324 BC map by Alexander the Great of Levant

History of Canaan and Palestine


HISTORICAL IGNORANCE ALLOWS HASBARA TO THRIVE
“He who controls the past controls the present; he who controls the present controls the future.” G. Orwell famously wrote in his story 1984. It is of course true. And ignorance of the past, fostered for this very reason, allows “Israel’s” propaganda, it calls ‘hasbara‘ to thrive and take root in the minds of the ignorant. One of the arguments that its hasbarists make in order to assert their mythical ‘claim’ on Palestine, is that “Palestinians are neither Canaanites nor Phoenicians. These don’t exist anymore and ‘Palestinians’ (in scare/insult quotes) are merely ‘Arabs’ and therefore migrants from Arabia who came to the area for economic reasons only after European Jews arrived and made the desert bloom.” Of course maps and old photographs and history itself show that this is patently false and base propaganda designed to deny peoplehood to Palestinians and take advantage of myths the Jews wrote for themselves. So the information conveyed here will dispel the silly myths and propaganda that Jews use to bamboozle the ignorant whilst they are busy stealing ancient Palestine.

With the beginning of the Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic period) circa 12,000 BC, humans in Palestine began to raise animals, to farm and produce handcrafts. Natufians were there in 10000 BC., then the Caananites joined to these people and became the dominant race as they founded many cities like Jericho and Urushalim. The neolithic inhabitants (c. 7000–c. 4000 BC) began settling in fixed towns and villages.

Around 7000 BC, Jericho became the first place in Palestine where humans built dwellings for themselves. Farming and animal breeding began there and stability characterized the area for more than a thousand years before Mesopotamia-Sumer (now Southern Iraq). The craft of pottery began in Jericho around 5000 BC, spreading from there to the rest of Palestine and Syria. Then came the Early Bronze Age (c. 3000–2000 BC). Recorded history in the area began in the Middle Bronze Age. The existence of indigenous population in the land of Palestine is far beyond any names because they were called many names through different eras by different people. Canaan was referred to in an ancient Sumerian record dating back to 3000 BC. Gaza is one of the oldest cities in the world, established by Canaanites in 3000 BC.

While already inhabited by people before recorded history, Palestine was subjected to a large influx of Semites from the Arabian Peninsula in the beginning of the 3rd millennium. This was known as the “Amorite Canaanite”, which increased around 2500 BC when the Amorites migrated to Greater Syria, to its southeastern parts (Transjordan), and the Canaanites to the coast, southwestern parts (Palestine). As such, the country was named after them – the land of Canaan – which is the oldest name given to our country, Palestine. The Canaanites ruled for nearly 1500 years. -webGaza.net

Canaan, referred to as ‘ca-na-na-um’, existed in 4000 BC fully developed and completely independently of and long before Hebrew tribes ever even existed.

Etymology of Canaanite is the Akkadian kinahhu. ‘Canaan’ is linked with ‘Phoenicia’, both names referring to the red or purple dye from Murex snails and the red-colored wool which was a key export of the region and for which the region was famous. When the Greeks encountered the Canaanites, it may have been this aspect of the term which they latched onto as they renamed the Canaanites the Phoenikes or Phoenicians. Phoenicia is really a Classical Greek term used to refer to the region of the major Canaanite port towns, and does not correspond exactly to a cultural identity that would have been recognised by the Phoenicians themselves. The term in Greek means ‘land of purple’, again, a reference to the valuable murex-shell dye they exported.

The Romans in turn transcribed the Greek phoinix to poenus, thus calling the descendants of the Canaanite emigres to Carthage ‘Punic’. However, while both Phoenician and Canaanite refer to approximately the same culture, archaeologists and historians commonly refer to the pre-1200 or 1000 BC Levantines as Canaanites and their descendants, who left the bronze age for the iron, as Phoenicians.

Obviously Canaan is much older and had dealings with other cultures totally independent of Hebrew tribes or what became the written Old Testament.

Palestine mentioned outside Jewish book of myths

It’s clear that Palestine existed long before Rome took over the area as a district. It was not named Palestine after Jews were expelled from Jerusalem/al Quds in 70 AD just to hurt Jews’ feelings, as the hasbara claims. Let’s look at the instances in which Palestine was mentioned in history outside the aegis of the book of myths compiled by Jews that is commonly called the ‘Torah’ (not to be confused with the Talmud, which they also call Torah) or Tanakh, and Christians know as the Old Testament.

