Micah Ben David Naziri
Ha'Shem is a Verb.

Indigenous Judean Roots: Smashing Antisemitic “Settler-Colonialist” Narratives

Image used with permission, from the Hashlamah Project.

When European colonists settled on Turtle Island, which is today referred to as the Americas, they did not find centuries-old copies of Shakespeare, nor the King James Christian Bible. Neither did these settler-colonialists find Greek and Roman artifacts. They did not find Christian crucifixes, Mediterranean mosaics or copies of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Why do you think that is?

Anyone and everyone understands that the reason they did not find such things, on their settler-colonial enterprises, is simple: because Europeans are not Indigenous to Turtle Island.

As Europeans are not Indigenous to Turtle Island, we should not expect to find such artifacts or manuscripts.

Now fast forward to the 19th and 20th centuries, when Jewish refugees, expelled from antisemitic Christian and Islamicate lands, began returning to the Ancient Land of Judea, the Land of Israel, to rejoin existing Jewish communities, which had remained established there all along.

Contrary to popular misconceptions and even deliberate antisemitic propaganda designed for the purposes of cultural and historic erasure of our Indigenous Judean roots, the Jewish community did not begin in Modern Era Syria Palestina (the name the Ottomans called this region under their control, before British Mandate Palestine). It did not even begin with the ending of the Christian Crusades. Rather, Jewish communities have been part of the landscape of this region, now so dogmatically termed “Palestine” by those who prefer this Greek translation of the Hebrew word “Yisrael.”

“Palestine” Is Greek For “Israel”

Linguist Martin Noth argues that the name likely comes from a proto-Semitic word, and that there is a strong similarity between Palaistine and palaistes, the Greek word for “wrestler, rival, adversary.” This, of course has the same etymological meaning as the Hebrew word “Yisrael.”

It should further be noted that there is no word for Philistia found in the sparse archeological evidences unearthed of the Philistine language. It would thus seem a fair assessment that the name, as employed in the Hebrew, Egyptian, and Assyrian, derived from a common source, evidenced in the Greek meaning.

Most scholars agree that the Philistines were of Greek origin. This view is based upon the fact that archaeologists found similarities in the strata dated to the Philistine time-period in the coastal plains and in adjacent areas. These archeological evidences of material culture have led the vast majority of scholars to conclude that the Ancient Palestinians – that is “Philistines” – came from Crete and the rest of the Aegean Islands and modern-day Greece, suggesting common origins.

Thus, naturally, the Greek meaning of this name seems the most likely original etymology. With that in mind, the Greek term was nothing other than their rendering for the Land of Israel, as it is etymologically explained in Sefer Berashit, the Book of Genesis in the Torah.

Now in the Land of Israel, what do you suppose we have found in strata matching historical records of our ancestors there?

We find ancient manuscripts written in Hebrew, the language which only the Jewish people, and none other, have preserved and liturgically (and otherwise) used in an unbroken tradition and lineage for thousands of years. We find the same language spoken today in the State of Israel: Hebrew.

The sources we have found tell of the same teachings, rituals, religious beliefs and prophets, as well as corroborating the histories of our people, which we have preserved in the Diaspora (Galut) and within our communities which never left our ancestral home to begin with.

Why would this be?

Because the Jewish people, all over the world, are ancestrally indigenous to the region which was called Syria Palestina by the Ottoman Caliphate, who formerly controlled it, and Palestine by the British (and originally, by the Romans). Palestine, as we have seen, is merely the Greek rendering of “to wrestle,” just the same as in the Torah’s etymology of the word Yisrael (Berashit/Genesis 32:29). In other words, “Palestine” or “Philistine” is simply the Greek way to say “Israel.”

The Ill-Informed Settler-Colonialism Narrative

Possibly the most history-revising talking point of online antisemitic propaganda is  that Jewish presence in the historical land of Eretz Yisrael Hashlamah, is that Jews returning to our ancestral homeland are “settle-colonialists.”

Settler colonialism occurs when colonizers invade and occupy territory to permanently replace the existing society with the society of the colonizers. On the surface, this would seem to potentially fit the bill in the Israel-Palestine conflicts. But what is a colonizer? If we are to accept this definition of settler-colonialism, we must first define what colonialism is.

