Who are the Palestinians? PART ONE
Newt Gingrich recently created a firestorm by claiming that the whole idea of a Palestinian people was an invented idea devoid of historical fact. I’ve written about this in the past, but let’s take another look to discover the real Palestinians. The Palestinian claim would have more credibility if either they or the term “Palestine” were mentioned in the Koran, but they’re not. Why?

The English word “Palestinian” is derived from the Old French word “Philistin,” (from Late Latin it is “Philistinus,” and from Late Greek, it is “Philistinoi.”) Most historians believe they migrated from the Aegean region of Asia Minor and were closely related to the Ancient Greeks. They were neither Arab nor Semitic and were clearly enemies of Israel throughout Israel’s history. The Philistines were ultimately defeated, absorbed into the Babylonian/Persian Empire, and by the late fifth century BC, had disappeared.

In 135 BC, Simon bar Kokhba, a Jew, proclaimed himself Prince of Israel, Son of the Star, the Messiah, and led a revolt against the Romans. The Roman governor and two legions of soldiers were defeated. Bar Kokhba controlled the state of Israel from the Fort of Herodium just south of Jerusalem. The Roman emperor Hadrian responded by razing 985 villages and killing nearly 600,000 Jews. He essentially wiped Jerusalem and Judea off the map and deliberately renamed the area Palaestinia after the Jews’ ancient enemy, the Philistines.

Fast forward to today. Where are the descendants of these non-Arab Philistines? Has anyone seen them wandering about? If they were still around, they wouldn’t be hard to recognize. They would still be producing Goliaths as they used to. (The huge dude David fought was not an anomaly among the Philistines.) If anyone can prove that the real Palestinians are back, then Israel will have a genuine people with whom they could discuss claims to the land. If the world is really interested in reuniting real people with their real land, then the Arabs calling themselves “Palestinians” today must return to the Arab land from which they came. Keep in mind that the situation in Israel today is the exact opposite of how things were in biblical times. Throughout most of her history, Israel lived the mountains, while the Philistines occupied the coastlands. Today, it’s reversed. To fulfill the claims of those demanding a Palestinian state, the world must demand that the vast majority of the land occupied by Arabs in Judea and Samaria be returned to Israel.
Newt was exactly right, but the world is not about the let the facts get in the way of its hatred of Israel, which is, in reality, a reflection of its hatred of God. However,
He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury…(Psalm 2: 4-5).

If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?