → the letter ‘p’ does not exist in the Arabic language thus proving Palestine does not exist

    The sound [p] used to exist in Arabic. It turned into [f]. The name of Palestine, now [filasṭīn] (فلسطين), formerly began with a [p] sound. Languages do change, you know. Look at allegedly «revived» Hebrew, a Europeanised bastardisation of the ancient language.

    Note that the country is named after the Philistines, not after the Israëlites.

    But none of this matters. Even if the entire Palestinian population had migrated to Palestine the day before the publication of Der Judenstaat, that population would still legitimate rights in Palestine, and the fascist Zionist settler-colonial invading population would not.

    • Talkback on July 10, 2019, 4:06 pm

      The letter and sound ‘J’ does not exist in the Hebrew language which means that Jerusalem doesn’t exist.
      The letter “I” doesn’t exist in the Hebrew language which means that Israel doesn’t exist.

      Some Zionists are obviously to stupid to understand the effects of transliteration or Romanization.

      • LiberatePalestine on July 10, 2019, 5:08 pm

        The reference to letters was indeed foolish Zionist nonsense, which is why I mentioned sounds instead.

        The Zionists are grasping at straws. No fact or lie about the Arabic alphabet, Arabic phonology, Palestinian archæology, Biblical mythology, or the man in the moon can possibly support the odious chauvinist Zionist project.

    • dgfincham on July 11, 2019, 11:40 am

      When the British administration in Palestine introduced the citizenship law in 1925, every person in Palestine who had been resident there on the 1 August 1924 automatically became a Palestinian citizen. Subsequently the children of Palestinian fathers were automatically Palestinian citizens. Children born in Palestine with no other nationality also became Palestinian citizens. Migrants into Palestine could become citizens after a period of residence.

      Today’s Palestinians are the descendants of those Palestinian citizens of the Mandatory period. Who their distant ancestors were, and where those ancestors lived, has no political relevance today.

      In May 1948 the State of Israel was declared within the frontiers specified in the UN partition plan, about 55% of former Palestine. Although there was no legal justification for the creation of a Jewish State in Palestine, not by the partition plan and not by a right of self-determination, Israel is a legally constituted state by virtue of its recognition by other states. All of Palestine outside those declared borders rightly belongs to the Palestinian people. It includes the 23% of former Palestine conquered by Israel in 1948-49 and the 22% conquered by Israel in 1967.

      • Talkback on July 11, 2019, 2:28 pm

        dgfincham: “Israel is a legally constituted state by virtue of its recognition by other states.”

        Not at all. Recognition is neither evidence of the legitimacy nor a means of legitimation of a recognized state. It doesn’t entail moral approbation nor is it based on the internal constitutional legality/legitimacy of its origin which as a criterion of recognition was rejected in favor of the principle of effectiveness of govermental power and de facto souvereignity. Legally, recognition of a state can be neither declaratory nor translative of a territorial title. And it has more to do with politics than with law.

        dgfincham: “All of Palestine outside those declared borders rightly belongs to the Palestinian people. It includes the 23% of former Palestine conquered by Israel in 1948-49 and the 22% conquered by Israel in 1967.”

        According to your reasoning it solely depends on international recognition, if it “rightly belongs” to the Palestinian people and not on law.

      • Talkback on July 11, 2019, 2:41 pm


        And your approach completely ignores that Jews acquired the territory of Israel only through war and became a majority only by expulsion. That doesn’t become legal only because other states recognize Israel.

  4. CigarGod on July 10, 2019, 2:00 pm

    Once again, the dummy tries to baffle the dummies with bs.

    • Kay24 on July 10, 2019, 5:28 pm

      It is Netanyahu and his merry band of thieves, that is trying hard to prove in some desperate fashion, that the land they steal rightfully belongs to them. They know they have no real legitimacy. They are trying to turn over every stone to find a bone or a piece of pottery to prove it. At the same time, they dig under the Al-Aqsa Mosque with the same intentions too, and hey, if the Mosque collapses, hard luck Muslims.
      It seems Saudi Arabia must be okay with it, why else would they share Arabic bread with the Israelis?

      • LiberatePalestine on July 10, 2019, 9:41 pm

        Zionism is a good illustration of the importance of getting away from irrelevant matters. Zionists always strive to shift the discussion from issues of substance to emotional appeals rooted in such things as shards of pottery, «redemption» of Jews, «chosen people», ancient prayers, Biblical citations, feelings of «connexion» to Palestine, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust. But even if everything that the Zionists said about pottery and such were true (which is far from the case), the Zionist project would still be a monstrous crime, the Palestinians would still have a rightful claim to the land of Palestine, and the Zionists’ settler-colonial garrison population would have no claim to that land at all.

