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  • December 14, 2011

    Jordan Is Palestinian

    A politically connected friend of mine approached me today to solicit my support in helping the author to organize a political party among the Palestinians in Jordan with a view to taking over when the opportunity arises. At this moment they are trying to raise the money that would allow them to get politically organized as a Democratic Party. Their intention is to be friends with Israel for their own defense and economic well being. They would be willing to take in all Palestinian refugees and even from Judea and Samaria. I suggested that they seek out American money already in the Budget to support democratic movements around the world. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Ted Belman

    by Mudar Zahran, Middle East Quarterly
    Winter 2012, pp. 3-12 (view PDF)

    Thus far the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has weathered the storm that has swept across the Middle East since the beginning of the year. But the relative calm in Amman is an illusion. The unspoken truth is that the Palestinians, the country’s largest ethnic group, have developed a profound hatred of the regime and view the Hashemites as occupiers of eastern Palestine—intruders rather than legitimate rulers. This, in turn, makes a regime change in Jordan more likely than ever. Such a change, however, would not only be confined to the toppling of yet another Arab despot but would also open the door to the only viable peace solution—and one that has effectively existed for quite some time: a Palestinian state in Jordan.

    Abdullah’s Apartheid Policies


    The majority Palestinian population of Jordan bridles at the advantages and benefits bestowed on the minority Bedouins. Advancement in the civil service, as well as in the military, is almost entirely a Bedouin prerogative with the added insult that Palestinians pay the lion’s share of the country’s taxes.


    Despite having held a comprehensive national census in 2004, the Jordanian government would not divulge the exact percentage of Palestinians in the kingdom. Nonetheless, the secret that everyone seems to know but which is never openly admitted is that Palestinians make up the vast majority of the population.
    [LARGE SECTION LEFT OUT. GO TO LINK ABOVE TO READ IT]

    Conclusion

    Considering the Palestinian-Jordanian option for peace would not pose any discrimination against Palestinians living in the West Bank, nor would it compromise their human rights: They would be welcome to move to Jordan or stay where they are if they so wished. Free will should be the determinant, not political pressure. Besides, there are indications that many would not mind living in Jordan.[36] Were the Palestinians to dominate Jordan, this tendency will be significantly strengthened. This possibility has also recently been confirmed by a released cable from the U.S. embassy in Amman in which Palestinian political and community representatives in Jordan made clear that they would not consider the “right of return” should they secure their civil rights in Jordan.[37]

    Empowering Palestinian control of Jordan and giving Palestinians all over the world a place they can call home could not only defuse the population and demographic problem for Palestinians in Judea and Samaria but would also solve the much more complicated issue of the “right of return” for Palestinians in other Arab countries. Approximately a million Palestinian refugees and their descendents live in Syria and Lebanon, with another 300,000 in Jordan whom the Hashemite government still refuses to accept as citizens. How much better could their future look if there were a welcoming Palestinian Jordan?

    The Jordanian option seems the best possible and most viable solution to date. Decades of peace talks and billions of dollars invested by the international community have only brought more pain and suffering for both Palestinians and Israelis—alongside prosperity and wealth for the Hashemites and their cronies.

    It is time for the international community to adopt a more logical and less costly solution rather than to persist in long discredited misconceptions. It is historically perplexing that the world should be reluctant to ask the Hashemites to leave Jordan, a country to which they are alien, while at the same time demanding that Israeli families be removed by force from decades-old communities in their ancestral homeland. Equally frustrating is the world’s silence while Palestinians seeking refuge from fighting in Iraq are locked in desert camps in eastern Jordan because the regime refuses to settle them “unless foreign aid is provided.”[38]