There are numerous artefacts proving the presence of a developed Canaanite culture and Phonecians later on as well, for example:

  1. Cananite inscription at at Serabit el-Khadem in Sinai (1800 BC)
  2. Egyptian records (1200 BC) the presence of Philistine precede any historical mention of Hebrew tribes, now called Jews
  3. Cananite inscription at at Ugairit (1800 BC-1450 BC)
  4. Amran letters (record of correspondence between Egyptian and Palestinians) 1350 BC
  5. Discovery in Meggido and other places shows Palestinian presence is much older that their colonisers and interlopers,  Hebrews tribes, now called Jews

And even the Jewish Tanakh admits that “Abraham was as a refugee in Philistine” (Gen. 21:34).

An inscription recording Egyptian King Ramesses’ conflict with the Sea Peoples, is dated to around 1175 and we meet the ‘Peleset’ (PLST), who must be the Philistines or Palestinians.

c. 450 BC: Herodotus, The Histories:
(that would be about 400 years before Romans arrived in the region)

Of the triremes the number proved to be one thousand two hundred and seven, and these were they who furnished them:–the Phoenicians, together with the Syrians who dwell in Palestine furnished three hundred; and they were equipped thus, that is to say, they had about their heads leathern caps made very nearly in the Hellenic fashion, and they wore corslets of linen, and had shields without rims and javelins. These Phenicians dwelt in ancient time, as they themselves report, upon the Erythraian Sea, and thence they passed over and dwell in the country along the sea coast of Syria; and this part of Syria and all as far as Egypt is called Palestine.

In 5th century BC Herodotus wrote of a ‘district of Syria, called “Palestine” in The Histories, the first historical work clearly defining the region, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.

(Book 3): “The country reaching from the city of Posideium to the borders of Egypt”
(Book 4): “the region I am describing skirts our sea, stretching from Phoenicia along the coast of Palestine-Syria till it comes to Egypt, where it terminates”

Approximately a century later, Aristotle used a similar definition in Meteorology, writing

“Again if, as is fabled, there is a lake in Palestine, such that if you bind a man or beast and throw it in it floats and does not sink, this would bear out what we have said. They say that this lake is so bitter and salty that no fish live in it and that if you soak clothes in it and shake them it cleans them,”

understood by scholars to be a reference to the Dead Sea’

What do scholars say of Palestinians?

‘Palestinians are the descendants of all the indigenous peoples who lived in Palestine over the centuries; since the seventh century, they have been predominantly Muslim in religion and almost completely Arab in language and culture.’

Dowty, Alan (2008). Israel/Palestine. London, UK: Polity. p. 221.

‘Palestinians are an indigenous people who either live in, or originate from, historical Palestine. Although the Muslims guaranteed security and allowed religious freedom to all inhabitants of the region, the majority converted to Islam and adopte

d Arab culture.’ Bassam Abu-Libdeh, Peter D. Turnpenny, and Ahmed Teebi, ‘Genetic Disease in Palestine and Palestinians,’ in Dhavendra Kuma (ed.) Genomics and Health in the Developing World, OUP 2012 pp.700-711, p.700.

“[being of] Canaanite origin, Palestinians have priority; their descendants have continued to live there, which gives them continuity; and (except for the 800,000 dispossessed refugees of 1948 – as determined by Israeli officials at the time, not including the hundreds of thousands subsequently expelled), they are still living there, which gives them present possession. Thus we see that on purely statistical grounds they have a proven legal right to their land.”

late Prof. Ilene Beatty, highly renowned historian/anthropologist and specialist on the “Holy Land” in Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan, 1957.

The Arab population of Palestine was native in all the senses of the word, and their roots in Palestine can be traced back at least 40 centuries.

Professor Maxime Rodinson, Professor of law at the Sorbonne University in Paris, Jewess. Israel and the Arabs, 1968.

As neither the Byzantines nor the Muslims carried out any large-scale population resettlement projects, the Christians were the offspring of the Jewish and Samaritan farmers who converted to Christianity in the Byzantine period; while the Muslim fellaheen in Palestine in modern times are descendants of those Christians who were the descendants of Jews*, and had turned to Islam before the Crusaders’ conquest.

Moshe Gil, A History of Palestine, Cambridge University Press. pp 634-1099. (* not counting or even addressing the majority Gentile population that existed before descendants of ‘Abram’ arrived and afterwards through the millennia until “Israel”was reconstituted in 1948. This author, being Jewish naturally highlights only the Jews who converted, ignoring the overwhelming majority of Gentiles.)