  5. Talkback on July 10, 2019, 3:48 pm

    First of all. Who can prove that this is a Phiiistinian and not a Jewish body? Secondly, if the Philistines were exiled by Nebuchadnezzar II they can’t be Palestinians.

    But we all know that even in ancient times land was empty until Jews arrive don’t we?
    Or didn’t they? There is no archeological evidence of Moses’ exodus from Egypt. The location of Mount Sinai. The stations of the tribes of Israel in the desert. Or the existence of Solomon’s temple. Or a united Kingdom, etc

    But there is this:

    Before Islam: When Saudi Arabia Was a Jewish Kingdom
    “In Yemen, the heartland of the Himyarites, …”

    Isn’t it interesting, that the names of the Kingdoms that Joshua allegedly conquered can’t be found in Palestine, but many times in Yemen? Or that camels that were used in the stories of Abraham, Joseph and Jacob were found on the Arabian peninsula at that time but not in Palestine until decades after King David?

    On the other hand. Jews can’t possibly have originated in Yemen. Just have a look at Bibi’s skin color. Who cares that he hasn’t found a 2,800 year old ring from an ancient Jewish official named Milikovsky, yet.

    • Ellen on July 11, 2019, 1:15 am

      Go to the hills of Yemen and Oman and the remote locals there are referred to as “Hebrews.” They have Hebrew names, still ancient Hebrew in the speech. They adopted a form of Islam hundreds of years ago, but are the remaining living Hebrew tribes Euro Zionist fantasize about.

  6. sbenassi on July 10, 2019, 8:57 pm

    Palestinians are native to the Levant (Palestine), and are descended from the Natufians, and closely related to the Canaanites (Lebanese), Bedouin, and Yemeni.

    White European Ashkenazi Jews are not from Palestine, but are Irano-Turko-Slavic, Greek, Italian, and Khazar (Ukranian)., and are converts to Judaism like Christians are converts to Christianity. See……/the-geography-of-jewish-ethnogen…

    Also see……/fgene.2017.00087/full

    • MartinNYC on July 11, 2019, 6:12 am

      Most archaeologists and historians agree that “palestinians,” who are Arabs, originated from Arabia. The “palestinian” charter acknowledges they are Arabs. The term “palestine” comes from a Roman term imposed on Jews and ancient Israel, “palaestina,” later anglicized into “palestine” by Latin-speaking European Christians. Roman palaestina referred to Philistines, who were Greek pirates. Rashid Khalidi, a prominent Arab academic identifying as a “palestinian,” acknowledges that claims of “palestinians” having an ancient ancestry, descending from Canaanites, Philistines etc., is an extreme myth.

      • Talkback on July 11, 2019, 9:56 am

        MartinNYC: “Most archaeologists and historians agree that “palestinians,” who are Arabs, originated from Arabia.”

        Nonsense. The Arabs invaded Palestine and arabized its local population. They didn’t colonize it like ancient Hebrewes or modern Jews.

        MartinNYC: “The “palestinian” charter acknowledges they are Arabs. ”

        Halftruth. It also acknowledges native Jews and their paternal descendants to be Palestinians.

        MartinNYC: “The term “palestine” comes from a Roman term imposed on Jews and ancient Israel, “palaestina,” later anglicized into “palestine” by Latin-speaking European Christians. Roman palaestina referred to Philistines, who were Greek pirates. ”

        Irrelevant. Palestine was the name of the pre 48 state under mandate and the state that was redeclared within the green line in 1988.

        Rashid Khalidi, a prominent Arab academic identifying as a “palestinian,” acknowledges that claims of “palestinians” having an ancient ancestry, descending from Canaanites, Philistines etc., is an extreme myth”

        Irrelevant. He also demonstrates that that a Palestinian national consciousness had it origins near the beginning of the twentieth century.

        And the nationality “Palestinian” legally exists since 1925. On the other hand there is no nationality/citizenship called “Jewish” until today which makes a “Jewish state”” a racist entity.

        You Zionists don’t get it that nothing that happend thousands of years ago has any legal relevance nowadays and that it doesn’t justify or legitimize anything.

      • oldgeezer on July 11, 2019, 10:38 am

        “having an ancient ancestry, descending from Canaanites, Philistines etc., is an extreme myth.”