    The question that needs to be answered at this point is: Has the West ever attempted to establish any contacts with a pro-peace, Palestinian-Jordanian opposition? Palestinians today yearn for leaders. Washington is presented with a historical opportunity to support a potential Palestinian leadership that believes in a peace-based, two-state solution with the River Jordan as the separating border between the two countries. Such leadership does seem to exist. Last September, for example, local leaders in Jordanian refugee camps stopped Palestinian youth from participating in mass protests against the Israeli Embassy in Amman;[39] as a result, barely 200 protesters showed up instead of thousands as in similar, previous protests.[40] As for East Jerusalem, under Israel’s 44-year rule, Muslims, Christians, and members of all other religions have been able to visit and practice their faith freely, just as billions of people from all over the world visit the Vatican or Muslim pilgrims flock to Mecca. Yet under the Hashemite occupation of the city, this was not done. Without claiming citizenship, Jerusalem would remain an open city to all who come to visit.

    The Jordanian option is an overdue solution: A moderate, peaceful, economically thriving, Palestinian home in Jordan would allow both Israelis and Palestinians to see a true and lasting peace.

    Mudar Zahran is a Jordanian-Palestinian writer who resides in the United Kingdom as a political refugee. He served as an economic specialist and assistant to the policy coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Amman before moving to the U.K. in 2010.

    [1] “Jordan: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2001,” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, Mar. 4, 2002.
    [2] “The Report: Emerging Jordan 2007,” Oxford Business Group, London, Apr. 2007.
    [3] “Jordan: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, 2001,” Mar. 4, 2002.
    [4] “Brief History,” Civil Service Consumer Corporation, Government of Jordan, Amman, 2006.
    [5] Jordan News Agency (PETRA, Amman), Jan. 10, 2011.
    [6] “Jordan: Palestinians,” World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, Minority Rights Group International, 2008, accessed Sept. 20, 2011.
    [7] “Stateless Again,” Human Rights Watch, New York, Feb. 1, 2010.
    [8] The Arab Times (Kuwait City), Jan. 13, 2011.
    [9] “Jordan: Stop Withdrawing Nationality from Palestinian-Origin Citizens,” Human Rights Watch, Washington, D.C., Feb. 1, 2010.
    [10] “Jordan: Information on the right of abode of a Palestinian from the West Bank who holds a Jordanian passport which is valid for five years,” Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Oct. 1, 1993, JOR15463.FE.
    [11] “Jordan’s treatment of failed refugee claimants,” Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Mar. 9, 2004, JOR42458.E.
    [12] The Palestinian National Charter, Resolutions of the Palestine National Council, July 1-17, 1968.
    [13] Al-Jazeera (Riyadh), Oct. 1, 2005.
    [14] Amman News, May 2, 2011.
    [15] Ibid., May 2, 2011.
    [16] Awni Jadu al-Ubaydi, Jama’at al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin fi al-Urdunn wa-Filastin, 1945-1970 (Amman: Safahat Ta’arikhiyya, 1991), pp. 38-41.
    [17] Samer Libdeh, “The Hashemite Kingdom of Apartheid?The Jerusalem Post, Apr. 26, 2010.
    [18] CNN, Nov. 28, 2007.
    [19] Michael Korda, Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia (New York: Harper, 2010), p. 19.
    [20] Hürriyet (Istanbul), Mar. 4, 2011.
    [21] Libdeh, “The Hashemite Kingdom of Apartheid?
    [22] PETRA, Aug. 6, 2011.
    [23] “Profile: Jordanian Triple Agent Who Killed CIA Agents,” The Telegraph (London), Jan. 2010.
    [24] Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai), Aug. 3, 2004.
    [25] The Jerusalem Post, Sept. 24, 2010.
    [26] Los Angeles Times, Oct. 1, 2006.
    [27] The Guardian (London), Dec. 6, 2010.
    [28] Qudosi Chronicles (Long Beach, Calif.), Dec. 16, 2010.
    [29] “Assessment for Palestinians in Jordan,” Minorities at Risk, Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland, College Park, Md., Dec. 31, 2006.
    [30] “Jordan Military Expenditures—Percent of GDP,” CIA World Factbook, May 16, 2008.
    [31] Ha’aretz (Tel Aviv), Mar. 2, 2010.
    [32] Lilach Grunfeld, “Jordan River Dispute,” The Inventory of Conflict and Environment Case Studies, American University, Washington, D.C., Spring 1997.
    [33] Mary Jane Bolle, Alfred B. Prados, and Jeremy M. Sharp, “Qualifying Industrial Zones in Jordan and Egypt,” Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C., July 5, 2006.
    [34] Mitchell Bard, “Modern Jordan,” Jewish Virtual Library, accessed Aug. 11, 2011.
    [35] The Christian Science Monitor (Boston), Jan. 30, 2003.
    [36] The Forward (New York), Apr. 13, 2007.
    [37] “The Right of Return: What It Means in Jordan,” U.S. Embassy, Amman, to Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., Feb. 6, 2008.
    [38] “Non-Iraqi Refugees from Iraq in Jordan,” Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Feb. 20, 2007.
    [39] Mudar Zahran, “A Plan B for Jordan?” Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C., Sept. 16, 2011.
    [40] The Washington Post, Sept. 15, 2011.