Settler-colonialism is a form of exogenous domination typically organized or supported by a foreign – that is non-Indigenous – imperial authority. Settler colonialism contrasts with exploitation colonialism, which entails an economic policy of conquering territory to exploit its population as cheap or free labor and its natural resources as raw material. In this way, settler colonialism lasts indefinitely, except in the rare event of complete evacuation or settler decolonization. Writing in the 1990s, Patrick Wolfe theorized settler colonialism as a structure (rather than an event) premised on the elimination rather than exploitation of the native population, thus distinguishing it from classical colonialism.

Today, there are 1,957,270 Israeli Arabs of Palestinian Druze, Muslim and Christian backgrounds. This Palestinian population has increased, rather than having been replaced. As such, even if our Indigenous Judean roots were ignored – as antisemites are wont to do – the statistics simply do not fit the definition of “settler-colonialism.” As such, the continued use of this phrase is nothing more than propagandistic, dismissive cultural erasure of Jewish ancestral identity. It is hyperbolic, and clearly ill-fitting.

Make no mistake: those who massacre non-combatants for returning to their ancestral indigenous homes are the settlers – in this case descendants of the Arab Caliphate, mixed with those they forcibly converted and thus raped through non-consenting “marriage” – NOT the Jewish descendants of Ancient Judeans. This isn’t rocket science… unless you hate Jews and are only for decolonization when it comes to everyone but the Jewish People returning to our ancestral home.

If you wish to live in peace with us, in our ancestral land, which both the Torah and Qur’an say was assigned to us, that we must never turn away from willingly, and must always strive to return to (5:20-21), then al-hamdulillah, barukh Ha’Shem. The Torah speaks of such Noachide “Gerei Toshav” which Muhammad called “Muslimin“, and tells of such examples as the City of Giv’on, which did not xenophobically challenge our return, and thus did not face any defensive violence from us.

Can You Be A “Settler-Colonialist” In Your Own Ancestral Land?

All of this brings us to the underlying implicit question of whether or not it is possible for Jews to be in the region of our Levantine ancestors, without being settler-colonists? Or is there a statute of limitations on how long those of us directly-forced and coercively-forced into exile, diaspora, galut have before returning to the Jewish communities which never left the area?

Did our time run out? If so, what was the year in which it ran out?

Moreover, if the Descendants of Arab Colonialism and Imperialism Are “Indigenous” to Palestine, then so too must European Americans be “Indigenous” to North America, since they have been on the continent for centuries now. Does this mean that since it’s been centuries, Europeans are now Indigenous Native Americans?

Obviously, this is a patently absurd assertion. So why do we accept such a claim when it comes to Arab Settler-Colonialism and the descendants of the “Arabization” of the Middle East and Africa.

Isn’t it convenient that we have this term “Arabization” in academia, to refer to what would otherwise, in reference to any other culture, be termed “Imperialism,” “Colonialism” or “Settler-Colonialism”?