        Not true. DNA tests bear out the relationship to ancient Canaanite dna.

        And in another post you made the totally ludicrous and asinine claim that there is no P in Arabic therefore….

        Certainly one of the top 10 stupid claims made by zionists.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 11, 2019, 12:03 pm

        “Most archaeologists and historians agree that “palestinians,” who are Arabs, originated from Arabia.”

        No they don’t. They certainly do not.

        There is zero evidence of any mass movement of population from the Arabian peninsula to the Levant. As is the case in most similar situations, we are talking about a small number of male settlers who spread their language and culture to an existing population, not population replacement by the invaders. The latter is in fact very rare. You only have to look at an average Gulf Arab and compare him or her to a typical Levantine Arab to see that they clearly have different origins. Arab is a linguistic and cultural label, not a genetic one.

        Even the early Zionists – among them one David Gruen (clearly indigenous to the Middle East with a name like that, eh?) readily acknowledged not only that the Palestinians were native to the region, but that they were very likely the descendants of Biblical era Jews. The absurd notion that European and Middle Eastern Jews were one ‘people’ who were all descended from the Levant came along later.

      • LiberatePalestine on July 11, 2019, 2:47 pm

        The fact that the Palestinians share the language, religion, and some of the culture of Arabia does not imply that the Palestinians’ ancestors came from Arabia any more than the presence of European languages, cultures, and religion in most of sub-Saharan Africa implies that the people of sub-Saharan Africa are of European origin.

  7. MartinNYC on July 10, 2019, 8:58 pm

    Bibi is correct.

    Philistines, who were originally associated with the term “palestine,” although, there is no evidence they actually called the territory they occupied “palestine,” became extinct in the 6th century BCE, having been decimated by the Babylonians. Thus, “palestine” has been irrelevant for 2,500+ years. There is absolutely zero cultural or genetic links between Philistines, of European origin, likely Greek ethnicity, and Arabs, who began calling themselves “palestinians” comparatively recently. The majority of archaeologists and historians agree they originate from Arabia. The “palestinian charter” boasts of their Arab ethnicity.

    Indeed, the term “palestinian” originally applied to Jews in the British Mandate, nicknamed “palestine,” dusted off from an old Roman term, “palaestina,” imposed on Jews, in retribution for the Second Jewish Revolt. My Jewish family members in the Mandate had “palestinian” stamped on documents. It was a Roman attempt to erase the ancient Jewish heritage of the land. Arabs in the Mandate rejected “palestine” and “palestinian” as Western inventions, which, of course, they are. Arabs had referred to Syria, including southern Syria, by an actual Arabic word, “Sham,” not “palestine.” There is no letter p in Arabic. For Arabs, there was no such country called “palestine.” Thus, had Jews not rebelled against the occupying Romans, the terms “palestine” and “palestinian” would not even be used today. Only much later after Jews in the Mandate became Israelis did Arabs begin calling themselves “palestinians,” as anti-Israel propaganda.

    • Darcha on July 11, 2019, 2:56 am

      Do you not ever tire of these fairy tales? Are you never embarrassed by your childish insistence on not capitalizing the P in ‘Palestine’ and putting the misspelled name in scare quotes?
      — If Palestine was ‘dead’ by the 6th century BCE, why was Herodotus calling the place Palestine in the 5th century BCE, Aristotle doing the same in the 4th BCE and Polemon and Pausanias in the 2nd BCE?
      –Your family members had ‘Palestinian’ in their documents because they were citizens of the Mandate State of Palestine. If you were to take the trouble to read actual history, for example the Mandate Report on the Disturbances of May 1921, you would know that the British authorities most frequent labels for Zionist immigrants were ‘colonists’ and ‘Jews’. Their designations for Christians and Muslims were ‘native’, ‘Arab’ or by religion. And it goes without saying that, among the early Zionists, they preferred the colonist designation and disdained any idea of being considered native. ‘We have come as Europeans’, said the Pole Ben Gurion in 1934. The Ukrainian Jabotinsky boasted ‘We Jews have nothing in common with what is called the “Orient,” thank God.’ Jewish Agency leader Berl Katznelson put it best: ‘Never before has the WHITE MAN [!] undertaken COLONIZATION with that sense of justice and social progress which fills the Jew who comes to Palestine.’

      • Marnie on July 12, 2019, 4:38 am

        And the more recent jerusalem post was the palestine post long before.

