From Palestine to Israel

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And like it always has been throughout Islamic history, the Jews are welcome to stay there, but as co-inhabitants with their Christian and Muslim neighbors. No barbwired walls, no soldiers shooting little kids, no stealing people’s homes like bandits, no apartheid separating Palestinians from Jews.

By Shibli Zaman — I’ve seen a number of Muslims, good Muslims, subtly duped by the falsity that the Jews have an “ancestral right” over Jerusalem. So it is absolutely necessary that I share some important history about Jerusalem and Palestine as a whole.

One of the oldest Zionist apologetic arguments you’ll hear is that the Jews were somehow “the original inhabitants” of Palestine and, thereby, Jerusalem. But, historically, the Jews never held Jerusalem for any significant amount of time compared to all the other nations that lived and ruled there.

For roughly 3500 years –Yes, say that figure out loud: THREE THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED YEARS– in what is called the Proto-Canaanite period, Jerusalem belonged to the Canaanites who worshiped many gods and godesses. It wasn’t until 2000BC do scholars find a reference that debatably refers to Jerusalem. The word is “Rusalimum” in texts of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom. Scholars believe that the name is a consecration to “Shalim” a Canaanite deity of the netherworld from Ugaritic scriptures.

The territory passed from the Canaanites to the Egyptians, ultimately. So here we have Egyptians and Canaanites being the original inhabitants of Jerusalem for 3,500 years before the Jews ever conquered it.

Jerusalem was taken by King David in 1010BC and lost to the Egyptians in 925BC. Jehoash of Israel briefly recaptured it in 786BC but then lost it to the Assyrians in 740BC. That’s just 131 years, just about as long as the Crusaders’ rule of Jerusalem in the Middle Ages.

The Jewish Hasmoneans re-took it in 140BC under Simon Thassi but then lost it to the Persian Seleucides in 134. That’s 6 more years of Jewish rule. Due to a Seleucid civil war, Judeah incidentally became independent in the chaos in 116BC. In 87BC the Jewish Hasmonean king executed 800 Jews for sedition. In 47BC they lost Jerusalem again, this time to the Romans. That’s 69 years of rule.

In total, off and on the Jews ruled Jerusalem for MAYBE 206 years.
The Pre-Constantine Romans ruled it for 250 years.
The Christian Byzantines ruled it for 304 years.
The Muslims ruled it under the Rashidun, Umayyad and Abbasid Empires for 332 years.
The Muslim Fatimids ruled it for 129 years.
The Crusaders took it from the Muslims and held it for 88 years.
The Muslim ruler Saladin conquered it in 1187 and his descendants held it for 63 years.
The Muslim Mamluk Empire ruled it for 236 years.
The Ottomans ruled it for 401 years.
That’s 206 years of Jewish rule.
392 years of Christian rule.

And over EIGHT HUNDRED YEARS of Muslim rule.

And before any of them, the Canaanites and the Egyptians lived and ruled there for 3,500 years.

Longer than anyone.

So since the common Israeli argument that the Jews “deserve” Palestine because they are the “original” inhabitants has been proven a bold faced lie, based on this argument should we give Palestine away in this order?

Canaanites? Oops. The Bible says God ordered them exterminated to extinction in a genocide that included many other unfortunate nations: “Completely destroy them–the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites–as the LORD your God has commanded you.” [Deuteronomy 20:17]

But, all was not lost. Some Canaanites apparently survived the Israelite genocide. Where are they? Lebanon.

“We show that present-day Lebanese derive most of their ancestry from a Canaanite-related population, which therefore implies substantial genetic continuity in the Levant since at least the Bronze Age.” [Source: https://www.cell.com/ajhg/fulltext/S0002-9297(17)30276-8]
[News report: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/07/28/mystery-ancient-canaanites-finally-solved-genetic-research-shows/519349001/

So the Lebanese are the people who scientifically and genetically are proven to be the original dwellers of not only Jerusalem but all of Palestine (so-called “Israel”). The argument should pretty much completely end there.

Actual history tells us that Jews ruled Palestine for barely over 2 centuries. The Christians ruled it for nearly 4 centuries, double that time. The Muslims ruled it for over 8 centuries, more than double the time the Christians ruled and QUADRUPLE the time that the Jews ruled. And, as the Palestinian people are a religious confederation of Christians and Muslims, both consistently at peace with each other, that puts their birthright to it at 1200 combined years. Nearly a thousand years longer than Jews ever reigned over Jerusalem.

And like it always has been throughout Islamic history, the Jews are welcome to stay there, but as co-inhabitants with their Christian and Muslim neighbors. No barbwired walls, no soldiers shooting little kids, no stealing people’s homes like bandits, no apartheid separating Palestinians from Jews.