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Israel's newest myth: Palestinians originate from southern Europe

Israelis continuously come up with false facts for two purposes: first, to prove their divine historical right to Palestine, and second, to deny the Palestinians' connection to their land. This results in the invention and formulation of what they call "scientific facts" that serve their two purposes.

There have been various myths promoted about Palestine and the Palestinians, especially in the 1990s after a book by future Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu –A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World – was published. The first myth was that Palestine was a "desolate, largely empty countryside", according to the book, until the Jews returned and developed it. They also claimed the existence of a Jewish gene that unifies all of Jews around the world. The most recent myth is that the Palestinians originate from southern Europe.

Netanyahu recently tweeted: "A new study of DNA recovered from an ancient Philistine site in the Israeli city of Ashkelon confirms what we know from the Bible – that the origin of the Philistines is in southern Europe."

He added: "The Bible mentions a place called Caphtor, which is probably modern-day Crete. There's no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later."

Netanyahu also claimed that "Palestinians' connection to the Land of Israel is nothing compared to the 4,000 year connection that the Jewish people have with the land". He added a link in his tweet to a study published by Science Advances magazine, which claims a new DNA study it conducted suggested that ancient Palestinians came from southern Europe over 3,000 years ago.

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First of all, for the sake of disproving the Israeli scientific studies or other international studies backed by Israel, I would like to state that on 19 June 2017, Israeli Channel 10 journalist Avishai Ben-Haim claimed there was what he called "Jewish genes", meaning that Judaism has specific genes.

Of course, human DNA is made up of 46 chromosomes (23 pairs), and each chromosome has 100,000 genes, which make up our DNA and pass hereditary features on to children. The first form of genealogy came from Ibn Al-Qayyim, followed by Persian scholar Ibn Majah, eventually leading to modern biology. The pioneer of genetics is undeniably Gregor Mendel. All of these scholars confirmed that heredity is limited to human features, such as colour (eye and hair colour), height, hereditary diseases etc. and that it is impossible for chromosomes and genes to pass down nationality or ethnicity.

Only the Zionists falsify and create misleading myths and facts about history, religion and divine books based on the whims of Jewish rabbis in medieval times. In response to Ben-Haim's misleading claims, Jewish scientist B. Michael – a prominent columnist for Haaretz newspaper – wrote on 22 July 2017: "It's hard to know whether laughing, pulling out one's hair out or throwing up is the most appropriate response to a four-part series of reports last week by Channel 10 reporter Avishai Ben-Haim on 'Jewish genetics,' which took DNA samples from Israeli public figures to ascertain their ancestry."

Of course, Michael does not want Israeli media to be a means of deception in the global scientific community. He added that this claim is malignantly poisonous in the field of politics, noting: "Mixing genetics and politics will always produce the basest forms of racism: biological racism, Nazism, white supremacy, misogyny, apartheid. All of them are the product of political genetics." Michael also noted that the neo-Nazi website Stormfront deemed genetics the proper technique for identifying "pure" white people, prompting him to say that such an approach is "superficial, ignorant, obsequious and demagogic".

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The aforementioned study concluded that ancient Palestinians, who were described as a "group" – as if we are not a nation – originate from ethnic groups of Mediterranean Europeans in Greece, Sardinia and even the Iberian Peninsula, which includes Spain and Portugal. The international researchers believe it is likely that Palestinians' ancestors migrated across the Mediterranean Sea in the Late Bronze Age or early Iron Age, about 3,000 years ago.

The Zionist-funded study noted that the ancient Palestinians "did not leave a long-lasting genetic signature," claiming that once they reached the south of the Levant, they mixed with locals, creating a genetic mixture and therefore their genetic signature is no longer detectable.

Genealogists gathered over 100 samples, mostly from teeth and inner ear bones, which are the best places to retrieve old DNA (they claim). It is worth noting that the experts only obtained DNA results from 11 samples belonging to ten people who lived between the years 3600 BC and 2800 BC, according to their false claims.

I am surprised they were able to determine the period specifically. Isn't it astonishing? The researchers stated that the DNA of ten people was enough to solve the puzzle.

After comparing the DNA results to various genetic clusters in the region, they discovered a component in ancient Palestinians that was not present during the Bronze Age. Following this component led them to southern Europe, without determining the exact area due to the lack of DNA databases for ancient Europeans.

Researchers concluded that their analysis suggests "that this genetic distinction is due to a European-related gene flow introduced in Ashkelon during either the end of the Bronze Age or the beginning of the Iron Age." Indeed, the political purpose of the study and its emergence at this time has become clear as part of the rabid Zionist effort to prove a non-existent connection between Palestine and the Jews.

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This is also needed to create more myths, such as "Pilgrim's Road", which Zionist extremists "unveiled" near the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan, in Jerusalem, which Israelis call the City of David. This was attended by US congressmen and senators such as Lindsey Graham, as well as US ambassadors to Israel, Greece and France.

The occasion was marked by statements denying the Palestinian people's connection to Palestine, with some even denying the existence of such a nation. These remarks were similar to statements by made by former Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir, who arrogantly claimed while high on her state's military "victories": "There was no such thing as Palestinians. When was there an independent Palestinian people with a Palestinian state?"

This was followed by several efforts to erase the identity of the people, culture and folklore, such as stealing Palestinian culture, Israel-ising the Palestinian cuisine, Judaising the names of cities, villages and Palestinian archaeological sites, as well as countless other efforts. However, Zionism has not and will not, despite committing the worst forms of violations and war crimes, erase the Palestinian people from the region's demographic map, and specifically within historical Palestine.

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Palestine is purely Arab and this is proven by historical facts. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus referred to Palestine as being in Syria, while all Frankish historians agreed that Palestine was an Arab country. Famous 19th-century historian James Henry Breasted referred to Palestine in several of his writings, even referring to it as a Canaanite civilisation and the Canaanites as Arab tribes, which is why Palestine is known as the "land of Canaan".

The Arab Jebusites settled in Palestine in 4,000 BC and in Jerusalem in 2,500 BC. Palestine and Jerusalem were Arab even before the emergence of Islam, and the Arabism of Jerusalem – Palestine's most important civilisation – does not begin with the Arab Muslim conquest of the city in 638AD, as many historians unfortunately believe.

The Umayyad Caliph, Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan built the Dome of the Rock as confirmation that Islam (not the Arabs) had entered the city. The origins that the Jews rely on for the naming of Jerusalem as Yerushalaim originates from the Arab Jebusites, who called the city UrShalim (the city of peace) and therefore has no relation to the Jews and they have no history in Palestine or Jerusalem. Therefore, Salah Ad-Din – the founder of the 12th century Ayyubid dynasty – moved to the city immediately after the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and considered it the key to liberating the rest of the Palestinian territories. These are only a few historical facts that support this.

Indeed, Palestine is Jebusite, Canaanite, Arab and Palestinian and the Palestinians are part of the Arab nation. The current Palestinians are the decedents of the ancient Palestinians and their history is too long and deep to be denied by Netanyahu or a Zionist-oriented study that will ultimately end up in the garbage, just as the myth of the "Jewish gene" was disproved.

This article originally appeared in Arabic in Al-Quds Al-Arabi on 18 July 2019.

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The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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