     

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 9:08 pm | 27 Comments »

    27 Comments to Jordan Is Palestinian

    1. BlandOatmeal says:

      Ted,

      Right now, as I type, Jordan is under American occupation. Abdullah II is secure on the throne, as long as the Americans are there. Here are some considerations, concerning the thing that was proposed to you:

      1. It COULD be a solution to the “Palestinian” problem. It would certainly establish a homeland for the Arabs who migrated to what is now Israel from around 1848-1948, who are now being called “Palestinians”. Unfortunately, it is not in the interests of the world powers (Read, “NATO, led by the US) to have real peace and final solutions in the Middle East. What’s more, many Arabs, such as Abbas and HAMAS, make their living by being perpetual “victims” of Israeli “occupation”. They would fight tooth and nail to prevent what was proposed to you, and NATO would help them.

      2. The Bedouin need to be considered. They actually have a legitimate claim to a portion in “Palestine” (both Transjordan and Israel), because they have lived in the land for a couple thousand years (along with Jews and Greeks and others); and the Jordanian kings Hussein and Abdullah II have been relatively friendly to Israel. To betray them would be similar to what Israel did in 2000, leaving its Christian Lebanese allies to the tender mercies of Hizbullah.

      3. Green Line Israel also has Palestinian Christians, Druze and Moslems. I doubt that they would assent to being transferred to Jordan from their very comfortable lives in Israel; yet they are the same people group as the Levantine Arabs of Transjordan and YeShA. I seriously suspect, as well, that if given the choice, most of the Arabs of YeSh would prefer living in Israel to living under the Arabs (Levantine OR Bedouin) of Transjordan. Unless a clear and final separation occurs, with tranfer of population as happened with Germany and Poland, with India and Pakistan and with Greece and Turkey, the issue of Israeli “Palestinians” would remain, along with the terrorism.

      4. Abdullah II is the rightful ruler of Hejaz and Asir. If he could regain his title as the Sharif of Mecca and Medina, he would quit Transjordan in a trice. Unfortunately, I think the Saudis and Wahabbis would not wish to accomodate him.

    2. ArnoldHarris says:

      “Jordan is Palestine”?

      Screw that. In the first place, it is “Trans-Jordan”, not “Jordan”. In the second place, it is nothing more than the eastern portion of the lands allotted the Jewish nation by the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the international Treaty of San Remo in 1920. If I were to pray for anything whatsoever — and use of the subjunctive here is fully intentional — then that is for the organized and armed Jewish nation one day to wrest military, civil and demographic control over the 35,000 square miles of those transjordanian lands and to re-unite them with those parts of Eretz-Yisrael already liberated.

      I never have had any interest in “peace” and I never shall do so even when and if Israel grows to the status of a mighty nation. There always are more lands to take, to exploit and to populate with new future branches of the Jewish nation.