Most of the Arab Palestinians were people deeply rooted in what Khayr al-Din al-Ramli (1585-1671), an influential Islamic lawyer from Ramla, defined in the XVII century “Filastin biladuna” (“Palestine our country”); the fact that it was not a separate political and administrative entity did not make al-Ramli’s “Filastin” less real. “State” was a Western concept.

But what about the Old Testament?

The story is that the primary patriarch, Abram (renamed ‘Abraham’ later) was born in “Ur of the Chaldees.” Ur was the capitol city of Sumer, present day Southern Iraq.

Abraham migrated with his father Terah to Harran, (Southern Turkey). His descendants in Harran, 400 years later, emigrated from Haran into Canaan. They had no unique identity, no unique language or unique culture or unique religion. They had no experience governing, nor had they any experience that set them apart from anyone else in Harran; they were merely citizens who chose to emigrate.

The ancient Israelites were for the most part pagan polytheists who worshipped many gods, only one of them being Yahweh, who was one of the 70 sons of the great god El in Canaanite lore. In fact, Yaweh, the jealous, rageaholic, pro-genocide and pro-rapine deity of storms and agriculture was merely a minor household god of Saul’s household. Most of the Old Testament is a story of how the cult of Yahweh sought to be the premier cult among all others that shared the temple.

As for the Jewish “Book of the Law,” no such book existed until it was conveniently “found” hidden in the temple during the reign of King Josiah. Before that no one had even heard of it, belying the fact that it didn’t exist until then, and was written for political purposes. So before then there were none who kept the law supposedly given to Moses, and therefore, no Jewish religion.

“Jewish” as a term is best applied to the religion of the Israelites after their elites returned from Babylon (during “captivity” period in which the book of myths known as the Old Testament was written)  c. 539 BC. As priests and rabbis subsequently developed this “reformed” religion, its followers could be called Jewish. However, they were still genetically Canaanite, as were the numerous Gentiles also living in the region.

  • 1st Kingdom (Hebron) lasted from 1026 BC to 1009 BC (17 years)
  • 2nd Kingdom lasted from 1009 BC to 722 BC (Conquered by Assyrians) (287 years) 10 tribes disappeared at this point.
  • 3rd Kingdom lasted from 933 BC to 586 BC (lost to Mesopotamians)  (347 years).

The northern, 10-tribal alliance, known as the 2nd kingdom of Israel, lasted until 722 BC when it was politically obliterated by Assyrians, never to be resurrected. The southern (3rd) kingdom of Judea nominally lasted from 933 BC to 586 BC (lost to Mesopotamians)  (347 years),

The elite of the remaining 2 tribes were transferred to Babylon by the Persians, as was customary in the region (it was not a cruel “captivity” as it is portrayed). Their Pharisee scribes just out of Babylonian “captivity” asked permission to return to Jerusalem. King Cyrus of Persia, in 536 BC, would allow them if they could prove in writing that they would live by a Code of Ethics. They wouldn’t have a completed alphabet until 100 BC. They wrote in Sumerian and later Greek. Nothing was written in Hebrew until well after 100 BC.

So they read up on the bricks of cuneiform clay of Sumerian history and Judaised:

  • Noah from King Ziusudra of 2900 BC.
  • Abraham also Sumerian, who brought anthropo-theism to the Canaanites 500 years before the tribes entered Canaan. They never met Abraham. This Sumerian name makes no sense in Hebrew.
  • The Deeds of Moses, namely the 10 commandments which he stole from the book of the dead written in 1350 BC by the Egyptians.
  • They even took up the name of EL, the main deity of Abraham. (as in IsraEL).

In their stupidity, the dropped EL in Babylonia and took up Yahweh, a minor and personal family deity of King Saul, who was one of the 70 children deities of EL. Yahweh was the god of nature (Agriculture) Hence Abraham brought anthropo-theism not monotheism to Canaan. The Egyptians had the Sun as Monotheism.

Conjecturally Joshua was the leader of the tribe of Ephraim.
He becomes leader of the Levi tribe after the death of Moses. According to the writing of the Pharisees who worked so hard on creating their “history” after freedom in Babylonia, they first began writing their Tanakh in 536 BC. They got somewhat confused in picking Joshua because he predates Moses and dies when Moses is but a year old! But still, he supposedly goes on to conquer Jericho under the command of no other than Moses.