    • Talkback on July 11, 2019, 2:59 am

      MartinNYC: “Thus, “palestine” has been irrelevant for 2,500+ years”.

      Nope. Philistine has. Palestine has been legally relevant since mandate times as Palestine was one of the successor states detached from Turkey (former Ottoman Empire).

      MartinNYC: “The majority of archaeologists and historians agree they originate from Arabia.”

      Hasbaranonsense. Only 5% of the Palestinians are descendants of Arabians, because Arabians ‘only’ invaded Palestine with their army and not colonized it like the Zioinstsa and than enforced their cultur and language. On the other hand there’s no evidence of the exile of Hebrews. Go figure what happened to them. Ben Gurion and others claimed that most if not almost all of them are amongst the ascendents of Palestinians.

      MartinNYC: “Indeed, the term “palestinian” originally applied to Jews in the British Mandate, nicknamed “palestine,”

      Hasbara nonsense, “Palestinians” was the nationality of all citizens of the state of Palestine under mandate before 1948.

      MartinNYC: “My Jewish family members in the Mandate had “palestinian” stamped on documents. It was a Roman attempt to erase the ancient Jewish heritage of the land.”

      Hasbaranonsense. All citizens of Palestine had “Palestinian” stamped in their documents and another entry that showed which “nationality WITHIN citizenship” (Jew, Arab, etc.) they had.

      I don’t want to shock you, but the Romans played no role in the 20st century. You may update your knowledge of history. Maybe finish high school?

      MartinNYC:: “There is no letter p in Arabic. For Arabs, there was no such country called “palestine.”

      What a tremendously stupid comment to claim that the Arabs don’t use the roman alphabet or the sounds of the anglicised word “Palestine”. There is no letter “J” in Hebrew either. So what does that tell you about the anglicised word “Jerusalem” which is not the Hebrew name for Jerusalem?

      MartinNYC: “Only much later after Jews in the Mandate became Israelis did Arabs begin calling themselves “palestinians,” as anti-Israel propaganda.”

      Hasbara nonsense, because legally these Arabs were still “Palestinians” being citizens of Palestine. They only changed their view which Jews they considered to be Palestinians and that excluded foreign Jewish settlers and those illegal immigrants who had never acquired Palestinian citizenship.

      You are just spouting one debunked Hasbara idiocy after another.

      • Misterioso on July 11, 2019, 9:16 am


        BINGO!! These Hasbara bull crap artists are only making complete fools of themselves.

      • Talkback on July 11, 2019, 11:27 am

        I just realized that Jews have never existed, because there is no letter “J” in the Hebrew alphabet. ROFL

      • MHughes976 on July 11, 2019, 1:19 pm

        There are a couple more references to ‘Palestine’ than to ‘Land of Israel’ in the Bible. The scope of those references can be contested but the name Palestine is very far from a Roman invention. I don’t know why I find that particular claim quite so disturbing and annoying.

    • zaid on July 11, 2019, 3:03 am

      -Arab is a linguistic group like latino and not a racial one .
      -There are no historians or archeologists that says Modern Palestinians are from Arabia .quite the opposite actually.
      -Modern ancient DNA proved that palestinians are the only indigeneous people to the land of Palestine,7340,L-5498065,00.html

    • Misterioso on July 11, 2019, 10:24 am



      For your much needed edification and that of Bibi Netanyahu, father of Polish origin, real family name, Mileikowsky.

      The Jebusite/Canaanites were ancestors of today’s Palestinians and they founded Jerusalem circa 3000 BCE. Originally known as Jebus, the first recorded reference to it as “Rushalimum” or “Urussalim,” site of the sacred Foundation Rock, appears in Egyptian Execration Texts of the nineteenth century BCE, nearly 800 years before it is alleged King David was born. Its name “seems to have incorporated the name of the Syrian god Shalem [the Canaanite God of Dusk], who was identified with the setting sun or the evening star…and] can probably be translated as ‘Shalem has founded’.” (Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem, One City, Three Faiths; Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996, pp. 6-7)

      It is estimated that the Hebrews did not invade until circa 1184 BCE and their resulting United Kingdom of Israel, which never controlled the coast from Jaffa to Gaza, lasted only about 75–80 years, less than a blip in the history of Canaan and Palestine. Even the Hasmonean Dynasty under the Maccabees lasted only about 70 years (circa 140 – 70 BCE) and it was under Roman tutelage.

