I’m responding to Bill Morrison’s letter to the editor about Palestine. He stated “’Palestine’ is a Jewish term for the Jewish land; it is not an Arab or Muslim term.”
Actually, it is more correct to state that both Genesis and Exodus refer to the land, not as Palestine, but as “Canaan” where the Canaanites lived. According to scripture writers, God told Joshua to go in and kill the Canaanite tribes for two reasons.
God had promised this land to the tribe of Israel. The Canaanite tribes should have known better than to live for centuries in a land that was to going to be given to the tribe of Israel.
The second reason Joshua was commanded to kill the Canaanite men, women and children was because they worshipped the wrong gods, and God, self-described as being a jealous God, wanted those heathen to be slaughtered.
According to the Encyclopaedia Judaica: “The name Canaan first appears in documents from the 15th century B.C.E. The land of Canaan is recognized as the birthplace of the Hebrew language and all of the Abrahamic religions.
Palestine was never an exclusive term to refer to Jewish land. “Philastini” is Arabic for those who lived in Palestine for many centuries and it referred to both Jews and Arabs who lived on the western border of the Mediterranean.
After the declaration of independence in 1948, Israel became a nation state for the first time since 70 B.C. when the Romans destroyed their temple and their nation. (That means Israel was not a nation state for a period of 1,878 years.)
After 1948, the citizens of Israel call themselves Israelis (not Palestinians). They refer to the Arabs living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as the Palestinians.
Contrary to Mr. Morrison’s implication that “Palestine” is only a Jewish term, it is in fact a term used by the Israelis for the Arabs.
It is not those proposing a two-state solution who are playing with fire. More likely it is the Israelis who continue to build settlements on the Palestinian West Bank who are playing with fire. That action is receiving the judgment of the nations.