View Full Version : Hey, you! Yeah, you, the Middle Easter expert, help?


The Art of War
Mar 29, 2002, 02:42 PM
Were the Caananites from the Bible ancestors of the Palestinians?

Locutus
Mar 29, 2002, 06:00 PM
I'm by no means an expert but the biblical Canaanites are a generic term for all non-Jewish people living in/around present-day Israel, there are in fact many different groups: Arameans, Phoenicians, Israelites, Philistines, Sherden, etc. Later, in post-biblical times, the Romans, Nabateans, Arabs, Turks, etc also moved into this area and mixed with the local peoples. The present-day Palestinians are probably a mix of all of these groups and no doubt have some Jewish roots as well (inter-'racial' marriage was not uncommon throughout much of history).

AFAIK Jewish propaganda claims the Palestinians are Arabs, who come from the Arabian Peninsula and don't have a 'rightful' claim on the land now known as Israel. The Palistinians OTOH claim that they are direct descendants of the Philistines/Canaanites and therefore have just as much of a claim on as the Jews. (Note that even if the situation were this simple, both the Philistines and the Jews were immigrants who only arrived in Israel around 1300-1000 BC, neither group can really claim the area as their own).

Alcibiaties of Athenae
Mar 29, 2002, 08:11 PM
This may help a bit:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03569b.htm

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/2938/histcult.html

http://www.arab.net/palestine/history/pe_canaanites.html

The first site is Christian, the second neutral, the third Islamic, so somewhere in the middle the truth lies.

But bare in mind that history on the internet is often wrong and rife with factual errors.

The Art of War
Mar 29, 2002, 09:33 PM
Thanks, guys. :)

Vrylakas
Mar 30, 2002, 09:42 AM
D'oh! A late-comer...

I didn't check out AofA's sites but Canaan was a regional name rather than the name of a specific people or nation, like "Central Europe" or "New England". It meant "The Land of Purple" because of a famous and rare purple dye produced there natively. The word "Canaan" is probably from the Ugaritic dialect of the Semitic languages, and was in widespread use long before the Jews showed up. Egyptian records use the term for centuries before the Jews, although often for different parts of the eastern Mediterranean coastline. Canaanites were a hodge-podge of different peoples, mostly Semitic but not exclusively, as Locutus described well.

Modern Palestinians derive from (again, as Locutus and AofA described) the mid-7th century A.D. Arab Moslem invasion of the Levante. Like its predecessor name "Canaan", Palestine has historically referred to a region and not a specific nation or people - until now. It supposedly derives from the ancient name "Phillistine", though I can't confirm that one. It was long considered a part of either Syria or Egypt, until its boundaries were expanded by the British Mandate of 1918-1948. With the creation of Trans-Jordan by the British, and then the creation of Israel in 1948, the term came to refer exclusively to the lands west of the Jordan River. Ironically, the Moslems of Palestine and the Levante in general (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine) were long known for their liberal attitudes and cosmopolitanism well into the 20th century; the events of the past several decades have reversed that image considerably.

If your question is whether the histories of either the Israelis or the Palestinians gives one or the other group historic rights and claims to the area, well I think you're barking up the wrong tree. I am strictly against using history to attempt to justify modern political claims or arguments between nations. To take one or the other side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to ignore the reality that both parties (and others!) have a long historical association with the region at different times, and have both had an immense impact in the historical make-up of the modern region. That historical boundaries and cultural spheres have overlapped geographically is scant reason for claiming real estate. I've said it before and I'll say it again; dirt doesn't care who lives on it. Yes, some areas are of a very historically sensative concern for both parties - the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem being prime current examples - but these and all other disputes between Israelis and Palestinians will have to be resolved based on modern realities and expediencies, and not history. If both sides were reading the real history of the region, after all, then neither would be attempting to use it for their modern political advantage.

allhailIndia
Apr 04, 2002, 04:12 AM
Originally posted by Vrylakas

", Palestine has historically referred to a region and not a specific nation or people - until now. It supposedly derives from the ancient name "Phillistine", though I can't confirm that one. It was long considered a part of either Syria or Egypt, until its boundaries were expanded by the British Mandate of 1918-1948. With the creation of Trans-Jordan by the British, and then the creation of Israel in 1948, the term came to refer exclusively to the lands west of the Jordan River.

I can confirm that. In almost all Indian languages derived from the oldest language Sanskrit, Palestine is an Anglicized(?) version of "Phillistine"(it is pronounced here as ph-ILLI-sTH-een). It is probably also the same in Arabic and Persian which also contributed heavily to Hindi.

alireza1354
Apr 19, 2002, 11:29 AM
Sorry for you but they are not.

I myself am a Moroccan (no Arab also) and I know what I am talking about.

There are in fact no Arabs at all, maybe only in the Arabic Gulf.

All other Arabic countries are Islamised and Arabicized.

Of coarse they are mixed with early Arab migrants from ages ago, but racially the non-Arab population was always a majority untill today.

So Egyptians,Iraqi's,Syrians,Palestinians,Moroccans,e tc... are all mixed up with eatchother and with others.But calling them Arabs and sit back is stupid.

Vrylakas
Apr 19, 2002, 11:56 AM
alireza1354 wrote:

Palestinians are no Arabs
Sorry for you but they are not.

I myself am a Moroccan (no Arab also) and I know what I am talking about.

There are in fact no Arabs at all, maybe only in the Arabic Gulf.

All other Arabic countries are Islamised and Arabicized.

Of coarse they are mixed with early Arab migrants from ages ago, but racially the non-Arab population was always a majority untill today.

So Egyptians,Iraqi's,Syrians,Palestinians,Moroccans,e
tc... are all mixed up with eatchother and with others.But calling them Arabs and sit back is stupid.

Welcome alireza! Your point is well-taken and of course you are right that the populations across the Levante and Mahgreb are hybrid and partially-assimilated groups of Arabs and pre-Islamic populations, but that is also the case elsewhere in the world. Modern Poles are really a collection of Slavs, Slavicized Iranians, Balts, some Germans, and a heap of peoples whose ethnicity we don't even have a name for. But because someone's ancestors 1000+ years ago weren't Slavs, does that mean they aren't Poles today? Even on the Arabian Peninsula there were many non-Arab peoples who were assimilated into Arab culture. That their cultures were not nearly as developed as the Syrians', Egyptians' or Iraqis' is why they left much less of a trace. But does that mean modern Egyptians, Libyans, Syrians or Palestinians are not Arab?

What we're arguing isn't something concrete or written in stone so it's more a matter of definition of what is a "people" or "ethnic group". Admittedly the West is unflinching in its assumption that Cairo (al Kahir), Amman and Baghdad are all Arab capitals, but that's probably an influence of the Arab nationalist and Ba'athist movements of the 1950s and 60s. Remember the United Arab Republic (Syria + Egypt)? In that sense the Palestinians are no less Arab than the Bahrainians or Saudis.