Carlos Cardoso Aveline

The Jewish Roots of Palestine

The book by Netanyahu - and the statue “Let Us Beat Swords into Ploughshares”, by Soviet artist Evgeni Vuchetich, a gift from  Russia to the United Nations in 1959 [Photo: ILT and the United Nations, NY]
The book by Netanyahu - and the statue “Let Us Beat Swords into Ploughshares”, by Soviet artist Evgeni Vuchetich, a gift from Russia to the United Nations in 1959 [Photo: ILT and the United Nations, NY]

Good-willing souls who believe in fashionable propaganda are often inclined to cancel both History and Reality. They are proud to dismiss common sense as soon as the objective world contradicts their lofty ideals. Let us admit a fact, then: the news that Palestine is not an Arab land, and was not “suddenly occupied by the Jews in 1948 or 1967”, is deeply disturbing to many.

It is quite normal therefore for misinformed people to get disappointed upon knowing that the 1989 edition of the “Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary” defines Palestine in these words:

1. Also called Holy Land. Biblical name, Canaan, an ancient country in Southern Western Asia, on the East coast of the Mediterranean. 2. A former British mandate comprising part of this country, divided in 1948 between Israel, Jordan and Egypt.” [1]

The Land of Israel and the Jewish State are part of Palestine as much as some Arab nations are. And, by the way, many other ethnic and religious groups are part of Palestine, too. The Jewish presence in the Holy Land is a fact since a long time before the birth of Islam, or the start of Christian Era. Once intercultural dialogue is accepted, Islamic tradition will profit by cherishing and learning from older, more experienced religions.

The 1967 edition of “Encyclopaedia Britannica” has this to say about the history of the Jewish people:

“For the first two periods the history of the Jews is mainly that of Palestine. It begins among those peoples occupying the area between the Nile on the one side and the Tigris and the Euphrates on the other. Surrounded by ancient seats of culture in Egypt and Babylonia, by the deserts of Arabia and by the highlands of Asia Minor, Palestine, with Syria on the north, was the high road of civilization, trade and warlike enterprise, and the meeting place of religions.” [2]

And the 1967 Britannica defines:

PALESTINE, the name of a former land of the eastern Mediterranean comprising parts of modern Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. It is also known as the Holy Land because Jesus Christ lived and taught there. Palestine was named after the Philistines, who occupied the southern coastal part of the country in the 12th century before Christ. The area, first called Philistia, gave its name in the 2nd century of the Christian Era to Syria Palaestina, the Southern portion of the Roman province of Syria. The name Palestine was revived as an official title when the British were given a mandate for the government of the country after its release from Turkish rule in World War I. It is still in popular use as a general term to define a traditional region, but this usage does not imply precise boundaries.” [3]

Canaan “is the ancient name for Palestine”, says the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “found both in the Old Testament and in earlier Egyptian and cuneiform writings”.[4]

The same text says:

“It was during the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age – roughly, about 1250 before Christian Era – that the Israelites, a confederation of the Hebrews, entered Canaan, settling at first in the hill country and in the south. The land was now clear of Egyptian sovereignty…”.[5]

The language of the Canaanites “may be described most conveniently as an archaic form of Hebrew”. [6]

The Jewish roots of Palestine are easy to see, although the victims of an expensive, long-standing anti-Semitic propaganda may find them difficult to accept. Facts are facts: both the Christian Bible and the Jewish Bible are set in Jewish Palestine or Canaan. The so-called West Bank is the area of the ancient Jewish kingdoms of Judea and Samaria. The Jews have a deep, enduring relationship with Gaza. Judaism emerged in Palestine. It is by far the first and the oldest of the three main monotheistic religions. The three religious traditions must learn to establish harmony among themselves and in their interaction with the smaller cultural and religious groups of Palestine. For that to occur a significant improvement is necessary on the part of Islam.

It would be wrong to say that Israel is merely a geopolitical tool of the United States. Although it is important as a country, the ex-colony of the British Nation remains limited to the time-cycle of Christianity, while Israel has much wider cycles than the timings of Islam and Christianity. With less than 300 years of age, the USA is still an unexperienced country if compared to Israel, whose spiritual depth and historical experience are enormous and may play a key role in the future.

Regarding the presence of the Jews in Palestine, we have so far avoided using Jewish sources. Let us see now what an Israeli leader and thinker has to say about the land.

Benjamin Netanyahu writes:

“Until the twentieth century, the name Palestine referred exclusively to the ancient land of the Jews, as did the names Judea, Judah, Zion and Israel. The Arabs who lived there were called Arabs, just as the Armenians, Turks, Druze and Circassians who migrated into Palestine were still called Armenians, Turks, Druze and Circassians. With the exception of the Jews, who called the land ‘Eretz Israel’ (the Land of Israel) and viewed it as their national home, all of those groups considered themselves to be living in ‘Southern Syria’, and never identified the land as a unique national homeland for themselves.”

