Thursday, July 9, 2009

Are the Palestinians Also Jews?

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

"My father, may he rest in peace, was in the hospital during his last days. He said to me, 'I want to tell you a secret, but don't tell anyone. I'm Jewish. It's a secret, just between you and me.'" - Palestinian Man

"My father was a Kawazba. He was a Jew that converted to Islam." - Second Palestinian Man

What is a Palestinian?

A Palestinian, as the book Isralestine (HighWay, 2008, p.89) by Bill Salus describes, is "the ethnic label tossed about loosely in modern times to identify three primary predominately Arab groups of people: the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians of the West Bank, and the Palestinian Refugees... Their genealogies can be traced back to the Edomites [descendents of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob], Egyptians, Assyrians, Philistines, Sidonians, Ammonites, Moabites, Yemenites, Saudi Arabians, Moroccans, Christians from Greece, Muslim Sherkas from Russia, and Muslims from Bosnia." Palestinians are therefore a melting pot of people groups, politically viewed as Syrian by nationality and generally hailed as Arab in origin.

But, could the Palestinians also be Jewish in origin? The iReport for CNN report by Nissim Mossek titled "Palestinians of a Jewish Origin" contends that many Palestinians are indeed Jews.

Search For Jewish Origins

Though few Palestinians are willing to expose themselves so as not to be seen as the enemy, some have come public and identified their Jewish origins. It has led many Israelis, like Rabbi Dov Stein, Secretary of the New Sanhedrin, to conclude, "It becomes clear that a significant part of the Arabs in the land of Israel are actually descendents of Jews who were forced to convert to Islam over the centuries. There are studies that 85% of this group is of Jewish origin. Some claim the percentage is less."

The historically accepted assumption is that after the destruction of the Second Temple and the Bar Kochva (Kokhba) Rebellion the land of Israel was emptied of all the Jews. As Elon Jarden, a Holy Land scholar, explains, this was not entirely the case. "When an empire takes over a country, it exiles the elite and leaves the lower classes. And that's what happened after the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple." These lower class Jews, Jardon contends, remained in the land renamed by the Romans "Palestine," and like the Northern ten tribes of Israel who fled to such places as Afghanistan and India, integrated into the people groups of the region.

Over time, the Jews who remained in Palestine ceased to be practicing Jews as the Turks forced Jewish village after Jewish village to become Muslim. Some Jewish traditions remained, according to iReport, though hidden within the families.

Genetic research has also affirmed that many of the Palestinians today have Jewish origins. At the Hadassah Medical School laboratories, an international genetic research study was conducted headed by Professor Ariella Oppenheim from the Hebrew University. She states, "We found that although the Jews have been scattered all over the world for 2,000 years, they still maintained genetic continuity throughout the ages. And another thing that also surprised us was the high proximity to the Arabs living in the land — the Palestinians."

Even the Ashkenazi (European) Jews have been found to be genetically closer to the Palestinians than Middle-Eastern Jews, Professor Oppenheim has found. "It's true. It's true. The same chromosome can appear in both Ashkenazi Jews and Palestinians." Some Palestinians even have what's called the "Cohanic Chromosome," meaning that they are descendents of the priestly line of Aaron, the brother of Moses.

Responding to the Discovery

In response to this revelation, Israeli Jews like Tsvi Misinai, a pioneer of hi-tech industry in Israel, has made it his life's mission to spread the word that the Palestinians are of Jewish origin. He wishes to build a bridge of peace between the two now divergent peoples in hopes that they'll live together as one nation.

As modern-day Israel welcomes Jews making aliya from all over the world as foretold in Bible prophecy (Isa. 11:11-12), today's Jews are far less hostile towards those intermarried with the Gentile races than it was during Jesus' time, like with the Samaritans. But, should the Palestinian Jews come forward and their claim to Jewish roots be accepted, would Israel welcome their once hostile neighbors with open arms? Would Israel grant citizenship to Palestinians who can prove their claim of being Jews? And, should they become citizens, will the Palestinian Jews fight for or against Israel when that nation subdues its hostile neighbor countries as Psalm 83 indicates and Ezekiel 38-39 requires for Israel's peace and safety?

The answers to these questions will not be long in coming.

