Monday, July 9, 2012

Palestinian Denial of Jewish History in Israel

Nadene Goldfoot
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi was interviewed by Geraldo Rivera last night for a Fox News report from Israel, and she was one irascible and iniquitous woman pounding on how terrible the Israelis were and how Jerusalem belonged to the Palestinians.

For a woman with a PhD in Medieval and comparative Literature from the University of Virginia, she should be more aware of just who the Palestinians are and where they really did come from as well as the history of the Jewish people.    She even commented on the program that they can trace back to the Canaanites.

If there's anyone walking around with Canaanite genes, or segments thereof, it should be the Jews.   The Canaanites appear to have been a mixture of Horites, Hittites and Hebrews, dating back to the Hyksos period in the 17th Century BCE.  It was Jews led by Moses from Egypt who entered Canaan with Joshua as leader.  Since Moses was born about 1400 BCE and died at age 120, Joshua must have entered Canaan about 1280 BCE.   Canaanites were not all obliterated upon the Israelites moving into the land, and most likely a few might have married into the families so were assimilated  by the Jews, Philistines or Arameans and by King David and Solomon's time were absorbed.   Canaanites as a people do not exist anymore and haven't since then.  The Syrians actually applied the name to themselves.

Dr. Ashrawi was born October 8, 1946 to Christian parents living in Nablus, which is located in Samaria (West Bank).  That's not surprising.  Arabs from all over the territory followed the Jews who started returning to the homeland and to their fellow Jews in Palestine in the late 1800's.  The first Aliyah was about 1880 by Jews from Russia escaping pogroms.  The Arabs were looking for jobs and found them with the Jews who were building.  Does she have a family tree showing her ancestory ?  It's possible she even has Jewish ancestry.  Wouldn't that shock her?

The Hebrew name from Nablus is Shechem, which was an ancient Canaanite town.  It's earliest walls date from 2000 BCE.  It was under Egyptian control as early as the  12th dynasty.  Biblical patriarchs camped under its walls and it was pillaged by Simeon and Levi, 2 of the 12 tribes that were to settle there.   Later it was in the territory of Ephraim and was a Levitical city and a city of refuge as well as the center of the House of Joseph.  Joseph is buried there.  Much later, the town was a part of Samaria, being the cult center.  In 72CE Vespasian founded the modern day Nablus which became an important Roman city, with most of the people being Samaritans.  In Crusader times, called Naples, it was  a royal city with a palace and fortress.  Now it is Muslim with a tiny Samaritan community , very small Christian community  and has been a center for decades of fanatical Arab nationalism.  A small Jewish community formerly existed there.

The Arabs' homeland originally is Arabia which consists of 1,027,000 square miles and includes Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrein, Qatar, Trucial Oman, Muscat and Oman, and south Yemen.  In the 6th century Mohammad was born (570 CE in Mecca)  and started Islam after a call in 610 CE.  The Arabs came out of the desert looking for conquest and established an empire extending over 3 continents from the Atlantic Ocean to the border of China.  They conquered Palestine, named by the Romans who had conquered Jerusalem in 70 CE, from the Byzantines who were there.

Arab rule came from Damascus by the Omayyad (Umayyad)  dynasty that lasted for about 100 years and then they were overthrown in 750 by the Abbasids who ruled for 200 years who had been dominated themselves first by Persians and then by Turks.  The Abbasides were defeated by the Fatimids.  The Arabs had  had no part in the government of the empire by then.  They had one positive achievement, though.  Arabic became the language and Islam the religion of the lands.

In 1835 Alphonse de Lamartine wrote: "Outside the gates of Jerusalem we saw indeed no living object, heard no living sound, we found the same void, the same we should have expected before the entombed gates of Pompeii or Herculaneam...a complete eternal silence reigns in the town, on the high-ways, in the country...the tomb of a whole people.

The Ottoman Empire ruled Palestine for 400 years until they lost it at the end of World War I in 1918.  They were Turks, not Arabs.  When Mark Twain visited Palestine in 1867, there were very few Arabs living there, so it's doubtful if her parents' ancestors were actually from Nablus from ancient days as she would like to think.

Twain wrote of the desolation. "Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes.  Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its fields and fettered its energies.  Palestine is desolate and unlovely...Palestine is no more of this workday world.  it is sacred to poetry and tradition, it is dreamland"  "Desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds--a silent mournful expanse...A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action.  We reached Tabor safely....We never saw a human being on the whole route....There was hardly a tree or shrub anywhere.  Even the olive and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country.

If she's  interested in her heritage, she should have a DNA test, and better yet if she has a brother or if her father is alive, get them to be tested for the Y haplogroup.  If she has no father or brother living, perhaps she has a paternal male 1st cousin that could be tested.  Nablus, 39 miles north of Jerusalem was under Jordanian rule from 1948 to 1967 and Jordanians are Arabs.  As we see, many types of people have lived in Nablus.

Her father, Daoud Mikhail, was one of the founders of the PLO.  Her family later moved to Ramallah and she attended the American University of Beirut.  When the 1967 Six Day War occurred she was 22 years old and in Lebanon, so was declared an absentee  and denied re-entry to Samaria.  For 6 years she traveled and finished her education by getting her PhD.  In 1973 she was able to join her family under the family reunification plan.  She sees herself as a Palestinian and is a non-practicing Anglican.

Book:  From Time Immemorial, the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine by Joan Peters
Book:  Battleground, fact and fantasy in Palestine by Samuel Katz
Book: Middle East Past and Present by Yahya Armajani, Thomas M. Ricks
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

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