Idaho Dispatch

Your Local Media Ally

Op-Ed: Israelis and Palestinians, Their Origins

By • October 15, 2023

The current conflict between Israel and Palestine (or Hamas) prompted several conversations I have had. Rather than who’s right and who’s wrong, the crux of the discussions revolves around the origins of these two people. Both sides claim that the tiny piece of land is the land of their origin. But both claims cannot be right.

To begin with, a major source of confusion lies with names. They have changed with time. I will attempt to clarify them as we go along. To begin with, I will start with the term Holly Land to represent the land named by the Romas as Palestine or the boundary of land established by King David in the Old Testament.

Israelis are the descendants of Abraham. He, his family, and his followers went to Egypt, and Pharaoh granted them their right to live in the Holy Land (see Genesis 12), in an area occupied by the Canaanites, the original inhabitants of the area.

After relocating to the Holy Land, the Canaanites’ ruler, Abimelech, further granted Abraham the right to stay in the Holy Land (Genesis 20:15).

The relationship was one of toleration at the time. Abraham’s family became prosperous and numerous (Genesis 13:2). And strife existed between the original inhabitants and even within Abraham’s household. As a result, Abraham’s group split, with Lot moving to the East, to today’s Jordan (Genesis 13:7).

Abraham’s family continued to grow. He had three main descendants, Ishmael, Essau, and Jacob. Ishmael moved to the south, occupying today’s Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Many consider Ishmael to be the forefather of the Arabs. The claim of the Holy Land was not exercised with the move south. However, historically, since the Romans, Arabs did occupy the Holy Land on occasion.

Essau was Abraham’s grandson. He moved east, joining Lot in today’s Jordan.

Jacob was Essau’s twin brother. They are both Abraham’s grandson. Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. And he remained in the Holy Land. He inherited the right to stay and claim of the land through Abraham and Isaac. Israel resolved the claim to the land with Essau as described in Genesis 32 and 33. Ishmael moved, and there was no conflict at that time. What about the Canaanites, the original inhabitants of the Holy Land? To resolve any possible dispute, Israel bought the right to stay from the Canaanites (Genesis 33: 18-19). Of Abraham’s main descendants, Israel was the only one that did that–paying the Canaanites for the land.

What about the Palestinians? Let’s clarify the term first. They were originally known as the Philistines. In an act of spite, the Romans changed the name of the Holy Land to the land of the Philistines, with different translations, Phillistine was translated into Palestine.

There was a famine in the land, and Israel moved to Egypt. In their absence, the Philistines invaded and made war against the Canaanites, with the intention of occupying the land. Philistines were foreign occupiers of the Holy Land. Also, note that the Philistines were not Arabs.

After the famine, the children of Israel returned to the Holy Land. Led by Moses and later Joshua, the children of Israel fought off foreign occupiers, and they avoided conflicts with the children of Essau (see Deuteronomy 2). And they made a peace agreement with the small remaining original inhabitants, the descendants of the Canaanites (see Joshua 9).

The Philistines, though occupiers, managed one notable feat. After entering the Holy Land, Gaza was never conquered. Even the Romans were not able to totally remove them. Equally true is the fact that the Philistines never managed to conquer the Holy Land. I want to emphasize the fact that the Philistines NEVER totally conquered the Holy Land. There was never in history a nation named Philistine over the Holy Land. Today, we call that group, Palestinians. Just the same, there was never a nation named Palestine over the Holy Land. I realize that the discussion over the Palestinians and the Jews will continue. Same with the discussion on legitimacy, and the current declaration of war by Israel. While I am under no illusion that this article will settle the discussion on this topic. I want to set the record straight on their history and origin.

