If Newt Gingrich’s comments about Palestinian identity weren’t explosive enough, a PLO diplomat makes a counter-argument that’s an absolute bombshell.
Maen Rashid Areikat, the PLO’s chief representative in the US, says the Palestinians pre-dated the Canaanites in a Washington Post op-ed:
We lived under the rule of a plethora of empires: the Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Israelites, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Mongols, Ottomans and, finally, the British.
Airekat’s claim doesn’t hold water if he’s basing his argument on the bible. Everyone knows the story of Noah and the flood; numerous ancient civilizations independently attest to a world-wide deluge as well. And Canaan — Noah’s grandson — moved to the Holy Land after being cursed for his role in debasing Noah.
That means Canaan moved into an empty Holy Land. I’m not aware of any scholarly research suggesting that anyone lived in the region before the Canaanites. I’ve heard Palestinian claims of Canaanite descent, but never that they pre-date the Canaanites. That’s a stretch.
I suppose Airekat’s original Palestinians living in Canaan “from time immemorial” were really good swimmers.
Featured image: “Noah curses Ham” by Gustave Doré, courtesy of The University of Adelaide.