      BTW, no credible archaeological evidence, or more importantly, writings of contemporaneous civilizations, have been found that prove Solomon or David actually existed. (Nor has any evidence been discovered to confirm that the Jewish exodus from Egypt ever occurred. )

      The region between the Jordan River and the Med. Sea was referred to as “Palestine” by the Greek historian Herodotus (“the father of history”) during the 5th century BCE.

      100 years later, in the mid-4th Century BCE, Aristotle referred to Palestine while discussing the Dead Sea in his Meteorology. “Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake in Palestine….”

      Jewish historian Josephus’s (c.37-100 CE) The Jewish War, Antiquities of the Jews contains many references to both “Palestine” and “Palestinians.”

      Contemporaries of Jesus also routinely referred to Palestine as “Palestine.” In the first decade of the 1st Century, the Roman poet Ovid mentioned Palestine in both his famed mythological poem “Metamorphoses” and his erotic elegy “The Art of Love.” He also wrote of “the waters of Palestine” in his calendrical poem “Fasti.” Around the same time, Tibullus, another Latin poet, wrote of “the crowded cities of Palestine” in the section “Messalla’s Triumph” in his poem “Delia.”

      The Zionist claim that the Roman emperor Hadrian officially changed the name of the region to “Syria Palaestina” or simply “Palestine,” in 135 CE is contradicted by the fact that by then, the terms “Syrian Palestine” and “Palestine” had already been in use for over 600 years.

      To quote the opening sentence of the section entitled “Filastin” that appears in the book “Dictionary of the Lands,” written by geographer Yaqut ibn Abdullah al-Hamawi in 1225: “Filastin: It is the last one of the regions of Syria in the direction of Egypt. Its most famous cities are Ashkelon, Ramle, Gaza, Arsuf, Caesaria, Nablus, Jericho, Jaffa and Beit Guvrin.”

      By about 1300 CE there were virtually no Jews in Palestine, which was a recognized geographical concept using coinage with “Filistin” written on them. There were diaries of Palestinian travelers who said they missed “Palestine” and a distinctive Palestinian dialect of Arabic had evolved. From 1300 on, the vast majority of people who lived in Palestine were Christians and Muslims.

      In 1603, Shakespeare wrote in his play Othello: “Emilia: I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.” (Act IV, Scene iii.)

      In 1863, The Religious Tract Society of London published its “Pictorial Journey Through the Holy Land; or Scenes of Palestine.” In this work Beersheba is described as the southern limit of Palestine. Beersheba lies south-east of Gaza on the northern edge of the Negev desert. Palestine is described as “south of Lebanon.”

      European tourist books of the nineteenth century refer to “Palestine,” as did Theodor Herzl in his correspondence and the 1917 Balfour Declaration as well as the 1922 Class A League of Nations British Mandate.

      Renowned historian/anthropologist and “Holy Land” specialist, Professor Ilene Beatty: “When we speak of ‘Palestinians’ or of the ‘Arab population [of Palestine]‘, we must bear in mind their Canaanite origin. This is important because their legal right to the country stems… from the fact that the Canaanites were first, which gives them priority; their descendants have continued to live there, which gives them continuity; and (except for the 800,000 dispossessed refugees [of 1948 along with the further hundreds of thousands expelled before and after the war Israel launched on 5 June 1967]) they are still living there, which gives them present possession. Thus we see that on purely statistical grounds they have a proven legal right to their own land.” (“Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan,” 1957)

      Front. Genet., 21 June 2017 |

      The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish

      Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.

      “The non-Levantine origin of AJs [Ashkenazi Jews] is further supported by an ancient DNA analysis of six Natufians and a Levantine Neolithic (Lazaridis et al., 2016), some of the most likely Judaean progenitors (Finkelstein and Silberman, 2002; Frendo, 2004). In a principle component analysis (PCA), the ancient Levantines clustered predominantly with modern-day Palestinians and Bedouins and marginally overlapped with Arabian Jews, whereas AJs clustered away from Levantine individuals and adjacent to Neolithic Anatolians and Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans.”

      “Overall, the combined results are in a strong agreement with the predictions of the Irano-Turko-Slavic hypothesis (Table 1) and rule out an ancient Levantine origin for AJs, which is predominant among modern-day Levantine populations (e.g., Bedouins and Palestinians). This is not surprising since Jews differed in cultural practices and norms (Sand, 2011) and tended to adopt local customs (Falk, 2006). Very little Palestinian Jewish culture survived outside of Palestine (Sand, 2009). For example, the folklore and folkways of the Jews in northern Europe is distinctly pre-Christian German (Patai, 1983) and Slavic in origin, which disappeared among the latter (Wexler, 1993, 2012).”

