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'Jesus was a Palestinian,' claims U.S. history text
World Net Daily ^ | October 03, 2008 | Bob Unruh

Posted on 10/03/2008 5:09:03 AM PDT by Sopater

A new study reveals that if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wanted to criticize the nation of Israel before the United Nations, he could use American public school textbooks to do so.

"It is shocking to find the kind of misinformation we discovered in American textbooks and supplemental materials being used by schools in every state in the country," said Dr. Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research and a co-author of the study.

"Elected officials at every level should investigate how these offensive passages are creeping into our textbooks. Presenting false information in the classroom undermines the very foundation of the American educational system," he said.

Tobin teamed with insititute research associate Dennis Ybarra for the study, titled, "The Trouble with Textbooks: Distorting History and Religion." The five-year effort, which looked at 28 prominent history, geography and social studies textbooks, reveals American public school students are being loaded up with indoctrination about Christianity, Judaism, Islam and the Middle East, to the cost of Christianity and Judaism and the benefit of Islam.

The study also supports other assessments of U.S. texts on which WND has reported.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: aclumia; agitprop; antisemitism; education; godsgravesglyphs; homeschool; indoctrination; islaminamerica; israel; jesus; jesusofpalestine; littleredschoolhouse; palestinianjesus; propalestinianwar; publicschool; publicschools; religiousleducation; revisionisthistory; scottforesman; theworld
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According to an earlier report from the American Textbook Council, history textbooks throughout the U.S. schooling system promote Islam.
1 posted on 10/03/2008 5:09:03 AM PDT by Sopater
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To: Sopater

Lafayette was French.

2 posted on 10/03/2008 5:14:23 AM PDT by Rhino54
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To: Sopater

Yea and Frederick Douglas spoke Ebonics.

3 posted on 10/03/2008 5:19:07 AM PDT by Slapshot68
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Sopater

Jesus was a Jew, a citizen of Israel which was, at that time, occupied by the Romans.

5 posted on 10/03/2008 5:32:47 AM PDT by Blennos (High Point, NC)
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To: Sopater
Stupidity reins rampant. The word Palestine comes from the work Philistine. The Philistines were the traditional enemies of the Jews. Jesus of course was a Jew, not a Philistine.

Quoting from Wikopedia: “The Romans joined the province of Judea (which already included Samaria) together with Galilee to form a new province, called Syria Palaestina, to complete the disassociation with Judaea.” In other words the Roman used the term to delegitimize Judea.

6 posted on 10/03/2008 5:33:02 AM PDT by Upstate NY Guy
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To: Sopater

and philistines rule the schools

7 posted on 10/03/2008 5:34:37 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: Blennos
Jesus was a Jew, a citizen of Israel which was, at that time, occupied by the Romans.

That's what my history book says.

8 posted on 10/03/2008 5:36:56 AM PDT by Sopater (The Left taketh, and the Left giveth away...)
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To: Sopater

And Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright are men of God.

9 posted on 10/03/2008 5:54:03 AM PDT by mothball
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To: Sopater

And the Romans would agree to boot.

10 posted on 10/03/2008 5:54:16 AM PDT by SolidWood (McCain/Palin 2008)
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To: Sopater
I'm wondering if SF writers Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert were prescient... Both predicted that islam would be the dominant religion in the future. I wonder if they believed it would be because islam would conquer Christianity and Judaism, or if they'd just surrender.


11 posted on 10/03/2008 5:56:07 AM PDT by MarkL (Al Gore: The Greenhouse Gasbag! (heard on Bob Brinker's Money Talk))
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To: Sopater
Since Christians believe Jesus was the son of God, conceived through “Immaculate Conception”, He surely was neither a Jew nor a Philistine.
12 posted on 10/03/2008 5:59:41 AM PDT by webrover
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To: webrover

The Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary.

13 posted on 10/03/2008 6:04:08 AM PDT by happinesswithoutpeace (You are receiving this broadcast as a dream)
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To: Sopater; betty boop; metmom; valkyry1; MrB; Arthur Wildfire! March; Fichori; Elsie

It’s time for Americans to stop the godless liberal NEA from wrecking our country!

