Encyclopedia Britannica Claims Israelite Leader Joshua Conquered ‘Palestine’

In its entry on Israelite leader Joshua, after mentioning ‘Canaan’ as the name of the land he conquered back in biblical times, Encyclopedia Britannica then inexplicably refers to it as ‘Palestine’ (hat tip: Ilana):

Of course, the name ‘Palestine’ came much later, and not even to refer to exactly what was then known as Canaan. Even Britannica gets that:

The word Palestine derives from Philistia, the name given by Greek writers to the land of the Philistines, who in the 12th century BCE occupied a small pocket of land on the southern coast, between modern Tel Aviv–Yafo and Gaza. The name was revived by the Romans in the 2nd century CE in “Syria Palaestina,” designating the southern portion of the province of Syria, and made its way thence into Arabic, where it has been used to describe the region at least since the early Islamic era.

Given that the palestinians and their supporters are constantly reinventing history – even claiming they were around during biblical times (they weren’t) – this historical revisionism is particularly egregious.

The question is how did this happen? Is it an honest error or something more sinister? And even if an honest error, is it a Freudian slip reflecting the bias of the entry’s writer?

Either way, I have submitted a correction request for this entry. You can too by clicking on the Feedback icon to the top right of it.



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