By Dr. Elias Akleh
The Zionist Israeli state calls on the Old Testament/Torah as a historical document to prove its legality to “re-claim” Palestine; their god’s promised land. To assert this legality and the myth of the promised land Zionist Organization, since its establishment, had recruited the science of archaeology, employing western Christian biblical archaeologists, to provide the required “historic” proof of the right of the Jews; alleged modern Israelites, to Palestine.
This became very critical after Julius Wellhausen; the biblical scholar and Professor Ordinarius of Theology and head of the German School of Biblical Criticism, published his 1883 book “Geschichte Israels”, later titled as “Prolegomena zur Geschichte Israels” claiming that the Old Testament/Torah stories were invented during the Babylonian exile to serve certain theological and political purposes.
Albright, as well as other biblical archaeologists like him, was also honored (bribed) by the American Friends of the Israel Exploration Society. His writings; such as “Why the Near East Needs the Jews”, are flagrant racist Zionist propaganda ignoring the vast archaeological history of the indigenous Palestinians while emphasizing the fake unproven Israelites’ narrative in Palestine.
The western Christian biblical archaeologists and scholars were mostly Judeo-Christians believing that the Torah/Old Testament was a real historical precursor for the New Testament. Influenced by this biased theological training they needed to confirm the Torah’s narrative as a real history in order to authenticate their own distorted Christian belief.
Their lack of understanding of the ancient Middle Eastern dialects, cultures, geography and social habits, had distorted their interpretations of the archaeological findings by attributing them to the Israelites and to Solomon and David eras based on their own interpretation of the Torah rather than on the true scientific archaeological research and investigation.
Through their distorted writings and teachings these false biblical scholars had perpetrated a historical genocide against the Palestinian history by ignoring the hundreds of thousands of years of history of Palestine before the reported Abraham’s immigration to the land. They considered Palestine as a mere empty background theater for the Israelites that gained importance only when Israelites occupied it.
Although many archaeologists and historians have their own innate personal private doubts about the biblical stories, due to lack of any true archaeological evidence, they did not dare to publish or to openly state their doubts for fear of Zionist reprisal.
Thomas L. Thompson; a biblical scholar, theologian and university professor, who dared in his books such as “The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives” in 1974, “Early History of Israelite; People from the Written and Archaeological Sources” in 1992 and particularly “The Bible in History: How Writers Create a Past” in 1999, to cast doubts about the Torah’s narrative as a reliable historical evidence, and to suggest that the bible should be considered only as a literature rather than a historical book, was severely criticized by contemporary archaeologists dubbing him a biblical minimalist, and was kicked out of his teaching position from the Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Since the establishment of the colonial Zionist state of Israel, especially between 1950 and 1960, archaeology became an Israeli national obsession seeking proof for their alleged roots in Palestine to justify and to assert their military occupation of the land. After 70 years of continuous archaeological excavations under and around the Haram al-Sharif and al-Aqsa Mosque (the alleged Israelite Temple Mount) looking for the alleged Solomon’s Temple, not a shred of evidence was found to substantiate the temple myth.
Many Israeli archaeologists spent many years digging one site after another to be eventually disappointed due to lack of any evidence for any Jewish roots in Palestine. All the archaeological excavations revealed only the history of indigenous Palestinians and other invaders of the country such as ancient Egyptians, Persians, Greeks and Romans.
Jewish Israeli archaeologist Ze’ev Herzog, a professor in the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, had joined Yigael Yadin; an Israeli politician, military official and archaeologist, in conducting many excavations throughout Palestine. Finding no evidence of the alleged Jewish roots in Palestine he eventually agreed with Wellhausen’s findings and argued that the Exodus from Egypt probably never happened, the Ten Commandments were not given on Mount Sinai, and Joshua never conquered Palestine. He casted serious doubts on David’s and Solomon’s monarchies, stating that if they existed they were probably no more than tribal chieftains. He stated:
“The many Egyptian documents known to us do not make any reference to the sojourn of the Children of Israel in Egypt or the events of the Exodus … generations of scholars tried to locate Mount Sinai and the stations of the tribes of Israel in the desert. Despite all this diligent research, not one site was identified that could correspond to the biblical picture.”
A more devastating blow to the Zionist/Judaic myth was dealt by the revelations of the Jewish Israeli historian Professor Shlomo Sand in his lectures and book “The Invention of the Jewish People”.
Professor Sand argues that the so-called Jewish people had never been one nation with one race, rather they came from different groups of people from different countries and different races (white European Jews, black African Jews, brown Middle Eastern Jews, and so forth) who adopted Judaism as their faith. He affirms that the contemporary “Jewish people” have no connection at all to ancient Israelites, and their history is just an invented myth. In an interview with the Israeli Ha’aretz he stated:
“The Romans did not exile peoples (Israelites) and they could not have done so even if they had wanted to. They did not have trains and trucks to deport entire populations. That kind of logistics did not exist until the 20th century. From this, in effect, the whole book was born: in the realization that Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled … There are no scientific evidence or record about the exile of Jews two thousand years ago.”