14 posted on 10/03/2008 6:04:39 AM PDT by tpanther (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke)
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To: Sopater

Jesus was a Jew.

15 posted on 10/03/2008 6:05:24 AM PDT by weegee (Obama's a uniter?"I want you to argue with them (friends,neighbors,Republicans) & get in their face")
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To: mothball

Don’t forget Al Gore’s pal, Fred Phelps (D).

16 posted on 10/03/2008 6:06:37 AM PDT by weegee (Obama's a uniter?"I want you to argue with them (friends,neighbors,Republicans) & get in their face")
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To: Sopater
Earliest Reference Describes Christ As 'magician'

"A bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., is engraved with what may be the world's first known reference to Christ. The engraving reads, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," which has been interpreted to mean either, "by Christ the magician" or, "the magician by Christ."

17 posted on 10/03/2008 6:11:32 AM PDT by blam
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To: happinesswithoutpeace
OOps. Make that miraculous virgin conception. Gimme a break it's early :)
18 posted on 10/03/2008 6:16:25 AM PDT by webrover
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To: webrover

lolz np

19 posted on 10/03/2008 6:17:42 AM PDT by happinesswithoutpeace (You are receiving this broadcast as a dream)
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To: blam
"...A bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., is engraved with what may be the world's first known reference to Christ..."

This is a joke, right? Kind of like Biden explaining how FDR went on TV in 1930?

I rather suspect that if the bowl has a reference to a man born in the year 0, it LIKELY wouldn't have been made 200 years before the man was born.

20 posted on 10/03/2008 6:20:04 AM PDT by pickrell (Old dog, new trick...sort of)
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To: Sopater
Palestine was a name given to the area by a Cesar of Rome to the area to insult Israel by naming the area after the their enemies the Philistines. This happened after the Maccabees revolt long after Christ if memory serves me right.
21 posted on 10/03/2008 6:26:35 AM PDT by mountainlion (concerned conservative.)
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To: Rhino54
Lafayette was French.

Non sequitur.

During the time of Jesus, the region was named "Judea". After the defeat of the First Jewish Revolt and the and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, the Roman commemorated the victory by a series of coins proclaiming "Judea Capta" ("Judaea conquered").

Similar "Capta" coins were issued to commemorate Roman victories in other regions, for example, Germania.

It was not until after the Bar Kokhba Revolt of 132–135 AD that the Romans, tiring of the repeated Jewish revolts, wiped the name of Judea off their maps and renamed the region "Syria Palaestina". At the same time, the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem and Jerusalem was renamed "Aelia Capitolina".

There was no "Palestine" during the time of Jesus. The term "Syria Palaestina" did not exist until a century later.

To say that "Jesus was a Palestinian" is the same as saying that "Lafayette was a citizen of the European Union".

22 posted on 10/03/2008 6:29:46 AM PDT by Polybius
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To: blam
"Χριστός", transliterated as "Christos" and translated as "Christ" literally means "anointed". Therefore, the cup could simply be saying something like anointed magician. My Greeks not good, but my point is that the word "Christos" or "CHRSTOU" doesn't necessarily always mean Jesus Christ.
23 posted on 10/03/2008 6:41:17 AM PDT by Sopater (The Left taketh, and the Left giveth away...)
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To: mountainlion
Palestine was a name given to the area by a Cesar of Rome to the area to insult Israel by naming the area after the their enemies the Philistines. This happened after the Maccabees revolt long after Christ if memory serves me right.

History Police:

The Maccabean Revolt was a revolt against the Seleucid Empire that occurred in 175 BC during the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes. The revolt led to Jewish independence and the Hasmonean Kingdom.

The Romans captured Jerusalem in 63 BC and Judaea then became a protectorate of Rome but was allowed to retain a king.

