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Denying a History

March 11, 2021
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The history of the Land of Israel and the Jewish people are inextricably linked. You can hardly relate the narrative of the one without telling the story of the other. The connection was first established millennia ago when Abraham followed the call of the Almighty to a Land God would later pledge to the father of the Jews and his descendants in an everlasting covenant. With each chapter of history, the Jewish people’s roots in the Land of Israel grew deeper and stronger, with the close bond recorded in biblical, extra-biblical and historical texts so that generations to come would recognize Israel as the God-given historic home of the posterity of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Moreover, the fingerprints and footsteps of this history remain etched in the very soil of Israel, with hardly a week passing without an archaeological discovery standing as testimony.

Yet despite the abundance of historical records and archaeological proof, the Palestinians continue to deny any Jewish connection to Israel, obstinately branding the Jews as interlopers in the Middle East who came from Europe to occupy and usurp a land populated solely by the indigenous Palestinians. In fact, rejecting Jewish history and expunging Jewish connectedness to the Land of Israel have become one of the cornerstones of the Palestinians’ victim narrative.

Despite the glaring lack of proof, the brazen attempt to rewrite history has met with tremendous success. If fact, this lie has proven so successful that the Palestinians have now gone well beyond attempts to erase the Jewish connection to employing a revisionist history, thus usurping the Jewish identity embedded in the Land and offering an alternative Palestinian narrative instead.

Sadly, this tragic Palestinian triumph once again proves Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels’s theory: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”      

Erasing Jewish History

“One of the fundamental tenets of PA [Palestinian Authority] ideology is that the ‎Zionist movement was not an authentic Jewish movement but rather a ‎colonialist movement that took advantage of the Jews. The PA claims Western colonialists lied to the Jews and made up the ‎story of Jewish history in the Land of Israel to trick the Jews into ‎leaving Europe and coming to Israel.”
Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, a research institute and media watchdog group

 “Israel is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews…Colonialism created Israel to perform a certain function…Their narrative about coming to this country because of their longing for Zion, or whatever—we’re tired of hearing this…The truth is that this is a colonialist enterprise, aimed at planting a foreign body in this region.”
—Mahmoud Abbas, PA president

 “The Jewish Temples never existed, and Israel has been working to ‘invent’ a Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem.” 
— Ahmed Qureia, chief Palestinian negotiator at the 2007 Annapolis Peace Summit

“The ‎forces that comprise this [Zionist] colonialism were gathered from among the ‎members of the Jewish religion who were deceived. The colonialist ‎West and its pawn—the Zionist movement—led them [to Palestine] to ‎get rid of the Jewish problem in its lands, and to exploit and ‎harness the Zionists for the benefit of the colonialist project whose ‎goal is bigger than occupying historical Palestine: tearing and ‎fragmenting the unity of the Arab nation’s peoples and dissolving ‎the pan-Arab revival project.”
—Omar Hilmi al-Ghoul, a popular Palestinian columnist, writes in the official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida 

This coin dates from the Bar Kokhba revolt (circa 132 AD)

“The Jews claim that they were in Palestine 2,000 years ago. If we look at the history, we will see that they were not in Palestine in the past, but rather only as invaders less than 70 years ago. For these 70 years they have been invaders, like the Hyksos, the Byzantines, the Persians and [British] colonialism.”
— Riyad al-Aileh, a Palestinian political science lecturer from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, teaches on a television program called The Supreme Authority

 “Similarly, we have no archaeological evidence of the presence of the Children of Israel in Palestine in this historical period 3,000 years ago, neither in Jerusalem, nor in all of Palestine.”
— Abir Zayyad, an archaeologist and member of Fatah (leading secular Palestinian political party), indoctrinates viewers in a television program called The Scent of History

“I wrote a novel called The Palace. This novel…is about the falsification of the historical geography in the Zionist and Talmudic [rabbinic commentary on Jewish tradition and the Hebrew Scriptures] narrative…The reader can establish…that in this land, Palestine, which has always been Arab—the Children of Israel were never there.”
—Haidar Massad, popular Palestinian author

The denial “explains much about why the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians remains so intractable. If Israel is merely a colonialist project, rather than the fulfillment of an exiled people’s longing to return home, then it is illegitimate. Seventy years after the founding of the Jewish state and the beginning of the Palestinian tragedy, peace remains as elusive as ever—in large part because of the pervasive denial, both within Palestinian society and throughout the Middle East, of Israel’s legitimacy…”
—Yossi Klein Halevi writes in “The Real Dispute Driving the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict”

Usurping the Jewish Identity

“Palestine is the cradle of culture and religions, and part of our Palestinian people’s past, heritage and history is engraved on the walls of its capital, Jerusalem—this heritage that Israel is working to destroy and control, and [it is working] to falsify the history that is witness to our people’s rootedness in its land for more than 10,000 years…”
—Riyad al-Malki, Palestinian minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, tells UNESCO

“We revive this [Palestinian] heritage and cling to it in order to counter all of the attempts by Israel to steal the national heritage and to falsify it with the claim that it is their heritage—from cuisine to clothing and architecture. Every part of our heritage in our land, they claim is their heritage…”
—Saleh Rafat, PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] official

“Our narrative says that we have been in this land since before Abraham. I am not saying it. The Bible says it. The Bible says, in these words, that the Palestinians existed before Abraham.”

“Jesus was Palestinian of Nazareth…”
—Political activist Linda Sarsour takes to Twitter to usurp the Jewish Yeshua as Palestinian for political gain

Photo Credit: Hebrew University

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