Israel-Palestine: We don’t own it

Site of Carmel caves holding earliest known human remains from Israel-Palestine. (photo: Albatross Aerial Photography)
 The land has a story to tell of it’s own.

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | Apr 8, 2019

 …even if we or our country controls the land, we don’t own it; at least not in the long-term. We are custodians.

Here’s a thought you will never hear uttered from a synagogue bima or any other Jewish institution.  And it will even come across as heresy to some supporters of Palestinian rights. How many tribes, clans, nations, religions, etc. do you think lived in the land presently called Israel-Palestine since the beginning of the human race?  We know just in the Biblical period there were Philistines, Moabites, Jebusites, Amalekites, Edomites, Canaanites, and probably a few more who’ve slipped my memory. Not to mention all the nations and powers which conquered the land of Israel including the Babylonians, Romans, Greeks, etc.  Of course we know of this history because of the Bible and similar contemporary sources.

The mistake that so many Jews make is to believe that this is the entire history of the land of Israel. But what about what preceded that? We have 1.5-million years of human settlement of that region. The earliest known human remains found in Israel date back 600,000 years. From the Biblical era up to the present is roughly between 2,500 years. Why do Jews (or Palestinians, for that matter) have the chutzpah to think that they were the only ones living there and that history began and ends with them? Why do we believe that the land is ours in perpetuity? Because God promised it to Abraham?? In a book (no matter how sacred)??

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