The named change referring to Palestine occurred after the Bar Kochba Revolt. (See Post 22)

24 posted on 10/03/2008 6:58:58 AM PDT by Polybius
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To: tpanther; MeekOneGOP; TigersEye; floriduh voter

Thank you, Panther.

“US Textbook Used as Iranian Propaganda Tool” Ping

25 posted on 10/03/2008 7:04:53 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (Fannie + Freddie = Democrat Cronies [Dodd and Obama -- the LegisLOOTers])
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To: Sopater
The level of outrageousness grew: "Christianity was started by a young Palestinian named Jesus," claims "The World," by Scott Foresman.

Wait. Public schools cannot mention Jesus in umpteen other contexts. His name may not be spoken on public property to hear the ACLU tell it. So how can this book be "kosher" with the ACLU stance on "Church and State"? To hear Christopher Hitchens tell it, Jesus never even existed.

Here's a link on the textbook:

And here's a lesson on Palestine:

Palestine (păl'ustīn) [key], historic region on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, at various times comprising parts of modern Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, and Egypt; also known as the Holy Land. The name is derived from a word meaning “land of the Philistines.” This article discusses mainly the geography and the history of Palestine until the United Nations took up the Palestine problem in 1947; for the economy and later history, see Israel, Jordan, and West Bank.

In the Bible, Palestine is called Canaan before the invasion of Joshua; the usual Hebrew name is Eretz Israel [land of Israel]. Palestine is the Holy Land of Jews, having been promised to them by God; of Christians because it was the scene of Jesus' life; and of Muslims because they consider Islam to be the heir of Judaism and Christianity and because Jerusalem is the site, according to Muslim tradition, of Muhammad's ascent to heaven. The Holy Land derives its special character from being a place of pilgrimage. Shrines, shared in common by several religions, cluster most numerously in and about Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Hebron.

And Israel:

Israel (iz'rēul) [key], officially State of Israel, republic (2005 est. pop. 6,277,000, including Israelis in occupied Arab territories), 7,992 sq mi (20,700 sq km), SW Asia, on the Mediterranean Sea. (The area figure used above does not include the Golan Heights or the West Bank, which are occupied by Israel.) It is bordered by Lebanon in the north, Syria and Jordan in the east, the Mediterranean Sea on the west, Egypt on the southwest, and the Gulf of Aqaba (an arm of the Red Sea) on the south. The capital and largest city of Israel is Jerusalem. This article deals primarily with the events in Israel from 1948 to the present. For the earlier history of the region, see Palestine.

26 posted on 10/03/2008 7:37:56 AM PDT by weegee (Obama's a uniter?"I want you to argue with them (friends,neighbors,Republicans) & get in their face")
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To: Sopater; Slapshot68; revolutionist; Blennos; Upstate NY Guy
"Jesus was a Palestinian,' claims U.S. history text"

Technically, the book is right. But the motives of the book's publisher are clearly suspect, and have a political overtone.

Some facts here:

First, "Palestine" to the best of my knowledge derives from the term "Philistines" which we all know were a brutish lout of people living along the coast of what is modern-day Israel and Gaza. Jesus was not a Philistine. Neither are today's Palestinians proven to be descended from Philistines.

Second, historical Palestine extends from Lebanon and Syria to Egypt and the Sinai, and even into modern-day Jordan. So, technically speaking, anyone living in these areas could be considered Palestinian.

Third, today's Palestinians weren't even called Palestinians UNTIL they fled Israel proper prior to the 1948 war. The name was absconded in an attempt to add legitimacy to the refugees. No one in all Araby gave a hoot about them until they because useful fodder and political pawns, and they had to give them a name. The Jews called themselves Israelis, so the world named the refugees Palestinians.

Fourth, Jesus was Jew, a Hebrew, and clearly not a Gentile, which is the inference of the text.

So why do I provide all this information? To show that the textbook in question is one more example of an arrogant leftist trying to use half-truths to indoctrinate our children. Even if means implying that Jesus was a Palestinian, meaning that "What Would Jesus Do?" means Jesus would side with today's Palestinians instead of today's Israelis.

