Looking for Mahmoud Abbas and Saeb Erakat Relatives

“We returned to Samaria, we came home — Even if they dig very deep, they will not find a Palestinian came here. On the other hand, we see our history here — the ancient Kingdom of Israel was here in Sabastia.” [MK Miri Regev]

In an Haaretz column of January 17, 2018 by Jack Khoury, entitled, “Abbas Rips into Trump — Palestinians are Original Canaanites, we are in Jerusalem Before the Jews”, Abbas declares Oslo Accords are dead and Trump’s peace plan “is a slap, we’ll slap back.” He makes no attempt at justifying his vacuous claim, but uses the opportunity to denounce Trump and to declare the US to be an unfit mediator.

Back on June 6,2016, Itamar Marcus of PMW , recorded Abbas’ false claim of a “6,000-year-old Palestinian nation.” Further, Abbas is given to asserting that the Bible states that the Palestinians existed before Abraham and—- “The Invention of the Canaanite-Palestinian alphabet [was] more than 6,000 years ago.” ” So, why don’t you recognize my rights?”

In an official PA TV, May 14, 2016 broadcast, Abbas remarks,” This land was never without a people, as we have been planted in its rocks and dust and hills since the beginning of civilization and writing and the invention of the Canaanite-Palestinian alphabet more than 6,000 years ago.”

Ignorance is no excuse for not being factual. Writing was only invented around 3,500 BCE. The earliest Canaanite alphabet is thought to be the ancestor of modern alphabets and is dated around 1,500 BCE. And how does Palestinian enter the equation?

Elhanan Miller – Times of Israel 12 February, 2014: About that 2,000 year history in Jericho, Mr. Erekat——– can lay claim to encyclopedic , knowledge of Palestine, but what follows is undoubtedly questionable:
” I am the son of Jericho. I am 10,000 years old—I am the proud son of the Netufians and the Canaanites. I’ve been there for 5,500 years before Joshua Bin Nun came and burned my home town Jericho. I’m not going to change my narrative. Palestinian line of argumentation tends to irk Israelis, and not simply because many doubt that his lineage is quite what he claims.

Given that Erekat is an Arab, Israelis reason, his historic claim to Palestine cannot possibly predate the region’s Islamic conquest in the year 634, over 2,000 years after the biblical Joshua. It is true that many Arabs emigrated to historic Palestine from areas such as Egypt and Syria in parallel with Zionist immigration throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Professor Mordechai Kedar an expert on Arabic literature at Bar-Ilan University notes that whereas Jews can confirm the undisputed linguistic and cultural connection between ancient and modern Jews in the land of Israel, Palestinians could not claim similar ties to the Canaanites.

He says that there is no doubt of Jews living in the Land of Israel in the past, while there is no proof of an “Arab connection between the Arabian nations and the Canaanites; not ethically, not culturally , nothing. They produce these myths to justify the fact that they are here.”

Hagai Mazuz of the Hudson Institute provided an insightful expose on “The Root of the Arab Israeli Conflict: The Classic Islamic View of Jews” in the July-August 2010 edition. It speaks to the core of why no Arab leader can place a signature on paper signifying acceptance of Israel as a Jewish state.

Mazuz correctly observes that in our “post-modern” age, most Western scholars who are secular, find it difficult to accept the idea that medieval texts can dictate the lives of, or even inspire people today. In this, he recognized how Muhammad acted and how all Muslims should act as he had towards the Jews in Medina and Khaybar. What did this translate to?

In 622 CE, Muhammad requested the Jews to “recognize him as a prophet” and to join Islam. Upon them refusing, he “turned against them.” As he gained strength in Medina, he instructed the Muslims “to terrorize the Jews. His first victim was Ka’ab bin al-Ashraf, the leader of one of the three Jewish tribes in Medina. After they decapitated him, they “brought his head to Muhammad who took it and said, “Praise G-d for the death of Ka’ab.” [Kitab al-Maghazi: The Book of Muslim Raids Against the non-Muslims, Vol. 1, pages 184-190].

In 624, 627 and 627 and 628, variations on the subject behavior prevailed, in 627 involving the murder of 750 Jews in the Medina marketplace. In recent times, 2004, an American Jew working in Iraq, was kidnapped and then murdered by al-Qaida’s leader, al-Zarqawi who prior to the beheading was given to saying, “I will do to you what Muhammad did to the Jews in Medina.”

Mazuz opines that according to Muslim tradition, every land conquered by the Muslims becomes holy [called waaf] and must remain in perpetuity under Muslim control. If however, some of these lands are taken back by the infidels, “Muslims must do everything in their power to re-capture them. At the time of writing, there were at least two countries which fitted this category:” Spain and Israel.”

As indicated at the introduction by Hagai Mazuz: what appears to us in the West to be territorial conflicts are, in fact, religious conflicts, which sadly, do not lend themselves to simple solutions.

Avi Goldreich’s “A Tour of Palestine; The Year is 1695 was published by Think-Israel on July-August 2007. It concern’s his visit to Mr. Hobber’s old book store in Budapest, Hungary. There, he discovered a bargain in the Jewish section titled, “Palestina by Hadriani Relandi, published by Trajecti Batavorum: Ex Libraria G. Brodelet, 1714.
Apparently, the author Relandi was a real scholar, geographer , cartographer and well known philologist who was well spoken in perfect Hebrew, Arabic and ancient Greek, as well as the European languages. The book was written in Latin.

