Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
Palestinian boss Mahmoud Abbas recently declared that Israel is "a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness." Moses, King David and thousands of years of Jewish history would disagree. Israel and the Jews are part of the story of human civilization. Over 50% of the human race has a holy book that tells of the Jewish journey to Israel. That includes Mohammed’s own copy of the Koran.
Israel isn’t a “colonial enterprise.” Palestine is.
Anyone who wants to find out where the name Israel comes from can open the Book of Genesis 32:29. The story even appears in Islamic hadiths. But where does “Palestine” really come from?
Palestine isn’t a Hebrew or Arabic word. The Greeks used it to describe the area. And when the Romans and their Arab mercenaries repressed the indigenous Jewish population, they renamed it all Palestine.
Palestine, after the Philistines: but why did the Greeks and Romans name the area after the Philistines?
The Philistines were one of the Greek origin sea peoples who had originally invaded and colonized the area. The Jewish resistance to Philistine colonialism is chronicled in the histories of Samson, King Saul and King David. It was natural for the Greek and Roman colonies that the Jews of the Second Temple era clashed with to use “Palestine”, the name associated with earlier colonies, to refer to their new colonies.
That latest phase of Greek colonialism led to an extended conflict between the Persian Empire and Greco-Roman civilization. The Romans made extended use of Arab mercenaries and rulers to secure their dominions. One such ruler was Herod, the son of an Idumean father and a Nabatean Arab mother, (according to the Greek historian Strabo they were both Arabic peoples), who repressed the Jews.
The eventual decline and fall of the Roman and Persian empires made way for the Islamic conquests of the region. But the Islamic bandit hordes had no original ideas. Their religion was a hodgepodge of Judaism, Christianity, assorted pagan beliefs and Mohammed’s violent fantasies. The rest of their culture they took wholesale from the Greeks. This game of historical Idiocracy ended with a collection of Arab colonists who call themselves “Palestinians” and claim to be descended from… somebody.
In Germany, Abbas declared that, “the nation of Palestine, throughout its long history, has been a beacon of generosity, and our people are an extension of the 3,500-year-old Canaanite civilization.” The Palestinian Authority that the unelected dictator runs was created in 1993. There was never any such independent country before that. And inquiring minds would love to know what an Islamic terrorist group and the Arab clans it oversees have in common with the Canaanite civilization. Fire, the wheel?
But then, Abbas also insisted that, "Mohammed the Prophet was a Palestinian”.
According to Islamic tradition, Mohammed was an Adnanite Arab from Arabia. They claim descent from Ishmael and Abraham. That means they aren’t Canaanites. And a number of the Arab clans who make up the “Palestinians” do have their origins in Arabia. For a brief, shining moment, Abbas was telling the truth.
Previously, Abbas had also claimed that Jesus was a Palestinian. If you’re keeping track, that means the Palestinians are Canaanites, Arabs and Jews. That certainly covers a lot of historical bases.
But we’re just getting started.
“The Bible says, in these words, that the Palestinians existed before Abraham,” Abbas also insisted. The Bible doesn’t say anything in “these words”, but people took it to mean that he was claiming that the Palestinians were actually the Philistines. But then he took credit for the invention of the “Canaanite-Palestinian alphabet more than 6,000 years ago.”
There’s no such alphabet. The Palestinian Authority and Muslims in Israel use the Arabic alphabet which does have its extremely distant origins in the Phoenician Proto-Canaanite alphabet. But so does Greek, Latin and the letters you’re reading now. Like most of the “Palestinian” leader’s claims, it’s nonsense.
Within a few years, Abbas claimed that the “Palestinians” are descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jews and the Arabs. Only the last one is true. The “Palestinians” were part of a wave of Arab and Islamic invaders whose incursions continued well into the modern era.
There are some 10,000 “Afro-Palestinians” in Gaza. Some are African settlers who came in the 19th century. The anti-Israel left would have you believe that a Sudanese Muslim who settled in Israel in the late 19th century is an indigenous “Palestinian”, but a Jewish refugee from Egypt is a foreign “settler”.
The Arab Muslims who live in ’48 and ’67 Israel are made up of various clans from around the region.
Abbas has referred to Jordan and Palestine as "one people living in two states.” Hamas interior minister Fathi Hammad had once asserted, "Personally, half my family is Egyptian. We are all like that. More than 30 families in the Gaza Strip are called Al-Masri (Egyptian). Brothers, half of the Palestinians are Egyptians and the other half are Saudis.”
The most famous Al-Masri is a billionaire who lives in a West Bank reproduction of an Italian villa named “The House of Palestine”, and was recently detained by the Saudis. Munib Masri served as a Palestinian Authority minister, holds a legislative seat and accounts for a quarter of the “Palestinian” economy. The greenhouse in his villa was a gift from Napoleon III to his mistress.
Masri, whose family name originated in Egypt, and claims to be a Palestinian, is actually a Saudi citizen who lives in an imported Italian villa. He made his money supplying the US military during Desert Storm.
That’s what a “Palestinian” looks like.
The “Palestinians” are Egyptians, Saudis, Jordanians, Senegalese, Sudanese and a number of other Muslim invasive colonists. They are not Philistines, Canaanites or Jews. They’re as indigenous as Al-Masri’s “House of Palestine” made out of imported Italian marble and filled with European art.
The “Palestinians” are what they always were: a foreign Islamic Arab colony inside Israel.
The Big Lie of Palestine is that the Islamic colonists are the indigenous population of Israel and that the Jews are colonizing Palestine. But an indigenous people can never colonize their own country.
“Palestine” is a twisted colonial fiction. The name reflects Greek colonization of the region. And its use by the modern Islamic colonists shows their lack of any actual historical connection to Israel.
After all the agonized wailing about the deeply meaningful “Palestinian” connection to “Palestine”, they still haven’t come up with their own name for the place. One that they can properly pronounce. (There’s no proper “P” in Arabic.) But Abbas keeps coming up with new lies about which ancient people the “Palestinians” are descended from this week.
I can’t wait until he claims to be Cherokee.
The claim of the “Palestinian” colonists to Israel is a lie of Islamic imperialism. The Muslim powers of the region have funded the racist attacks by the PLO, Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups on Jews.
The “Palestinians” are not the victims of colonialism. They are its perpetrators.
The fighting between Israel and Islamic terrorists is a struggle between imperialism and colonialism. The imperialists are not the oppressed Jewish minority that has been forced out of nearly everywhere else in the region. It’s the Arab Islamic majority that represses minorities across the region.
“Palestine” is a pathetic attempt to launder one imperial identity with another followed by shameless efforts to appropriate the identities of nearly every ancient people in the region. Including the Jews.
The only way to end the conflict is to end the lies.