Who are the Palestinians?

The Palestinians identify as Arabs but as the other Arabized peoples of the wider Arab world are Palestinians descended from the pre-Arab population which in the land of Israel was Jewish and Samaritan and increasingly Christianized. Just as contemporary Arabic-speaking Egyptians are descended from Egyptian-speaking Egyptians and the Maghrebis are descended from Berbers and the Syrians, Lebanese and Iraqis are descended from Aramaeans and the Sudanese are descended from Nubian peoples and the Yemenis and the Omanis from speakers of South Arabian languages; so are some 85% of Palestinians descended from Jews and Samaritans respectively, specifically from historically endogamous clans of Jewish and Samaritan historical origin. But Jews are not a race and though many Palestinian clans retain Jewish historical memory and/or Crypto-Jewish customs; they are no longer part of the indigenous Jewish people or the indigenous Samaritan people as they were involuntarily absorbed by religious imperialism.

Yet, the overwhelmingly Anti-Zionist Palestinians paradoxically say that they are descended from the Hebrew-speaking Canaanites. This is true in the sense that the Canaanites and the other peoples of Canaan as described in the Hebrew Bible, over the ages became Jews. It is clear that by the time of the New Testament that those peoples of the Hebrew Bible no longer existed as distinctive ethnicities and that the land of Israel was overwhelmingly demographically Jewish. Yet it is a paradox that 93% of Palestinians in Gaza and Judea/Samaria are Anti-Semites (28% of Palestinian Israelis deny the Holocaust) and that tragically Palestinian historiography is based upon systematic erasure, negation and denial of Jewish history.

The people of Samaria (the northern third of the West Bank) deserve special mention. The Samaritan revolts against the Byzantine Empire in 484-573 CE led to the people of Samaria being coercively converted from Samaritan Judaism to Byzantine Christianity and later to Islam.

Who were the Israelites? They were not some special race as in Nazi and Palestinian nationalist imagination but simply the peoples of Canaan who were syncretically absorbed by the Crypto-Sumerian Canaanite-Egyptian Levites into Atenism while long retaining Canaanite polytheism.

Erasure, negation and denial of Jewish history are a serious obstacle to harmonious coexistence in the land of Israel.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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