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Palestinian false claim of continuity

Yoram Ettinger | 

Contrary to Palestinian claims and myths, Palestine has not been Arab from time immemorial

Have Arabs been in the area west of the Jordan River from time immemorial?

In 1881, Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, a leading British cartographer and Dean of Westminster Abbey, reported that “in Judea it is hardly an exaggeration to say that for miles and miles there was no appearance of life or habitation” (Sinai and Palestine in Connection with Their History, New York 1895, pp. 184-186).

The Egyptian immigration

According to Arieh Avneri, a ground-breaking historian of Arab and Jewish migration to Palestine (The Claim of Dispossession1980), during the Egyptian conquest (1831-1840), “there was a limited influx of some thousands of [Egyptian] immigrants, whom Ibrahim Pasha [the ruler of Egypt] brought in to settle the empty stretches of the country. Before them, a goodly number of Egyptians had fled Egypt, seeking to evade the military draft…. They sought sanctuary with the governor of Acre, who granted it readily.”

The French-Egyptian scholar, Muhammad Sabry [The Egyptian Empire under Mohammed Ali and the question of the Orient, 1930], confirmed that “the Governor of Acre encouraged the migration of fellaheen [peasants] from Egypt and gave them shelter…. In 1831, more than 6,000 fellaheen crossed the Egyptian border…. After he conquered Palestine, not only did Mohammed Ali [Ibrahim Pasha’s father] refrain from sending back the draft evaders to Egypt, but he sent new settlers to consolidate his rule…. The Egyptian ruler also brought the Bedouin slave-tribe, Arab ed-Damair….”

Avneri highlights (ibid.) many documents published by the British Palestine Exploration Fund.  For instance:

“Most of Jaffa was made up of Egyptian-populated districts…. Philip Baldensperger [a renowned anthropologist] stated that in 1893, the inhabitants of many villages in the southern part of the country [between Gaza and Tulkarem] were of Egyptian origin…. The dwellers of some parts of the south were originally brought to Palestine from Libya…. Hundreds of families of Egyptian origin accompanied the conquering forces of Ibrahim Pasha…. Similarly, in the cities of Samaria and Judea there are hundreds of families which, to this day, are named Masri [the Egyptian]…. Before WW1, Egyptian laborers worked on the reclamation of the swamp-lands…. Egyptians participated in the laying of the railroad tracks from Jerusalem to Jaffa, and thereafter remained in the country….

“According to Baldensperger, the existing population in Jaffa contained at least twenty-five different nationalities [mostly Egyptians, but also SyriansYemenitesPersiansAfghanisHindus and Baluchis]….

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