He also stressed his views that the present Israeli state is just a product of Zionist colonization and concluded that:
“Jews have no origin in Palestine whatsoever and therefore their act of so-called ‘return’ to their ‘Promised land’ must be realized as invasion executed by a tribal-ideological clan.”
Another Jewish Israeli archaeologist; Israel Finkelstein; the director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, states in his book “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts” that many biblical stories had never happened but were written by what he calls “a creative copywriter” to advance a political agenda. He disputed the biblical description of Israel as a great empire with Jerusalem as its capital, where King Solomon had built a splendid temple, and stated that Jerusalem was just a small village with a small tribe and a small temple.
“There is no archaeological evidence for it. There is something unexampled in history. I don’t think there is any other place in the world where there was a city with such a wretched material infrastructure but which succeeded in creating such a sweeping movement in its favor as Jerusalem, which even in its time of greatness was a joke in comparison to the cities of Assyria, Babylon or Egypt.
It was a typical mountain village. There is no magnificent finding, no gates of Nebuchadnezzar, no Assyrian reliefs, no Egyptian temples – nothing. Even the (Solomon) temple couldn’t compete with the temples of Egypt and their splendor … Contrary to what is usually thought, the Israelites did not go to pray in Jerusalem. They had a temple in Samaria (today’s Sabastia) and at Beit El (Bethel).
The science of archaeology clearly shows that Jews have no roots in Palestine. Palestine was never ancient Israel, and Palestinian al-Quds was never Jewish Jerusalem. Many books of the Torah specifically and clearly mention this fact.
Many Arab historians, such as Dr. Kamal Salibi, Dr. Ahmad Daoud and Dr. Fadel Rabi’i, have written historical research books disputing the biblical narratives. This article will quote Dr. Fadel Rabi’i; an Iraqi Arab linguist, anthropologist and mythologist, since some of his books focused specifically on Palestine and al-Quds particularly; “Al-Quds is not Jerusalem, A Contribution to Correcting Palestine’s History” and “Imaginative Palestine: Land of Torah in Ancient Yemen” (two volumes) in Arabic. The geographical and historical accuracy of these two books were authenticated and confirmed by two present-day prominent Yemeni historians; Dr. Hussein Abdullah Al-Umari and Dr. Yousef Abdullah.
As his main references Rabi’i relied heavily on the Torah in Hebrew language published by The Society for Distributing Hebrew Scripture, pre-Islamic Arabian poetry, “Geography of the Arabian Peninsula” by Jewish Yemeni Arab Hamadani; Hasan Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ya’coub al-Hamadani; an eighth century well-known geographer and traveler, and on the Greco-Roman geographer Ptolemy’s “The Geography”.
To understand Rabi’i’s studies one needs to have a thorough knowledge of the Middle Eastern geography especially of the Arabian Peninsula, understand the importance of the pre-Islamic poetry, and a thorough understanding of the ancient Semitic languages and most importantly the local dialects, without which translation into western languages would cause grave mistakes.
Arabian tribes in the Peninsula were identified by different attributive names. They were identified with the name of their chief; banu Israel or bani Israel as the children of tribal chief called Israel. Another identification was through their religious faiths; Jews or Yehud for worshipper of Yahweh, others are identified as Phallustins of Philistins (plural in Hebrew and totally different than the present-day Palestinians) for worshipper of the Phallus; the male sexual organ.
Another identification was through the area of their residence; e.g. beit Yebose meaning the house of Jebusites, beit Lechem meaning the house of Lechem, or Hasidim who live in Hasid valley, and Hasmonim/Hashmonim who live in Hasad/Hashad area, or Mesrim/Mesraim who live in Mesrin in Yemen.
Relying on his references Rabi’i asserts that banu Israel and the Jews/Yehud were two separate Yemeni tribes, who fought among themselves, thus the Torah’s war story between kingdom of Israel (banu Israel) and kingdom of Judah (Jews/Yehud); (2 Samuel: 2). The Islamic Qur’an as well differentiated between banu Israel as a tribe and the Jews, who worshiped Yahweh. Arab poetry of pre-Islamic, of Umayyad and of Abbasid eras also mentioned banu Israel and Jews as separate Yemeni tribes.
Authentic Judaism/Yahudia is actually an ancient Arabic religion sprang in southern west Arabian Peninsula. Jews were Arabs, who worshiped Yahweh. In pre-Islamic and Islamic eras no one would consider being an Arab and at the same time a Jew was paradoxical. The same applies on Philistin Arabs; worshippers of the Phallus. Jewish Arabs and Philistin Arabs are no different than Christian Arabs.