How could have wandering nomads who didn’t enter Canaan until c. 1200 BC having spent 40 years in the Sinai having no army, no food conquer Jericho? Besides Canaan had allegiance with Egypt and Egypt was at the height of its power at that time, with military garrisons/watchtowers stationed at intervals all along the one road from Egypt to the Levant.

The majority of Hebrews transferred to Babylon never returned. Five thousand did return in 456 BC (after 130 years) and allowed to continue as a client province of the Persian empire. The descendants of Judeans lived as a tiny minority in Palestine, they even dropped Hebrew in 200 BC for local and more widely known Aramaic, and began migrating en masse to Greece, later to Rome -of their own free will.

So until c. 70 AD, during the entire time of the 3rd kingdom’s centuries-long nominal existence, it was mostly subservient to other powers and certainly was no major power or of importance to any surrounding kingdoms or cultures.

The Romans don’t arrive until 63 BC. The Romans re-attached the name Palestine to this area, and that name survived in various forms up to the present day. Consequently, “Palestine” is the best historical designation for the region.

However, throughout that entire history, which included population shifts, empires and dynasties rising and falling, many people of original Canaanite stock endured to the present day, whether Jews, or, far more numerously, Gentiles.

The European Ashkenazi’s claim of “a land without people for a people without land” was always fraudulent. A core population has resided in that region for thousands of years, as archaeology shows. But most of them did not do so as “Jews” or even “Israelites.” Supplanting them with “white” Ashkenazi Jews doesn’t change history for those who remember, or who are willing to learn. And that, dear reader, is why you are here!

What about archaeology?

There is archaeological evidence for Canaanite habitation in the region for thousands of years. For example, the skull of a dog, a picture of a bull carved into a bone and a sculpted piece of human skull, all dating back to the Mesolithic period (c. 12,000 BC), were found in the caves of Carmel.

In several Palestinian cities, numerous artefacts from the Metallic Stone Age (c. 4000 BC) were found, including in the city of Megiddo, where the oldest types of decorated pottery were discovered. In Beisan, excavations in 1921 and 1922 at “Tel Al-Hesn” led to the discovery of an accumulated series of ruins of ancient cities, mounting to 18 layers, with the lower layers dating back to 4000 BC and the upper layers to the Middle Ages.

The Jebusites, one of the Canaanite tribes, built the city of Jebus [Uru-shalim, after the goddess of twilight, Shalim.- ed] around 2000 BC, which is the Canaanite Arab name for Jerusalem. The city was built on the Southwestern mountain of today’s Jerusalem and is known today as Al-Nabi Daoud Mountain (Al-Nabi David). (Very recent excavations showed that the city was built even earlier, around 3,000 BC, which is more than two thousand years before the building of the Temple.). -WebGaza.net

Honest Jewish archaeologists admit there is no evidence for an “exodus” from Egypt, no evidence for the claims of fantastic wealth of Solomon or mighty kingdoms that were power-brokers and important in their day.

This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, YHWH, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai.

Deconstructing the Walls of Jericho, by Ze’ev Herzog, Ha’aretz Magazine,  October 29, 1999.

A senior archaeologist at Tel Aviv University has cast doubt on the alleged Jewish heritage of Jerusalem. Israel Finkelstein’s claims have been made in the face of official Israeli and biblical claims to the occupied city.

Professor Finkelstein, who is known as “the father of biblical archaeology,” told the Jerusalem Post that Jewish archaeologists have found no historical or archaeological evidence to back the biblical narrative on the Exodus, the Jews’ wandering in Sinai or Joshua’s conquest of Canaan. On the alleged Temple of Solomon, Finkelstein said that there is no archaeological evidence to prove it really existed.

According to Finkelstein’s university colleague, archaeology lecturer Rafi Greenberg, Israel is supposed to find something if it digs for a period of six weeks. But, Greenberg told the Jerusalem Post, Israelis have been excavating the so-called City of David in the occupied Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan for two years to no avail.

Professor Yoni Mizrahi, an independent archaeologist who has worked with the International Atomic Energy Agency, agreed with Israel Finkelstein. He said that the right-wing Elad Association has not found anything “saying welcome to David’s palace” although that was taken for granted by Elad, as the group depended on scriptural texts to guide them in their work.

Books have been written on the subject, which I highly recommend reading for more information on this subject, namely:

The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel, by Finklestein & Mazar

The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origins of Its Sacred Texts, by Finklestein & Silberman

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