In a recent article on Huffington Post titled: “First Judeo-Christian Crusade for Jerusalem” the author Liaquat Ali Khan paints a Muslim centric picture of history in the Holy Land by claiming that Jews are essentially recent residents of the Land of Israel or what he would like to call “Historic Palestine.”
Khan’s claim is that evangelical Christians have decided to partner with Jews to launch a crusade to take Palestine from its inhabitants.
Khan states the following early in his article:
“Currently, a Judeo-Christian Crusade is underway to consolidate the territorial claims of Israel, a state instituted by the European Jews with the support of the European Christians, in lands that constitute historical Palestine. Since 1948, the European Jews have occupied some parts of Palestine through a colonial gift from Great Britain and some parts through wars and settlements.”
He then adds:
“It is unclear how to date the first Judeo-Christian Crusade to recapture Jerusalem from Muslims. Some might date it from the November 1917 Balfour Declaration when the United Kingdom, then at war with the Ottoman Empire, promised to establish a homeland for Jews in Palestine, an Ottoman territory. Some might date it from May 1948, when Israel was declared an independent state. Some might date it from June 1967, when the Jews defeated the Arab armies and conquered East Jerusalem and other Muslim territories. Some might date it from December 2017 when the United States recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. November 1917 is most certainly the date for the public declaration of the first Judeo-Christian Crusade. June 1967 is a more realistic date for the actual conquest of Jerusalem. December 2017 is significant because this is when the United States abandoned its false neutrality and openly sided with the Jews against the Muslims.”
“Whatever date is the origin of the Judeo-Christian Crusade, this is the first time that Jews and Christians have come together to take Palestine and Jerusalem away from the Muslims.”
“Even though many Christian nations are divided over the final status of Jerusalem, their support of Israel as a replacement state in Palestine has been loud and clear.”
The problem with Khan’s argument like all other Islamic historical revisionists is that it is not the Jews whether they are European or Middle Eastern that are newcomers to the land, but rather the Arabs themselves.
Claiming that evangelical Christians and Jews have been working together to wrest control of the Holy Land from the so-called Palestinians is a twisting of history. If that was the case, how could it be that the majority population of Jerusalem in the 1860s according to the Ottoman themselves was in fact Jewish?
More so, it was the Balfour declaration itself that gave the region the distinct name the Arabs claim is connected to them. It was the British that called it “Palestine.” No such name as a political unit existed before that (except in times of Hadrian) and Balfour used that name to refer to the Jews that had been streaming back home to resettle it. Afterall, Mark Twain himself noted in his famous travel journal titled “Innocents Abroad” that the Holy Land was mostly desolate.
This is not to say that no one existed in what was known by the Ottomans as Southern Syria. There were a growing population Jews who had been encouraged by the Ottomans to settle in the Land of Israel as well as Bedouin tribes.
The Jews living in Israel at the time of Mark Twain, were not confined to just a few blocks in Jerusalem. There were ancient communities in Hebron, Safed, and Tiberius. These communities existed well before the Islamic conquests of Saladin and before. Proof of this can easily be mustered by visiting ancient synagogues that were still in use through the 19th and 20th centuries Locations include Hebron, Susya, Safed, Jericho, Samoa, Tiberius, and Jerusalem.
There were also Arab serfs that lived in the land as well. Some villages like today’s Abu Gosh or rab villages near Haifa were not Arabs at all but Muslim Chechnyans and Bosnians dating only back to the 18th century.
Most interestingly, the Arabs we see today in Israel did not stream into Israel until the early 1900s. By the time Britain took over, the British government openly encouraged Arab immigration while holding back Jewish returnees by instituting quotas. Moreover, the British worked hand in hand with Arabs to push out Jews that had been living in Jerusalem and Hebron for centuries.
Khan also attempted to focus on the Jews being of “European” descent as if this disqualifies them as “real Jews.” This line of attack is not special to Khan, but has bubbled up across academia and is being used by various anti-Israel movements.
Of course, this is absurd as it should be noted that the location of Israel places it squarely on the border of three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This is ultimately the reason how there can be so many colors that share similar DNA within the Jewish nation. It was the Romans and their predecessors the Greeks as well as the Persians that allowed for Jewish migration throughout their empires.
In fact, those Palestinians who can trace their ancestry back centuries and are not recent immigrants may not be who they claim to be at all.
Professors Ostrer and Skorecki wrote in a review of their findings that they co-authored in the journal Human Genetics in October 2012 the following conclusion:
“The closest genetic neighbors to most Jewish groups were the Palestinians, Israeli Bedouins, and Druze in addition to the Southern Europeans, including Cypriots.”
The research paper goes on to clarify that it is in fact European Jews that have a stronger connection to “Palestinians” than even their Middle Eastern counterparts.
Doesn’t this throw Khan’s assertion that Jews are newcomers to Israel or as he calls it Palestine out the window?
If Jews or let’s say it more accurately, European Jews were never here, how can the Palestinans have such a close genetic connection?
If one looks at history in a neutral manner, it is not the Jews who are the “crusaders” but rather Muslims themselves. These Muslims came in the 7th and 8th centuries after a series of Roman expulsions of the Jews that ended in the 4th century CE. and forcibly converted the remaining Jewish inhabitants with a decree issued in the name of the Fatimid Khaliph El-Khakem in 1012. This caused the region’s Christians to flee and the Jews who became the majority to convert.
Khan’s ignorance of history is either willful or like many Muslims fabricated to fill their need to turn all history into Muslim history. Afterall to most Muslims, Abraham, David, and Jesus were Muslims. Khan is not interested in history, but rather creating an alternate history, based not on facts but rather on fiction. Hkan appears to be driven by what he perceives as a loss of a piece of Dar Islam.
Huffington Post has a right to publish any article it wants. However, if it wants to be taken seriously it should consider refraining from publishing articles that act as catalysts for undermining documented historical norms.