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How the Goliath of the Jerusalem Settler Movement Persuaded the World It’s Really David
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Israeli police forced out the Siyam family from their home in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem last week, the final chapter in their 25-year legal battle against a powerful settler organisation.

The family’s defeat represented much more than just another eviction. It was intended to land a crushing blow against the hopes of some 20,000 Palestinians living in the shadow of the Old City walls and Al Aqsa mosque.

Dozens of families in the Silwan neighbourhood have endured the same fate as the Siyams, and the Israeli courts have approved the imminent eviction of many hundreds more Palestinians from the area.

But, unlike those families, the Siyams’ predicament briefly caught public attention. That was because one of them, Jawad Siyam, has become a figurehead of Silwan’s resistance efforts.

Mr Siyam, a social worker, has led the fight against Elad, a wealthy settler group that since the early 1990s has been slowly erasing Silwan’s Palestinian identity, in order to remake it as the City of David archeological park.

Mr Siyam has served as a spokesman, drawing attention to Silwan’s plight. He has also helped to organise the community, setting up youth and cultural centres to fortify Silwan’s identity and sense of purpose in the face of Israel’s relentless oppression.

However, the settlers of Elad want Silwan dismembered, not strengthened.

Elad’s mission is to strip away the Palestinian community to reveal crumbling relics beneath, which it claims are proof that King David founded his Israelite kingdom there 3,000 years ago.

The history and archeological rationalisations may be murky, but the political vision is clear. The Palestinians of Silwan are to be forced out like unwelcome squatters.

An Israeli human rights group, Peace Now, refers to plans for the City of David as “the transformation of Silwan into a Disneyland of the messianic extreme right wing”.

It is the most unequal fight imaginable – a story of David and Goliath, in which the giant fools the world into believing he is the underdog.

It has pitted Mr Siyam and other residents against not only the settlers, but the US and Israeli governments, the police and courts, archaeologists, planning authorities, national parks officials and unwitting tourists.

And, adding to their woes, Silwan’s residents are being forced to fight both above and below ground at the same time.

The walls and foundations of dozens of houses are cracking and sinking because the Israeli authorities have licensed Elad to flout normal safety regulations and excavate immediately below the community’s homes. Several families have had to be evacuated.

Late last month Elad flexed its muscles again, this time as it put the finishing touches to its latest touristic project: a tunnel under Silwan that reaches to the foot of Al Aqsa.

On Elad’s behalf, the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, wielded a sledgehammer to smash down a symbolic wall inaugurating the tunnel, which has been renamed the Pilgrimage Road.

Elad claims – though many archaeologists doubt it – that in Roman times the tunnel was a street used by Jews to ascend to a temple on the site where today stands the Islamic holy site of Al Aqsa.

The participation of the two US envoys in the ceremony offered further proof that Washington is tearing up the peacemaking rulebook, destroying any hope the Palestinians might once have had of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Mr Friedman called the City of David complex – at the core of occupied Palestinian Jerusalem – “an essential component of the national heritage of the State of Israel”. Ending the occupation there would be “akin to America returning the Statue of Liberty”.

While Israel, backed by the US, smashes Silwan’s foundations, it is also dominating the sky above it.

Last month Israel’s highest planning body approved a cable car from Israeli territory in West Jerusalem into the centre of Silwan.

It will connect with the City of David and a network of boardwalks, coffee shops and touristic tunnels, such as like the Pilgrimage Road, all run by Elad settlers, to slice apart Silwan.

And to signal how the neighbourhood is being reinvented, the Israeli municipality enforcing the occupation in East Jerusalem recently named several of Silwan’s main streets after famous Jewish rabbis.

Former mayor Nir Barkat has said the goal of all this development is to bring 10 million tourists a year to Silwan, so that they “understand who is really the landlord in this city”.

Few outsiders appear to object. This month, the tourism website TripAdvisor was taken to task by Amnesty International for recommending the City of David as a top attraction in Jerusalem.

And now, Elad has felled the family of Jawad Siyam in a bid to crush the community’s spirits and remaining sense of defiance.