“Paradoxically”, says Netanyahu, “under the British Mandate [7] between the two world wars, it was the Jews who often referred to themselves as Palestinians. As Golda Meir once said, ‘I am a Palestinian. From 1921 to 1948, I carried a Palestinian passport [issued by the British Mandate]. There was no such thing in this area as Jews, Arabs and Palestinians. There were Jews and Arabs.’ [8] Earlier, she had also said, ‘There was no Palestinian people considering itself as Palestinians’.” [9]

“Thus”, Netanyahu explains, “before the term Palestine was politicized, it was simply a synonym for the geographic area encompassing the Land of Israel, or Eretz Israel, and was used as such between the two world wars. While the Palestinians can argue that their national identity emerged in the first half of the twentieth century, the historical facts simply do not support the false claim that an Arab Palestinian national consciousness goes back earlier than that. It didn’t.” [10]

Solutions for the long-standing conflicts in the Middle East must be sought with realism. The psychotic fancy of Jewish annihilation and the practice of disrespect toward Israel and its population must be abandoned before real peace can be established. The goal of destroying Israel can only exist – and inspire terrorist organizations – as long as the Jewish State is seen as fragile. Referring to his father, Israeli Historian Benzion Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu wrote:

“After the horrors of the Holocaust, Father was seized by the urgency of forming a Jewish state. Like Herzl, he saw it as the indispensable instrument to ensuring Jewish survival. Yet he was also preoccupied with the question of how the Jewish state, once established, could continue to survive. In this he was greatly influenced by Jabotinsky’s 1923 essay ‘The Iron Wall’, which argued that Arab reconciliation with Zionism would occur only when the Jewish state became so strong that the Arabs would abandon any hope of destroying it.”[11]

In the Days to Come  

In fact, several Arab countries have good relations with Israel, and others are building them. The peace process, however, cannot fully develop or even be publicized before the right time comes. The Abraham Accords are perhaps a tip of the iceberg that will destroy organized hatred and pave the way to the lasting peace that the world has deserved for a long time.

Is Israel strong enough for that already?

Is it capable of inspiring other nations and religions of the Middle East and the world with a feeling of respect and a desire for peace and cooperation?

Everything is not instantaneous in life.

Each person of goodwill can help pave the way for the prophecy of the Book of Isaiah to take place, not in a dead-letter perspective, but in its profound, mystical and true meaning, so as to make sure unnecessary destruction does not occur.

Strength creates peace. The Mount of the Lord is an allegory of the universal spiritual wisdom that can inspire different nations:

In the days to come,
The Mount of the LORD’s House
Shall stand firm above the mountains
And tower above the hills;
And all the nations
Shall gaze on it with joy.
And the many peoples shall go and say:
Let us go up to the Mount of the LORD,
To the House of the God of Jacob,
That He may instruct us in His ways,
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For instruction shall come forth from Zion,
The word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Thus He will judge among the nations
And arbitrate for the many peoples,
And they shall beat their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks:
Nation shall not take up
Sword against nation;
They shall never again know war. [12]

There are several layers of meaning in these images, and they are not easy to bring to the realm of words.


[1] “Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language”, Portland House, New York, 1989, 2078 pages.

[2] “Encyclopaedia Britannica”, 1967 edition, volume 12, “Jews”, p. 1055.

[3] “Encyclopaedia Britannica”, 1967 edition, volume 17, “Palestine”, p. 155.

[4] “Encyclopaedia Britannica”, 1967 edition, volume 4, “Canaan”, p. 726.

[5] “Encyclopaedia Britannica”, 1967 edition, volume 4, “Canaan”, p. 727.

[6] “Encyclopaedia Britannica”, 1967 edition, volume 4, “Canaan”, p. 728.

[7] Note by B. Netanyahu: Merriam-Webster defines “Mandate” as “an order or commission granted by the League of Nations to a member nation for the establishment of a responsible over a former German colony or other conquered territory.” In this case the designated territory was Palestine, which reverted from Ottoman to British administration.

[8] Note by B. Netanyahu: “Golda Meier Quotes”, The Iron Lady of Israeli Politics, Thames TV, 1970.

[9] Note by B. Netanyahu: UN Security Resolution 242 was submitted to the council by the British ambassador to the UN, Lord Cardon, on November 22, 1967. It was drafted with the help of US representative to the UN Arthur Goldberg, Undersecretary of State Eugene Rostow, and others. It was later reaffirmed by Resolution 338 at the end of the Yom Kippur War on October 22, 1973.

[10] From the book “Bibi, My Story”, by Benjamin Netanyahu, Threshold Editions, New York, 2022, 724 pp., see p. 105.

[11] From “Bibi, My Story”, by Benjamin Netanyahu, Threshold Editions, New York, 2022, p. 109.

[12] Isaiah, chapter 2, in “Tanakh, the Holy Scriptures”, The Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia-Jerusalem, copyright 1985, p. 619. The same idea is expressed in Micah, chapter 4, pp. 1046-1047. The idea of turning swords into plowshares is not exclusive to Judaism (and Christianity). It is present in the Section III (“His Immediate Disciples”) of Chapter V, pp. 113-114 in the 1893 edition of the Analects of Confucius, version of James Legge. The book is available online at  In the Analects, the idea is not a prophecy, but a proposition.

Read more:

* Israel, the Old New Land.

* The Universality of Temple Mount.

* Temple Mount as a Source of Peace.

* Hitler’s Science, and Science Today.

* Theosophy and the Second World War.


About the Author
Born in Brazil in 1952, Carlos Cardoso Aveline is a journalist by profession and author of the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”. He has other works published on esoteric philosophy and ecology. The editor of “The Aquarian Theosophist”, Cardoso Aveline thinks Judaism, Jewish philosophy and Israel have important roles to play in the ethical rebirth the world needs in the present century. He lives in Portugal and directs the Library and Research Center of the Independent Lodge of Theosophists, whose associated websites include and www.HelenaBlavatsky.Org .