Mini-documentary (13:36)


hartdawg said...

i need to be clear on something here cuz i always lumped all middle eastern people as jews or arabs: iranians are persians not arabs, but jordanians, libyans, syrians and iraqis are arabs and palastnians are a melting pot of all of the above nations. right? i'm not sure which nations are arabs, i just know iranians are not. i'll check back in on sunday. i'm headin outa town now so i'll talk to you all later.

son of thunder said...

I was always under the impression that "Palestine" (the Roman pronunciation of Philistine) was the name the Romans gave the region just to tick off the Jews. That being the case, doesn't that make all Israeli Jews Palestinian?

Anonymous said...

Son of Thunder, you raise a good question. The answer the question depends on whether you ask an Israeli or a Palestinian.

Although Palestinians denounce it as a lie, they and their Arab allies have "revisioned" history by claiming that Palestinians are _Arabs_ and have _always_ held the land.

This clip is controversial on all sides of the fence.

I hope good can come from this development.

Anonymous said...

While many still think that being a Jew is from physical birth, the Scriptures teach that the blessing of Jacob falls on the remnant. The remnant of Israel are those who hold to the covenant that God made with our fathers. Now we think that DNA somehow will clear up the confusion. It will solve nothing. The true remnant is the line from Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob all the way down through those who believe in Yeshua of Nazareth (the seed of Abraham). Your high tech point of view only confirms the physical, not faith in the God of Israel. As Paul said, "Not all those of Israel are Israel."

SeanOsborne said...

"What is a Palestinian?"

Biblically and technically a "Palestinian" is someone who was born and raised in the same geographical area as ancient Philistia.

Bill Salus is also correct in his definitive statement which is based upon an "ethnic label tossed about loosely in modern times."

Historically, here are the facts of the matter:

It was in 130 AD, a full 60 years after the Roman legions destroyed the city and the sanctuary, when Roman Emperor Hadrian began rebuilding on the Aelia Capitolina upon the ruins of Jerusalem. Hadrian built a temple in honor of Jupiter/Zeus Olympus on the site of the former 2nd Temple and reinstituted the ban on Jewish ritual circumcision and other anti-Jewish policies, much as the Seleucid King Antiochus IV Epiphanes (prototype Antichrist) had done 300 years previously.

These and other actions on the part of Rome led to the Bar Kokhba Revolt (a/k/a the Second Jewish War) erupting in 132-135 AD. The Jews were very well led by Simon bar Kokhba and Akiba ben Joseph against the might of the Romam Empire.

Initially the Jews crushed the Roman legions which had been brought into Judea from deep within Europe. Some historical sources maintain that the Jews annihilated an entire Roman legion, Legio XXII Deiotariana.

Eventually the Roman military overwhelmed the Jewish forces. In the end over 525,000 Jews were killed and over 1,000 towns and villages were burnt and razed to the ground. The jews were not permitted to bury their dead; corpses rotted where they fell.

In his final act to obliterate Judea and anything Jewish from history, Hadrian changed the name of the province Syria Palaestina.

Galatian Man said...

Dr. Reagan
I am amazed to read the end of the final installment of the "50 Reasons why we are living in the end times".
You ask the question, "Are you Ready" and then go on to ask, "are you ready for the return of Jesus Christ". I Have printed up 5000 hand fans that we are handing out at our local county fair that say exactly that. I did the artwork months ago and have had the fans for more than 2 weeks. It seems many in the church are thinking the same thing. Time is short. We must get the word out. Please pray for our booth at the fair. It is our 6th year. It is our main evangelism thrust of our Baptist Association. We are there for 12 hours a day for 6 days. We hand out fans, tracts, Bibles, etc...
I would love to get a fan to you somehow.

Nathan Jones said...

The outreach by fan sounds cool, Galatian Man, and clever. We'll be in prayer for your evangelism efforts. If you'd like to send us a fan, we can be reached via our contact information.

Razi said...

I am a Palestinian, what does it matter if genetically I have Jewish origin, we are all also originally Semits, then we are human, we're even related in 99% to all other creatures.
It's not the blood who makes you who you are, it is the thoughts. Though in the end all humans think the same and all the conflicts are worthless. As long as we keep dividing and say this person is originally that and the other is that wars and fights will continue, only when we'll try to live an easier life will we be free and see the truth.