As it has with so many of Silwan’s homeowners, Elad waged a decades-long legal battle against the family to drain them of funds and stamina.

The Siyams’ fate was finally sealed last month when the Israeli courts extended the use of a 70-year-old, draconian piece of legislation, the Absentee Property Law, to Silwan.

The law was crafted specifically to steal the lands and homes of 750,000 Palestinian refugees expelled in 1948 by the new state of Israel.

Ownership of the Siyams’ home is shared between Jawad’s uncles and aunts, some of them classified by Israel as “absentees” because they now live abroad.

As a result, an Israeli official with the title Custodian of Absentee Property claimed ownership of sections of the house belonging to these relatives, and then, in violation of his obligations under international law, sold them on to Elad. Police strong-armed the family out last week.

To add insult to injury, the court also approved Elad seizing money raised via crowdfunding by more than 200 Israeli peace activists, with the aim of helping the Siyams with their legal costs.

Palestinians such as Jawad Siyam exist all over the occupied territories – men and women who have given Palestinians a sense of hope, commitment and steadfastness in the face of Israel’s machinery of dispossession.

When Israel targets Jawad Siyam, crushes his spirits, it sends an unmistakeable message not only to other Palestinians, but to the international community itself, that peace is not on its agenda.

A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

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Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Israel/Palestine 
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  1. A123 says:

    Lets fix that headline:

    How the Goliath of the Muslim Occupation Movement Failed to Persuade the World It’s Really David

    The Muslim Occupiers of Judea and Samaria had some good times when anti-Semitic gatekeepers of the ultra left media machine were able to cover up and deceive for them. They created a fiction about a nonexistent Muslim state solely present on land West of the Jordan river. Except that lie could only work with Fake Media support. Key anti-Semitic collaborators such as The New York Times have been exposed and are now ineffective at perpetuating myths about fictitious states that never were.

    The truth about Palestine is simple:
    — Over 3/4 of the land went to the Goliath of Islam
    — Less than 1/4 of the land went to the David of Judaism

    Peace is very possible, but there is a real need to help Muslim Occupiers honorably relocate out of the Jewish lands of Judea and Samria. It would help if the side that got the Goliath share, over 3/4 of the land, offers some of that up to achieve a workable compromise.

    PEACE

    • Agree: Lot
  2. @A123

    You write:

    Over 3/4 of the land went to the Goliath of Islam
    — Less than 1/4 of the land went to the David of Judaism

    What you forget to tell (your first mistake) is that 100% of the land belonged to the Palestinians (who were predominantly Christians and Muslims besides a few Jews). Why should “Judaism” get the best part of the land of the Palestinians leaving the desert for Jordanians and Palestinians?

    Your second mistake, the Jordanians (or Muslims) didn’t get anything at all. Jordan was already their land. How could they get what was theirs? The occupiers are the Zionists and to take the land they had to resort to violence. To live there, Zionists have to commit crimes against the Palestinians, have to pervert history and to silence critics. Richard Falk says: “the Zionist influence over scholarly and media discourse (…) is so great that forthright writing (…) is censored, self-censored, and attacked as ‘biased.’ He says further: “(…) Israel due to geopolitical backing and discourse control has succeeded in having its most flagrant international crimes including (…) state terror ‘legalized’.” Benny Morris explains how history is falsified:

    Benny Morris reveals more about the Israeli conspiracy to cover-up the Nakba

    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/07/reveals-israeli-conspiracy/

  3. A123 says:

    What you forget to tell (your first mistake) is that 100% of the land belonged to the Palestinians (who were predominantly Christians and Muslims besides a few Jews).

    By Palestinian do you actually mean Arab?

    The oldest recognized form of Palestinian was the Levant. It covered a huge area with multiple ethnicities and sub-groups. There is no such thing as a single Palestinian ethnicity. No one can lay claim to Jerusalem and surrounding territories based on race.

    Why should “Judaism” get the best part of the land of the Palestinians leaving the desert for Jordanians and Palestinians?

    Who’s land was it in 500 AD? Jews and Christians primarily. It was certainly 100% Muslim free. The first invading forces of the followers of Mohammad had not yet arrived. So a different question is needed.

    Why should Islam be able to keep the best lands of Palestine that they stole from Jews and Christians?

    Given that the descendants of invaders and occupiers are not the ones who actually stole the land, there is both goodwill and cash available to buy out these claims. It offers those — who through no fault of their own — born on the wrong side of the line the chance to honorably return to their authentic homeland. Certainly hope of a better life than Gaza, where al’Hamas mismanagement and theft of supplies for the water system has destroyed the aquifer.

    PEACE

  4. @A123

    Who’s land was it in 500 AD? Jews and Christians primarily

    Who cares? If everyone decided to go back to historic borders, there would be chaos. What makes the zionist movement especially reprehensible is that they went in there with the intent of committing ethnic cleansing. They knew exactly what they wanted to do.

    The first invading forces of the followers of Mohammad had not yet arrived.

    Muhammad was dead at the time, so not sure what you are babbling about. Nevertheless, the Arab invasion of Palestine never dispossessed anyone. It was a change in management, and not demographics.

    It offers those — who through no fault of their own — born on the wrong side of the line the chance to honorably return to their authentic homeland.

    After you AshkenNAZIS return to eastern Europe.

    ‘SHALOM’

    • Replies: @A123
    , @RobinG
  5. J says: • Website

    ELAD is a NGO with a few donors, only an anti-Semite could describe it a giant, a goliath. And to describe the illegal Arab squatters in Jerusalem as David, is absurd, because they have the financial and political power of the Muslim world and the considerable influence of the Jewish left and its fellow travelers in America and Europe.

    Silwan itself was a deserted wasteland sitting on two thousand years old ruins of a Jewish village. With the return of the Jews to Jerusalem and the economic development they created, a steady inflow of Arab peasants and workers settled in that no-man’s land out of the City limits. Now, thanks to the left, they are presumed to have property claims on the land, even if is on archeological findings and it had been legally purchased from the Colonial power, the English mandatorial government.

    When foreigners or native anarchists occupy an empty building in any European capital, the Government does not sue them 25 years but sends in the police and the occupation is finished. The squatters in California too are being moved, although those having build camps under the bridges are mostly there. I bet in less than 25 years they will be gone.

    The fact that it takes 25 years to evict illegal squatters shows how weak we are, how timorous Israeli government is. The Arabs and the liberals see this incredible weakness, and feel vindicated. very bad for us.

  6. @A123

    By Palestinian I mean actually Palestinian. Shlomo Sand says that Palestinians are not Arabs. They are the people who have always lived in the region and who were expelled by Zionists. Any normal person notices that this is wrong. Palestine is their ancienty homeland. If you want to talk about a single ethnicity, you’ll have to say that there is no single Jewish ethnicity.

    • Agree: Tsigantes
    • Replies: @J
  7. Anon[347] • Disclaimer says:
    @A123

    LOL..is this satire? The NYT antisemitic? I’d state that you’re a moron but your merely propagandist who lacks a morsel of credibility, which is the general problem that Jews are facing the world over.

    If the NYT was antisemitic, they’d instigate for outright war against “Israel” (Judea) until we got it, for its genocidal ethnonationalism and lifelong open punishment of millions of innocents, as it did Germany for less.

    Your transparent cover of a philo-semitic, Jew run newspaper is a transparent propaganda technique that further discredits and leads to further animosity against Jews at a time when they don’t have any friends (or even disinterested gentiles) to spare.

    Hasbara apparently had an alert and their morning guy had had his coffee and was perky and ready to go with fresh bullshit.

    If you want any sympathy for Judea and “Samaria” (in quotes because you’re a fucking retard), the majority of Jews will immediately have to support European ethnonationalism. They won’t, and so you can go fuck yourself bloody for your groups rank hypocrisy that is its calling card and why it is absolutely and rightly hated.

    Antisemitism is the duty of its humanity to assure its survival in the face of the genocidal Jewish threat. Philo semitism is not the moral value that you are trying to rely on as a shared assumption to support your argument (proving that you are bad at rhetoric as well as credible propaganda). Antisemitism is loyalty to humanity.

