NOTE!!! We have created a wonderful info-graphic for this post here.
Chris Cotter on Fox New’s Redeye, confidently declared the following words:
Referring to Helen Thomas’ statement that the Jews should ‘get the hell out of Palestine’ Cotter said, “[Thomas] remembers [before 1948] when Palestine was a nation.” Somehow, a reporter on the Fox Business Channel assumed that Israel came into being by taking over an Arab country called Palestine. Hopefully he knows his stocks better than his history. (UPDATE! Cotter has since moved on to ESPN where history is not a requirement.) Sadly no one on the show corrected him. So I will…
No Mr. Cotter, Palestine was not a nation in 1947, 46 or 45, not in 1847 or 1047 or 47. In fact, Palestine has never been a nation. To be fair, so many, not just Cotter, simply assume these things from what they pick up in the media. So let us look at these 15 historical facts.
15 Facts About Palestine
I. Palestine was NOT an Arab nation that the Jews came in and took over after the UN vote in 1947.
A. Great Britain in fact controlled that region of the Middle East until she grew tired of governing the volatile area and asked the UN to decide what to do with it.
B. Before Great Britain won the land in WWI, the Turks had controlled it since the early 1500s. Turks are not Arabs.
C. In fact, Palestine has never been the name of any country!
II. Where did the name come from?
A. The Romans!
B. In an effort to rid Judea of its Jewishness, the Romans renamed the area Filistia (Palestine) in the mid-130s CE. They were tired of pesky Jewish uprisings and so decided to deport the Jews and change the name. The name came from the ancient Philistines (who have no connection to present day Arabs. The Philistines were wiped out in 1200 BCE).[i]
C. It was a region not a nation. There has never been a president of Palestine (before Arafat), or a government of Palestine! It could be compared to New England, which is a region in America and has no government.
III. The UN Vote did not merely give Israel authority to create a state, but granted to the Arabs living on the West side of the Jordan river to also create an independent country.
A. The Arabs rejected it. They could have had their own nation in 1948, but they said no.
B. The Jews accepted it and on May 14th, 1948 Israel was re-birthed.
C. The Arabs became part of Jordan.
IV. When the PLO was created Jordan controlled the West Bank.
A. The goal of the PLO was to liberate Palestine. However the West Bank was already in Arab hands.
B. They wanted Israel.
C. In other words, if their goal was to create an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, they should’ve been fighting Jordan, not Israel!
D. Of course, their goal was Israel’s demise.
V. Before Israel was re-birthed in 1948, any person who lived in that region was considered Palestinian: Arab or Jew. The Jewish newspaper was called the Palestine Post.
1. Why would any Jew name his newspaper after another people group?
2. Why would any Jew name his paper after an Arab country?
VI. Jerusalem was first capital of Israel under King David. It has never been the capital of any other country—Including the fictitious Palestine. It has never (until Israel controlled it) been significant to Arabs.
A. In others words you will not find these words in the Koran, but the Hebrew Scriptures: If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. (Ps. 137: 5-6)
VII. When Israel captured Jerusalem in 1967, it was not from Palestinians, but from Jordan.
1. Why didn’t Palestinians demand Jerusalem, when Jordan controlled it (1948-1967)?
2. Why didn’t the Jordanians create an independent Palestinian state with the West Bank? It was certainly in their power? The reason is simple. Jordanians made no distinction between Arabs that lived east of the Jordan and those who lived west of the Jordan. They were all Jordanian.
3. According to the quote at the top of this blog, Jerusalem has always been the capital of Palestine. Did anyone tell the Jordanians?
VIII. Israel had no plans on attacking Jordan during the Six Day War. However, King Hussein believed the false reports from Egyptian President Nasser of Egypt that they were winning the war. King Hussein, in hopes of getting more land, attacked Israel and his troops were driven back over the Jordan River in a matter of days. That is how Israel ended up with Jerusalem in 1967.
IX. There is no language known as Palestinian. They speak Arabic like Jordanians and Syrians and Egyptians.
X. There is no rich Palestinian history. You will not find history books that detail Palestinian culture going back centuries.
XI. Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (a nation created by Great Britain 1922), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.
XII. Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass.[ii]
XIII. When the Jewish people began to return to ‘Palestine’ in the late 1800s:
A. The Turks, not the Arabs, controlled it.
B. Every bit of Land was paid for by the returning Jews—nothing was stolen! Even in 1948, the Arab were invited to join the new state. Many did, and they became the most liberated Arabs in the Middle East. However, 600,000-800,000 fled, and of course, Israel
XIV. Israel was a swamp-infested wasteland that no one, including the Arabs really cared about. Until the Jews returned the land suffered neglect. It was only after the Jews came back and made the land prosperous and fruitful again and developed a nation, that the fictitious Palestinian history was developed.
XV. Religious Significance of Jerusalem
A. Jerusalem or Zion appears nearly ONE THOUSAND times in the Old and New Covenants, whereas it appears in the Koran exactly ZERO times! The last thing that should be noted is that I wrote this to gets the facts out about Palestine. While the history may be made up, the Arabs who live among us here in Israel are real people who were made in God’s image. We must pray for their salvation.
[i] At the time of Christ the Jewish state was ruled by puppet kings of the Romans, the Herods. When the Jews revolted in 66 AD, the Romans destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem (70 AD). The Bar Kokba revolt between 132 and 135 AD was also suppressed, Jericho and Bethlehem were destroyed, and the Jews were barred from Jerusalem. The Roman Emperor Hadrian determined to wipe out the identity of Israel-Judah-Judea. Therefore, he took the name Palastina and imposed it on all the Land of Israel. At the same time, he changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina. The Romans killed many Jews and sold many more in slavery. Some of those who survived left the devastated country (and established Jewish communities throughout the Middle East) but there was never a complete abandonment of the Land of Israel. That is, there were always Jews and Jewish communities in Palestine, though the size and conditions of those communities fluctuated greatly. (Palestine Facts, What was the History of Palestine between Biblical Times and the Modern Era)
[ii] Joseph Farar, Myths of the Middle East