      Arnold Harris
      Mount Horeb WI

    3. My organization 4international would not dwell too long on that one.

      I personally would advise the following:

      1. Laugh in their face
      2. Spit in their eye

      With the main contender for the presidency of the US calling for a historical reckoning now is the time to go back to asserting the rights given to Jews in the San Remo Treaty

      With Capitalism breaking up all over the globe now is the time Ted to GROW A BACKBONE!

    4. BlandOatmeal says:

      I believe Ted has plenty of backbone; else there would be no Israpundit. He also has a head on his shoulders, and a respect for Torah. I will add that Israel is not beholden to the San Remo Conference for justification to inhabit Israel. Hashem drew out the limits of the land in Torah, and they did not include one square inch of Transjordan. Part of Transjordan was added for the 2-1/2 tribes, by right of conquest — the same right of conquest the British availed themselves of when they gave it to their client Abdullah I.

    5. viiit says:

      The productive educated, loyal Arabs should be welcome in Israel. They are a minority. Most Arabs are dis-loyal, unproductive.
      The disloyalty should be punished with loss of citizenship.
      Unproductive Arabs should not be supported with Jewish money.
      Unproductive Jews should be supported by Jewish charities, not by state.
      Additionally, Jews should not hire such Arabs.
      This will result in Arabs moving to Jordan/Palestine, where good opportunities should be made available to them.
      However
      The real problem with this proposal is that most Arabs are Muslims.
      They are subject to pressures from the Muslim radicals.
      As long as Jordan is Muslim, they will never be friends of Israel.

    6. viiit says:

      Such imperial approach is contrary to the Jewish reluctance to include other tribes into the Jewish nation.
      When Rome expanded to include all of Italy, they made all Italians citizens of Rome. Later they gave Roman citizenship even to people in Gall, and other parts of the empire. Even some Jews had Roman citizenship.

      Jews are not willing to consider Jordanian Arabs as Jews.
      Killing them all is not feasible.

      On the other hand Israel in relatively secure borders along the Jordan and Dead Sea. May prosper and become economical superpower. Economic conquest seems more likely than the military.

    7. Thinker says:

      Actually, the tweleve tribes were on the other side of he Jordan by about 15 kms. (This Land is my Land myths and facts.org, The Jewish people’s Legal Right to the Land of Israel, Amazon.com, The Legal Fondations and Borders of Israel Under International Law, Amazon.xom). You ar right that for People knowledgable in Torah and bible, San Remo is not needed for our claim to the land, however for the secularists among us, and legal minds among us it adds value.

    8. I believe Ted has plenty of backbone; else there would be no Israpundit. He also has a head on his shoulders, and a respect for Torah. I will add that Israel is not beholden to the San Remo Conference for justification to inhabit Israel. Hashem drew out the limits of the land in Torah, and they did not include one square inch of Transjordan. Part of Transjordan was added for the 2-1/2 tribes, by right of conquest — the same right of conquest the British availed themselves of when they gave it to their client Abdullah I.

      Bland, that is what is called “deflection”, (but that is ok I don’t mind in the slightest. just I learn more about you).

      And I mean deflection from the main issue of the day, which is how the Arab Spring has placed Israel in the most serious positikon

      So Bland why are you trying to deflect from the main point that I am making and getting up on your high and michty horse with me, on the basis that you know that I am an ATHEIST and proud of same and I support Israel from that basis

      So Bland this is wehat I and my organization 4international am saying:

      Geller and Spencer said that in Egypt that “we do not have a dog in the fight”. They saikd this at the very beginning.

      Ted echoed ISNA in calling for NATO to bomb Libya, then thought better, after I intervened.

      Switch now to the Iran Bomb. Glick claims that Israelis cannot be expected to speak the truth about the situation.

      What does that mean re the Iran Nuclear Bomb.

      Think on this. If Ted carries on and does not call for all out defence of Assad then the result will be that Assad is defeated and that the same as in Libya happens, there is a Fascist Jihad/NATO regime installed which will soon enough drive out all minorities. Like with Mubarak and gadhafi there is no Jew calling for the defence of Assad.

      (I mean Ted in the sense of the overall Israeli leadership situation)

      So in future Bland before youj cut across give YOUR position on these issues.

      Do not be a muddier of the waters Bland from your high up perch

      See MY analysis on

      http://jihadcapitalistcrisis.blogspot.com/2011/12/reality-facing-israel-and-jews-is-harsh.html

      I doubt if you will answer me. funny I didn’t think you were an arse licker. Are you really?

    9. viiit says:

      Actually no country is beholden to any conference.
      Countries are created by military might, their borders are determined by the military might, too.
      California belongs to the US, because US had the military might to take it from Mexico, and still has the might to beat Mexico.
      When Mexico becomes stronger than the US, California will be Mexican.
      No need for any conference.
      Likewise with every other country in the world.

    10. dweller says:

      “The Bedouin need to be considered. They actually have a legitimate claim to a portion in ‘Palestine’.”

      Actually a lot of the Jordanian Bedouin are of Arabian Peninsula origin. They are descendants of those who came to Jordan with the present king’s great-grandfather, Abdullah I.

      “Abdullah II is the rightful ruler of Hejaz and Asir. If he could regain his title as the Sharif of Mecca and Medina, he would quit Transjordan in a trice.”

      Not only that, but the Jordanian Pali’s would probably ally themselves to him in that move — instead of opposing him, as they do now — as a matter of self-interest.

      “Unfortunately, I think the Saudis and Wahabbis would not wish to accomodate him.”

      Well, du-uh.

      All-the-same though, the Jordanian Army [the Arab Legion] is British trained, and with a little assistance from IDF, could prove most formidable in taking on the Sa’udi army & airforce, which really are little more than a repository for highly sophisticated US armament. The Sa’udis would be forced to either share the bulk of the Arabian peninsula — and its oil — or take up residency on the French Riviera with the rest of the small fraternity of still-breathing, former rulers of the Arab world.

      And for Israel — it would be nice to see Midyan: the 30-km strip of Hejazi littoral just inland, and running the eastern length, of the Gulf of Aqaba — and almost certainly containing the true locus of Mount Sinai — reposing in other than Sa’udi hands. . . .

      “Hashem drew out the limits of the land in Torah, and they did not include one square inch of Transjordan.”

      Depends on where you read in Torah, Bland. You are obviously referencing the allocations of the Twelve Tribes after the Exodus.

      However, there are other references to the bounds of Eretz Yisrael HaShlema as the Nile to the Euphrates [Gen 15:18] — not that I’m necesarily advocating such an incorporation at any time soon.

    11. Laura says:

      This is the ideal solution and the only solution. This proposal should not be opposed by anyone who claims to care about the plight of the Arabs referred to as “palestinians”. Anyone who opposes it exposes that their true agenda is the destruction of Israel.

    12. BlandOatmeal says:

      As long as Jordan is Muslim, they will never be friends of Israel.

      Moslems aren’t really permanent “friends” to anyone. If all the Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc. were to leave the planet, the Moslems would still be continually at war. Moslems have co-existed with the rest of the world, though, for several hundred years. In this respect, they are not much different from the Jews. The big difference is that Moslems have spent a greater part of their history in positions of power, and are very belligerent as a result. The Jews have learned how to get along with others, from 1900 years of cruel lessons. That’s 500 years longer than the Moslems have even existed.

      Ishmael, of course, is a wild ass.

    13. BlandOatmeal says:

      Hi, Viit.

      I appreciate your grasp of history. As for Arnold, he’s just crowing from his perch in Wisconsin. You are correct, in that an “Israeli Empire” is impractical. The closest Israel ever came to it was in David’s time, when Israel controlled most of Transjordan and about half of Syria. Even then, the Lebanese had a treaty of equals with the Jews. Others, such as the Arameans, Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, etc., along with the native Canaanites, were used as forced labor. The Arameans broke away after Solomon’s death, and the others were eventually forcibly converted to Judaism by the Hasmoneans. The Philistines’ connection is ambiguous. David certainly fought wars against them and won at least some; but there is also evidence that the Philistines considered David as their tributary. They probably had something of a treaty relationship. They eventually became Hellenized, and cullturally identified with the Greeks and Romans. The place was wiped out by the Hasmoneans, resettled, then wiped out and resettled again by the invading Moslem Arabs.

      The prophecy of Ezekiel foresees an Israel contiguous with the ancient inheritance — including Lebanon and Southern Syria, but excluding Transjordan. Ezekiel foresaw non-Jewish inhabitants even in those areas, and their assimilation as Jews.

    14. BlandOatmeal says:

      And I mean deflection from the main issue of the day, which is how the Arab Spring has placed Israel in the most serious positikon

      Hi, Quig. I didn’t think I was deflecting anything. The opening piece was about a Levantine Arab homeland in Transjordan, and I think I stuck pretty close to that topic. I don’t consider the “Arab Spring” to be the main issue facing Israel. If anything, it represents the beginning of the disintegration of the Arab world into Medieval chaos. Israel’s powerful enemies are Iran and Turkey.

      So Bland why are you trying to deflect from the main point that I am making and getting up on your high and michty horse with me, on the basis that you know that I am an ATHEIST and proud of same and I support Israel from that basis

      Felix, I don’t see how being an atheist has anything to do with what I said. Even as an atheist, you certainly must recognize the fact that the Jewish nation is built upon the Bible narrative. This is a matter of history, not faith. I don’t know about the “high horse” thing. I speak my onions — it’s the Yugoslav in me. My wife’s learned to live with it.

      Switch now to the Iran Bomb. Glick claims that Israelis cannot be expected to speak the truth about the situation. What does that mean re the Iran Nuclear Bomb.

      Read DEBKA. Iran has just announced that all its nuclear weapons facilities are now safely underground. If this is true, Israel has already missed its chance to nip that thing in the bud. STUPID JEWS.

    15. BlandOatmeal says:

      I read you, dweller. We seem to agree on most things here. As for the Saudi-Hashemite thing, I prefer to let the Arabs fight amongst themselves over it. Ruling Mecca and Medina bestows tremendous prestige in the Moslem world upon whoever’s in power. The Egyptians and Turks ruled the place most of the time. Under Saudi rule, the Wahabbis and their violent brand of Islam hold sway. The Hashemite claim is connected with the Jordanian king’s physical descent from Mohammed’s family. Real power politics surrounds the place. Personally, I wouldn’t shed a tear if it became a pillar of strontium 90 salt.

    16. BlandOatmeal says:

      Anyone who opposes it exposes that their true agenda is the destruction of Israel.

      Laura, did you learn to talk that way from me? I can be a real black-and-white thinker sometimes, but I’m trying to deal with it. Remember that many of us are Jews. We’re not supposed to agree on anything.

    17. viiit says:

      Strontium 90 sounds good to me!

    18. viiit says:

      Let’s take a poll:
      Are there any non-Jews here?
      I’d be amazed if any Goy would care enough to read all this!

    19. dweller says:

      “Personally, I wouldn’t shed a tear if [Arabian Peninsula] became a pillar of strontium 90 salt.”

      Not if it means Har Sinai with it.

    20. BlandOatmeal says:

      Har Sinai only has meaning, if it exists in peoples’ hearts. The life of Har Sinai is in Torah. Otherwise, it’s just dirt.

    21. BlandOatmeal says:

      Viiit, I am not Jewish. I’m American, of Dutch, English, Scotch-Irish, Native American, Croatian, Austrian, Slovenian and Jewish ancestry. So far, your poll must read:

      Jews: 0

      Goiim: 1

      Oh well.

    22. dweller says:

      “Har Sinai only has meaning, if it exists in peoples’ hearts. The life of Har Sinai is in Torah. Otherwise, it’s just dirt.”

      You could say that about the Temple Mount as well.

      But in either case, it’s just a trifle facile to be making the remark.

      Sinai may indeed have metaphorical significance, Bland, but it’s also a real place where real things occurred — and occurred independent of anybody’s “hearts.”

      I’m not into ‘relics,’ or ‘holy places,’ or any of that stuff.

      Sinai is different, that’s all I can tell you.

    23. dweller says:

      “The Philistines’ connection is ambiguous. David certainly fought wars against them and won at least some; but there is also evidence that the Philistines considered David as their tributary. They probably had something of a treaty relationship. They eventually became Hellenized, and cullturally identified with the Greeks and Romans. The place was wiped out by the Hasmoneans…”

      Actually they were already “hellenized” well before they ARRIVED, Bland — and the “tributary” part is “early David.”

      A little fleshing-out follows, if you’re interested:

      “P’lishteem”/”Philistines” was the term of understated derogation & quiet contempt (something on the order of a slur, really) which the Israelites first used — during the period of the Judges — to designate the Israelites’ new, domineering & uncircumsized neighbors, who indeed kept them under tribute: the aggressive & often piratical, nonsemitic & non-Arab, formerly migratory, “Sea Peoples” (the Shekesh, the Denyen, the Tjeker, etc). These groups had their origins in

      • Cyprus, the Aegean Islands and

      • possibly Crete (the Caphtorim) — the island having been earlier devastated (ca. 1400 BC) by a massive tsunami triggered by explosive Aegean volcanic activity

      • or Mycenean Greece [which thereupon took over the island of Crete].

      Driven out of that region over the course of the previous couple of centuries, the more-or-less affiliated Sea Peoples (as the Egyptians called them) — a succession of staggered waves of them — had ultimately muscled their way onto, and occupied, the Gaza Strip, characterized in our own day by Howard Linett as “the sweaty, crab-infested, crusty crotch of the Middle East,” and which the neighboring Hebrew tribes derisively labeled “P’leshet”: ‘domain of the intruders’ — during, or just before, the first half of the 12th century Before the Common Era.

      Having earlier mastered, and brought with them, the closely guarded skills of ironworking & iron smelting — and having grasped not only iron’s significant potential for agriculture & industry but, as well, the new, wonder metal’s enormous military advantages over bronze, particularly in light of their initial technological monopoly over it — the invading Philistine Sea Peoples effectively ushered in the Iron Age for the eastern end of the Mediterranean, their advancing predations bringing to a determinative close the 1800-year Age of Bronze. So well-organized were they, politically & militarily, that — although they weren’t overwhelmingly populous (or, perhaps because they weren’t) — the largely autonomous character of their associated groups presented no bar to timely & effective confederation for war.

      The P’lishteem had exterminated the existing, Canaanite inhabitants of the Gaza littoral, the Avim, and, after that genocide, lived there in their place as a pentapolis — a loose federation of five, king (“tyrant”)-&-counsel ruled, coastal & subcoastal, Greek-type, Mediterranean city-states — after having been themselves repulsed in multiple, earlier, sea-based attempts to invade the nearby, larger & culturally sophisticated, Pharaonic Egypt during the waning days of the New Kingdom period as the powerful XIXth Dynasty was unwittingly closing out its tenure and slipping imperceptibly into a slow, protracted decline & ultimate decay. There are stelae in Egypt with inscriptions alluding to the “pala?tu” (although it’s less clear who did the inscribing).

