Friday, October 2, 2015

The modern-day "Palestinians" — who are they and where did they come from?

The modern-day "Palestinians" — who are they and where did they come from?

by Prof. Mordochai ben-Tziyyon, Universitah Ha'ivrit, Y'rushalayim

Unknown to most of the world population, the origin of the "Palestinian" Arabs' claim to Eretz Yisraél ("the Holy Land") spans a period of a meager 30 years—a drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of years of the region's long and rich history.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were almost no Arabs in Eretz Yisraél. In contrast Hebrews (or "Jews"), despite 2000 years of persecution and forced conversions by various conquerors, have always made up the majority of the population here. Only about 5,000 Arabs resided here when the British military forces, commanded by General Allenby, conquered "Palestine" in 1917/18; the other Moslems livng in the area either came from Turkey under the Ottoman Empire, or were the descendants of Hebrews and christians who were forcefully converted to Islam by the Moslem conquerors. None of these other Moslems were of Arabic origin.

The local inhabitants at that time did not call themselves "Palestinians". The concept of a "Palestinian" to describe the local residents has not yet been invented; neither was there ever in history a "Palestinian Arab" nation. None of today's Arabs have any ancestral relationship to the original Biblical P'lishtians ("Philistines") who are now extinct. Even Arab historians have admitted that "Palestine" never existed:

In 1937, the Arab leader Auni Bey Abdul Hadi told the Peel Commission: "There is no such country as Palestine. Palestine is a term the Zionists invented. Palestine is alien to us."

In 1946, Princeton's Arab professor of Middle East history, Philip Hitti, told the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry: "It's common knowledge, there is no such thing as Palestine in history."

In March 1977, Zahir Muhsein, an executive member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization ("P.L.O."), said in an interview to the Dutch newspaper Trouw: "The 'Palestinian people' does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the State of Yisraél."

Mark Twain (real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens, the famous author of "Tom Sawyer" and its sequel "Huckleberry Finn") toured Eretz Yisraél in 1867. This is how he described it: "A desolate country whose soil is rich enough but is given over wholly to weeds. A silent, mournful expanse. We never saw a human being on the whole route. There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere. Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country."

In 1874, Reverend Samuel Manning wrote: "...But where were the inhabitants? This fertile plain, which might support an immense population, is almost a solitude... Day by day we were to learn afresh the lesson now forced upon us, that the denunciations of ancient prophecy have been fulfilled to the very letter: 'the land is left void and desolate and without inhabitants'."

In a report to the Palestinian Royal Commission (set up by the British authorities), there is an account of the conditions on the coastal plain along the Mediterranean Sea in 1913 (which was before the outbreak of hostilities in the First World War):

"The road leading from Gaza to the north was only a summer track, suitable for transport by camels or carts. No orange groves, orchards or vineyards were to be seen until one reached the [Jewish] Yabna village. Houses were mud. Schools did not exist. The western part toward the sea was almost a desert. The villages in this area were few and thinly populated. Many villages were deserted by their inhabitants."

The Arabs who now claim to be natives of Eretz Yisraél migrated to "Palestine" after 1918 from neighbouring Arab countries, predominantly from the areas that now comprise Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. None of these existed as independent countries prior to 1913. They were nothing but a disorganised collection of tribes, constantly terrorising each other and trying to seize land from their neighbours. Unfortunately, those Arab immigrants imported their age-old culture of terrorising neighbours to seize land into Eretz Yisraél. Many of them were social outcasts and criminals who couldn't find jobs in their own countries so they searched for their luck elsewhere. Some of them were accepted by the British regime as a source of cheap labour and were allowed to settle on unoccupied Hebrew land in Eretz Yisraél. Even Yassir Ara'fat, the leader of the P.L.O., is not a native of Eretz Yisraél: he was born in 1929 in Cairo, Egypt, served in the Egyptian army, studied in the University of Cairo, and lived in Cairo until 1956. He then moved to Saudi-Arabia and, in 1958, together with his Saudi-Arabian friends, founded the Al-Fatah terror organisation (precursor to the P.L.O.) in Kuwait.

Lewis French, the British Director of Development wrote about the Arabs in Eretz Yisraél:

"We found it inhabited by fellahin [Arab farmers] who lived in mud hovels and suffered severely from the prevalent malaria... Large areas were uncultivated... The fellahin, if not themselves cattle thieves, were always ready to harbour these and other criminals. The individual plots changed hands annually. There was little public security, and the fellahin's lot was an alternation of pillage and blackmail by their neighbours, the Bedouin [Arab nomads]."

The governor of the Syrian district of Hauran [the Biblical Ḥaran], Tewfik Bey El Hurani, admitted in 1934 that in a single period of only a few months over 30,000 Syrians from Hauran had moved to Palestine. Even British Prime Minister Winston Churchill noted the Arab influx. Churchill, a veteran of the early years of the British mandate in Eretz Yisraél, commented in 1939 that

"....far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied."