Sheesh. Repeat after me until you're numb: home school or Christian school, home school or Christian school, home school or Christian school, home school or Christian school ...

Footnote: I've always thought it appropriate that today's Palestinians, loved by so many on the political left, claim descent from the very people whose name (Philistine) has such a pejorative connotation -- someone who is without culture, without class, base and loathsome. Sounds just like ... well ... just like the former leader of the Palestinians, Yassir Arafat!

27 posted on 10/03/2008 7:38:41 AM PDT by tom h
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To: tom h
I've just posted links to the textbook itself. They admit that Palestine comes from Philistine. They are revising the historical record to call Jesus a Palestinian.
28 posted on 10/03/2008 7:40:12 AM PDT by weegee (Obama's a uniter?"I want you to argue with them (friends,neighbors,Republicans) & get in their face")
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To: Sopater

Ha are Palestinians writing their books? “Jesus was Palestinian” is a fairly popular Palestinian remark.

29 posted on 10/03/2008 8:56:24 AM PDT by forkinsocket
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: revolutionist
"I think your reading too much into it. Palestine is what the Romans called the region, Jesus was someone who resided in that region, ergo he is a Palestinian. It true and it is accurate, but still you find it suspect? Silly."

Except when you find out the author/editor/reviewer of the text has a name like "Ayad Al-Qazzaz." And that other parts of the text are filled with anti-Israeli tripe. Then you realize that it's not silly but a quite serious attempt at Muslim indoctrination of our schools.

The only reason a 21st century textbook would call Jesus a Palestinian, and not a Jew, is for purposes of indoctrination. Do you have German background? If so, it would technically be correct to call you a Hun, but any reasonable person would wonder why I did it -- humor or insult, but not without motive. Same as if I called an Asian a Mongol, or a Russian a Cossack.

As my Dad used to tell me, when something doesn't make sense, look to motive.

Suggest you read the source article.

31 posted on 10/03/2008 10:38:01 AM PDT by tom h
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
If you'd like to be on this middle east/political ping list, please FR mail me.

High volume. Articles on Israel can also be found by clicking on the Topic or Keyword Israel, WOT


I saw bus in Chicago the other day with an ad on it's side, to paraphrase

Islam: the religion of Noah, Abraham, Jesus and Mohammed

32 posted on 10/03/2008 10:43:31 AM PDT by SJackson (as a black man, you know, Barack can get shot going to the gas station, Michelle O)
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To: NYer; Salvation; Pyro7480; AnAmericanMother; SunkenCiv; F15Eagle; Salem; 444Flyer; T.L.Sink; ...


Jesus was a “palestinian” wide aunt fanny! Jesus was born Jewish and lived as an observant Jew. Mary and Joseph were Jewish, not “palestinian” ancestors of Abbas or Arafat! The Holy Book Jesus learned from as a boy was the Torah at the synagogue, not the koran at the mosque!

33 posted on 10/03/2008 10:50:09 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (“Do you know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.” - V.P. Sarah Palin)
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To: Convert from ECUSA; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

Thanks Convert from ECUSA. So, was the foreword of the history book written by Barack Hussein Obama?

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach

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34 posted on 10/03/2008 11:22:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv ( hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: SunkenCiv

Did he still go to Japan?

The Grave of Christ has become an international tourist attraction

35 posted on 10/03/2008 11:28:09 AM PDT by BGHater (Democracy is the road to socialism.)
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: weegee
"The World," by Scott Foresman.

Not sure why you edited from the original "published by Scott Foresman," but it does make it unclear that Scott Foresman is an educational publisher, not an individual (it used to be written "Scott, Foresman & Co." years ago!).

Which brings up the problem of educational publishers: elementary and high school ("el-hi" in the trade) have to be "adopted" by state boards of education; some adopt one textbook per course, and some issue a list of approved texts. The publishers wouldn't be doing this if it didn't help them win state adoptions.

Into the 60s, at least some educational publishers issued two separate history books, under the same name and almost the same except for treatment of the Civil War, to win adoption in northern and southern states.

