by Gerald A. HonigmanReading the paper the other day, I came across a story about Jews ("Jewish settlers") being ordered, by Israeli officials, to leave some of their new homes in Hebron.
Naturally, Hebron's location was given as the "West Bank," and Jews were portrayed as merely militant troublemakers in someone else's land.
Nowhere was it mentioned--and rarely ever is--that Jews have lived and owned land in Hebron for about 4,000 years, clear up to the 20th century, when they were massacred by Arabs in the 1920s and 1930s.
David, son of Jesse (born in another "West Bank" town, Bethlehem), was crowned King of Israel in Hebron and had some of his children there. A thousand years earlier, Abraham had made Hebron known to the world in the first place by purchasing a burial plot there for many of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people.
Now, before I deal with the main focus of my concern, let me throw out another thought--one I've dealt with more extensively before
Why Myanmar but not Judea?
Why Sri Lanka, but not Samaria?
Why not Rhodesia, but the "West Bank?"
It's admirable (is it not ?) when a people throws off the legacy of imperial oppression to embrace new freedom. The very renaming of nations themselves has often been a reflection of this wonderful development.
Admirable…unless those folks happen to be Jews. Just reference that above April 3rd article again to see what I mean.
Among the examples of this which have occurred over the last half century are people who lived in Great Britain's former imperial possessions of Ceylon, Rhodesia, and Burma. Those nations are now known as Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Myanmar.
While the so-called "Progressives" of the world--who control much of the mainstream media these days--are adamant that the previous imperialist names of conquered lands be dismissed, why is it that when it comes to dealing with the oft-conquered land of the Jews, the opposite is the case?
In one account after another about Bethlehem, Hebron, East Jerusalem, and other places in historical Judea and Samaria, those towns have been designated by statesmen, journalists, academics, the mainstream media, and others the "West Bank" instead--or, "the occupied" West Bank, to add insult to injury. Judeans/Jews living in those areas are now the alleged settlers and "imperialist occupiers" of the land, and those who beg to differ are more often than not simply dismissed as reactionary Zionist fanatics. That's what the unnamed author of the April 3rd article did.
With few exceptions, however, it's easy to discover that almost all the towns on the "West Bank" were re-named from their original Hebrew sites after the Arabs' own imperial conquests of the 7th century C.E. Check out this source http://www.forward.com/articles/6134/ ("What's In A Town's name?") for starters.
Judea and Samaria--the names the disputed territories now constantly making news were known as for thousands of years--did not become designated the "West Bank" until after World War I and the official break-up of the Ottoman Turkish Empire.
After Great Britain's handing over some 78% of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine's territory to Arab nationalism in 1922 with the creation of Transjordan, a quarter century later the latter's British-led army then grabbed the non-apportioned part of the Mandate of Palestine west of the Jordan River upon its invasion of a minuscule, reborn Israel in 1948. Holding both banks of the river, it soon changed its name to Jordan. To distinguish the east bank from the newly-conquered territory across the river (acquired as a result of the newest imperial shenanigans in the land), the name "West Bank" was thus born…the imperialist-linked name that the media now insists to call Judea and Samaria by. Imagine telling a black African that he must call his nation Rhodesia instead of Zimbabwe…
I say the following not as a racist, but after giving this some very careful thought…
While it's not good to generalize, Arabs have indeed come to be very good at hijacking…besides and before they made the news doing such things with airplanes.
We've seen above how they got the world to view Judeans--Jews--calling the land by its original, non-imperialist name as the alleged foreigners and extremists instead.
Along these same lines, they did the same thing with the name "Palestine" as well.
The late Egyptian ghoul, Yasser Arafat, and latter-day Arafatians like to speak of Jesus and his Apostles as "Palestinians"--not Jews. Just recently another Arab "scholar" announced that Moses led Muslims out of Egypt in the Exodus…just in time for this Passover season.
The real deal, of course, is that there never, ever, ever was an Arab kingdom, country, or nation known as “Palestine” during the time of Jesus--nor at any other time either.
The land was known as Iudaea (Judea) and its inhabitants were Judaeans...Jews.
Tacitus, Pliny, Josephus, and Dio Cassius were famous Roman and Roman-sponsored historians who wrote extensively about Judea’s attempt to remain free from the Soviet Union of its day, the conquering Roman Empire. They lived and wrote not long after the two major revolts of the Jews in 66-73 C.E. and 133-135 C.E. Note that they make no mention of this land being called “Palestine” nor its people “Palestinians.” And they knew the differences between Jews and Arabs as well.
As I've often reiterated, my aim is for the following quote to become a mantra for my readers...that’s how important the implications of its contents are in the discussion of this topic when Arabs try to claim aboriginal rights for “Palestinians,” and folks like those running such news articles supporting them allow the hijacking to go on unchallenged.
Here is one of many such ancient passages from Vol. II, Book V, The Works of Tacitus. He wrote this regarding the Jews' first major revolt for freedom against imperial Rome…
Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea...he commanded three legions in Judaea itself...To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria...amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations.
After that first revolt, Rome issued thousands of Judaea Capta coins which can be seen today in museums all over the world. Notice, please...Judaea Capta...not "Palaestina Capta." Again--no hijacking allowed. Open up the url to my own book and look at the jacket cover to see one of those exact coins http://q4j-middle-east.com.
Additionally, to celebrate this victory, the Arch of Titus was erected and stands tall in Rome to this very day.