      “The Racist Gene” Haaretz, June 21, 2017: EXCERPT: “In 2013, the results were published of a study by the prominent British geneticist Martin Richards, who specializes in researching the maternal genome, which passes from the mother to all of her descendants. Richards researched the maternal genetic ancestry of Ashkenazi Jews. And lo and behold, he discovered that 80 percent or more (!) of the maternal genetic makeup of Ashkenazi Jews derives from European women – goys, heaven forbid. Gevalt! Devoid of any gene originating in the Land of Israel.”

    • pjdude on July 11, 2019, 4:38 pm

      why is it that the most ignorant are always the ones who feel they are the most knowledgable and feel the need to lecture. you can repeat your lies all you want still wont make it true.

  8. Another Dave on July 11, 2019, 8:58 am

    You know what else DNA tells us? It implies that all humans evolved in Africa, that we left that part of the world and almost all of our ancestors traveled thru modern day Israel on their way to the rest of the world.

    It even shows that ‘we’ separated from our simian cousins about 10 million years ago.

    The study of religion argues that the concept of god (as a demonstrable concept) is only about 10 thousand years old.

    So, really, we all have the right to return to Israel. :)

  9. MHughes976 on July 11, 2019, 9:36 am

    The name ‘Palestine’ Is the only really attested mane for the whole of what eljay calls ‘geographic Palestine’ from pre-Roman times and it was in constant though not very common use even among Jewish writers. I stand (mostly);by my essay in Nondoweiss for June 23 2013 on that matter! The Romans gave international currency to ‘Judaea’ A’s was natural considering the importance to them over many centuries of their Hasmonean and Herodian allies.
    There is no record of relevant, massive population transfer in ancient or medieval times, except for the claimed import of Iraqis around 700 BCE. So the population of modern times must be descended to a significant degree from the ancient one. Of course families may have changed their religion, language and culture more than once. What degree of cultural and what degree of genetic connection is supposed to matter?
    Mind you, I don’t think that Jesus would have claimed to or would have been regarded by others as a ‘Palestinian’. Though people referred to the place as Palestine there was no agreed name for non-Jewish inhabitants: see Mark’s rather awkward ‘Syrophoenician’ and Matthew’s rather archaic ‘Canaanite’ for the lady who argued with Jesus. Greek-speaking Jews called them ‘foreigners’.

  10. Vera Gottlieb on July 11, 2019, 10:55 am

    For that matter, Ashkenazis don’t have connection to “homeland” either.

    • MHughes976 on July 12, 2019, 6:01 pm

      ‘The Bible and Interpretation’ site has the story, in a Biblical Archaeology Society presentation, to which Netanyahu was reacting. I wouldn’t entirely rubbish it. It does seem to me to support the idea that there was a wave of immigrants who intermarried with longer-established people to form at least some of those who became known as Palestinians and probably contributed importantly to the local culture. We have long known that there were connections between Philistine and Mycenaean material culture. I would think that this coheres well with the multicultural picture of ancient Palestine that I tried to present to Mondoweiss readers in June 2013.
      Those who like to see the authority of the Bible confirmed will note that according to Genesis 20 the Palestinians were there well before the Israelites.
      Also on B and I at the moment there’s an article by Joe Zias on the awful misappropriation of science to support the Masada myth, also one from the magazine ‘Hyperallergic’ about the involvement of science and art in propaganda about the cultural heritage of the wider ME, which led me to another article there about the Bible Lands Museum in J’lem about the ruthless plunder of artifacts in the OT.

  11. Hussein Hammami on July 12, 2019, 7:27 am

    Irrespective of the nature of the connection Palestinians have with Palestine, it is certainly way stronger than the connection that this Polish Jew has with it. Netanyahu’s only claim to a connection with Palestine rests solely on the power of the gun

    • MHughes976 on July 12, 2019, 6:07 pm

      That is so true, you know. Everyone has some sort of connection with place of birth and upbringing, sometimes maybe negative but always objectively based and usually significant to the person. Yet in this flood of rhetoric about connections to the Land feelings of religious exaltation, which are wholly subjective, are treated seriously and the most basic and objective connections ignored.

  12. James Canning on July 12, 2019, 10:52 am

    The Palestinians to some extent descend from the people who lived in Palestine 2000 years ago. Does Netanyahu claim otherwise?

  13. xi557xi on July 13, 2019, 9:39 am

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