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Canaan vs Levant vs Palestine

> [use of the term] Palestinian to refer to the pre-Israelite 
> residents of the Land of Israel...is unscholarly

> > unscholarly and anti-semitic

> >   > "Palestinians" as a pre-israelite ethnic designation
> >   > is an invention...

This is silly.  It's certainly in the grand western tradition of scholarship
to use Roman geographical terms.  And it's hardly unprecedented to see
the meanings of these terms extended in various ways (e.g., "Asia").  There
might well be good reasons for getting rid of terms like "Palestine" (cf.,
e.g., "Gaul").  But this is something for impartial minds to settle.  It is
not something we should leave to people who can't separate their work from
their politics and religious ideology.


   -Richard L. Goerwitz          ***  ***         r-goerwitz@uchicago.edu
------------------ End Original Message --------

Do you presume that the consensus of Jewish scholars concur with your "grand 
western tradition"?  Are you including yourself among the "impartial minds"?

How logical and scholarly is it to apply Roman geographical terms to 
pre-Roman times -- before the Roman geographical terms even existed?  Even 
in the first century *CE*, Philo was still explaining that the phrase 
"Palestinian Syria" was Canaan (Abraham 21).  If the "grand western 
tradition" is this illogical then, as we enter the 21st century, it needs to 
be discarded in favor of something more logical.

Using Roman geographical terms to describe the pre-Roman world is neither 
logical nor scholarly.  In fact, *that's* silly.  So, unless it's simply a 
mistake (and no one has yet shown any willingness to admit it was just a 
mistake), some other agenda -- not logic -- is operating, and it affects the 
frame of reference in which many interpret the DSS.  Far from being silly, 
this genre of questions lies at the *most basic level* of many assumptions 
made about, and resulting differences in opinions concerning, how the DSS 
should be interpreted.  Those who begin with bad assumptions reach 
unreliable conclusions.  Their best reasoning can lead them in the wrong 
direction.  As we say in computer science, GIGO (garbage in, garbage out).

The question can be reduced to a simple form: Does the "impartial mind" go 
with logic, or things like "grand western tradition" or "scholarly 
agreement" in contravention of logic?

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Yirmiyahu Ben-David, Pakiyd 16
K'hiylat Ha-N'tzarim
(World-wide Congregation of Nazarene Jews)

N'tzarim Virtual Community Center in
Ra'anana, Israel at
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