37 posted on 10/03/2008 12:02:41 PM PDT by maryz
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To: DaveLoneRanger; 2Jedismom; aberaussie; Aggie Mama; agrace; Antoninus; arbooz; AZ .44 MAG; bboop; ...


This ping list is for the “other” articles of interest to homeschoolers about education and public school. This can occasionally be a fairly high volume list. The main Homeschool Ping List handles the homeschool-specific articles. I hold both the Homeschool Ping List and the Another Reason to Homeschool Ping list. Please freepmail me to let me know if you would like to be added to or removed from either list, or both.
38 posted on 10/03/2008 2:52:08 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Gabz


39 posted on 10/03/2008 2:53:42 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Sopater

Talking to a very bright biblical scholar yesterday, I’m pretty sure he said Palestine is a relatively new title for a country.

40 posted on 10/03/2008 3:12:02 PM PDT by proudtobeanamerican1 (God Bless Sarah Palin and her Family.)
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To: metmom

Yeh, boy, I’d fear Sarah Palin vs Obama if I were Jewish. Yegad, he is pro-Palestine! He is for partial birth abortion!! But she hunts? Give me a BREAK.

41 posted on 10/03/2008 3:13:44 PM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: Sopater

By this interpretation, all Jews are Palestinian as well. Ergo, no more Palestinian ‘problem’ because the Palestinian’s (Jews) have a homeland (Israel).

Wasn’t there a Palestinian brigade in WWII that was composed with Jewish soldiers?

42 posted on 10/03/2008 3:39:32 PM PDT by dmanLA
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To: Sopater

As my Granny used to say, “The devils been busy.”

43 posted on 10/03/2008 3:40:04 PM PDT by stentorian conservative
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To: weegee

Fred Phelps said that Jesus died for WBC’s sin only and everyone is going to Hell. I bet he will say that Jesus is a fag-enabler like what he said about everyone else.

44 posted on 10/03/2008 3:45:28 PM PDT by Ptarmigan (Never Forget Hurricane Ike.)
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To: SunkenCiv

My brother had a HS history which claimed Mohammed had one wife - and it wasn’t the 9 year old.
In 9th grade ( history geek that I am ) I discovered my history book mistakenly claimed aircraft carrier US Bunker Hill was at Pearl Harbor.

45 posted on 10/03/2008 4:05:16 PM PDT by warsaw44
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To: warsaw44

I shudder to think what the “history” textbooks teach about the foundation of Israel, the PLO, the Ayatoilet, Obama, oops, Osama bin Laden, the seizure of the mosque in Mecca...

46 posted on 10/03/2008 4:31:56 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: revolutionist
We don’t call Peter the Great a Soviet, he was Russian ... Similarly Caesar was Roman, not Italian

And by the same token, the Roman Empire didn't call that set of provinces "Palestine" until about a century +/- AFTER the death of Jesus.

'Palestine' is a Latinized name given to the region by the Roman emperor Hadrian to blot out the name of Israel.

That is from Wiki, as it is the quickest & easiest of many sources to check it out yourself.

map of Rome's Iudaea Province in the time of Jesus

Ergo, even by your own reasoning, Jesus was NOT a Palestinian.

47 posted on 10/03/2008 5:23:57 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The Great Obamanation of Desolation, attempting to sit in the Oval Office, where he ought not..)
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To: metmom


48 posted on 10/03/2008 5:27:45 PM PDT by Turret Gunner A20 (The FairTax -- the largest magnet for capital and jobs in history. John Snow)
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To: mountainlion
Palestine was the Roman name for the general area.....

Glad you brought up the history of the name. Earlier it was Judah and later under the Herodian Dynasty it was Judea.

Jesus (or Joshua ben Josef) was a Judean.
49 posted on 10/03/2008 5:39:45 PM PDT by BIGLOOK (Keelhaul Congress! It's the sensible solution to restore Command to the People.)
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The History and Meaning of "Palestine" and "Palestinians"

A Time To Speak [ ]

"There is no such thing as a Palestinian Arab nation . . . Palestine is a name the Romans gave to Eretz Yisrael with the express purpose of infuriating the Jews . . . . Why should we use the spiteful name meant to humiliate us?

