Sunday, December 11, 2011

Juan Cole: Palestinians "were mentioned by the ancient Egyptians and Assyrians"

Was Gingrich's statement that Palestinians are "invented" actually a clever ruse to make leftists and Palestinians spout nonsense? Here is Juan Cole on the ancient roots of the Palestinians:
Gingrich said that there had never been a Palestinian state in history. If you want to play the romantic nationalist game of finding ancient forebears for modern nations, it would be easy in the case of the Palestinians, who were mentioned by the ancient Egyptians and Assyrians. But today’s Palestinians are equally descended from the ancient Canaanites and as well as from the ancient Jews.
The bit about the "Egyptians and Assyrians" involves a trick I've noted before: conflating the modern-day Palestinians with the people who are usually referred to in English as the Philistines. Do the Palestinians really want to be identified with polytheistic enemies of the monotheistic ancient Hebrews? And what is the evidence for the assertion in the sentence about the "ancient Canaanites" and "ancient Hebrews"? Need something to blog about? See the rest of Juan's post for more half-truths and nonsense.

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