By COLlive reporter
Palestinian leaders are manipulating the history of geographic Palestine/Land of Israel to claim their rights over the Holy Land, a former Israeli diplomat says in a new article.
The manufactured claim, expressed recently by Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, argues that they are descended from Canaanites and are therefore the indigenous people of the area, present before the emergence of the Jewish people around the year 1500 BCE.
But Alan Baker, Israel’s former ambassador to Canada and who is today at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, points out that Saeb Erekat’s family is actually Bedouin.
“According to Bedouin genealogy, the family is part of the Huweitat clan which originated in the Hejaz area of Saudi Arabia, arrived in Palestine from the south of Jordan, and settled in the village of Abu Dis in the early 20th century,” Baker says.
Erekat has already established a reputation for stretching the truth. During Operation Defensive Shield in 2002 Erekat told CNN that Israel had killed “more than 500 people” in a “real massacre.” It soon became clear that in combat operations at the time, the Palestinian death toll was 52 (34 of whom were known terrorists).
Baker said that several leading scholars of Middle Eastern studies and Islamic history have confirmed that the Palestinians do not have ancient roots in the area and are trying to invent origins for themselves that predate the Jewish people’s presence.
Baker says that these scholars explain that most of the Palestinians arrived as part of the waves of immigration that began in the 19th century at the time of the emergence of Zionism, attracted by employment opportunities and economic benefits.
“The historical presence of the Jewish people in the “Holy Land” is well-documented, not only in the scriptures of all three monotheistic religions, and visible in extensive archeological remains, but also in historic writings by early Greek, Roman, pagan, and other visitors to the area,” Baker writes.
“The fact that Christianity emanated from Judaism is further proof of the presence of a thriving Jewish community in the area,” writes Baker, who was a legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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