Counter Talking-Points

Since the Antisemitic movement of Hamas “simps” (as my children would term them), seems fond of talking points, here are 12 of my own, related to Judean Indigenousness to the Land of Israel (or “Palestine” if you prefer the Greek translation):
1. Jews are ancestrally from the Land of Judea and Israel, which European Colonialists and Imperialists named Palestine. This renaming was an overt attempt to insult us – as the Ancient Palestinians were literally Greek invaders… “settler-colonialists” in the Holy Land of Israel.
2. Palestinian Arabs, far from being descended from those Ancient Greeks, are a mixture of Arabized, colonized, forcibly-converted Jews, essentially raped by Arabs who spread the Caliphate’s version of “Islam” throughout the Middle East and Africa, in a process which is academically sanitized by the word “Arabization.” This identity was lost, even though many Palestinian families still have vernacular Arabic which is from Hebrew, customs and names which derive from their forgotten shared heritage. But just as some anthropologists have concluded that the Pashtunim of Afghanistan are ancestrally from the Tribe of Benyamin, having such lost ancestry while being an avowed enemy of those of us who never left Yahadut – Judaism and Jewry – does not grant one some special genetic rights over the land, as goyyim so commonly assume.
3. Jewish communities never disappeared from the region of historical Israel. We never left – ever! This point cannot be emphasized enough. We never lost connection with the land. We have prayed over the millennia, for return to the Land of Israel – Tziyon – Zion. Indeed, “l’shanah haba’ah b’Yerushalayim,” meaning “Next year in Jerusalem,” is a phrase that is often sung at the end of the Pesach Seder and at the end of the Ne’ila service on Yom Kippur. We have never accepted our galut or exile, and have always strived for decolonization in our Indigenous, ancestral home of Eretz Yisrael Hashlamah.
4. Many Jews fled because of European oppression in the Land of Israel, so many centuries ago. Towards the Fall of Jerusalem, after the valiant Great Jewish Revolt of Menachem Ben Yehudah Ha’Galili, many Jews emigrated to the Rhineland, simply because the Romans were afraid of the Germanic tribes there. As they continuously defeated the Romans, this was seen as a “safe” place for Jews to regroup, and avoid genocide.
5. Jews have for over two and a half millennial come and gone from established Judean communities in what is today called Israel and Palestine – leaving by force and returning.
6. Jews OUTNUMBERED Muslims 2:1 in Jerusalem in 1848 according to Karl Marx’s first hand observations, in the New-York Daily Tribune. That means you have been lied to about some “tiny Jewish minority” in Syria Palestina. The fact is that in many areas, from Hebron to Safed to Jerusalem, we were the majority – often twice the number of Muslims in these cities.
7. Jews who returned to our ancestral home were greeted with no less than THREE DECADES of massacres at the hands of der Großmufti von Jerusalem. It was this later friend of Hitler, who financed antisemitic pogroms in the Land with direct funding from the Third Reich, who massacred refugees who had joined existing and established Jewish communities in Syria Palestina, without stealing one centimeter of “Arab land” in Mandate Era Palestine.
8. Palestinians colluded directly with Hitler, received funding from him throughout the 30s and early 40s to kill Jews in the Land and even all the way in Iraq, which the Mufti’s brother oversaw. These were Yasser Arafat’s uncles, by his own admission.
9. Arab nations all waged war against Jews in 1947-49, thinking they could eliminate every Jew from the Land. They made the poor decision of telling Arabs to leave their homes, and let them take care of us. Things didn’t work out the way they had hoped. Right or wrong, the Palestinians who we academically speak of as being “expelled” were largely those who were simply denied the Right of Return, after the war was over.
10. Jews accepted the plan the UN outlined for a Jewish and an Arab state. Palestinians rejected it and continued attacking Jews. This would continue time and time again, every time “Land for Peace” was offered to the Palestinian leadership.
11. All the while, Arab nations continued to drive Jews out of our respective homes throughout the Middle East and North Africa. These so-called Mizrachi refugees, took refuged in and returned to the Land of our ancestral origins.
12. Arab nations team up again in 1967 to “drive the Jews into the Sea” but after six days that also didn’t end they way they had imagined. It was around this time that we start to really begin to see the name “Palestinian” emerging as a ethnopolitical identity. Before this, the term was a barely used designation. There had never in history been Palestinian Arab rule of the land, let alone a “state” that Jews somehow came in and destroyed.


Talking points could easily go on from there, but I sincerely encourage all readers to thoroughly research both sides’ arguments in this conflict. It is not a zero-sum game, unless a Terror Cult like Hamas insists it be.
Of the above explanation, I would love to hear some responses as to which of these groups of immigrants and refugees fit the academic description of settler-colonialism on the part of the Jewish People returning to our ancestral home?
Are Ethiopian and Mizrachi Jews, and Palestinian-background Arab Druze “white settlers?” Or are they “Crusaders,” as so many ignorant of the history of this conflict seem fond of imagining?
Incidentally, it should be noted by those who have only recently learned of this conflict from TikTok videos and memes, that Mizrachim and Druze constitute the vast majority of the Israeli population (considering that this majority is comprised of those with at least one grandparent from such backgrounds).
This is why anyone who has been to Israel knows that there is a huge African Jewish population there, not simply tokens as we see in odd “Afro-Palestinian” editorials, which even seem to acknowledge the fairly recent immigration of such African Muslims to Palestine, and their lack of ancestral roots to the region.
As for other Israelis? Most Israeli Jews, as noted, are a mix of Ashkenazi and Mizrachi. The rest are largely descended from the 500,000 or so families prior to 1948, who had legally purchased properties from Palestinian sellers after being invited by various mayors in Mandate Palestine (see the aforementioned article, for more on this)
Indigenous people should be allowed to return to their ancestral homelands, no matter how long they are gone – Jews or Palestinian Muslims and Christians alike, for that matter. They shouldn’t have to face decades of massacres by personal friends of Hitler, backed by direct Nazi funding according to the Arab Higher Commission. But that is exactly the reality our families in Mandate Era Palestine were forced to endure.

