May 26, 2022

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his advisors have begun a campaign to fabricate an imaginary, continuous 6,000-year-old Palestinian history in the land of Israel which predates Abraham and the Jewish people, twisting the words of the Bible to support their claim.

“Our narrative says that we have been in this land since before Abraham,” Abbas proclaimed in a video from March 21, 2016, translated from Arabic by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW). “I am not saying it. The Bible says it. The Bible says, in these words, that the Palestinians existed before Abraham.”

Abbas was presumably referring to the words of Genesis, which mentions a people called the Philistines who predated Abraham:

And Avraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days. Genesis 21:34

In historical reality, the Philistines were a Biblical people of Greek origin who settled on the ancient Israel’s coastal plain around the 12th century BCE. Approximately 600 years later, both the Philistine and Israelite nations were exiled by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the Philistines in 604 BCE and the Kingdom of Judah in 586 BCE.

The Philistine nation and identity was subsumed into the conquering Greek culture and the Philistines disappeared as a people soon after. The Israelites returned to Israel 70 years later and rebuilt the Temple. The Philistines, now non-existant, have no ancestral or historical connection to today’s Palestinians, as much as Abbas might wish it.

Abbas Claims Bible Proves Palestinians Predated Jews

Abbas has also declared that the Palestinians are the descendants of an ancient literate people who invented an imaginary alphabet, saying on official PA television on May 14, “We have been planted in [this land’s] rocks and dust and hills since the beginning of civilization and writing and the invention of the Canaanite-Palestinian alphabet more than 6,000 years ago.”

Fact check: Arab peoples first arrived in the land of Judea with the Muslim invasion of 637 CE, a full thousand years after the disappearance of the Biblical Philistines. The modern “Palestinian” identity appeared for the first time in the 20th century, making Abbas’s margin of error about 5,900 years.

PMW points out yet another factual inaccuracy: while Abbas boasts his fictitious ancestral people invented a “Canaanite-Palestinian” alphabet 6,000 years ago, the earliest Canaanite alphabet on record is actually dated to around 1,500 BC – approximately 3,500 years ago.

Echoing his boss’s Biblical fantasy, Abbas’s advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash repeated the claim last Friday in a sermon, calling Jews “thieves who stole land and who want to steal history”.

However, he asserted, apparently unaware of the irony of his own statement, “History cannot change and cannot be falsified.”

“We have been here for the last 5,000 years, and have not left this land. We have not left this land. Our forefathers are the monotheist Canaanites and Jebusites. They are the ones who built Jerusalem, before Abraham was even here,” al-Habbash shouted.

Both Abbas and al-Habbash seem unaware that their claims of pre-Abrahamic descent clash directly with the basic tenet of Islam which assumes descent from Abraham himself. Clearly, Palestinian leadership will go to any lengths to construct a version of history in which they are the true inheritors of the land of Israel, including twisting the words of the Bible to prove that they existed before the father of their people was born.

Al-Habbash also insisted that though the thieving Jews “claim there was a Temple here, those are unfounded claims, myths and rumors.”