Art da Rosa, PE, MPA, CFM, Inkom, ID

This Op-Ed was submitted by Art da Rosa. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

Amazon Outlet

Tags: Abimelech, Abraham, Canaanites, Deuteronomy, Essau, Gaza, Genesis, Hamas, Holy Land, Iraq, Ishmael, Israel, Jacob, Jordan, King David, Middle East, Old Testament, Palestine, Philistines, Saudi Arabia

4 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Israelis and Palestinians, Their Origins

  1. The land of Israel has been populated by the Jewish people since 2000 BC. Here’s the timeline, in case you didn’t realize that it is their homeland, as designated by Yahweh.
    1900 BC: Abraham chosen by God as the Father of the Jewish Nation.
    1900 BC: Isaac, Abraham’s son, rules over Israel.
    1850 BC: Jacob, son of Issac, rules over Israel.
    1400 BC: Moses leads the people out of Egypt and back to Israel.
    1010 BC: King David unites the 12 tribes into one nation.
    970 BC: King Solomon, son of David, builds the first temple structure in Jerusalem
    930 BC: Israel is divided into two kingdoms, the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah.
    800s BC: The rise of the prophets, God’s messengers.
    722 BC: Kingdom of Israel is conquered by Assyrians.
    605 BC: Kingdom Judah is conquered by the Babylonians.
    586 BC: Solomon’s Temple is destroyed by the Babylonians.
    539 BC: Persians conquer the Babylonians and take control of Israel.
    538 BC: The Jews return to Israel from exile.
    520 BC: The Temple is rebuilt.
    450 BC: Reforms made by Ezra and Nehemiah.
    433 BC: Malachi is the end of the prophetic age.
    432 BC: The last group of Jews return from exile.
    333 BC: The Greeks conquer the Persian empire.
    323 BC: The Egyptian and Syrian empire take over Israel.
    167 BC: Hasmonean’s recapture Israel, and the Jews are ruled independently.
    70 BC: Romans conquer Israel.
    20 BC: King Herod builds the “third” temple
    6 BC: Jesus Christ is born in Bethlehem
    70 AD: Romans destroy the temple
    After that, the people were captives to the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, and Crusaders. Through all of these events, the Jewish people continued to live in Israel. There were more or less of them, depending on the centuries, but there was never a time when the Jews didn’t live in the land. They stayed, they built their communities, they raised their families, practiced their faith and they suffered at the hands of many outside rulers, but they always kept their faith. It is what sustains them, even now.
    In 1948, the UN established the State of Israel, the nation of Jews. Don’t buy the Palestinian lies that they are entitled to the land. It simply is not true. Yahweh will also provide a way for his chosen people to live in Israel, as He has for thousands of years. Pray for the people of Israel.

    Is something incorrect above?

  2. All this is ancient history, not verry connected to more recent history. It would have been much more relevant to continue the history lesson to the 1880’s and the beginning of the Zionist movement. Jews emigrated primarily from Eastern Europe to settle in Palestine. They got along with their Palestinian neighbors for several generations. The vast majority were Ashkenazi Jews which have NO ancestral connection to the Holy Land. They are not descended from anyone that lived in the Holy Land as the Sephardic Jews are. To displace people from their homeland based on the Bible’s narrative of Abraham and his descendants is like claiming Eskimos deserve to reclaim their ancestral lands from the Australians

    1. Then I would suggest that you refer to this chronology of more recent items:

      Here’s the relevant part: the land currently known as Israel was owned by the British following WW I. Britain then created the nation of Israel from that land and gave it to the Jewish inhabitants to rule. (PS – Arabs living in Israel were free to stay, they just had to accept Israel’s right to live. Some chose to stay and some did not.) When Britain gave control completely to Israel, Arab nations attacked and were defeated. Note that the PLO – a terrorist group – wasn’t founded until 1964 – and entire generation AFTER Israel’s international recognition. And note that just three years later the Arabs attempt to destroy Israel – again – and are defeated by what can only be called divine intervention. As a result, Israel gains permanent control of lands such as the Gaza strip and Golan Heights. Not satisfied, Arab nations again attack in 1973 – and are defeated. At this point, Arab nations turn from open attack to funding terrorism – especially by the PLO.

      Also of note were the Oslo Accords of 1993 in which Israel gave some territory – including the West Bank – to the Palestinian Authority on condition that they recognize Israel and cease terror attacks. They have failed to do so despite Israel giving them millions of dollars annually in assistance and building materials and providing jobs to tens of thousands of West Bank residents.

      This is not to mention the ongoing rocket attacks from both Hezbollah in Syria/Lebanon as well as from both the West Bank and Gaza Strip – nor the most recent terror attacks which killed >1500 Jewish residents amid countless other atrocities. Terrorists have divested themselves from the trappings of law and civilization and therefore have no claim on its protections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *