Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Bit of History

Assaf Wohl replies to Arab-Israeli leader who claimed that land’s past belongs to Arabs in History lesson for Khatib

While speaking at an Islamic Movement ceremony to mark the “Nakba,” you, Mr. Khatib, said: “I emphasize this to the members of the Jewish people. We, the Palestinians, are here. We are the past, present, and future of this land.” And as I consider myself to be a member of the Jewish people, which you addressed, allow me to respond to your words.

Someone should have brought you up to date on this matter, Mr. Khatib. You may be able to sell your dubious merchandize in Gaza or on Tel Aviv’s Shenkin Street, but not to someone who studied history for more than 15 minutes. Or perhaps this was some kind of sense of humor, when you happened to speak at the location of two magnificent communities from the Second Temple era, Kfar Kana (today it’s Qana) and Zippori, while calling on me to recognize your right to this land...

...You should visit your brothers in Egypt. I am certain that they would be delighted to present to you the Merneptah Stele (also known as the Israel Stele,) which dates back to 1208 B.C. and commemorates Egyptian ruler’s Merneptah’s war against the tribes of Israel he encountered in Canaan. Do you understand, Mr. Khatib? More than 3,000 years ago, there were Israelites at Canaan. And it isn’t me who’s claiming it, but rather, an Israel-hater called Merneptah.

But why go so far? At the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the capital of the sovereign State of Israel, you can take a look at the Tel Dan Stele and read about the “House of David.” Very surprisingly, this inscription was not found in Lithuania or in Poland, but rather, in the Galilee; and in this inscription too, the king of Aram boasts of victories over Judea and Israel. Look around Mr. Khatib, can you spot any Arameans around here?

Not far from there, in the very same Jerusalem, you can find the Shiloach inscription, made by the slaves of Judean King Hezekiah...it’s written in the Hebrew language. There you go, Hezekiah and I are linked through culture, religion, and language, despite the 2,700 years separating us...And even if you turn the entire Temple Mount into dust, you won’t be able to find even one inscription written in Arabic that dates back to the period before 638 A.D. – the year of the Muslim conquest of the land of Israel.

...Stop bringing disasters upon your public...Did you reach any achievements whatsoever with that holy fury of yours?

4 comments:

Peter Drubetskoy said...

So, in what distorted vision of justice does the presence of your ancestors in the land several thousand years ago give you a more legitimate claim on it than that of people who lived here in the recent past? Not only that, this nitwit Assaf Wolf seems to think that these people have no right to the land because of some 3000-year old stele in Egypt. This guys is either an idiot or villain.

YMedad said...

Peter, you are beginning to try my patience. Cannot you read? He wasn't calling into question the right of an Arab to live in the country of the Jews, whatever its borders within the area of the historical land of Israel, but simply telling off some stupid fanatic who said a Jew has no historical rights to this land and in doing so a) denying any Jewish history; b) claiming a fake Arab history; and c) using both of those to justify violence. Jeez, are you that limited in your intellectual capabilities? Or, are that a villian or an idiot?

Peter Drubetskoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Drubetskoy said...

”Peter, you are beginning to try my patience.”

Well, that’s not my intention, but I don’t mind some heat.

”Cannot you read? He wasn't calling into question the right of an Arab to live in the country of the Jews, whatever its borders within the area of the historical land of Israel, but simply telling off some stupid fanatic who said a Jew has no historical rights to this land and in doing so a) denying any Jewish history; b) claiming a fake Arab history; and c) using both of those to justify violence.”

I think I can read and I cannot find in “We, the Palestinians, are here. We are the past, present, and future of this land.” any of your (a), (b) or (c).

Let’s start with (a). Saying that they are the past of the land does not deny that Jews might have lived in the land too. The land was mostly Muslim and Arab for the most part of the last 2000 years. If he said something to the effect “you Jews never lived here” I could understand Wolf’s reaction and the attempts to prove otherwise.

(b) What kind of “fake Arab history” was he claiming? You want to deny that Arabs lived in the land? This is even harder than denying Jews lived in the land. Good luck.

(c) OK, here I had to go to the original article because either I indeed cannot read or you’re smoking something. Still, nowhere could I find where Khatib was justifying violence. Or marking the Naqba in your eyes is the same as justifying violence? Or , maybe, using words “future of the land” suggests that Khatib wants to rid the land of the Jews? Tenuous, what with considering that to deny the Palestinians future in the land actually does imply violence towards them.

On the other hand, Wolf language is inflammatory and demeaning (“”you may be able to sell your dubious merchandize”) while this phrase

”Or perhaps this was some kind of sense of humor, when you happened to speak at the location of two magnificent communities from the Second Temple era, Kfar Kana (today it’s Qana) and Zippori, while calling on me to recognize your right to this land...”

seems to suggest that Wolf does not recognize Palestinian right to the land. Maybe I was too harsh and Wolf indeed believes that they do have some right ” to live in the country of the Jews”, but I doubt it. His whole tone speaks of outrage at Khatib for even suggesting that Arabs may have rights to the land. Frankly, I don’t know Khatib as I don’t know Wolf. It is quite possible that Khatib is also an extremist (which is what Wolf looks to me). This, however, doesn’t make Wolf’s arguments any more convincing. This is even without delving into the validity of his archeological claims.

”Jeez, are you that limited in your intellectual capabilities? Or, are that a villian or an idiot?”

My intellectual abilities are what they are and I am ready to be shown where I am wrong. If I am wrong about Wolf I will take my words back. And I am not easily offended.