      The pursuit of a warlike way of life, coupled with a determined hegemonic (and perhaps expansionist) drive northward & eastward from the coast, brought the interests, the culture, and the common people — as well as the tall, brawny, leather-helmeted, heavily armed & martially skilled, chariot-mounted soldiers — of the P’lishteem/Philistines into an at-first, dominant & oppressive, and later, turbulent & uneasy, off-and-on coexistence with the Israelites — who had recently returned to Cana’an, greatly augmented in numbers, after a few centuries’ sojourn (prolonged by their eventual enslavement) in the fertile valley of the Lower (i.e., northern) Nile.

      The steadily growing Israelites had settled somewhat earlier [forty-plus years after the Exodus]. However, unlike the formerly seafaring, Mediterranean P’lishteem, now based in the maritime plain, the Hebrew tribes making up the Israelites had arrived overland, from the South & then the East (in a deliberately circuitous, counterclockwise trek via the southern Sinai peninsula), and — notwithstanding their having established themselves rather inland: in a pronounced & painstaking attempt to avoid a premature & untimely clash with the said, ravening, ex-Sea Peoples — were to find themselves, all the same, directly, and inescapably, athwart the Philistines’ predatory path.

      At length, having effectively forced the otherwise often reluctant, political union (which, in turn, would supplant the existing, shifting alliances) of the heretofore largely autonomous, self-absorbed and (for 3 or 4 centuries) rarely cooperative — indeed fractious, and even, per occasion, mutually & internecinely warring, Hebrew tribes — the Philistines were decisively defeated & subdued by David — who, notwithstanding circumstances, then made no further attempt to press his advantage over the vanquished enemy by way of the more usual recourses available to a victorious & ascendant oriental despot of the ancient world (expulsion, extermination, enslavement, despoliation, etc).

      Their imperial ambitions thus squelched — but their cities left to them by David, nonetheless, intact & untouched, and their people free though quiescent — the clean-shaven Philistines: who adopted the Hebrew language (their mother tongue having been a dialect of Greek), and who took on, as well, many of the forms of Semitic worship (without ever accepting circumcision) — subsequently lost their independence, first [701 BC] to the Assyrian Empire of Sennacherib, and then to the Neo-Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar II, who carried-off many of them into exile (in the same campaign that destroyed Jerusalem & abducted the Judeans, in the ensuing Babylonian Captivity of 586-539 BC).

      The P’lishteem remained in subjection throughout the Chaldean & Persian epochs. Their preeminent city-state, Gaza, was utterly destroyed when its king defied Alexander [332 BC], as the latter was preparing the Greek drive to the East — whereupon the other four poli [Ekron, Ashkelon, Gath & Ashdod] surrendered with little resistance. The remnants of the Philistines were ultimately absorbed as a polity, a people and a culture by the dominant Judean populace, much the same as the Jebusites (a Canaanite ethnicity of the Jerusalem region) had been centuries earlier. Whoever it was that the Hasmoneans “wiped out,” thus, wouldn’t very likely have been Philistines, but whoever it was that moved in there after the Philistine absorption of the previous couple hundred years.

    24. viiit says:

      ” Dutch, English, Scotch-Irish, Native American, Croatian, Austrian, Slovenian and Jewish ancestry.”
      Well, I wonder what Hitler would think about that!

    25. BlandOatmeal says:

      Hitler sent one of my cousins to forced labor, from which he escaped; then the Russians sent him to Siberia, and he escaped. He made it back home to Slovenia, nearly starved to death. Another cousin was shot by the Nazis, and another died in Auschwitz. None were Jews.

    26. viiit says:

      Good point, that many people forget.
      The hatred that starts with Jews does not stop there.
      Likewise today with the Islamo-Nazis.
      Now go and tell that to the Europeans.

    27. Margaret Gangte says:

      My greatest appreciation to this logical presentation of a Palestinian reality and the intelligent option offered for solution to the problem. Readers must look for solution and help find solution for peaceful coexistence in middle east. Because, the future years promised very nasty existential unless the deepest crisis for the region is resolve now.

      Best Wishes and Warm Regards.

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