Is this really necessary?

MYTH: ‘The Palestinians are descendants of the Canaanites and were in Palestine long before the Jews

That’s the headline on a recent Jewish Tribune feature, which goes on to “prove” that the Palestinians have no ancestral heritage via the Canaanites. Whew! Glad we were finally able to get this myth out of the way. I’ve been worrying about it for so long, I’ve been thinking of sending it to the Mythbusters.

With slightly less sarcasm and incredulity… what can including this feature in a “news”paper possibly accomplish? There’s no academic legitimacy here, and whether it’s true or false is ultimately irrelevant at this point in history. All it does is serve to “other” the Palestinians and paint them en masse as an opposing group. It’s part of the “me first, ME first, ME FIRST!” line of arguing.

It’s simplistic, reductionist, xenophobic, and dumb.

Moreover, it appears that a regular “Myth” feature isn’t even a part of the Tribune. What on earth is this doing here?

1 Comment

  1. I think it’s a little simplistic to say that the history of the Palestinian people is irrelevant. It’s irrelevant to ME – I don’t believe that they have a thousands-year-old connection with the land, and I still believe that they have a legitimate claim to it right now! But, I may be in the minority.

    There are many who very much believe that the provenance of a people, even on a millennial scale, has a bearing on their land claims. Which means that those claims have a real effect on the politics of our day. To let false claims go unchallenged is to, potentially, lose a big part of the ongoing political battle.

    To put that a bit differently, I would probably argue that the Palestinian claim of being descendants of the Philistines is part of the ME FIRST line of arguing. Refusing to enter that debate is arguably the “high road” which we should be taking, but it’s also, arguably, an ineffective way to engage in the politics of the situation!

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