Changing the Historical Narrative - Alan Baker
- Palestinian leaders are manipulating the history of geographic Palestine/Land of Israel.
- They have manufactured a curious claim, expressed recently by Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, that they are descended from Canaanites and are therefore the indigenous people of the area, present before the emergence of the Jewish people around the year 1500 BCE.
- Saeb Erekat's family is Bedouin. According to Bedouin genealogy, the family is part of the Huweitat clan which originated in the Hejaz area of Saudi Arabia, arrived in Palestine from the south of Jordan, and settled in the village of Abu Dis in the early twentieth century.
- Several leading scholars of Middle Eastern studies and Islamic history have confirmed that the Palestinians do not have ancient roots in the area and are trying to invent origins for themselves that predate the Jewish people's presence.
- They explain that most of the Palestinians arrived as part of the waves of immigration that began in the nineteenth century at the time of the emergence of Zionism, attracted by employment opportunities and economic benefits.
- The historical presence of the Jewish people in the "Holy Land" is well-documented, not only in the scriptures of all three monotheistic religions, and visible in extensive archeological remains, but also in historic writings by early Greek, Roman, pagan, and other visitors to the area. The fact that Christianity emanated from Judaism is further proof of the presence of a thriving Jewish community in the area.
Amb. Alan Baker, former legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israel's ambassador to Canada, participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians.
(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)