In 1695, Relandi was sent on a sightseeing tour to Israel, at that time known as Palestina. In his travels, he surveyed approximately 2,500 places where people who were mentioned in the bible or mishnah lived. He first mapped the Land of Israel.

Secondly, he identified each of the place mentioned in the mishnah or talmud along with their original source. If the source was Jewish, he listed it with the appropriate sentence in the holy scriptures. If Roman or Greek, he presented the connection in Greek or Latin.

Thirdly, he arranged a population survey and census of each community.

His summarized conclusions:

[1] Not one settlement in the Land of Israel has a name that is of Arabic origin. Most of the settlement names originate in the Hebrew, Greek, Latin or Roman languages.
[2] Most of the land was empty and desolate with the inhabitants being few in number; the towns such as Jerusalem, Acco, Tzfat, Jaffa, Tiberius and Gaza differed. The population was primarily Jewish and Christian, the few Muslims were essentially nomad Bedouins.
[3] The book positively contradicts any post modern theory tending to claim “Palestinian heritage” or Palestinian nation. It absolutely discounts any ownership of the Land of Israel by the Arabs notwithstanding their embracing the name Palestina assigned by the Romans.
Relandi mentions how different the situation is in Grenada, Spain where Arabic heritage is particularly noticeable.

History readily provides all the tools necessary to counter the warped propaganda engaged by Arabs in the claim that Arab-Muslim “Palestinians” were” emotionally tied” to their “own plot of land in Palestine” for “thousands of years.” Can Abbas and Erakot find their relatives in the accounts of the destruction of King Solomon’s Temple, the first Temple by the Babylonians or the second Temple by the Romans? Even his greatest detractors concede that Flavius Josephus’s [37 CE -C100] writings are the most important historical source on the Great Revolt against Rome. [The Jewish War]. An exhaustive study of this work will also not lead us to the families of Abbas and Erakot, nor for that matter to any Arab or “Palestinian”.

Joshua Muravchik has dedicated an entire book on Arab propaganda initiated by Arafat, falsely creating a malignant role-reversal. The book titled, “Making David into Goliath” essentially owes its origin through the clever, and yet evil, misuse of the exchange of two words, “Palestinian” for “Arab.” Thus, was the Arab-Israel Conflict replaced by the Palestinian-Israel Conflict, so the world could “pity the poor Palestinians.”

Dr. Bert Miller has provided a well constructed response to Seab Erakot as reported in Arutz 7 of December 12,2017. His reply specifically addresses the latter’s assertion that his people have lived in Eretz Yisrael for thousands of years. He addresses the following leading questions to Erakot:

[1] When the Romans invaded Judea/Palestine in the 1st century CE, did your Palestinian non-Jewish ancestors [there were no Muslims then] [a] fight alongside the Jews? [b] fight against the Romans? or [c] remain non-combatants, like today’s Quakers?

[2] Since [as you assert] your ancestors were present in Palestine at the time of the Roman invasion, any choice above would have been significant. Why is it that not a single historian of that period mentions the choice your ancestors made from the 3 alternatives above?

[3] Do you share the belief that, until recently, the Jews never held sovereignty or even lived in Palestine?

If you are correct, how was it that Roman sculptors created a fictitious, Jewish-focused relief and checked it into the Arch of Titus? These questions represent a sampling of those posed.

Joan Peters dedicated an entire chapter of her “From Time Immemorial, to the subject at hand. A few quotes are illustrative of this in depth study.

Professor Bernard Lewis:”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; it was a group of provincial subdivisions, by no means always the same, within a larger entity.”

Zuheir Muhsin, late Military Department of the PLO and member of its Executive Council:”Yes, the existence of a separate Palestinian identity serves only tactical purposes. The founding of a Palestinian state is a new tool in the continuing battle against Israel—-” [Dutch Daily Trouw, March, 1977].

In 1939, A British Member of Parliament pointed out, “—-a thousand years before the Prophet Mohammed was born, the Jew , already exiled, sitting by the waters of Babylon, was singing; “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning—–.”

Israel clearly has a case to be made unlike its enemies. Regrettably, whereas on the battlefield, it has performed superbly, in the war of ideas, it been totally outclassed. Unrecognized, Israel is the only country in the world which is under siege on a daily basis. As noted by diplomat and author Connor Cruise O’Brian years ago, “What is not in sight is an end to the sight.” And will not be, without a concentrated effort to correct its public image.

About the Author
Alex Rose was born in South Africa in 1935 and lived there until departing for the US in 1977 where he spent 26 years. He is an engineering consultant. For 18 years he was employed by Westinghouse until age 60 whereupon he became self-employed. He was also formerly on the Executive of Americans for a Safe Israel and a founding member of CAMERA, New York (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America and today one of the largest media monitoring organizations concerned with accuracy and balanced reporting on Israel). In 2003 he and his wife made Aliyah to Israel and presently reside in Ashkelon.
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