Guardian

Guardian Letter: Palestinians are indigenous to the land, descendants of Canaanites


A letter published in the Guardian on Dec. 3, by Maher Othman of London, opened with the following passages:

Though I agree with Giles Fraser’s analysis (Loose canon, 29 November) that “Netanyahu’s nationality bill is at odds with [the] Hebrew Bible,” and contradicts Israel’s declaration of independence, which affirms “complete social and political equality for all its citizens, regardless of religion, race or gender”, his quotation from the Book of Numbers – “The community is to have the same rules for you and for the foreigner residing among you” – raises the question of who is and who is not a foreigner in historic Palestine.

The Palestinians consider themselves the indigenous people of the land and descendants of the Canaanites, while the population of Israel, which was established in part of Palestine in 1948, is made up of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Arab countries, Europe, the US and other countries.

Whilst such shameful attempts to erase Jewish history is nothing new within the milieu of anti-Zionist rhetoric, the Palestinians as Canaanites narrative is indeed a relatively new phenomenon – a claim made in spite of the fact that the Canaanites disappeared roughly three thousand years ago, and little if anything is known about their descendants. 

Moreover, in testimony before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, Palestinian-Arab leaders only claimed a connection to the land dating back no further than the 7th century – the period of conquest by Muhammad’s followers.

David Mukay, Professor of Middle East Studies at the University of Haifa, wrote the following in Middle East Quarterly:

Most of the population now known as Palestinian descended from migrants originating from the surrounding Arab countries and from local Bedouins. Many migrated in waves from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Others were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British for infrastructure and agricultural projects, or migrated to the region following Zionist economic success, which produced a staggering population growth. Palestinians are perhaps the newest of all peoples, comprising many scattered groups. In fact, in origin they are more Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese, and mainly Bedouin, than Palestinian.

Of course, the mere fact that no serious historian questions the more than 3,000 year Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, nor suggests that Palestinians are descendants of the Canaanites, did not cause the slightest cognitive dissonance for Othman – nor evidently the slightest concern by Guardian editors that they were legitimizing a Palestinian lie parading as historical fact.

60 replies »

  1. I suggest everyone goes back to where they came from: Whites and blacks leave the Americas, Arabs go back to the Arabian peninsula, and of course- all the Saxons and Normans leave Britain and go back to Germany and Scandinavia where they belong.

    End the occupation of Britain!

  2. You got to give Othman credit for at least acknowledging that Jews also migrated to Israel from Arab countries. His ilk tend to leave out the Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews because their existence doesn’t play into the “Israel is a European colony” narrative.

  3. lol you monkeys. Not a single historical study shows that ‘Jews’ are a nation, or a peoples. There’s nothing connecting you ‘through time’ to those individual who lived there 3000 years ago – apart from being homo sapiens sapiens.

    Begs the question really – who did YOU steal the land from 3001 years ago eh? Or was that when ‘time began’.

    I suppose even evolution is up for debate where you live?

    Jokers.

    Palestine will be here soon, in the state form. You’ll be sued to high heaven – hope it’s a Jewish heaven!

    • What’s “a peoples”, gorilla?
      You are the last one who should be pontificating on H. sapiens, gorilla. You are a disgrace to your species.

      • Leah, please!
        I never met an amoeba who can press a keyboard with such force so to generate a response without short circuiting it..
        I think that TammyTam, for an “Entamoeba histolytica”, is a very amazing specimen, though sadly it is still full of gut waste…
        🙂

      • Any ‘science’ to show how there exists a Jewish ‘gene’? Go on, make me chuckle.

        Muah ha ha ha ha!

            • Opps – seems like nonsense to him, and me! 😉

              “Ostrer’s assertion [is]that “the stakes in genetic analysis are high,” because genetic evidence lies at “the heart of Zionist claims for a Jewish homeland in Israel.”