The British chose to call the land they mandated Palestine, and the Arabs picked it up as their nation's supposed ancient name, though they couldn't even pronounce it correctly and turned it into Falastin a fictional entity." — Golda Meir quoted by Sarah Honig, Jerusalem Post, 25 November 1995

Palestine has never existed . . . as an autonomous entity. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc. Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that's too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today . . . No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough.— from "Myths of the Middle East", Joseph Farah, Arab-American editor and journalist, WorldNetDaily, 11 October 2000

From the end of the Jewish state in antiquity to the beginning of British rule, the area now designated by the name Palestine was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries . . . . — Professor Bernard Lewis, Commentary Magazine, January 1975

Talk and writing about Israel and the Middle East feature the nouns "Palestine" and Palestinian", and the phrases "Palestinian territory" and even "Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory". All too often, these terms are used with regard to their historical or geographical meaning, so that the usage creates illusions rather than clarifies reality.

What Does "Palestine" Mean?

It has never been the name of a nation or state. It is a geographical term, used to designate the region at those times in history when there is no nation or state there. The word itself derives from "Peleshet", a name that appears frequently in the Bible and has come into English as "Philistine". The name began to be used in the Thirteenth Century BCE, for a wave of migrant "Sea Peoples" who came from the area of the Aegean Sea and the Greek Islands and settled on the southern coast of the land of Canaan. There they established five independent city-states (including Gaza) on a narrow strip of land known as Philistia. The Greeks and Romans called it "Palastina".

The Philistines were not Arabs, they were not Semites. They had no connection, ethnic, linguistic or historical with Arabia or Arabs. The name "Falastin" that Arabs today use for "Palestine" is not an Arabic name. It is the Arab pronunciation of the Greco-Roman "Palastina" derived from the Peleshet.

How Did the Land of Israel Become "Palestine"?

In the First Century CE, the Romans crushed the independent kingdom of Judea. After the failed rebellion of Bar Kokhba in the Second Century CE, the Roman Emperor Hadrian determined to wipe out the identity of Israel-Judah-Judea. Therefore, he took the name Palastina and imposed it on all the Land of Israel. At the same time, he changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina.

The Romans killed many Jews and sold many more in slavery. Some of those who survived still alive and free left the devastated country, but there was never a complete abandonment of the Land. There was never a time when there were not Jews and Jewish communities, though the size and conditions of those communities fluctuated greatly.

The History of Palestine

Thousands of years before the Romans invented "Palastina" the land had been known as "Canaan". The Canaanites had many tiny city-states, each one at times independent and at times a vassal of an Egyptian or Hittite king. The Canaanites never united into a state.

After the Exodus from Egypt — probably in the Thirteenth Century BCE but perhaps earlier — the Children of Israel settled in the land of Canaan. There they formed first a tribal confederation, and then the Biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and the post-Biblical kingdom of Judea.

From the beginning of history to this day, Israel-Judah-Judea has the only united, independent, sovereign nation-state that ever existed in "Palestine" west of the Jordan River. (In Biblical times, Ammon, Moab and Edom as well as Israel had land east of the Jordan, but they disappeared in antiquity and no other nation took their place until the British invented Trans-Jordan in the 1920s.)

After the Roman conquest of Judea, "Palastina" became a province of the pagan Roman Empire and then of the Christian Byzantine Empire, and very briefly of the Zoroastrian Persian Empire. In 638 CE, an Arab-Muslim Caliph took Palastina away from the Byzantine Empire and made it part of an Arab-Muslim Empire. The Arabs, who had no name of their own for this region, adopted the Greco-Roman name Palastina, that they pronounced "Falastin".

In that period, much of the mixed population of Palastina converted to Islam and adopted the Arabic language. They were subjects of a distant Caliph who ruled them from his capital, that was first in Damascus and later in Baghdad. They did not become a nation or an independent state, or develop a distinct society or culture.

