The Palestinian Theft of Jewish Identity

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historyWhen an outsider hears of the Middle East, a specific set of images often come to mind: Arabian Nights, Islam, curved swords, headscarves, genies, magic lamps, and flying carpets.

In other words, things that are typically associated with Arab and Islamic culture. Regrettably, this isn’t a mere coincidence. It is the natural outcome of a long and bloody history of Arab colonial domination throughout the region, beginning with the 7th century Arab conquests. This meant that Arab culture became the “default” in the Middle East, just as European imperialism made whiteness the “default” in North America. Indigenous minorities whose lands were taken by the Arabs were either subjugated (usually as “dhimmi” or “malawi”, inferior non-Arab races), annihilated, or had their identity appropriated, if not erased outright.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the stream of anti-Semitic propaganda emanating from the Arab world, especially when it pertains to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Enraged and humiliated by the successful national resurgence of the Jews in their homeland (which the Arabs had colonized prior to the return of Jewish exiles from diaspora), the increasingly fragmented Arab world remains united in its opposition to Israel, unwilling to accept its right to exist as a Jewish state. Naturally, they did not believe that a weakened and traumatized people (the war of 1948 happened just 3 years after the Holocaust ended) could possibly survive the combined might of 6 Arab armies, but that is precisely what happened.

However, many in the West have been led to believe the Arab version of events: that an army of Jews stormed in one day, with a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other, and systematically cleansed the land of Arabs to make room for Jewish “settlers”.

This account fails to acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of Zionists, including Herzl himself, were atheist. Further, most olim were dirt poor refugees fleeing antisemitism in the diaspora. They did not possess an army, nor did they arm themselves until at least the 1940’s, in response to decades of antisemitic pogroms (e.g. Hebron massacre, the Nebi Musa riots, Jerusalem pogrom, among others). The lion’s share of the weaponry they used to fend off Arab attacks consisted of smuggled, outdated WWII relics from Czechoslovakia, whereas the Arab world had 6 well armed, well funded, and (in many cases) European trained armies. The first refugees in Israel during the 1948 Arab war to prevent Israeli independence were Jews, hailing from the Shimon haTsadiq, Nahalat Shimon and Siebenbergen Houses quarters in Jerusalem. Ultimately, the aim of the 1948 war was to cleanse the land of Jews (during which most Arabs were told by their leaders to flee, expecting to return once all of the Jews were dead, wherein they could loot and despoil leftover Jewish property), hence why there was not a single Jewish soul left over the green line at the war’s conclusion.

Recall the manifold Arab threats prior to the war of 1948, which had been initiated by the Arabs in the hopes of killing the Jewish state in its cradle.

“Palestine is Arab land and the Jews are our dogs” – Arab chant commonly heard during pogroms, especially the Nebi Musa riots

“It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades.” – Abdul-Rahman Azzam, secretary general of the Arab League, speaking of Arab motives for starting the 1948 war

“The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight” – Jamal Husseini, Palestinian Arab spokesman to the UN Security Council, Apirl 16, 1948

Eventually, repeated failures on the battlefield convinced the Arabs to try a less direct approach. What they could not achieve through massacres and open attempts at genocide, they would gain through psychological warfare, diplomatic isolation, and subterfuge. This is how the Palestinian Arab identity was born, subsequently leading to the theft of Jewish history and, ultimately, to what we now know as the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. This quote, from PLO leader Zuheir Mohsen in the 1970’s, sums up their strategy.

“Between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese there are no differences. We are all part of ONE people, the Arab nation. Look, I have family members with Palestinian, Lebanese, Jordanian and Syrian citizenship. We are ONE people. Just for political reasons we carefully underwrite our Palestinian identity. Because it is of national interest for the Arabs to advocate the existence of Palestinians to balance Zionism. Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity exists only for tactical reasons. The establishment of a Palestinian state is a new tool to continue the fight against Israel and for Arab unity.”

A separate Palestinian entity needs to fight for the national interest in the then remaining occupied territories. The Jordanian government cannot speak for Palestinians in Israel, Lebanon or Syria. Jordan is a state with specific borders. It cannot lay claim on – for instance – Haifa or Jaffa, while I AM entitled to Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem and Beersheba. Jordan can only speak for Jordanians and the Palestinians in Jordan. The Palestinian state would be entitled to represent all Palestinians in the Arab world and elsewhere. Once we have accomplished all of our rights in all of Palestine, we shouldn’t postpone the unification of Jordan and Palestine for one second.”

Modern antisemitism, which stems as much from Arab propaganda and historical revisionism as it does from traditional Western prejudices and stereotypes, cleverly depicts Israel as a European colonial settler state, and the Arab ‘Palestinian’ inhabitants as poor, destitute victims of this same colonialism. In reality, it is nothing more than a historical inversion; a reversal of roles, so to speak. The aboriginal people of Israel are the Jews and Samaritans (both of whom are outgrowths of the Canaanites), not Arabs. The claim that Jews are no longer native to Israel because we were displaced “too long ago” is anthropologically incorrect, logically inconsistent, and morally bankrupt. It puts the blame squarely on our shoulders for being colonized and removed from our lands, more or less.