    Peace is very possible, but there is a real need to help Muslim Occupiers honorably relocate out of the Jewish lands of Judea and Samria.

    First, you rank liar, peace is “not very possible” because the Jewish books demand an eventual genocide of Philistine/Palestine. You speak more bullshit, which is the Jewish currency.

    Second: Samaria is Israeli, not Jewish, jerkoff. The House of Joseph was the participant in Exodus, not Judah except for Hur. You can claim Judea, but do not misstep and claim Samaria to be “Jewish”. Your god would not like that. Judah was the proven and admitted enemy of Israel (and still is), and you well know it (whatever the justifications that you sell yourself are). And perhaps you high admixture neanderthals are merely Babylonian replacements, equivalent to the Samaritans and well mixed with (and perhaps equivalent to) your “neighbor” Edom. Relocated to Babylon and “returned” as the Samaritans were, who is to say you are not? Not you, as you observably fabricate like you breath.

    Third: you were relegated to your original borders, which you then expanded. You have no right to the land the further land that you are now claiming you only have a percentage of. That land was occupied. You only have a right to the land that you were originally given, especially as mere Judah, which you have 100% of. There is no possible success in your spin to turn the near East into “Greater Judea”. The attempt alone serves as your groups further evidence for prosecution.

    The truth about Palestine is simple:
    — Over 3/4 of the land went to the Goliath of Islam
    — Less than 1/4 of the land went to the David of Judaism

    Except that the millions of innocent captive Palestinians, whose entire lives you claim control over, are the ones relegated to throwing rocks, like David, against the Goliath Israeli Army. The visible allegory is clear to a child. Your attempt to spin this allegory will always fail due to this dynamic.

  8. Anon[184] • Disclaimer says:
    @A123

    Why should Islam be able to keep the best lands of Palestine that they stole from Jews and Christians?

    You mean the land that the Jewish books mandate be only occupied by Jews in the future, and no Christians?

    In implying that Christians (and by extension Europeans) are to be regifted Israel in any significant number after the future Arab mass genocide (again, don’t lie or I’ll point it out with your scripture this time), you are again caught in a lie.

    Pure shit comes out of your figurative mouth like you breath: weak and watery.

    And, yes, our favorite Jewish game of Semitic musical chairs. An old Jewish frame but a reliable one.

    Shlomo Greenstein:

    “Hey Jewish subcult one, Jewish subcult two is our enemy, lets go to war with it”!

    “Psst… hey Jewish subcult 2, Jewish subcult 1 sucks amirite? … time for Jihad until we get another world war and the Jewish apocalypse”!

    Jews largely sit on the sideline and profit. Non-Jews fight and kill one another by the millions.

    Sound familiar, cockroach?

    I see one common denominator in these international wars: the Jewish group.

    A better game is to go back further to the time when Israel and Judah were clearly different Kingdoms and enemies, when Jews were suspiciously only proximate to Edom, and before the Assyrian abduction and the Jewish usurpation of Israeli identity in Israel’s absence. What is Judah’s inheritance then? Whose land are you occupying now? Be careful as to how antisemitic in your condemnation of Israel your necessary answer gets.

    If your propaganda was to a better standard then I might be kinder. Instead, its the same thin, poorly thought out bullshit that reads as pure condescension that has been printed by the likes of the philo-semitic NYT for generations now.

    Your propaganda sucks because you lack respect for your targets, which causes you to inusfficently empathize and therefore insufficiently meet the actual demands of the propaganda. Its a taught deficit that can be commonly read on the Jewish face.

  9. Anon[404] • Disclaimer says:
    @A123

    Your cartoon fails in its desperate effort to link White Nationalism with the “antisemitic” (and largely Jewish created) radical left and therefore position philo-Judaism as the only Right Wing position. It fails in both practice and observable reality.

    Its the same tired and ridiculous position (of a host of ridiculous Jewish positions / lies that they are required to force feed to the gentiles to maintain Jewish criminality and hostility) that the minority Neocon Jewish power has been promoting for decades. Yawn.

    The reality is that there is no religious (and arguably ethnic) group more historically involved in incubating he radical left than the Jewish group: both in the United States and in its birthplace of Russia.