              This is a problematic assertion for several reasons, of which the simplest is that Ostrer conflates the claim to a national homeland made by pre-state Jewish nationalists and the right to sovereignty on the part of an existing nation state. More troubling is Ostrer’s assertion that investigation of where one’s ancestors lived upwards of 2000 years ago is relevant to the rights of nations-a standard that would leave few contemporary nation states on firm footing. Ostrer “can imagine future disputes about exactly how large the shared Middle Eastern ancestry of Jewish groups has to be to justify Zionist claims.” It doesn’t require much imagination. One only has to look at the emerging use of genetic information for similarly dubious purposes, for example the Hungarian Member of Parliament from the Jobbik party who hired a genetic testing laboratory to certify that he is free of Jewish and Roma (Gypsy) genetic markers.[3]

              The Zionist claim was not based on genetics; it was based on the liberal political principle that sovereignty resides in the people. The claim that Israel is the territory in which Jews are entitled to have a sovereign state was based on the demonstrable cultural continuity of the Jewish people since ancient times, on the argument that Israel was the “cradle” of the Jewish nation, and the fact that the Jewish nation has historically been a sovereign nation on this land before. But the claim to sovereignty itself is based on the right of a people to self-determination, not on genetic data or ancestry.”

              Mmmm – oh dear. Nazi style logic!

              • Well, it looks like Troll-whammied needs to save face (if it physically matches her personality, then there may be no hope).
                You asked for genetic proof and seeing that you have egg on your face, you need to divert.
                You, of course, continue to ignore the fact that Jews have continuously lived on the entirety of the land of Israel since the time before there were any Arabs whatsoever and you make no case for Palestinian sovereignty. You can’t because they’ve never had it, whereas Jews have.

              • TamaraKelvin Holocaustdenier calls Jews Nazis. It must be a lovely family home which breeds such cretins lile this antisemite.

              • Ouch, Troll, that sure is a LONG piece of nonsense that seems completely irrelevant to the subject.

                Face not saved it seems. WHAMMY.

        • Dear, silly, ignorant, bigoted Tammy:

          Most European, North African, Asian and, above all, Palestinian Christians and Muslims have said or believed, for most of the last 2000 years, that Jews are not only a distinct people or ethno-national group, they are a distinct people or ethno-national group that God the Father or Allah has exiled and dispossessed for rejecting Jesus and the prophets, and that is how they should stay.

          A consequence’s being that, in the 19th and 20th centuries, most European, North African and Asian Jews were regarded, less as nationally European or, say, Arab than as nationally Jewish or Judaean, that is to say ‘Palestinian’, with a further result’s being their further being exiled, disenfranchised, alienated or dispossessed, either from this world or, before 1914, mostly to America; after 1914 mostly to Palestine, or what became Israel.

          Jews don’t need to ‘prove’ their nationality for the purpose of a state in Palestine / the land of Israel: most European, North African, Asian and, above all, Palestinian Christians and Muslims have said or believed they are a distinct people or ethno-national group, for most of the last 2000 years, and treated on that basis.

    • “I suppose even evolution is up for debate where you live?”

      No.
      But when I read the gibberish you post, then I realise that in your case evolution has gone into reverse.
      How else could you explain the existence of a deranged retard such as He/She/It ‘Tamara’?

    • The definition of “nation” is a people with a common language, history, and culture. Is there a study to show that the French are a nation.

      Palestine will be in a state form when Palestinians grow up, accept that they won’t get everything they demand, and negotiate in good faith.

      Monkey-joker you are.

    • Happy to disappoint you Tammy, but multiple historical studies show that the Jews are a nation. Real historians like Heinrich Graez who wrote “The History of the Jews” or Abram Sachar. Or H. H. Sasson who wrote the 1170 page book “The History of the Jewish People”. Both Graez and Dubnow (another historian) explicitly referred to Jews as a nation. Or for someone more recent, why not try Simon Schama or Martin Gilbert.

    • Most European, North African, Asian and, above all, Palestinian Christians and Muslims have said or believed, for most of the last 2000 years, that Jews are not only a distinct people or ethno-national group, they are a distinct people or ethno-national group that God the Father or Allah has exiled and dispossessed for rejecting Jesus and the prophets, and that is how they should stay.

      A consequence’s being that, in the 19th and 20th centuries, most European, North African and Asian Jews were regarded, less as nationally European or, say, Arab than as nationally Jewish or Judaean, that is to say ‘Palestinian’, with a further result’s being their further being exiled, disenfranchised, alienated or dispossessed, either from this world or, before 1914, mostly to America; after 1914 mostly to Palestine, or what became Israel.

      Jews don’t need to ‘prove’ their nationality for the purpose of a state in Palestine / the land of Israel: most European, North African, Asian and, above all, Palestinian Christians and Muslims have said or believed they are a distinct people or ethno-national group, for most of the last 2000 years, and treated on that basis.

    • Dear daft, ignorantly bigoted Tammy:

      Most European, North African, Asian and, above all, Palestinian Christians and Muslims have said or believed, for most of the last 2000 years, that Jews are not only a distinct people or ethno-national group, they are a distinct people or ethno-national group that God the Father or Allah has exiled and dispossessed for rejecting Jesus and the prophets, and that is how they should stay.

      A consequence’s being that, in the 19th and 20th centuries, most European, North African and Asian Jews were regarded, less as nationally European or, say, Arab than as nationally Jewish or Judaean, that is to say ‘Palestinian’, with a further result’s being their further being exiled, disenfranchised, alienated or dispossessed, either from this world or, before 1914, mostly to America; after 1914 mostly to Palestine, or what became Israel.

      Jews don’t need to ‘prove’ their nationality for the purpose of a state in Palestine / the land of Israel: most European, North African, Asian and, above all, Palestinian Christians and Muslims have said or believed they are a distinct people or ethno-national group, for most of the last 2000 years, and treated on that basis.

    • Dear daft, ignorant Tammy:

      Hebrew is the only species of Canaanite in use today, the Tanakh and Mishnah are not only the only works extant in Palestinian or alphabetic Canaanite, they are the only Palestinian works written in any kind of Semitic extant from before the 5th century CE.

      And that ancient Israelite conquest of Canaan, is not only regarded as a divinely ordained holy war by the first self-defined Palestinian Christians, who appear from the second century CE, the very first self-defined Palestinian Christian, Justin Martyr, is a Greco-Roman citizen of a Greco-Roman colony founded by Vespasian following his suppression of the First Jewish Revolt/Intifada who lectures a Judaean Jewish refugee, Trypho, that God has granted Greco-Romans like him the right to conquer, occupy and dispossess the Jews as he granted the Israelites to conquer, occupy and dispossess the Canaanites.

      Dear Tammy, the inventor of the crusade, the Christian holy war, is also the very first self-defined Palestinian Christian in the historical record, and the crusade or Christian holy war he has in mind, is the one that establishes provincial Palestine in place of Judaea.

      Small wonder, then, that in Islam, the very first jihad is that which Allah orders Moses, in the Quran, to wage against the Canaanites.

      That is why, Tammy dear, you are clearly an antisemite: your hatred of Jews and Israel leads you to display spectacular ignorance of the very Palestinian Christians and Muslims you profess to defend. In truth, your hatred leads you to harm them more than either Israelis or Jews.

      • Correction

        Hebrew is the only species of Canaanite in use today, the Tanakh and Mishnah are not only the only works extant in Palestinian or alphabetic Canaanite, they are the only Palestinian works written in any kind of Semitic extant from before the 5th century CE, ASIDES THE ARAMAIC TALMUD YERUSHALMI, OBVIOUSLY ANOTHER JEWISH WORK!

    • There aren’t very many people who dismiss anti-Semitism as bigotry. However, it should also be recognized that anti-Zionism masquerades as humanism, but is really a variant of anti-Semitism.

    • Interesting how so many of the comments on the article were deleted. That being said, stereotypes about Jews and money are is one example among many including accusations of willfully killing children for sport or as policy in its own right, “stealing” land when its acquired legally, committing genocide, poisoning aquifers, starting wars, controlling governments and the banks, casting aspersions with accusations of “dual loyalties”, or labeling people themselves as “illegal” or legitimate targets of violence simply for offending others by being present.

      We’ll see if this is simply a larger gambit so that the Guardian can take it on itself to define what antisemitism is and is not.

