Friday, August 17, 2018

Do the Jewish people have a claim to Palestine

As God is instructing Moses on what to do with the peoples occupying what will become the holy land he tells him: Numbers 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

1400 BC Joshua crosses Jordan

Joshua is commanded to take the holy land following the instructions God gave to Moses. Og the Amorite king of Bashan (a Giant) is killed along with Sihon and all their people. Soon after, Joshua crosses the Jordan to camp at Gilgal before taking Jericho. He is commanded to take the land of the Amorites on the west bank of the Jordan and the Canaanites stretching to the sea along with the lands of the Hittites, Amorites, Perrizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites (who occupied Jerusalem). No mention of the Palestineans as they did not exist, but the land of the Philistines (Philistia) was not taken.

This map shows the tribes of Israel after the conquest and we still see the land of the Philistines in the south west corner of the map with no tribe of Israel.

1010 BC David takes Jerusalem

David and Solomon after him expanded the Jewish Holy Lands to the north and east but still did not conquer the area controlled by the Pilistines which includes the city of Gaza. There is still no mention of the Palestineans as they did not exist.

733 - 350 BC Babylonian Empires

The great empires of the Assyrians and Babylonians conquer all lands in the region, even venturing into Egypt and to the far north. No record of a governor or regional ruler of Palestine in Assyrian or persian history.

332 BC Alexander The Great

Alexander The Great takes control of the region on his way into Egypt. The city of Jerusalem surrendered to Alexander but the city of Gaza (which was under the control of Persian governor Babemeses) was besieged and finally taken after around two months of fighting. Jerusalem and the surounding cities, countries and regions remain under the control of the Hellenistic Kingdoms until the Romans appear.

63 BC Romans conquer Judaea

Under Emperor Augustus the Romans take control of Judah and the area known in the empire as Judaea. No palestine existed. Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, from AD 26–36 under Emperor Tiberius, and is best known for presiding over the trial of Jesus and ordering his crucifixion. He was not given the title of prefect of Palestine because it did not exist.

This is the end of the Biblical era for the region but below I've included the rest of the timeline up to the establishment of the current borders.

135 - 390 Syria Palaestina

Syria Palaestina was a Roman province between 135 and about 390. It was established by the merge of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, following the defeat of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in 135 in order to remove the relationship of the Jewish people with their homeland. The Kokhba revolt was the third of it's kind and the Romans had had enough. This new region even carried a penalty of death for any Jew who tried to return to this area. This is the first time we see the name Palaestina in history and it is a greek name translating to home of the Philistines. We know from the history as seen in the maps above that the Philistines only occupied a small strip on the south western border of Judah but the Romans wanted the Jews and Judah to dissapear both physically and historicaly.
In the late Roman period and into the Byzantine the name faded and focus was placed on major cities in the region.

969 - 1098 Caliphates

A caliphate is a form of Islamic political-religious leadership which centers around the caliph. Conceptually, a caliphate represents a sovereign state of the entire Muslim faithful, which means internal borders have little meaning as the entire region is an Islamic state. Much like the ISIL of today which has members denounce citizenship in their country of origin and swear allegience to the Islamic State. The cities still maintained their geographic boundaries.

1099 Kingdom of Jerusalem

This is the time of the crusades and focus was placed (by both sides) on the holy city of Jerusalem which led to a new name for the entire region. Palaestina and Judaea no longer existed on the map or in the hearts and minds of those involved in the struggle to control the Holy Land. It was now refered to as The Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1516 Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire did not recognize the Kingdom of Jerusalem (known then as the kingdom of Acre) and instead called the entire region Syria. The Ottomans had governors of Syria and also governors of Jerusalem but not of Palaestina. Palestine did not exist.

1917 British

At the end of World War I the British and French had kicked the Ottoman empire out of the middle east and began the creation of many of the nations we now see in the region. In 1920 we finally see the name Palestine being introduced by the British as a proposed homeland for the Jews. The entire territory proposed encompassed modern Israel, Gaza, the west bank and all of Jordan. This met with a great deal of Arab opposition and new borders had to be created. The land at that time was a dessolate wasteland as recorded by some prominent authors who visited the region.
In 1922 a new proposed map was accepted which gave most of the territory of Palestine to the new Kingdom of Jordan. This left the area propossed for the Jews looking much like the Isreal of today.

1947 United Nations

In 1947 the UN propossed this map giving even more of the original Jewish land to the Arabs. This proposal was not accepted by the Arabs who declared war on Israel the day after it declared independence in 1948.
In 1967 the Arabs again had a war with Israel which resulted in large amounts of territory falling into the hands of the Israelis after the Arabs were defeated. The Gaza strip, the west bank and large parts of northern Egypt all fell to the Israelis.
After the war Irael returned almost all of the territory gained in the war. This map represents the current borders after the Six Day War of 1967.

So what we can clearly see here is that there is no Palestinian people in history until 1922 when the British came up with this name for the region in their 1922 accord at the league of Nations and at that time the Palestineans would have been Jews who the British gave the land to. The Philistines of Biblical time had ceased to exist as a nation before the crusades and never held more than the area of land in the current Gaza strip so if they are the Palestineans they still have the land they always had.

What God told Moses seems to ring true today. The peoples the Jews left in the Holy Land were the Philistines from Gaza and and south west corner of the region, and the Jebusites from Jerusalem and the areas just to the north. These two areas are known today as the gaza strip and the west bank, "thorns in their sides" to say the least.

Here are a few videos on the subject.
What is Palestine
History of Irsael & Palestine

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