    That’s a fact: from the genocidal communist revolutions, to modern mass immigration, to the end of segregation, to modern minority anti-native European agitation (which is continued through the Jewish dominated media) the Jewish group has been the primary motor and linchpin. It would not be out of bounds to state that Jews are the radical Left.

    The observable reality is that the radical Left in the United States primarily activates to work against White Nationalism (the Jewish enemy) and will (and does) readily vocalize against anti-Semitism with the caveat (except in Germany) that the Jews should free the Palesitnians. Big fucking deal, in comparison.

    In contrast, the American Far Left (today as represented by Antifa, as your cartoon depicts) has never ever stood up for European-native nationalism, which is the political and ethnic movement that the radical Left admittedly primarily exists to combat. It has never and will never state that it exists to combat Judaism, and nor will it ever consistently activate to protest Jewish nationalism/supremacy.

    Your cartoon would be infinitely more accurate if the dog was dressed in black with an anti-white pin on, and was being controlled by a man in a yarmulke.

    Again, your cartoon is yet another propaganda failure that fails due to its readily and obviously breakable argument born of contempt and condescension.

    Which, on second though, might be your only recourse due to the house of lies on which the Jewish historical narrative is built.

  10. The claims of the right-wing and racist Elad movement are based on mythology such as the Zionist movement. The legend about the return of the Jews after 2000 years of exile is a fabrication of David Ben-Gurion, the largest myth-maker. Jonathan Cook’s article is shocking, but it’s the norm of the Zionist regime. It couldn’t give a damn about public opinion after President Trump took office.

    Their whole talk about democracy in Israel is bogus. The court’s rulings are always in favor of the regime. There is no justice for a Palestinian cause before a Zionist court. The courts use every legal trick such as the Absentee Property Law to “legalize” the cases for Jews. What the outside world doesn’t understand is the kind of argumentation. The courts’ justifications are a hotchpotch of Jewish and Zionist sophistry. It works either way, as it suits the Jewish plaintiff.

    The Austrian Associated Professor at the University of Graz, Yvonne Alexandra Schmidt, analyzed the interweaving of Zionist and Jewish argumentation of the High Court of Justice in Israel in her doctoral dissertation “FOUNDATIONS OF CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS IN ISRAEL AND THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES.” Schmidt is fluent in Hebrew and analyzed all the High court’s rulings.

    Israel is not a democracy in the classical term, but a democracy sui generis or a “Jewish democracy” whatever that means. Jewish and democratic is an oxymoron. The final goal of Elad is the collapse of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock to restore the Third Temple.

    That the Trump regime is complicit in this crime against humanity makes things worse, and it strengthens the right-wing elements in the Netanyahu government and the Israeli society in general. Peace has never been on the agenda of the Zionist regime, may it be Labour, Likud, Meretz, what have you.

  11. J says: • Website
    @UncommonGround

    I am amazed that the opinion of Shlomo Sand, a Jewish professor in an Israeli university, has convinced you that Israeli Arabs are not Arabs but… what? real Jews?

    But Palestinian Arabs say that they are ARABS, speak Arabic, look like Arabs, follow the Arab Mohammedan religion, marry their cousins and kill their sisters as Arabs do, and will beat and cut you if you dare to say in their faces and insult them that they are not true Arabs but … Jews.

    In fact, not even Shlomo Sand say that Palestinians are not Arabs. Go read his books. Lately he says he was misunderstood.

    • Replies: @UncommonGround
  12. A123 says:
    @I'm Tyrone

    If everyone decided to go back to historic borders, there would be chaos.

    Indeed, the “historic” borders of the 40’s -70’s are causing chaos. There is not enough land or water to create two nations West of the Jordan river. The U.N. is an absurd institution at the best of times, and their historic attempt to ignore physical reality leaves us with the predictable and tragic failure we face today.

    The Muslim occupation latched onto the exact timeframe most favorable to their land grab and then declared that as the only basis for an Agreement. Faced with such an extremist position, the Jewish side counter selected an equally extreme timeframe most favorable to their position and declared that as the only basis for an Agreement. The 1920’s division of the Palestinian Mandate gives something to each side and is thus a plausible path away from these extremist claims and counter claims.