In 1099, Christian Crusaders from Europe conquered Palestina-Falastin. After 1099, it was never again under Arab rule. The Christian Crusader kingdom was politically independent, but never developed a national identity. It remained a military outpost of Christian Europe, and lasted less than 100 years. Thereafter, Palestine was joined to Syria as a subject province first of the Mameluks, ethnically mixed slave-warriors whose center was in Egypt, and then of the Ottoman Turks, whose capital was in Istanbul.

During the First World War, the British took Palestine from the Ottoman Turks. At the end of the war, the Ottoman Empire collapsed and among its subject provinces "Palestine" was assigned to the British, to govern temporarily as a mandate from the League of Nations.

The Jewish National Home

Travellers to Palestine from the Western world left records of what they saw there. The theme throughout their reports is dismal: The land was empty, neglected, abandoned, desolate, fallen into ruins

Nothing there [Jerusalem] to be seen but a little of the old walls which is yet remaining and all the rest is grass, moss and weeds. — English pilgrim in 1590

The country is in a considerable degree empty of inhabitants and therefore its greatest need is of a body of population — British consul in 1857

There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent [valley of Jezreel] — not for 30 miles in either direction. . . . One may ride 10 miles hereabouts and not see 10 human beings. For the sort of solitude to make one dreary, come to Galilee . . . Nazareth is forlorn . . . Jericho lies a moldering ruin . . . Bethlehem and Bethany, in their poverty and humiliation . . . untenanted by any living creature . . . .

A desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds . . a silent, mournful expanse . . . a desolation . . . . We never saw a human being on the whole route . . . . Hardly a tree or shrub anywhere. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country . . . .

Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes . . . desolate and unlovely . . . . — Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, 1867

The restoration of the "desolate and unlovely" land began in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century with the first Jewish pioneers. Their labors created newer and better conditions and opportunities, which in turn attracted migrants from many parts of the Middle East, both Arabs and others.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, confirmed by the League of Nations Mandate, commited the British Government to the principle that "His Majesty's government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish National Home, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object. . . . " It was specified both that this area be open to "close Jewish settlement" and that the rights of all inhabitants already in the country be preserved and protected.

Mandate Palestine originally included all of what is now Jordan, as well as all of what is now Israel, and the territories between them. However, when Great Britain's protégé Emir Abdullah was forced to leave the ancestral Hashemite domain in Arabia, the British created a realm for him that included all of Manfate Palestine east of the Jordan River. There was no traditional or historic Arab name for this land, so it was called after the river: first Trans-Jordan and later Jordan.

By this political act, that violated the conditions of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate, the British cut more than 75 percent out of the Jewish National Home. No Jew has ever been permitted to reside in Trans-Jordan/Jordan.

Less than 25 percent then remained of Mandate Palestine, and even in this remnant, the British violated the Balfour and Mandate requirements for a "Jewish National Home" and for "close Jewish settlement". They progressively restricted where Jews could buy land, where they could live, build, farm or work. After the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel was finally able to settle some small part of those lands from which the Jews had been debarred by the British. Successive British governments regularly condemn their settlement as "illegal". In truth, it was the British who had acted illegally in banning Jews from these parts of the Jewish National Home.

Who Is A Palestinian?

During the period of the Mandate, it was the Jewish population that was known as "Palestinians" including those who served in the British Army in World War II.

British policy was to curtail their numbers and progressively limit Jewish immigration. By 1939, the White Paper virtually put an end to admission of Jews to Palestine. This policy was imposed the most stringently at the very time this Home was most desperately needed — after the rise of Nazi power in Europe. Jews who might have developed the empty lands of Palestine and left progeny there, instead died in the gas chambers of Europe or in the seas they were trying to cross to the Promised Land.