All four of my grandparents and also both of my parents were born in Eretz Yisraél in the 19th century. They saw with their own eyes how empty the land was at that time and they all frequently spoke about it during my childhood. They also lived through the British conquest and experienced first-hand the Arab immigration that followed, as did I. That wave of Arab immigration continued, unabated, right up to the British evacuation and the creation of the State of Yisraél in May of 1948.

The real problem facing those Arabs today is not the lack of a homeland. The historical root-cause of their problem and frustration is the fact that the countries they came from refuse to accept them back in. This is why so many of them live (right up until this very day) in refugee camps in neighbouring Arab countries, lacking fundamental civil rights. In their frustration they feel that the only hope and choice they have is to try and steal a country. Many of the vehicles and the agricultural equipment in the P.A. were stolen from their Yisr'éli neighbours. For a while, Yisraél suffered the highest rate of automobile thefts in the world! Most of the stolen vehicles were later found in towns and villages of the P.A. If stealing vehicles is so easy, why not try and steal the country too?

In their propaganda, the Arabs who now call themselves "Palestinians" consistently demand that Yisraél and the world recognize their pre-1948 rights. That's about 60 years ago. Mysteriously, they are never willing to add another 60 years to their "historical" claims on Eretz Yisraél. They know very well that doing so will send them back to where they came from—Jordan, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Years ago, during negotiations with these so-called "Palestinians", someone in Yisraél proposed an amendment to their claim for "pre-1948 rights" replacing it with "pre-1917". The "Palestinians" vehemently opposed this proposal—now we can see why!

The Islamic religion was invented by Muhammad in the 7th century of the Common Era. He lived in Saudi Arabia and never visited Eretz Yisraél or Y'rushalayim, and he didn't consider them important enough to be mentioned in the Kur'an even once. In contrast, the land on which the Holy Temple in Y'rushalayim stood was purchased by King David for the Hebrew nation about 1,000 years before the Common Era and the deed of sale, the name of the previous owner and even the purchase price are all recorded in the Bible (See chapter 24 of Shmuel Beit and chapter 21 of Divrei Hayamim Alef).

The best reference for understanding the Moslem-Arab mentality and politically-motivated distortion of history is Muhammad's own words in the Kur'an:

"War is deception".

Some Arabs consider themselves the descendants of Avraham, the ancestor of the Hebrew nation, but ironically, if it were not for Muhammad's thorough study of the Bible, the Arabs would never even have known of Avraham's existence! Muhammad studied the Bible in order to be the better equipped in his attempts to persuade Hebrews to follow his newly-invented religion. When they refused, he wrote the Kur'an (the Moslem bible), and filled it with his own imaginary accounts of Biblical events. He even took the liberty of changing the Hebrews' God-given day of rest, Saturday (Shabbat) and, since Sunday had already been taken by the christians, he picked Friday as the next-best choice for a Moslem "day of rest".

Today, the Moslem "Palestinians" claim that our Temple Mount, the ancient site of our Holy Temple in Y'rushalayim, is "their" holy site. But does anyone in the rest of the world know which way Moslems in Y'rushalayim face when they pray?—when Moslems in Y'rushalayim pray in their mosques, even in the Al Aktza mosque which is built on the very edge of our Temple Mount, they stand with their backs turned to our Temple Mount and, when they bow down in their prayers, they are actually pointing their backsides at it. How is that consistent with considering the Temple Mount a "holy site"? Visit any mosque in Y'rushalayim and see for yourself (if they will allow "infidels"—"unbelievers"—to enter during a prayer-session). It is a fact that Y'rushalayim is not mentioned even once in the Kur'an—while Mecca and Medina, the only two genuine Moslem "holy cities", are mentioned hundreds of times therein.

Our Holy Temple stood on the Temple Mount long before Islam, or any other current world religion, had been invented. Even when the founders of christianity walked the streets of ancient Y'rushalayim, not a single mosque or church stood here—only the Hebrew Holy Temple and nothing else.

Can any Moslem in the world produce any credible evidence for their connection to this holy site, apart from an alleged dream of Muhammad's? Believe it or not, the only sources on which the Moslem's claim to Y'rushalayim and to the site of our Holy Temple are based are an obscure mention in the Kur'an of a dream that Muhammad had about an unidentified "place far away", and an "ancient" document of highly questionable authenticity that was allegedly "discovered" by the former "Grand Mufti" of Y'rushalayim, Hajj Amin al-Husseini (nazi-sympathiser and friend of Adolf Hitler and, incidentally, also an uncle of our very own Mr Yassir Ara'fat), which he would never show to anyone else or submit for academic examination, and which mysteriously couldn't be found among his papers and effects following his death in Beirut in 1974. Perhaps the "place far away" that Muhammad dreamed about just happened to be the plot of land that 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. now stands on?

There is only one possible solution to the "Palestinians'" desire for a homeland. If helping them go back to where they lived 60 years ago is their own definition of justice, then helping them go back to where they lived 120 years ago is, by the same definition, a better justice—a double justice. Let's all help them get the better justice they deserve—let them go back to all the countries they originally came from.

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