    Nevertheless, the Arab invasion of Palestine never dispossessed anyone. It was a change in management, and not demographics.

    You are kidding…. Right….

    The local population faced much worse than dispossession. Forced conversion or execution were the top two choices. Many fled for their lives to avoid conversion or death.

    The Arab invasion of Palestine changed the demographics from very low % of Arabs to much larger %. That is what happens when invasions bring in new populations. Much like the prior changes in demographics from the arrivals of Greeks, Romans, and others. There are grave sites dating back over 1,500 years that provide objective proof of the “Arabazation” of the region along with the arrival of Islam.

    PEACE

  13. @J

    Why shouldn’t the opinion of Shlomo Sand convince me of what he says? I have read two of his books. You surely haven’t read them and you are lying about what he says in his book (as you say that he says something else than I said, you could quote him or say to which book by him you are refering). I don’t know if someone misunderstood what he said. I understood well what he wrote. Yes, he says that Palestinians are not Arabs, that they say that about themselves, he says that they are the ancient inhabitants of the land and that Ben-Gurion knew about that and initially thought that they should reconvert Palestinians to Judaim. Sand also says that many Jews are Arabs.

    Uri Avnery had said several years ago that Judaim looks much more like Islamism than Christianism. Hebrew looks like Arabian and Israeli Jews seem to be very close to more extremist Arab regimes like Saudi Arabia. If I make a list of what Israel does and what Saudi Arabia does, you’ll see that it’s very similar. Some time ago German television made a reportage about groups that steal very high values of public money in Germany using tricks. They said that the groups who did this were Jewish and Arabian. Of course after saying that they spoke only about the Arabs involved in this fraud and nothing about the Jews.

    • Replies: @Malla
    , @J
  14. Malla says:
    @UncommonGround

    Is it true that when the Jews were kicked out of Judah/Palestine by the Romans only the elite Jews left like the priests, aristocrats, scholars and the Jewish lower class peasant population was left behind who later became Christians and then many of the them became Muslims and as a whole got culturally arabised/ mixed with incoming Arabs? In that case the Palestinians are the Jewish lower caste/class descendants while the incoming Jews the descendants of the elites.

    • Replies: @Tsigantes
  15. Tsigantes says:

    Outside of the religious story book the Tanakh [“Old Testament”], there is no historical record or evidence in any of the histories of the region of a Kingdom of David let alone a City of David. It is pure tribal fable. In fact Herodotus, who recorded minute details of eating habits, hair colour and shapes of bowls, along with recording at length the various histories and belief as recounted locally, travelled extensively through Syria and Palestine and specifically Canaan c.420 BC without hearing one single reference to ‘jews’ i.e. hebrews…let alone a hebrew kingdom, even as he stayed at length in the exact areas the Tanakh claims were its territory! For those who have actually read Herodotus and are acquainted with his extreme inquisitiveness and quest for knowledge this simple fact speaks volumes.

    • Agree: Malla
    • Replies: @J
  16. Tsigantes says:
    @A123

    Samaria was never part of the Tanakh’s hebrew kingdom.
    “Transjordan” was never Palestine.
    Verdict: Must try harder!

    As to your cartoon, it is absolutely masterful and the perfect image of fascism!
    [Fascism as understood by Americans].

    You show the golden [ie international money] NYT as a Ku Klux Klan terrorist hunting dog – bravo, spot on – hooded of course [deception=cowardice], branded with the tired old canard of anti-semitism, setting out to hunt down innocents and truth tellers….accompanied by its well paid personal thug [“Antifa”] to deliver the final blows and lynching.

    A dazzling dose of truth, congratulations.

  17. Tsigantes says:
    @Malla

    Pretty good Malla, but don’t make the mistake of assuming the inhabitants of Palestine were jews or even a goodly minority of jews. The hebrews were a small predatory Bedouin [ie arab] tribe that hardly made a dent in the region, the rest (95% and more) were the indigenous people of the region – i.e. originally Phoenician, later settled after 1200 by the Mycenaean sea peoples i.e. the Palestra, from whence comes the name Palestine.