Rabi’i’s main theme is that present-day Palestine has never been ancient Israel and that the city of al-Quds has never been Jerusalem, and that biblical stories took place in south western area of the Arabian Peninsula, mainly in Yemen. He uses geographical locations described in many biblical books and compare them with locations mentioned in the references he relied on to prove his theory.
The first three chapters of the book of Nehemiah tells the story of the Persian king Artaxerxes releasing Nehemiah and other Jews from exile to go back to Jerusalem (ur-salm) to build its wall and the temple. Nehemiah 2:12 – 3:30 give detailed description and names of the damaged walls, gates and towers of Jerusalem/ur-Salm.
The book mentions 10 gates; Valley Gate, Refuse Gate, Fountain Gate, Sheep Gate, Fish Gate, Old Gate, Water Gate, Horse Gate, East Gate and Miphkad Gate. Al-Quds city has only eight gates with totally different names. Other locations mentioned in Nehemiah, such as Serpent well, Broad wall, Pool of Shelah, King Garden, tower of Hundred, tower of Hananel, tower of the Ovens and governor residence beyond the river, are places and a river that do not exist in al-Quds. Apparently, Nehemiah was describing a different city (Yemini ur-Salm) than al-Quds.
Rabi’i also quotes other Torah books, particularly Joshua, that describes a totally different geography of another Jerusalem and another land. Joshua 12 lists the names of the kingdoms, whose kings were defeated by Joshua; Ai, Jarmuth, Lachish, Eglon, Gezer, Makkedah, Aphek and others. Present day Palestine never knew these kingdoms, many of whom were known in ancient Yemen. Joshua 14 – 21 divides the land among the tribes. The names of these divided territories were never known to and never existed Palestine.
Rabi’i also examined the names of Jewish tribes released from Persian exile. Ezra 8 has one list and Nehemiah 7 has another. The names in these lists are also detailed in Hamadani’s book as Yemeni Arab tribes. Palestine never knew these tribes. All geographical locations and names of Jewish tribes mentioned in the Torah’s books never applied to Palestine, but to ancient Yemen as described in details by Hamadani.
Examining the ancient Egyptian, Persian and Roman records Rabi’i could not find any mention of a “Palestine” until 330 A.D. mentioned in the ancient Roman Land Administration Records after Rome occupied the Levant area. Al-Quds was a small outpost on a hill called Elya/Eulia; a Roman name. Palestine then was populated mostly by Monophysite Christian Ghassanid and Nabatean Arabs. When emperor Constantine converted into Christianity he decided to enlist the local Christian population in his wars against the Sassanid Persian empire.
He renamed the area Phalastine/Palestine and Elya/Eulia Jerusalem citing the names from the Torah. He also ordered the Torah to be translated from Hebrew to Greek. The translations were carried out mainly by Yemeni Jewish Rabbis, had many linguistic mistakes and political manipulations adopting the newly-named Palestine and Jerusalem as ancient Israel/Yehuda and ur-Salm.
Rabi’i argues that since the Torah was written around 500 B.C. and the name Palestine was first invented in 330 A.D. then Torah’s Philistin could never be present-day Palestine and Jerusalem/ur-Salm could never be al-Quds. Through lies and manipulations history is written by politicians, theologists, and military victorious leaders.
Judaism/Yahudia is a religion adopted by groups of different nationalities. We have Jewish Americans, Jewish Britons, Jewish French, Jewish Africans, Jewish Chinese, Jewish Khazars and so on. They have no national origin with Jewish/Yehud Yemeni Arabs.
Zionism, a colonialist ideology, has hijacked Judaism, as well as Christianity in the form of Judeo-Christianity, to lure Jews and Christians into the construction of the Great Israel project on the ruins of the Arab World starting with the occupation of the mischievously called the Holy Land; God’s Promised Land of Palestine.
The whole Arab World, with Palestine as its front, will never escape this colonial project and resurrect their true identity unless their history and religions; Christianity as well as Islam, are freed from the politically and religiously manipulated and erroneous Torah narrative.
About Author: Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab writer from a Palestinian descent born in the town of Beit-Jala. His family was first evicted from Haifa after the “Nakba” of 1948, then from Beit-Jala after the “Nakseh” of 1967. He lives now in US and publishes articles on the web.
Dr. Elias Akleh is an Arab-American from Palestinian descent. His family was evicted from Haifa, Palestine after the 1948 Nakba when Zionists stole his family’s property. Then the family was evicted again from the West Bank during the 1967 Naksah, after Zionists again, occupied the rest of Palestine.