Though much of the media was focused on Tlaib’s “sitty” (grandmother in Arabic) there was a significant detail they missed. Many of the older residents of her village, Beit Ur El Foka in the Shomron (Samaria) region have a tradition that everyone in the village is indeed descended from Jews.
Much of the media in the latter half of last week focused on the saga of Rashida Tlaib and her self-aborted trip to Israel.
The story began several months ago when Tlaib organized a junket to bring freshmen Congressmen to Israel (what she calls ‘Palestine’) for an introduction to the political realities of the region. Her trip was organized by MIFTAH, an anti-Israel propaganda organization that has published articles by neo-Nazis and perpetuated the blood-libel myth. Based on Tlaib’s advocacy for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement which calls for the end of a Jewish state, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to refuse her an entry visa. Tlaib wrote a letter to the Israeli Minister of the Interior, requesting a special dispensation to visit Israel on the condition she would not politicize her family visit. Her concern that her grandmother Muftiya was in her 90’s.
Permission was granted but Tlaib refused.
Breaking Israel News spoke to Tsvi MiSinai who has dedicated almost two decades of his life to uncovering the Jewish roots of the Palestinians.
‘It is well-known that everyone in the village of Bet Ur El Foka is descended from Jews,” MiSinai told Breaking Israel News.
“I do not know what Rashida Tlaib’s grandmother knows or does not know. But I would advise Rashida to have a serious talk with her grandmother about her family’s history. There are indications that there may be some surprises for the congresswoman.”
This means that Rashida Tlaib, may in fact be Jewish according to Halacha (Jewish law).
Halacha establishes Jewish status by the maternal identity. It should be noted that Sharia (Islamic law) establishes Muslim identity paternally. Tlaib’s father, Harbi Elabed, was from Beit Hanina, a neighborhood in the eastern section of Jerusalem. MiSinai said that there are no indications that Tlaib’s father was descended from Jews.
He emphasized that Palestinians have a strong sense of family and tribe that has no parallel in Western society.
“There is knowledge among the Palestinians of the families’ ancestries,”MiSinai said.
“They were not permitted to keep traditions or have any other outward signs, but the knowledge was always there.”
MiSinai noted that there are many towns like Beit Ur El Foka whose Palestinian residents are known to be descended from Jews: Seir (from the family of Bar Kochba), the Sawarka Bedouin tribe spread over the Negev and the Sinai Peninsula, Yatta adjacent to Hebron, Halhul in the Hebron where the tombs of Biblical Nathan and Gad are located, Wadi Ara near Haifa. “
“The list is quite long,” MiSinai said.
“Bet Hanina, the home of Rashida Tlaib’s father, has some Palestinian descendants of Jews, but not all of the residents are,” MiSinai stated.
Claiming that many Palestinians are descended from Jews is unpopular on both extremes of the political spectrum but Misinai is used to searching for facts and truth with no consideration for politics. MiSinai was born in Jerusalem before the first war between the Jews and Arabs that accompanied the establishment of Israel. Graduating from the prestigious Technion Institute in Haifa, he became a pioneer in computer software, first for the IDF and later in private industry. MiSinai left his career in 2000 and devoted himself to investigating the roots of the people who live alongside the Jews in Israel.
MiSinai’s research includes written material but there is little of that since few people have studied the subject.
Most of his information comes from interviewing Arabs. Since many Arab villages are openly hostile and do not allow Jews to enter, much of this is done surreptitiously by Jews who have been accepted into the community. This was the case in Beit Ur El Foka. MiSinai was in contact with a Jewish man from Jerusalem who has had business dealings with the Arabs in the village for over forty years. The Jewish man (who must remain nameless to protect his safety) speaks fluent Arabic and has many close personal friends in the town. Even before MiSinai contacted him, several Arabs from the village confided in him that they were well-aware of their Jewish ancestry.
“I was surprised at their willingness to share the knowledge that they were descended from Jews,” MiSinai said.
“They don’t want to continue to hide and to lie about themselves. They are sick of this aspect of Islam which forces them to hide. They live here so they know the truth about Israel and the Jewish world.”
MiSinai claims that according to his studies, up to 90 percent of the Palestinians, in Israel as well as Gaza and Jordan, are descended from Jews. His travels around Israel and discussions with Palestinians revealed that many of them are aware of their Jewish roots but choose to remain silent.
