Middle Eastern Myths"The Myth of Palestine"
By Dr. Richard Booker
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Information, said that a big lie thatis told often enough and long enough will eventually be accepted as truth. Withcooperation from the world's media, coupled with ignorance, apathy, and anti-Semi-tism among the nations, Israel is being presented as a giant Goliath killing littleDavids who are only armed with stones. There would be peace in the Middle East ifonly Goliath Israel would agree to little David's demand for a Palestinian state withJerusalem as its capital. This is one of the many lies constantly repeated to theuninformed West. The purpose of this presentation is to expose some of the myths(read that big lies) regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Myth #1 - The Myth of Palestine
In an article entitled, "The Lesson of Palestine," printed in the Middle East Journal,October 1949, Arab activist, Musa Alami, wrote, "how can people struggle for theirnation, when most of them do not know the meaning of the word? The people arein great need of a "myth" of imagination. The myth of nationality would create"identity" and "self-respect."
The Arab world has certainly demonstrated great skill in the "myth" of imagination.They have done such a good job that they have convinced much of the world thattheir "myths" are facts. Perhaps their biggest myth is the myth of Palestine. The Arabworld would have us believe that the Palestinians have been in "Palestine" from "timeimmemorial" but were displaced by the Jews when Israel became a state in 1948. Butwhat are the facts?
While we are not certain of the exact dates, Joshua conquered the Land God promisedthe Jews in the 13th century BCE. King David established Jerusalem as the capital ofIsrael around 1000 BCE. King Solomon built the Jewish Temple about 960 BCE. Thiswas almost 1000 years before the beginning of Christianity and 1600 years before therise of Islam. As Prime Minister Barak has noted, "When Jesus came to Jerusalem tocelebrate the feasts, he didn't come to a church or a mosque, he came to the Temple."It is not the Church Mount or the Mosque Mount that is fought over, it is the TempleMount. It was the Temple Mount centuries before Christianity tried to make it theChurch Mount and Islam tried to make it the Mosque Mount.
However, not to be confused with facts, in a personal audience I had several yearsago with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who was appointed by Arafat, he boldlydeclared that the Arabs had been living in the Land for 10,000 years. Based onconservative Bible chronology, that means the Arabs have been living in the Landbefore the Almighty created Adam and Eve.
How did Israel become Palestine and who are the Palestinians? The second Jewishwar with the Romans took place in 132-135 CE. Led by Rabbi Akiva and Simon barKochba, the Jewish uprising was crushed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian who soughtto de-Judaize Jerusalem and make it a pagan city. Hadrian renamed Jerusalem "AeliaCapitolina" in honor of Jupiter. He changed the name of Judea and gave it the nameof the Jews ancient enemy, the Philistines. He called it -- Palestine.
Over time, Palestine was ruled by the Roman Byzantines (312-637) [Persianinterrupt 614-629], Omayyad Arabs (638-750), Islamic Abbassid's (750-1099),Crusaders (1099-1291) [Saladin the Kurd interrupt 1187-93], Mamluks (1291-1516), Ottoman Turks (1517-1917), and the British Mandate (1917-1948). None ofthese rulers established a sovereign state in the Land and Jerusalem was never thecapital of any empire since the time of King David. Palestine was a forgottendesolate, wasteland, but historical records show there was always a Jewish presencein the Land.
The revival of modern Jewish life in the Land began in the 1880's with the arrival ofRussian refugees from the Russian pogroms. A second wave of immigration, alsofrom Russia, was in 1905. This was followed by later immigrations resulting in agrowing Jewish population in the Land. When the Jews came to the Land, they founda malaria infested swamp in the north and an uninhabitable desert in the south. Itwas as if the God of the Bible had kept the Land hidden away in obscurity until therightful owners -- the Jews returned to claim it.
The Jewish pioneers did not steal the Land from the Arabs. They purchased the Landat highly inflated prices from absentee landlords living outside the Land. As the Jewsworked the Land, it began to prosper. While there were Jews and Arabs living in theLand, there were many poor migrant Arab farm workers in the surrounding Arabcountries who needed work. When they heard that the Land was prospering underthe hand of the Jews, they migrated to Palestine to get work from the Jews.Furthermore, the British allowed many thousands of Arabs into Palestine illegallywhile barring the Jews from entering the Land. For the most part, the ArabPalestinians are these peasant farm workers and illegal aliens.
"Palestinians" have never been a distinct people, they have never had a sovereign landcalled Palestine, Jerusalem has never been their capital, there is no Palestinianlanguage or culture, and there is no Palestinian people. It is a myth created after theJews liberated Jerusalem in 1967.
Before the birth of the State of Israel, Arab leaders themselves denied the existenceof an Arab country called Palestine. In 1937, Arab leader, Auni Bey Abdul-Hadi said,"There is no such country [as Palestine]! 'Palestine' is a term the Zionists invented!There is no Palestine in the Bible. 'Palestine" is alien to us; it is the Zionists whointroduced it." In 1946, a distinguished Princeton professor and Arab historian said,"There is no such thing as Palestine in Arab history, absolutely not."
All who lived in the Land, Jews, Arabs, and Christians, were called Palestinians. In fact,the Jerusalem Post was called the Palestinian Post. Under the British Mandate, thePalestinian Jews were given a state. But before this state came into existence, ColonialSecretary, Winston Churchill, in 1922, took away seventy-seven percent of thegeographic area promised to the Jews and created Transjordan as a state for thePalestinian Arabs. Israel would be for the Palestinian Jews and Transjordan (nowJordan) for the Palestinian Arabs.
Israel became a state in the War of Independence in 1948. At that time, approximately600,000 Arabs fled to become refugee pawns in the hands of neighboring Arab states.Some number of Arabs stayed to become Israeli citizens. While we certainly sympa-thize with the plight of the Arab refugees, their problems could easily be solved if theirArab brothers cared enough to assimilate them as the Jews did their own 800,000immigrants from the Arab countries.
Visit Dr. Richard Booker online:www.drrichardbooker.com or www.rbooker.com
Sounds of the Trumpet, Inc.Institute for Hebraic-Christian Studies
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Richard Booker, MBA, Ph.D., is an ordained Christian minister, President of Sounds of theTrumpet, Inc., and the Founder/Director of the Institute for Hebraic-Christian Studies.
He is the author of thirty books which are used by churches and Bible schools around theworld. He has also developed many seminars and Bible college level courses and writes reg-ularly for Christian magazines.
Dr. Booker has traveled extensively for over thirty years teaching in churches and at confer-ences on various aspects of the Christian life as well as Israel and the Hebraic roots of Chris-
Dr. Booker and his wife, Peggy, lead yearly tour groups to Israel where, for eighteen years, Dr. Booker was aspeaker at the International Christian Celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem attended by over5,000 believers from 100 nations.
Dr. Bookers teachings are designed to help believers better understand the Bible and their covenant God. Hehas a God-given ability to communicate the Scriptures in clear, easy-to-understand language with practical ap-plication for everyday Christians that brings life out of the Bible and into peoples hearts.
Dr. Booker and Peggy founded the Institute for Hebraic-Christian Studies (IHCS) in 1997 as a ministry to edu-cate Christians in the Hebraic culture and background of the Bible, build relationships between Christians andJews, and give comfort and support to the people of Israel.
Their tireless work on behalf of Christians and Jews has been recognized around the world as well as being rep-resented at the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus.Dr. Booker has a daily television program which can be seen on the internet at www.godslearningchannel.comand around the world via satellite. He has produced over 350 programs.
Dr. Booker is a spiritual father to many believers around the world.
About Dr. Richard Booker