Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Myths & The Fabrication of Palestinian History

Palestinians exploit Jesus in a bizarre narrative

Golda Meir: "There were no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state? It was not as though there was a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them. They did not exist."
As quoted in The Washington Post (16 June 1969)

The vast literature proving the historic Jewish connection to the Land of Israel has been extensively manipulated and distorted as part of the Palestinian politics of nationalism.

Propaganda, indoctrination, and socialization, are essential parts of the strategy and tactics of asserting Palestinian nationhood. By appropriating to themselves the values, traditions, and historical facts that belong to the Jews, Palestinians have managed to fabricate a "legitimate" history and political traditions out of nothing while denying those of Israel.

Rewriting the history of the Land of Israel by erasing Jewish history and replacing it with a fabricated Palestinian history is a central goal of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The Palestinian leaders claim lineage from ancient history, describing the Canaanites as their direct ancestors. In the words of the PA president Mahmoud Abbas: "We said to him [Netanyahu], when he claimed the Jews have a historical right dating back to 3000 years B.C.E., we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history. This is the truth that must be said: Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history."

Palestinian scholars and media have touted the claim that the Palestinian Arab nation has been rooted in its land for thousands of years since the human settlement of the "Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite" city of Jericho—the oldest city in the history of human civilization. In their claim, the history and heritage of Jericho confirm the Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite narrative concerning the entire Palestinian land, from the sea to the river, and negate the false Zionist narrative. Jericho allegedly proves that the Palestinian nation is the most ancient and earliest of all, whose roots are the most deeply dug into history.

Palestinians also declared themselves to have been the center of historical events and peoples found in the Bible in the form of the Edomites, Amorites, Midianites, Amalekites, Ibrahim bin Azar (biblical Abraham), and al-Khadir (Prophet Elijah).

To claim that Palestinians are the original inhabitants of the Land of Israel not only goes against secular history and scientific knowledge, but it also flies in the face of Islamic religious history. Not only do the Islamic scriptures recognize the unique Jewish claims to the Land of Israel, but there is no reference whatsoever to any Palestinian people dwelling on any land called Filastin during any part of Islamic history until the twentieth century.

Another Palestinian tactic is aimed at co-opting Christianity. For the PA leaders, Jesus is defined as a Palestinian who preached Islam, thus denying not only Jewish history and Christian legitimacy but also strengthening ancient Palestinian history. Jesus is a shahid, a holy martyr of Islam, the only Palestinian prophet, and the first Palestinian shahid who was tortured in this land.

Palestinian Arabs, as opposed to Arabic-speaking residents, have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from the Islamic occupation, from the Ottoman Empire, or even from British rule since 1917. No Palestinian state has ever existed, and so, no Palestinian people has ever been robbed of its land. There is no language or dialect known as Palestinian; there is no Palestinian culture distinct from that of surrounding Arab ones; and there has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians at any time in history. For these reasons, Palestinians have been driven to fabricate a past by denying and expropriating that of Jews and Israel.

Only after the Palestinian leadership comes to terms with Israel's legitimacy and recognizes it as a Jewish state can one begin discussing the emergence of a Palestinian state that lives in peace beside the State of Israel.
David Bukay is a lecturer at the School of Political Science in the University of Haifa.
[Middle East Quarterly]


Fabricating Palestinian History -Shaul Bartal

The tactic of denying a Jewish past to sites and holy places in the Land of Israel is of relatively recent vintage. Both in 1925 and again in 1950, Palestine's Supreme Muslim Council recognized the Temple Mount as a holy site for Jews in its A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif: "Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which 'David built there an altar unto the Lord.'"

The Western Wall, the place at which Jews have prayed for millennia, has been renamed by Muslims the Wall of al-Buraq after the tethering place of the horse on which the prophet Muhammad rode in his night flight to "the farthest mosque." [But t]he Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520-66) reaffirmed Jewish rights to worship at the wall, and three centuries later, the Muslim ruler Ibrahim Pasha (son of Egypt's viceroy Muhammad Ali) issued a decree regarding the site that allowed Jews "to pay visits to it as of old."
The writer is a lecturer on Palestinian affairs at Bar-Ilan University.
(Middle East Quarterly)

No comments: