From Philistines to Palestinians: Rest of Story
Another mystery solved: Now we know why war-protestor and Gold Star Mother, Cindy Sheehan, opposes our operations in Iraq. Her own statements to the media tell us she believes a Jewish cabal directs US foreign and military policy. In fact, she was joined in her protest in Crawford, Texas, by the racist,-anti-Semite David Duke. While hearts go out to those who lose loved ones in any conflict, the stakes for western civilization, not just Israel, in the War on Terror are too high to put our foreign and military policy in the hands of a mother who has already met twice with President Bush.
But your humble historian poses another mystery: If today’s Palestinians want to reclaim their true homeland, why aren’t they blowing up innocent children back in their original homeland which was the Island of Crete? You see, the original name of the folks we call Palestinians today was: the Philistines -- a tribe of sea-going marauders who sailed out from Crete to rape and pillage around the rim of the Mediterranean Sea. The Philistines were a Bronze Age version of the Vikings. Early day Hagars.
Meanwhile, Abraham decided Mesopotamia (today’s Iraq) was too much like today’s Las Vegas and led the Hebrews down from Mesopotamia (Iraq) to settle the land we now call: Israel. Plagued by drought, the Hebrews moved to Egypt where they were treated so badly that Moses eventually led them out of bondage on a 40-year trek back to Israel -- the only place in the Middle East Israel without oil. That was about 1160 B.C.
All this time, the Philistines had been raiding the coasts of modern-day Lebanon and Israel. Unlike the land-lubber Hebrews, the Philistines stayed on the coastline with one eye toward Crete and the other eye on the farming and sheep-raising Israelites. Needless to say, their contrasting life styles did not make for good neighbors.
Soured by 40 years of wandering, the Hebrews had no desire to leave the land promised to them in by their God. Unfortunately, the Hebrews were overrun several times by conquering rulers who evicted them to other lands. In 722 B.C., today’s Syrians deported 28,000 Israelites who became the “ten lost tribes of Israel.” In 586 B.C. the remaining Jews were defeated by the Iraqis who took them into their Babylonian Captivity.
But when the Persian (Iranians) whipped the Iraqis in 539 B.C., the Jews were freed. Immediately, they returned to Israel for some good centuries until in 63 B.C. when the Romans became masters of the Mediterranean. The Romans found the Jews, with their notion of one God, troublesome. By 70 A.D., the Romans had had it with the Jews (not to mention the fledging Jewish-Christians) and scattered many of them to the four winds.
The final dispersion, or Diaspora, came in 135 A.D. To add insult to dispersion, the Romans did away with the Hebrew name for their Promised Land, calling it: Palestine. And so it was that most Jews were without their homeland until the UN declared the State of Israel in 1948. Since then, from their tiny strip of land, the Israelis have had to repel Arab attacks in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973.
But the Arab nations surrounding Israel made a huge mistake when they attacked in 1967 because, within six days, Israeli tanks ended up on the east bank of the Suez Canal and the Israelis were able to reclaim the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and take the Golan Heights.
So, the recent sights of Jews being evicted by Jews from a strip of coastal land the Jewish settlers of Gaza believe belonged to Israel from the time of King David is heart-wrenching. But the current Israeli government thinks the creation of a Palestinian State side-by-side with Israel may lead to a lasting peace. Hopefully, these latest Jewish evictions will lead to the lasting peace we all seek. Well, except for the anti-Semites.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2005. William Hamilton.