The remaining Jews in Israel are still either all ancestrally INDIGENOUS to Ancient Israel, or they are rare fractions of a percent who converted – that is “immigrated” – to Yahadut. Their immigration to the Land of Israel would be akin to a Muslim convert wanting to move to Mecca. Should Muslim converts not be permitted in Mecca the way Jews are currently not?

“‘Come let us REASON together!’ Says Ha’Shem!” (Yeshayahu/Isaiah 1:18)

About the Author
Dr. Micah Naziri was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. The son of a multitude of peoples, Micah has Ashkenazi Jewish, German, Native American and Melungeon Sefardic background. Micah has often said he has “one foot in the masjid and the other in shul.” Spiritually, Micah considers his understanding of Judaism to be “Judeo-Sufi,” or “Istislam” as described by Rabbeinu Bachya ibn Paqudah, in his Medieval Judeo-Arabic work “Guide to the Duties of the Hearts” (Al-Hidayat ila Fara`id al-Qulub), which quoted Muhammad and his son-in-law `Ali profusely – reference each as being “a great chasid” – while fully embracing the Torah as the framework of religious practice for the Jewish people. Dr. Naziri is the founder of the Martial Sufi Tariqah alternatively known as the Taliyah al-Mahdi (2001) and the Jamat al-Fitrah (2005), as well as Hashlamah Project Foundation (2012), and the White Rose Society “reboot” (2016). As the founder of the Hashlamah Project Foundation, Micah uses his education in Near Eastern Languages, Religions and historical models of building bridges between Jewish and Muslim communities, to help reconcile and unite Jews and Palestinian Muslims. He is a prolific author who has penned numerous academic articles, donating 100% of the proceeds to charities working towards social justice. He has also authored a science fiction novel fused with history and politics. His Master’s thesis on the religious milieu of Judaism in Muhammad’s life time, in Arabia, has been published by New Dawn Publications and is available on Amazon, with all proceeds similarly going to charity work. He has served as an editor for written works on Martial Arts and Eastern Medicine, transcribing and creating numerous titles for some of his teachers. He has himself authored several martial treatises using the pen name Seng, Hern-Heng – his Taoist lineage name given to him in 2006 by Huang, Chien-Liang. On that front, he is currently working on a new Taoist translation of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) based on the original Mawangdui manuscripts. Micah became well-known for activism confronting an anti-Muslim protester peacefully and reasoning with her outside of a Dublin, Ohio mosque. After nearly 45 minutes of debate and reconciliation, the woman embraced a Muslimah woman from the mosque, and went into the mosque with her and Micah for bagels, coffee and a tour of the house of worship. When she left, the Muslims there gave her a gift bag. Micah became somewhat infamous – loved by some, hated by others – not only for several high-profile, viral protests, but also for teaching free self-defense classes available to all interested parties from historically oppressed communities. Law enforcement, however, have without question been the most hostile to Naziri, as he became a regular protester against police brutality and murder of unarmed African-Americans. Micah has been equally as virally-known as an avowed anti-rape activist, who confronted the Stanford Rapist, Brock Turner at his home in Sugarcreek Township, Ohio, after he was released from his mere three-month jail sentence for raping an unconscious woman. Today, Micah continues activism in the areas surrounding Yellow Springs, and abroad, focusing on weekly protests and vigils supporting families of innocent, unarmed African-American youths, gunned down by local police or vigilante citizens attempting to hide behind gun culture and the Second Amendment, such as in the recent case of Victor Santana – who was recently arrested, charged with murder, and convicted after months of pressure put on Montgomery County prosecutor Matt Heck by protests Micah organized in conjunction with Donald Dominique of the New Black Panther Party. Micah is currently coordinating expanded work with international Hashlamah Project chapters and the Jam`at Al-Fitrah, the name used in the Palestinian Territories for the Sufi Martial Tariqah known as the Taliyah al-Mahdi. He is seeking grant-writing partnerships to grow the Hashlamah Project organization’s efforts – particularly in the State of Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
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