When, some sixty years later, Emperor Hadrian decided to further desecrate the site of the destroyed Temple of the Jews by erecting a pagan structure there, it was the grandchildren's turn to take on their mighty conquerors.
Please permit me to sidetrack a bit...
Is a victim any less a victim because his victimization has been among the oldest in recorded history?
If not, then why are Judeans/Jews merely portrayed as trouble-making zealots for wanting to finally erase that tragic state of affairs--as witnessed, once again, in the above newspaper article?
Okay, moving on…
The result of the struggle of this tiny land of the Jews--Judea, not "Palestina"--for its independence was, perhaps, as predictable as that which would have occurred had Lithuania taken on the Soviet Union during its heyday of power. Yet, here's Dio Cassius referring to the destruction of Rome's entire 22nd Legion...
"580,000 men were slain, nearly the whole of Judaea made desolate. Many Romans, moreover, perished in this war (the Bar Kochba Revolt). Therefore Hadrian, in writing to the senate, did not employ the opening phrase commonly affected by the emperors, 'I and the legions are in health.'"
The Emperor was so enraged at the Jews' struggle for freedom that, in the words of the esteemed modern historian, Bernard Lewis…
Hadrian made a determined attempt to stamp out the embers not only of the revolt but also of Jewish nationhood and statehood...obliterating its Jewish identity.
Wishing to end, once and for all, the Jews' hopes, Hadrian renamed the land itself from Judaea to "Syria Palaestina"--Palestine--after the Jews' historic enemies, the Philistines, a non-Semitic sea people from the area around Crete. Not only were the Philistines not Arabs, they were not even Semites.
Thus, the Arab attempt at hijacking the Philistines' identity won't work any better than their attempt to steal that of the ancient Jews. Yet, the mainstream media, once again, accepts their fractured fairy tales hook, line, and sinker and routinely gives them a free pass.
Much later, Palestine became largely "Arab" the same way that most of the twenty-one states that call themselves "Arab" today did...by the murderous conquest, colonial occupation, and forced Arabization of other native, non-Arab peoples and their lands. Muhammad's and his successors' imperial Caliphal armies burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E. and spread in all directions.
From the 10th century onwards, the Arabs lost control of the land themselves. And when the Arabs' own empires ruled, it was from Damascus or Baghdad. Again, there was no independent Arab entity of Palestine then either.
While there are other nauseating examples of this Arab proclivity towards hijacking, the last one I want to expose was also revealed in that April 3rd article about Hebron.
Read carefully the first sentence of the last paragraph of that article…
Hebron is the traditional burial site of Abraham, the shared patriarch of both Jews and Muslims.
Now, while it's true that Arabs and other Arabized folks (some now also known as Muslims) claim Abraham as their own, they also claim that the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem was never a Jewish site. They call it Buraq's Mount instead--after Muhammad's supposedly winged horse with the head of a woman who just happened to take him on a flight to Heaven from the holiest site in all of Judaism and Jewish history.
Keep in mind that the Jews had already been around for almost three millennia before Muhammad ever walked Planet Earth.
While this is indeed a stretch, if militant Hindus conquer the Vatican, does that make the latter as holy to them as it is to Roman Catholics? In that light, consider Muslim claims over Jerusalem, Hebron, and so forth.
Now, unlike what Muslims indeed do to others all the time, I am not aiming to belittle anyone's faith--including Muslims'.
But I am going to be true to history and state that, despite Muhammad's alleged conversations with the Angel Gabriel, we do know that--beyond the realm of pure faith-- he fled Mecca and landed in the Jewish date palm oasis town of Medina. Jews had settled there after the Roman wars and knew the Arabian Peninsula very well via the spice trade and such. The Hebrew Bible's Book of Job likely takes place there, and Yemen even had a series of Jewish kings just before the rise of Islam.
While there were also Arab pagans who lived in Medina, ancient Arab historians such as Jalaluddin came right out and spoke of the enormous influence the Jews had on Muhammad--so much so that he changed the qibla--the direction of prayer--towards Jerusalem instead.
As with Arabs claiming themselves the original aborigines of the Holy Land, they then also hijacked the stories of the Hebrew Bible--which they only learned of primarily via their contacts with the Jews (and also a bit from Christians).
Abraham was now transformed into a Muslim, not a Hebrew, and the story about the sacrifice of Isaac was transferred to Ishmael instead as well.
Again, via the Hebrew Bible's account of Abraham's relationship with Hagar the Egyptian and the birth of her son, Ishmael, Arabs attempt another hijacking.
But, the Hebrew Bible calls Arabs Arabs and Egyptians Egyptians…and the latter were also, like the Philistines, not even Semites let alone Arabs.
Something to think about…no?
Such continuous Arab hijacking is blatantly obvious, and many more examples could be cited.
That Muslims--especially Arab Muslims--repeatedly choose to do such things speaks volumes. I don't think that I really need to explain how pathetic this is to those with functioning neurons. Arab (and Arabized) envy and jealousy of the Jews is sickening to the point where it accounts for much of the hatred towards "their" reviled kilab yahud..."Jew dogs."
Despite all of this, however, to have other people--like the author of that April 3rd article--spouting such nonsense is the real cause for concern.
Such folks are merely willing stooges and accomplices to a hijacking.
Chag sameach and Happy Easter to my Jewish and Christian friends.