July 16, 2019

ALL JUST SNEECHES:

What's in a Name? The Origins of Judea, Philistia, Palestine and Israel (GRIFFIN JUDD,  JULY 16, 2019, Honest Reporting)

In a different situation, this would merely be a debate over semantics: Levant, Canaan, Judea, Philistia, Palestine, Israel, they would all be different names for the same place.

Unfortunately, a key feature of Palestinian nationalism is the erasure of Jewish history, and so what the land is called does matter.  The Palestinian Authority routinely denounces archeological finds in the city of Jerusalem as fake or illegitimate (see here, here, and here). It is common to hear claims that "Jesus was a Palestinian," but this is misleading; Jesus was most likely born in Bethlehem, which today is within the borders of the West Bank, but he was Jewish and at his time of birth Bethlehem was part of the Herodian Tetrarchy, a Jewish client state of Rome. Furthermore, claiming that Jesus was a Palestinian (or Israeli, or Arab, or Middle Easterner, etc.) is inherently wrong because none of these terms existed at the time. Jesus would certainly not have identified himself as Palestinian, because that concept existed only as a place name, and not even one in widespread use.

To be sure, the conclusion to draw is not that Palestinian Arabs have no national history or heritage, because they most certainly do. However, the Palestinian narrative of descent from Canaan continuously through to today is disingenuous at best and outright false at worst, because it implies that the idea of Palestine as a nation has existed for just as long, and this is demonstrably false.

In summary, the name Palestine originally had nothing to do with the Palestinian people, but instead was associated with first the Philistines and then the area where they had lived, while the Palestinian people are a mix of indigenous and Arabic populations who assumed the label off of the example of the British Mandate.

In contrast, the Jewish people are historically connected to the names of Judea/Judah and Israel. While this by no means invalidates Palestinian claims to peoplehood, it is important to recognize what is truth and what is not.

Blood Brothers: Palestinians and Jews Share Genetic Roots: Jews break down into three genetic groups, all of which have Middle Eastern origins - which are shared with the Palestinians and Druze. (Josie Glausiusz, Oct 20, 2015, Ha'aretz)

Confronted by the violence sweeping over Israel, it can be easy to overlook the things that Jews and Palestinians share: a deep attachment to the same sliver of contested land, a shared appetite for hummus, a common tradition of descent from the patriarch Abraham, and, as scientific research shows - a common genetic ancestry, as well.

Several major studies published in the past five years attest to these ancient hereditary links. At the forefront of these efforts are two researchers: Harry Ostrer, professor of pediatrics and pathology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, and Karl Skorecki, director of medical and research development at the Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa. Back in June 2010, and within two days of each other, the two scientists and their research teams published extensive analyses of the genetic origins of the Jewish people and their Near East ancestry.

"The closest genetic neighbors to most Jewish groups were the Palestinians, Israeli Bedouins, and Druze in addition to the Southern Europeans, including Cypriots," as Ostrer and Skorecki wrote in a review of their findings that they co-authored in the journal Human Genetics in October 2012.

Posted by at July 16, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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