“Because they do not know how many of their neighbors are also descended from Jews, they are afraid to speak up,” Misinai said. “Younger Palestinians don’t know about this. If this became public knowledge, that the vast majority of Palestinians have Jewish roots, the entire situation would flip over and open up discussion.”
“Now, Palestinians are unwilling to discuss this.”
“That’s because they are afraid this will lead to accusations or realizations they don’t want to cope with,” MiSinai said. “In Islam, it is always a concern that there will be problems or doubts even several generations after a conversion. Unlike Judaism, converts to Islam and their descendants are never entirely trusted so they are frequently oppressed.”
The subject of Jewish ancestry was public knowledge within the Palestinian communities.
However, due to the relatively recent conflict, has now become a forbidden subject. This aspect of the Arabs in Israel was also known to the founders of the Jewish state. Early Zionist leaders David Ben-Gurion and Yitzchak Ben-Tzvi wrote about this 100 years ago but there were no studies that brought data to support their claims.
According to his research, many Jews were allowed to remain in the land of Israel after the Roman conquest to work the land and supply Rome with grain and olive oil. Some of the ancestors of the Palestinians partially converted to Christianity during the Byzantine era.
MiSinai bases his theory on historical reports as well as testimonies from Bedouins and Palestinians.
He also backs this up with several genetic studies.
“If you look at the genetics, Jews are similar to the Arabs but Ashkenazi Jews are very very close to the Palestinians,” MiSinai said. “Most of the Jews were exiled to Rome but those who remained became the Palestinians.”
MiSinai’s work suggests that some of the most virulently anti-Semitic Palestinian leaders have Jewish ancestors.
“Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas, has a daughter named ‘Sarah,’” Misinai said. “Muslims do not give their daughters that name because, in the Bible, Sarah sent Hagar and Ishmael away. When do they give that name? When it is the name of the grandmother. This indicates that the grandmother came from Jewish blood, or that she was born Jewish.”
MiSinai also brought the case of Dr. Aziz Dweik, the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) ‘who represents Hamas.
“He is part of the Mughrabi clan, which not only makes him a Jew but also a Kohen (a Jewish male descended from Aaron, the Biblical high priest),” MiSinai explained.
MiSinai noted that Khaled Mashal, a Palestinian leader of Hamas who now resides in Qatar, has a family name that is still quite common among Jews.
MiSinai brought a shocking example: Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
“Abu Mazen is the scion of a family of distinguished rabbis,” MiSinai said. “He is descended from the family of Rabbi Moshe Abbas who lived in Greece in the 17th Century.”
Another Palestinian who made a career of inciting against Israel is Ahed Tamimi, a young woman who became the focus of international attention in 2017 when she was arrested for abusing and slapping an IDF soldier.
“The name of the Tamimi family clearly indicates their Jewish origin,” MiSinai explained.
“The name originates from the word ‘tamim,’ which means ‘innocent’ in Islam and refers to a person who ceases to publicly impersonate a Muslim whilst privately practicing the Jewish-Israeli religion.”
MiSinai interviewed a relative of Dr. Saeb Erekat who admitted that it was well-known within their family that they were descended from Jews.
“Several years ago, Erekat was west of the Jordan and one of the Jordanian representatives questioned him about his Jewish roots and he admitted that it was true. He was then asked if he wanted to form one state and join with his Jewish brethren. He rejected the one-state solution, insisting that the two-state solution was preferable.”
As shocking as these revelations are, they are only a small part of the picture.
MiSinai stated that several of the ruling families of Arab nations are from Jewish roots, including the royal families of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Muammar Gaddafi, the despotic ruler of Libya until he was deposed and killed in 2011, came from a Bedouin family.
In 2012, Nuri al-Samara, Gaddafi’s former chief of protocol, told the daily Al-Hayat that Gaddafi’s mother was born Jewish. At 18, she married a Muslim man and converted. She reportedly paid frequent visits to relatives in Netanya and give money to the synagogue.
MiSinai founded the Engagement Project in the hopes of finding a solution to the conflict between the Jews and Palestinians but now sees an even greater vision for the project
“I am now in search of the remnants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, some of whom may have been hiding in plain sight, never having left Israel.”
MiSinai’s book can be purchased on Amazon.