Archaeologists on Twitter tear down Netanyahu’s claims that Palestinians have ‘no connection’ to homeland

Mondoweiss

The “Philistine-Palestinian” debate  has been brought to the forefront again, this time by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Seemingly triggered — along with the rest of Twitter — by Linda Sarsour’s comments that “Jesus was Palestinian,” Netanyahu took to the social media platform to highlight what he said was proof that Palestinians were not as connected to the land of Israel and Palestine as Jews are. 

Linking to a new Israeli study of DNA collected from an ancient Philistine site in the Ashkelon coastal region, Netanyahu said the study “confirms what we know from the Bible – that the origin of the Philistines is in southern Europe.”

Netanyahu went on to reference the Biblical mention of a place called Caphtor, thought to be modern-day Crete, where the Philistines allegedly migrated from before arriving in Palestine.

He went on: “There’s no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later.”

“The Palestinians’ connection to the Land of Israel is nothing compared to the 4,000 year connection that the Jewish people have with the land,” the premiere concluded.

Palestinian activists and supporters were quick to tear down Netanyahu’s comments which they  said were setting a dangerous precedent for the denial of Palestinian human rights.

Ali Abunimah, journalist and co-founder of the Electronic Intifada news website called Netanyahu’s comments a “warning sign of genocide.”

“This racial eugenics should be seen as laying the ground for justifying the expulsion of the Palestinian people. It’s a warning sign of genocide. But remember these are the #SharedValues of @EUinIsrael,” he tweeted.

Palestinian-American writer and political analyst Yousef Munayyer also took to Twitter to call out Netanyahu for his comments, noting that the premier’s father changed their family’s surname to Netanyahu from Mileikowsky, “which means from Milikow, a village in Poland.”

“Here’s the thing, Jews as well as Palestinian Muslims & Christians and countless other peoples have a connection to the land. Zionism demands a hierarchy making Jewish connection supreme to legitimize itself. Problem isn’t history but misuse of it to deny human rights,” Munayyer continued.

The Philistine trope

For years Israeli leaders, lawmakers, and their supporters have employed a series of tactics in the media and on the international stage to discredit Palestinian claims to their homeland, or “prove” superior Jewish claims to the land.

From arguing in Israeli parliament that the letter ‘p’ does not exist in the Arabic language thus proving Palestine does not exist, to presenting at the UN replicas of ancient coins allegedly found at the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem centuries ago — it’s all been tried before.

One of the tropes that makes its way into the discourse on the conflict every so often is the debate of the Philistines and their relation to present day Palestinians. Coincidentally, it happens to also be a favorite talking point of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son. 

Known for their biblical conflict with the Israelites, the Philistines are an ancient people believed to have arrived in the region in the 12th century BC, ruling over what is present day central and southern Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The word Palestine is believed to be derived from ‘Philistia’, the name used by ancient Greeks to refer to the land occupied by the Philistines. The term was later revived by the Romans, who renamed the land ‘Syria Palaestina’, and was eventually adopted by Arabs in the early Islamic era into the name ‘Falastin’, which is still used today.

In spite of Israeli attempts to establish a connection between Palestinians and the Philistines — to further the narrative that Palestinians have a lesser connection to the land than the Jewish people — the Palestinian people have rejected this narrative, instead pointing to their continuous inhabitation of the land for centuries.

As Palestinian writer and activist Omar Ghraeib put it: “I don’t care how many articles try to dis Palestinians or cliam we are of different discent. We were here, we didn’t come & occupy any body’s land or home. And we are here to stay.”

https://twitter.com/Omar_Gaza/status/1148227517595246593

‘Muddled and problematic claims’

While most of the reactions towards Netanyahu’s comments criticized Israel’s use of archeology to justify their actions against Palestinians, some archaeologist experts took to Twitter to point to the fact that, in their opinion, the study itself and the media portrayal of it were terribly misleading.

Archaeologist and professor at the University College London (UCL) Dr. David Wengrow linked to the study in a tweet, saying “There’s so much wrong here I almost don’t know where to start.”

Wengrow went on to highlight the problem with referring to ancient populations within the confines of modern day geographic references, like “southern Europe,” given that ancient civilizations were not so tightly bounded by borders as populations are today.

“In antiquity the Eastern Mediterranean was a place of constant mixture, not bounded groups of “Europeans” and “Levantines” occasionally linked by “admixture” – that is just what we made of it,” Wengrow said.

He called the study a “clear-cut case where modern genetic studies are being (mis)used to revive outdated arguments about ancient migrations that have their origin in racial theory.”

In a separate series of tweets, archaeologist and writer Michael Press pointed out that the study, which presented as “definitive conclusions and sweeping statements” were based only on the DNA of a total of 10 ancient individuals.

“When you read the study, you see that the news stories bury or  ignore what might be the most interesting thing: *most* of the DNA of  *all 3 groups*, including the supposed early Iron Age immigrants, is said to be “local”!” Press tweeted.

He noted that such conclusive interpretations of the study should not have been made without a significantly larger sample.

“The point is this: far from letting the ancients “speak for themselves”, the DNA only show a Greek or southern European origin b/c it’s interpreted in the light of a century of Philistine research that suggested that!” he said.

Mondoweiss

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11 Responses to Archaeologists on Twitter tear down Netanyahu’s claims that Palestinians have ‘no connection’ to homeland

  1. Mark Schumacher in LV says:

    Fk you Netanyaho, your not going to take what’s not yours asshole.Your day are numbered asshat..

    This asshole only takes, never gives…

  2. Mark Schumacher in LV says:

    Fk you Netanyaho, your not going to take what’s not yours asshole.Your day are numbered asshole…

  3. DL. says:

    When Israeli geneticist Eran ElHaik has already proven Palestinians have more Israelite DNA in them than the Ashkenazi Jews do, who needs archealogy?

  4. Jay McIlwain says:

    Benjamin “Nut-Sack-Yahoo” has become the next Adolf Hitler, or “Joseph Stalin”? (even worse than Hitler)

  5. flek says:

    The bloodline of abraham was wiped out in 70AD.
    The genealogical records were all destroyed by harrod.
    The ‘wailing wall’ is part of the old roman fort antonia.
    The ‘jews’ are asiatic converts as are all ‘jews’ including marranos, sephardic
    caananite converts, persian, and today’s converts.

    None have a blood lineage to abraham or could even prove it. It’s a lie and a deception.

    David Ben-Gurion – David Grün – Polish

    Moshe Sharett – Moshe Shertok – Ukrainian

    Levi Eshkol – Levi Yitzhak Shkolnik – Ukranian

    Yigal Allon – Yigal Peikowitz – Belarussian

    Golda Meir – Golda Mabovitch – Ukranian

    Menachem Begin – Mieczysław Biegun – Belarussian

    Yitzhak Shamir – Yitzhak Yezernitsky – Belarussian

    Yitzhak Rabin – Yitzhak Rubitzov – Ukrainian

    Shimon Peres – Szymon Perski – Polish

    Benjamin Netanyahu – Benjamin Mileikowsky – Polish

    Ehud Barak – Ehud Brog – Lithuania

    Ariel Sharon – Ariel Scheinermann – Belarussian

    Ehud Olmert – Ukranian

    All from catherine the great’s the pale of settlements with a huge grudge against anyone not in the ‘tribe’
    Let’s just cut straight across the lawn…they hate everyone.

    If only the cross-eyed, american, zio-zombie, evangelical, christians could be made to understand.

    -flek

  6. Bluwater says:

    Nice to see the comments over there are pretty awake. Not the usual stupidity, slobbering over the ‘Jewsih Supremacy’. Guess the shills don’t know about it yet.

  7. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    Would someone, ANYONE please send this one in. It is THE most exhaustive/comprehensive article I’ve ever seen on the subject of ‘Christian’ Zionism…

    https://www.mintpressnews.com/untold-story-christian-zionists-power-united-states-israel/260532/

  8. KOYOTE says:

    WHO GIVES A RATS REAR END. IT IS O B V I O U S. GOD PLANTED THE ARAB PEOPLES IN THE MIDDLE EAST. THE “PALESTINIANS” OWN PALESTINE. THEY WERE BORN THERE.
    “WHAT IF YOU WERE BORN IN ISRAEL?”… SOME MIGHT SAY.. ISRAEL IS A FRAUD!!!
    HOW CAN ONE POSSIBLY “BELIEVE GOD” ENOUGH TO CREATE A COUNTRY, YET FALL SHORT OF FINISHING THE DAMN BOOK THAT “GAVE YOU THE AUTHORITY” TO DO SO???
    IF YOU DON’T “FINISH THE BOOK”, OR IF YOU “CHANGE THE BOOK”. WELL, THE BOOK DAMNS YOUR SOUL TO HELL….FOR EXAMPLE;

    Rev 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 
    Rev 22:19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE(cps mn), and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. THE NEW TESTAMENT REDEFINES “ISRAEL” AS THE LORDS CHURCH. OUTSIDE OF THAT THERE IS NO LEGITIMATE “ISRAEL”.
    THERE IS ONLY ONE ISRAEL, OR “CHURCH”;
    WHICH IS, “THE BODY OF CHRIST”
    Eph_4:4  There is ONE BODY(cps mn), and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;IN ACTS 2;38 IS FOUND THE ENTRANCE.

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