December 26, 2005, - 2:33 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
In honor of Day One of Chanukah 2005, here’s a little history lesson. You know those “stateless, homeless, displaced” Palestinian Arabs–the ones Steven Spielberg gives a whining soliloquy to in “Munich“? Well, here’s a look at who was in Jewish “Palestine” (“Palestine” was the Roman name for Jewish Israel–the Palestinians had Jewish/Hebrew names like Shlomoh and Aryeh) at the time of the Maccabees. Check out the map, below.
Note that Jewish Palestine included “Gaulanitis,” which is now the Golan Heights (and gee, the Syrians claim it has ALWAYS been Syrian land; not really).
Note that the “West Bank” is actually the Eastern region of Jewish Palestine. Hmmm . . . no Jordan. No Arab Muslim Gaza either–it’s part of Jewish Palestine. And whaddya know? . . . Jerusalem is the full, undivided capital of Jewish Palestine.
Note also, Phoenicia. Phoenicians became Maronite Christians. Yet their land is now dominated by Shi’ite Muslim Hezbollah supporters who now call it Lebanon. Strange that no-one in the world is screaming about displaced Phoenicians.
So this is Palestinian and Islamic land, huh? Not in Matatias or Judah the Maccabees’ time. And not until recent political correctness.
***UPDATE, 12/27/05: In response to some queries about the name “Palestine” and when it was used for Israel, here is some research provided by Jan Poller, brother of the excellent writer Nidra Poller:
* Many web sites use the word “Palestine” whenever they refer to the area, regardless of the usage of the time. (This has nothing to do with the modern day Arab Muslims who have usurped the name.)
* The reign of the Maccabees was 166-129 BCE – http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Maccabees.html (which, ironically uses the term “Palestine” to describe the area).
* Originally an adjective derived from the Hebrew word “Peleshet,” “Palestine” was first used disparagingly by the historian Herodotus (c 5BCE) to describe “the Philistine Syria”. Subsequently, the name was shortened and Palaistinei became the proper noun. The Jewish philosopher Philo identified Palaistinei with biblical Canaan. http://christianactionforisrael.org/medigest/aug98/backgrnd.html
* A good history of the people of the area can be found at http://www.esek.com/jerusalem/iudaea.html.
Tags: excellent writer, historian, Israel, Jan Poller, Nidra Poller, Palestine, Syria, The reign