At the same time that the British slammed the gates on Jews, they permitted or ignored massive illegal immigration into Western Palestine from Arab countries Jordan, Syria, Egypt, North Africa. In 1939, Winston Churchill noted that "So far from being persecuted, the Arabs have crowded into the country and multiplied . . . ." Exact population statistics may be problematic, but it seems that by 1947 the number of Arabs west of the Jordan River was approximately triple of what it had been in 1900.

The current myth is that these Arabs were long established in Palestine, until the Jews came and "displaced" them. The fact is, that recent Arab immigration into Palestine "displaced" the Jews. That the massive increase in Arab population was very recent is attested by the ruling of the United Nations: That any Arab who had lived in Palestine for two years and then left in 1948 qualifies as a "Palestinian refugees".

Casual use of population statistics for Jews and Arabs in Palestine rarely consider how the proportions came to be. One factor was the British policy of keeping out Jews while bringing in Arabs. Another factor was the violence used to kill or drive out Jews even where they had been long established.

For one example: The Jewish connection with Hebron goes back to Abraham, and there has been an Israelite/Jewish community there since Joshua long before it was King David's first capital. In 1929, Arab rioters with the passive consent of the British — killed or drove out virtually the entire Jewish community.For another example: In 1948, Trans-Jordan seized much of Judea and Samaria (which they called The West Bank) and East Jerusalem and the Old City. They killed or drove out every Jew.

It is now often proposed as a principle of international law and morality that all places that the British and the Arabs rendered Judenrein must forever remain so. In contrast, Israel eventually allotted 17 percent of Mandate Palestine has a large and growing population of Arab citizens.

From Palestine To Israel

What was to become of "Palestine" after the Mandate? This question was taken up by various British and international commissions and other bodies, culminating with the United Nations in 1947. During the various deliberations, Arab officials, spokesmen and writers expressed their views on "Palestine".

"There is no such country as Palestine. 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented. . . . Our country was for centuries part of Syria. 'Palestine' is alien to us. It is the Zionists who introduced it." — Local Arab leader to British Peel Commission, 1937

"There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not" — Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian to Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, 1946

"It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria." — Ahmed Shukairy, United Nations Security Council, 1956

By 1948, the Arabs had still not yet discovered their ancient nation of Falastin. When they were offered half of Palestine west of the Jordan River for a state, the offer was violently rejected. Six Arab states launched a war of annihilation against the nascent State of Israel. Their purpose was not to establish an independent Falastin. Their aim was to partition western Palestine amongst themselves.

They did not succeed in killing Israel, but Trans-Jordan succeeded in taking Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem, killing or driving out all the Jews who had lived in those places, and banning Jews of all nations from Jewish holy places. Egypt succeeded in taking the Gaza Strip. These two Arab states held these lands until 1967. Then they launched another war of annihilation against Israel, and in consequence lost the lands they had taken by war in 1948.

During those 19 years, 1948-1967, Jordan and Egypt never offered to surrendar those lands to make up an independent state of Falastin. The "Palestinians" never sought it. Nobody in the world ever suggested it, much less demanded it.

Finally, in 1964, the Palestine Liberation Movement was founded. Ahmed Shukairy, who less than 10 years earlier had denied the existence of Palestine, was its first chairman. Its charter proclaimed its sole purpose to be the destruction of Israel. To that end it helped to precipitate the Arab attack on Israel in 1967.

The outcome of that attack then inspired an alteration in public rhetoric. As propaganda, it sounds better to speak of the liberation of Falastin than of the destruction of Israel. Much of the world, governments and media and public opinion, accept virtually without question of serious analysis the new-sprung myth of an Arab nation of Falastin, whose territory is unlawfully occupied by the Jews.

Since the end of World War I, the Arabs of the Middle East and North Africa have been given independent states in 99.5 percent of the land they claimed. Lord Balfour once expressed his hope that when the Arabs had been given so much, they would "not begrudge" the Jews the "little notch" promised to them.

[Note: Some of the material cited above is drawn from the book From Time Immemorial by Joan Peters.]

50 posted on 10/03/2008 6:27:15 PM PDT by Turret Gunner A20 (The FairTax -- the largest magnet for capital and jobs in history. John Snow)
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