by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 14 August 2019 | Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas declared that Palestinians “are the Canaanites” who predated the ancient Israelites in the Land of Israel and that outsiders in Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank) will be swept into the “dustbin of history.”
Abbas touted his alternative history during a weekend visit to a refugee camp north of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority, in response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approval last week for 2,300 Jewish homes to be built deep in Judea and Samara, a decision that has infuriated Palestinian leaders, who knock it as a strategy to expel Palestinians from what they claim is their land.
“We will remain and no one will be able to move us out of our homeland,” Abbas declared. “He who wants to do that: ‘Go.’ The unexpected visitor in this country has no right in this country. Thus, we tell them: ‘Every brick you laid in our land and every house you built in our land will vanish, if Allah permits.”
Often one to read his crowd—either proclaiming peace to an international audience or inciting violence to a Palestinian audience—Abbas knew he was in a safe space to loosen his reins a bit. “Whatever homes they will announce here or settlements there, they will all disappear, if Allah wills it. They will be in the dustbins of history and they will remember that this land is for its people, its residents and the Canaanites who were here 5,000 years ago. We are the Canaanites.”
Though his people have yet to take away Abbas’s microphone, his staff still had the foresight to follow in his tracks and clean up after his inflammatory weekend statements. One Fatah (Abbas’s leading Palestinian secular political party) member told the Times of Israel that his rebel yell was not referring to all Israelis, just those living deep within Judea and Samaria—the land the Palestinians are eyeing out for a future state.
Another official in Abbas’s office told the Times that Abbas’s anti-history lesson was in response to Netanyahu’s recent statements that it is actually the Palestinians who are the new kids on the block.
“He was refuting Netanyahu’s claim that Palestinians don’t have deep roots in the land and stating that we have a long history here,” Mohammed Odeh said.
Palestinian leaders have made a point to rewrite history in order to deny the historical Jewish connection to the land and invent an ancient Palestinian connection. Archaeology certainly doesn’t deny the Jewish connection—take a shovel into any corner of the Jewish state and you’re sure to find ancient remains of a synagogue or a coin bearing a menorah (seven-branched candelabra), implying that the “unexpected visitors” have ties to the land that date back millennia. Recent finds such as the ancient pilgrimage road travelers used to ascend to the Temple in Jerusalem drive the Jewish claim deeper and deeper into the ground.
The Palestinian historical talking point bounces back and forth between claiming the people descended from either the Canaanites or the Philistines, whichever sounds best in the moment. Regardless, the ancestry of this Arabic people group has been under debate as long as…the Jewish people’s ancestry has been under debate. Most recently, scientists tested DNA from ancient Philistine remains in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, an ancient hotbed for Philistines, and found that their origins trace back to southern Europe.
As one rabbi pointed out, Abbas might want to pick another ancient people group to claim ancestry from, as Canaanite descendance could prove problematic for the Palestinians should the Israeli military refer to the Torah (Gen.–Deut.) for tips. Deuteronomy 7:1–2 says, “When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites…and the Canaanites…when the LORD your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.”
Posted on August 14, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 14, 2019)
Photo Credit: Kremlin.ru/wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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