Weekly Update: Who are the Palestinians?

editor - 10 February 2022

The recent Amnesty report accusing Israel of apartheid against “the Palestinians” has thrown into the spotlight the question: who are “the Palestinians”?

Strategically situated at the meeting point of Europe, Asia and Africa, “Syria Palaestina” has for centuries been at the crossroads of many different cultures, religions, ethnic groups, and economic interests. Different people groups moved in and out of the region – including Jews, Christians and Muslims (of many different nationalities), Arabs, Bedouins, and Turks.

Politically motivated attempts to portray Palestine as exclusively “Arab” (as the Palestinian Authority, PLO and Fatah do), or to assert that all non-Jews in Israel are “Palestinians” (as Amnesty does) are false, and to be resisted.

The Jewish people are and have always been an integral part of Palestine, and the only people of whom it can be said that they had a kingdom in the region.

There are also many non-Jews of a wide variety of backgrounds who do not regard themselves as “Palestinians”, some of whom are not “Arab” either.

The Jewish State of Israel today is a vibrant, multicultural country. It is important to recognize and respect those non-Jews who belong in the land and who make a positive contribution to Israel and promote mutual respect and unity. A good example is Yoseph Hadad, an Israeli Arab from Nazareth. Others are the Arab Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, Aramean Christian Elias Zarina and Osaila Abu Assad, a Moslim who was recently appointed as a district court judge.

The land belongs to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is bringing His people home – not to dominate, exclude or exploit others, but so that they may fulfil their calling of bringing the land to life, pouring blessing and prosperity on all inhabitants, and to the nations.

Let us in the nations thank God for His goodness, bless the Jewish people and all Arabs and other who live in the land, and help them work for the Peace of Jerusalem.

The Editorial Team – Israel & Christians Today

The Real Apartheid in the Middle East

Khaled Abu Toameh writes in Gatestone: Palestinians in Lebanon will continue to suffer because of the discriminatory practices and policies of the Lebanese government — but also because of the indifference of the international community. Amnesty International and other human rights organizations are too busy bashing and delegitimizing Israel to pay attention to the real apartheid the Palestinians are experiencing in an Arab country.
Read more

A Short History of Palestine

Andrew Tucker writes: “By 1914, there were approximately 90,000 Jews and 500,000 “Arabs” in Palestine. The Arab population actually comprised a rich diversity of national, ethnic and religious groups, including Arabs, Armenians, Turks, Circassians, Algerians, Egyptians, Druze, Kurds and Bosnians, most of whom had come from other places over the course of the preceding centuries.”
Read more

Amnesty tries to distort my Arab identity and dismantle Israel – opinion

Yoseph Hadad writes in JPost: “As an Israeli Arab who grew up in Nazareth, Amnesty International’s recent report tries to distort my identity… In our Arab-Israeli community, the majority of citizens want to live in peace with Jews.”
Read more

Jerusalemite Initiative is bridging Israeli Christians and Jews

Elias Zarina, Co-founder of The Jerusalemite Initiative: “For me, as an Israeli Christian, I’m living in Israel with an Israeli ID… I’m Christian Arabic-speaking, but not really Palestinian. If I search for where I came from… I find that my roots come from Judaism. If I deny Judaism, I will also deny Christianity.”
Read more

Fatah is educating children ages 6-15 to seek Israel’s destruction

Palestinian Media Watch writes: “Far from preparing its people for a future alongside Israel, the PA/Fatah is educating its children that Israelis are colonialist invaders, that Israel has no right to exist, and that Israel’s replacement by Palestine is inevitable. Terror and murder are glorified, and Martyrdom is presented as an ideal.”
Read more

Palestinians: The Human Rights Violations No One Talks About

Khaled Abu Toameh writes in Gatestone: “While international “human rights” organizations such as Amnesty International make false and baseless claims against Israel, most continue intentionally and systematically to ignore the human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA).”
Read more

Amnesty’s missed opportunity

Mordechai Kremnitzer at Haaretz: “The Amnesty International report released on Tuesday is an extremely pretentious document, one that tries to make a thorough accounting of all of Israel’s sins against the Palestinians from the beginning of time, without differentiating between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories under its control.”
Read more

Interview with Johannes Gerloff, author of “The Palestinians: Myths and Martyrs

In this video, Andrew Tucker talks with theologian and journalist Johannes Gerloff about his book “The Palestinians”. Who are the Palestinians? What makes them tick? What are their hopes and aspirations?



Scripture for the week: 

Jeremiah 31:1-14

 “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.”

This is what the Lord says:

“The people who survive the sword
    will find favor in the wilderness;
    I will come to give rest to Israel.”

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying:

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
I will build you up again,
    and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt.
Again you will take up your timbrels
    and go out to dance with the joyful.
Again you will plant vineyards
    on the hills of Samaria;
the farmers will plant them
    and enjoy their fruit.
There will be a day when watchmen cry out
    on the hills of Ephraim,
‘Come, let us go up to Zion,
    to the Lord our God.’”

This is what the Lord says:

“Sing with joy for Jacob;
    shout for the foremost of the nations.
Make your praises heard, and say,
    Lord, save your people,
    the remnant of Israel.’
See, I will bring them from the land of the north
    and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the lame,
    expectant mothers and women in labor;
    a great throng will return.
They will come with weeping;
    they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
    on a level path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel’s father,
    and Ephraim is my firstborn son.

10 “Hear the word of the Lord, you nations;
    proclaim it in distant coastlands:
‘He who scattered Israel will gather them
    and will watch over his flock like a shepherd.’
11 For the Lord will deliver Jacob
    and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they.
12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion;
    they will rejoice in the bounty of the Lord
the grain, the new wine and the olive oil,
    the young of the flocks and herds.
They will be like a well-watered garden,
    and they will sorrow no more.
13 Then young women will dance and be glad,
    young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
    I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
14 I will satisfy the priests with abundance,
    and my people will be filled with my bounty,”
declares the Lord.