One city block from our office, across from the UTC campus, is a small deli that serves delicious sub sandwiches. It is owned and operated by two Palestinian’ brothers who do not speak Palestinian, there is no such language, they speak Arabic. The newspapers they receive from home and their return correspondence to family is not in Palestinian script, there is no such thing, but with Arabic letters and numbers. The religion they embrace is Islam, not Palestinian (95% of Palestinians are Muslim). A commonality I have with these brothers is an affection for a land I call Israel, but a state they call Palestine.

What and where is Palestine? The name ‘Palestine’ is somewhat bogus, for the ‘Palestinians’ have never had a Palestinian state nor capital, not even when the Arabic people squatted in the territory of the pre-1948 British mandate. There is nothing historically in the land of Israel that is Palestinian. There is no Palestinian culture, no Palestinian heritage, not even the Koran (the holy book of Islam) mentions Jerusalem as one of its holy sites, and would you believe it, there is no “p” sound in Arabic. These are Arabs, Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian, Lebanese Arabs who read, write, add, subtract, speak, think, worship, and live Arabic.

The name ‘Palestine’ was drudged up from history by Hadrian, the Roman Emperor, 135 AD, to remove completely all Jewish identity from the Jewish land he had conquered. His spite was due to the rebellions the Jews had inflicted upon the Roman legions. Hundreds of thousands of Jews were slaughtered, others taken captive, and still others escaping in exile. With the Jews removed from the land he attached the non-Jewish term, Palestine, a derivative from Philistine, those “sea peoples” who lived on the coast of Israel as antagonist. The name stuck! When Islam conquered the Middle East (7th century), and took the land from the Christian Byzantine Empire (640AD) they called the land, Falastin. The Ottoman Turks conquered the land then later the British with the name remaining intact. Eventually and prophetically, the Jews returned to the biblical land, and the survivors of the Holocaust and other Zionist ‘redeemed’ (“to buy back”) the name.

The land came to be called biblical ‘Israel,’ in Yiddish and Hebrew, Eretz Yisrael. Today’s Arabs are not the posterity of the Plest or ancient ‘sea peoples’ any more than today’s Chattanoogans are all descendants of the Cherokee (Chattanooga is a Cherokee word). Today’s Arabs are the posterity of Mizrahim, Ishmael, Esau, Nahor, and the six sons of Keturah, and for the most part eternal antagonist of the Jewish people...