  4. Two great misses, quite typical for Al Guardian and his mindset/bias.
    Jews are, after all, the only entity, in terms of the racist stereotype that operates on two levels, low and high status – that can be imagined as vermin but also as moneyed and secretly in control. The moneyed and in-control thing undoubtedly still has some traction on the left (see France), and it’s why Jews, at best, might not be considered to be really in need of the protections that anti-racism offers, and at worst might be the enemy.
    The two levels, that´s why it is called antisemitism, not racism, as this structure doesn`t function within racism.
    But it points to a key problem as regards the wider apprehension of antisemitism, which is that the left – which, in the end, is where anti-racist ideas start and trickle down even to people like Dave Whelan and Mario Balotelli – has always been a little bit ambiguous about Jews (an ambiguity that has clearly become even more ambiguous since Israel was deemed the nutcase pariah state du jour).
    Antiracism nowadays very often comprises an antisemitic structure, even when it is not expressed in religious or racist terms, but cloaked in nationstate terms, respectively anti nationstate when it comes to Israel.
    Israel as the Jew under the states is such a norm of thinking nowadays that the constant demonisation of Israel is understood as the neutral description of facts and deeds committed by Israel, a narrative of continuous reification or epistemmological antisemitism, developed by the Sovietunion, the trotskyst, maoists and the rest of the left, exported into the Arab world, amalgamated with the Arab tales and discourses about Jews, influenced and directed by converted nazis in Egypt and Syria. Some ambiguity.
    And for that norm of thought you already gave quite good examples.

  5. Historians show that the language of the Canaanites and of the Hebrews was substantially the same. Surviving fragments of their written language show the closest analogy to Hebrew.

    And so I have a question: When did the supposed descendants of the Canaanites dump their language and adopt a completely different language (Arabic) with a completely different alphabet? And why?
    Also, when did they convert to Islam and what was their religion before they converted?

    That should shut them up for a while!

    • Quite a gap between the time the Canaanites disappeared and the Arab conquest. What was the language of the Palestinians for those 1500 odd years? Is it the same language used today to explain their history, i.e., Bullshitese?

    • A lot of Arabic and Hebrew words have the same root lettering. In the middle ages Jewish and Muslim scholars would exchange notes in order to figure out the meaning of words, either in the Bible or the Quran.

      • All Semitic languages share many roots. That is why they are regarded as part of the Semitic family of languages 🙂

  6. “The Palestinians consider themselves the indigenous people of the land and descendants of the Canaanites,”
    And some people consider the moon a certain kind of dairy product.

      • When Sargon conquered the Northern Kingdom and exiled the 10 tribes, he imported thousands of non-indigenous peoples to the region. The major tribes mentioned in the Tanakh disappeared thousands of years ago.

        • The number of exiles amounted to about 10% of the population, taken mostly from the leadership and prominent families. Archaeological evidences points to a large migration from the north to the south. The 10 lost tribes weren’t “lost” – they merged. See Eric Klein’s book: From Eden to Exile.

  7. ” while the population of Israel, which was established in part of Palestine in 1948, is made up of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Arab countries, Europe, the US and other countries.”
    Oh, and probably everywhere and anywhere else, except for Palestine, ancient home of the indigenous Arabs of Judea.

  8. In reality, the Palestinian Christians aren’t the descendents of Jesus. They are the descendents of the Byzantine empire. In other words they are the heirs of the Roman empire. Maybe that is why they are so embarrassed of their identity and want to have the Jewish Identity instead. Yeshua, Yosef, Miryam, Bet-Lehem, Nazareth, Saul Hatrisi, Yeroshalim, Yochanan, Yaakov, those are all Jewish names.

    • Ah and I almost forgot Betlehem Judea, Samaria, Galil, Tavor.
      Though Kineret and Megido, I have to admit, are indeed Cnaanite names 😉

        • It comes from the Cnaanite word ‘Kinar’ – an ancient musical instrument. Tables which were found in Ogrit and are being dated all the way back to ~1600 BC mention ‘the fisheries of Kineret’. Those same tables also describe a minor Cnaanite deity named ‘Kiner’.

          • Do you mean Ugarit?
            All these Semitic languages share roots, as was pointed out above. Kinor is mentioned in the Bible.

            • Yes..Ugarit, of course.
              It is mentioned twice in the bible, once in the book of Joshua and once in Bamidbar (Numbers). Though it probably got its name earlier. The Cnaanite language of Ugrit together with the Aramaic have very close ties to Hebrew.

  9. One time the Palestinians say theydescend from the Cananites another time from the Philistines .Beside these blatant contradictions I never saw an explanation concerning it. Who were their rulers ,what were their cultural, archeological , historical achievements. There was never a mention of a “Palestinian people in history even not
    recently under the Ottoman Empire.