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Subject:  Re: Arafat interview with Haaretz - sound promis Date:  7/12/2004  1:22 PM
Author:  elann Number:  3477 of 22876

Are you saying that the land was barren of a people, no nomadic people ever called it theirs or had claim that it was theirs?

No. All the people in the region were nomadic in the time of Abraham. Abraham himself migrated from what is now Iraq to Canaan. The tribe of Jacob, which included his twelve sons who were the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel, emigrated to Egypt. There were probably other tribes in Canaan at the time. When the twelve tribes were freed from slavery in Egypt and returned to Canaan they conquered the area by the sword. They killed the other nations that lived there at the time, or enslaved them, or assimilated them. From that time until the destruction of the first temple the Jewish people had sole ownership of the land.

I'm not entirely convinced that all the Jews left and went to Egypt as I'm not entirerly of the view that biblical stories should be accepted as fact - which means, in effect, that I am not entirely convinced that BOTH sets of peoples (Jews and Palistinians) do not have claim to the lands, not one or the other BUT BOTH.

We've discussed this before and I'm tired of running around in circles. Just to repeat my view for the record - whether one believes in god or not, the bible is a fairly accurate account of historic events as shown by many archeological records.

The question of modern day Palestininans' residence has no support in the bible simply because they did not exist at the time. As I wrote above, the Jews owned the land exclusively from the time they emerged from Egypt until they were exiled by the Romans. Modern Palestinians are not descendants of any of the other tribes or nations that existed in Canaan before the Roman exile. At most, they can trace their ancestry to people who filled the vacuum after the Jews were exiled by the Romans. Even that is doubtful as I believe the modern Palestinians are much more recent inhabitants, starting with the Arab conquest of Salah-a-Din (Saladin) in the middle ages.

All this has little relevance to the current dispute IMO. What matters most is who owns a home on the land today. There are Arabs living there and there are Jews living there, and they all have a right to their homes. (I'm not talking strict property rights either - if you call it home it's your home). It so happens that in this area there are two distinct nations - distinct in language, culture, religion, self-identification. Both have a right to self-determination and the only peaceful solution is two countries based on some compromise.

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