The Palestinians, along with legions of sympathizers in traditionally antisemitic Europe and throughout the globe, generally refuse to acknowledge or accept any Jewish connection to Israel prior to the Zionist movement, often putting forward patently ridiculous and historically baseless claims like “Moses was a Palestinian Arab”, “Jesus was a Palestinian Muslim shaheed”, “the land was always Arab”, “there was never a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount”, “there was never a Jewish state on these lands”, “Palestinians are an ancient people who have lived there since time immemorial” (since the dinosaurs?).

Or if they do, they will say that they (Palestinian Arabs) are the authentic descendants of the Israelites, and promote the false claim that modern Jews are really “European converts”. Although their cause is dressed in the language of human rights and resistance against “Western imperialism”, what is concealed underneath is an Arab campaign of colonialism against the revived indigenous nation of Israel. One only needs to look at the Palestinian flag and what its colors represent (according to a Palestinian source) for further proof.

RED

The Khawarij were the first Islamic group to emerge after the assassination of Caliph Uthman III, forming the first republican party in the early days of Islam. Their symbol was the red flag. Arab tribes who participated in the conquest of North Africa and Andalusia carried the red flag, which became the symbol of the Islamic rulers of Andalusia (756-1355). In modern times, red symbolizes the Ashrafs of the Hijaz and the Hashemites, descendants of the Prophet. Sharif Hussein designed the current flag as the flag of the Arab Revolt on June 1916. The Palestinian people raised it as the flag of the Arab National movement in 1917. In 1947, the Arab Ba’ath Party interpreted the flag as a symbol of the liberation and unity of the Arab nation. The Palestinian people readopted the flag at the Palestinian conference in Gaza in 1948. The flag was recognized by the Arab League as the flag of the Palestinian people. It was further endorsed by the PLO, the representative of the Palestinians, at the Palestinian conference in Jerusalem in 1964.

BLACK

The Prophet Mohammad (570-632) In the seventh century, with the rise of Islam and subsequent liberation of Mecca, two flags – one white, one black – were carried. On the white flag was written, “There is no god but God (Allah) and Mohammad is the Prophet of God.”

In pre-Islamic times, the black flag was a sign of revenge. It was the color of the headdress worn when leading troops into battle.

Both black and white flags were placed in the mosque during Friday prayers. The Abbasid Dynasty (750-1258), ruling from Baghdad, took black as a symbol of mourning for the assassination of relatives of the Prophet and in remembrance of the Battle of Karbala.

WHITE

The Umayyads ruled for ninety years, taking white as their symbolic color as a reminder of the Prophet’s first battle at Badr, and to distinguish themselves from the Abbasids, by using white, rather than black, as their color of mourning. Mu’awia Ibn Abi Sufian (661-750), founder of the Umayyad state, proclaimed himself Caliph of Jerusalem.

GREEN

The Fatimid Dynasty (909-1171) was founded in Morocco by Abdullah Al-Mahdi, and went on rule all of North Africa. They took green as their color, to symbolize their allegiance to Ali, the Prophet’s cousin, who was once wrapped in a green coverlet in place of the Prophet in order to thwart an assassination attempt.”

Now look at the historical and present day flags of countries throughout the Arab world, especially the former flag of Hejaz, where the Arab nation and ethnic group was born. Noticing any similarities?

Despite all of the above facts, a considerable amount of Westerners have bought into the idea that Palestinian Arabs, not Jews, are indigenous to Israel. A great deal of this can be attributed to the aforementioned fact that Arabs are considered “default” in a Middle Eastern context. Therefore, Palestinians fit the mold of what a Middle Easterner is “supposed to be” far better than the Jews do, so their story is automatically more believable than ours is.

But as a matter of fact, our indigenous roots in Israel are very real. And no amount of historical revisionism or rhetorical gymnastics can alter that unyielding basis and undeniable reality. One need not make recourse to the Bible for confirmation, as is commonly asserted by Israel’s enemies.

Let us end with science. DNA studies consistently and unwaveringly place Jewish origins in Western Asia, and the land of Israel in particular, with only a limited amount of foreign admixture (usually Southern European or sub-Saharan African in origin). Jews who lived in Central/Eastern Europe for generations (Ashkenazim) are closer to their Jewish cousins throughout the diaspora, and to other Levantines, than they are to native European groups, all tied together by shared Middle Eastern descent. According to Behar, the most parsimonious explanation for this shared Middle Eastern ancestry is that it is “consistent with the historical formulation of the Jewish people as descending from ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant” and “the dispersion of the people of ancient Israel throughout the Old World”.

Likewise, historical evidence is abundant.

The exile of our people is engraved on the Arch of Titus, which depicts Jewish rebels being carried off in chains by Roman colonists. Similarly, historical documentation of our plight can be found in the writings of Josephus, Cassius Dio, and more. Kick up some dirt and the ground next time you are in Israel, and you will find Jewish artifacts dating back to before the Arab conquests, often by thousands of years. The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered by archaeologists, are written in Hebrew. Not a trace of Arabic or “Palestinian” to be found. The amount of evidence in existence is practically limitless.

A lie can be told a million times, but at the end of the day, it’s still a lie.

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