Palestine and Palestinians

Understanding Palestine and Palestinians

Negative use of the word “Palestinian” must be taken into account along with politics, when you talk about the Palestinian Christians in the Christian Holy Land. Too often Palestine is equated with Muslims only but there are Palestinian Christians as well as Palestinian Muslims all over the Middle East. 

The term “Palestine” has been used for the area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River since 138 C.E. (A.D.) and the section on Indigenous Christians describes the history of Christianity in Palestine. Israel was established on a portion of that historical area.  There were Palestinian Christians, Palestinian Muslims and Palestinian Jews. Jews were evern encouraged to "Visit Palestine".

Palestinians are mostly Arabs and have an important history. During the “Dark Ages” the Arabs flourished in the field of medicine, science and mathematics. They critiqued the Greeks and introduced experiments and observation to replace the philosophical science that had been previously put forward. Our present scientific achievements grew from those developments of the Arabs. 

Jesus was a Semite and his native home vocabulary was Aramaic, which is an ancestor of today’s Arabic. He used Hebrew in the Synagogue. Semitic is actually the title of a group of languages rather than an ethnic designation. These languages use clusters of consonants to mean a concept, and then add vowels to make a  particular word related to that concept. Since 1875 the term “Anti-Semitic” has been understood to mean “anti-Jewish” but technically Arabs and Jews both can claim the title Semitic because they both use Semitic languages. See the section on vocabulary to understand other ways in which people have changed the meaning of words.

When people contend that Arab or Palestinian women are weak and oppressed, it is important to remember that the women are actually strong. They are often working to support the family when men’s wages are low because of occupation or oppression. They have formed societies and co-ops to earn money and they serve in governmental offices.

Often Israel has claimed that “the right to a state is a human right” and the Palestinians also believe that “the right to a state is a human right.” So they are asking to be recognized as a State.