    The hebrew Tanakh and Bible Studies is one thing, while actual historical records and archeology is quite another – and though both branches of study shelter under university roofs the world over, never the twain do meet.

    • Replies: @Malla
    , @RobinG
  18. Tsigantes says:

    Being a person of the eastern Mediterranean and living here, I can only say that it is both common knowledge (ecce homo – look at the actual people please!), and historical and archaeological record that the peoples of the Mediterranean littoral were not Bedouin – whose semitic language is arabic. The main languages of Palestine were greek and aramaic, non-semitic languages.

    Confusion reigns abroad regarding the term ‘arab’ since with the conquest of MENA by Islam, a Bedouin-origin religion, the use of arabic spread as far as Spain and became the lingua franca of a huge region. Thus Egypt and Syria’s self description as arab republics refer first to language, secondly to the religious umma and thirdly to a modern regional identity.

  19. Malla says:
    @Tsigantes

    The hebrews were a small predatory Bedouin [ie arab] tribe that hardly made a dent in the region, the rest (95% and more) were the indigenous people of the region – i.e. originally Phoenician

    Yes, very likely.

    The hebrew Tanakh and Bible Studies is one thing, while actual historical records and archeology is quite another – and though both branches of study shelter under university roofs the world over, never the twain do meet.

    Very True.

  20. J says:
    @Tsigantes

    Herodotes, aka the Father of Lies, was a Greek writing for Greeks. It is perfectly reasonable to assume that he had no interest in a very small tribal confederation in the mountains. The Greeks (and early Romans) confused Judeans with general South Syrians, looking and speaking the vulgar Syrian language, unfamiliar and uninteresting for anyone civilized. Apparently, even the name David was a general term for leader. Herodotus preferred to focus on the Egyptians, with their impressive funerary monuments and intelligent priests telling exotic stories that would be easy to write down and made H. a literary hero in his – the Greek – world.

    • Replies: @Tsigantes
  21. J says:
    @UncommonGround

    My advantage over you is that I live here in Israel, went to Shlomo Sand’s lectures and read his ideas in the original. And I work with Palestinian Arabs and they NEVER say that they are not Arabs and of course NEVER say even themselves that they originally were Judeans (Jews). Even the Palestinian Authority refers to their ancestors as the Phillistines, although when begging for subsidies in the Gulf, they say they are Arabs. Genetically Palestine people are mixed South Syrians, sharing much of their genotype with Jews, Arabian Arabs and whatnot. In may personal opinion, we should make Judaism more open and then hundreds of thousands of Palestinians would happily assimilate and become Israeli Jews, strengthening Israel, but our and their priests are fanatically against the idea. BTW when reading Sand, remember he is a self-hating Jew, searching for ways to escape honorably from his Judaism, employing his superb intellectual capability to turn in and out and around concepts to finally find out that he is not a Jew but … the Arabs are. Uberchochem, as we say in Iddisch. I pity him for his pathetic identity complex.

  22. Tsigantes says:
    @J

    Clearly you haven’t read even one page of Herodotus.
    As for “father of lies” this title can be applied more usefully to today’s Tel Aviv.

  23. Gyre07 says:
    @A123

    Neither the Bible, the Torah or the Talmud are historic records recognized by any modern system of laws. So your claims are backed by no credible evidence. Modern Israelis are basically Nazis seizing Jewish property in Poland in the late 30’s and early 40’s under a pretext of laws created by modern Zionist Kangaroo courts enforcing a racist and morally illegitimate legal system.

  24. RobinG says:
    @I'm Tyrone

    What makes the zionist movement especially reprehensible is that they went in there with the intent of committing ethnic cleansing. They knew exactly what they wanted to do.

    Exactly.

  25. RobinG says:
    @Tsigantes

    There’s a peculiar (4 or 5-way) argument under Iran Delenda Est about Persian vs. Arabic language and script, who influenced/replaced whom, etc. IDK if you’d care to weigh in. (Hasn’t there’s been mutual borrowing?) Starts at #55, anonTenn.

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