Friday, January 1, 2010

Palestina: A Necessary Historical Finding - crippling the Arab argument of a Palestinian Legitimacy

The following document was translated in to English from the Original French version, The document -an excerpt from a book -written by Hadrian Reland in 1695, has not yet been fully translated from the Latin - is entitled Palestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrate, and was translated into English by Lucille and Nicole Horrelt upon request by the French Jewish person who had it in his posession - - so he could distribute it to a wider audience --to English readers as well as French readers- as an act of activism on behalf of the Israeli people .

The discovery of major historical documents has revealed information of utmost importance, on the ever present discussions concerning the Jewish People, and the Jewish State's Legal Right for Existence.

It is the work written in 1695, by Hadrian Reland (or Relandi) entitled, "Palestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrate". Reland was a Cartographer, Geologist, Professor of Dutch philosophy and not least a Philologist (a Philologist excells in historical and comparative linguistics). The sub-title of this work written in Latin is, "Monumentis Veteribus Illustrata", edited in 1714 at Brodelet Editions. It was Published by Trajecti Baravorum, Utrecht, 1714.

The findings of this fascinating complilation of historical facts contained in "Palestina" began at an antique book store in Budapest in which the 'Department of Literary Antiques' contained a Judaic section featuring relics worn by time - but of great historic and monetary value; some are manuscripts, probably stolen, originating from ancient synagogues. One can find this information at the Haifa University.

The focus of this work is the compilation of a census of more than 2500 settlements, towns, villages mentioned in the Tanach (Bible) or Mishnah under their original names. Every time Reland mentions one of the places in its Hebrew name as it appears in the text, he also equally states its equivalent in Latin, Roman or Ancient Greek. As a Philologist, Reland knew Hebrew, Arab and Greek (ancient) languages.

It is in 1695 that Reland was sent on a study course to Eretz-Israel *at that time called Palestina* for the task of taking a census of each place visited. The first order of consideration is that the land of Israel of that time, is nearly deserted, and very thinly populated. The majority of the inhabitants are concentrated in the cities of Jerusalem, Acco (Acre), Tsfat (Safed), Yafo (Jaffa), Tveria (Tiberias), and Aza (Gaza).
> Most importantly, the drawn conclusion of this geographer, is that the population is dominated by Jewish people; there are few Christians and fewer Muslims of whom were mostly Bedouin.

Here are a few interesting facts from this passionate study:
-No place has Arab names (or Arab source names).
-The great majority of its towns and villages has Hebrew names; a few Greek or Latin-Roman names.
-Cities that today have Arab names like Haifa, Yafo, Nablus (Shechem), Gaza, Jenin, did not have those names at that time.
-In Reland's research, there is no trace of Arab historic or linguistic (philologic) source in the cities of Ramallah, Al Halil (Hebron), or Al Quds (Jerusalem) .
-In 1696, Ramallah, was called, "Bet El" (Hebrew)
Hebron and Me'arat Ha'machpela (Cave of the Patriarchs) : Al Halil was the Arab name given to Avraham Avinou
--The inhabitants of most cities were Jewish except for Nablus (Shechem), which had 120 persons from the same Muslim family "Natche", and 70 Samaritans.
-Nazareth in Galilee was entirely Christian (700 Christians).
-Jerusalem had more than 5000 inhabitants, mostly Jews and a few Christians. Reland mentions that there were a few isolated Muslim Bedouin families who were seasonal workers of agriculture and construction.
-In Gaza, about 550 persons, 50% Jewish, 50% Christian. The Jews specialized in agriculture: grapes, olives,wheat (Goush Katif). The Christians were involved in the commerce and distribution of their regional products.
-Tiberia and Safed were Jewish regions. Their main employment at that time was fishing (in the Lake of Tiberia).
-Towns like Oum El Fahem for example, were completely Christian: 10 families.

One of the main conclusions of Reland's research is the definite and crippling contradiction of the Arab argument concerning a *Palestinian (people or state) legitimacy*.

At the time of Reland's study voyage to Israel for the census, Israel was called 'Palestina' - a Latin name now claimed by the Arab world.