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Re: question

Dear Philip,
I already suggested to Niels Lemche (it may have been privately) that we 
use a name like cis-Jordanian aborigines or cis-Jordanians to refer to 
the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael. That is certainly 
politically neutral.  Although I don't personally like the use of 
Palestine as a geographical designation, there is little that can be done 
about that.  Keeping with this we can even speak of the LB etc. residents 
of Palestine.  My objection is to Palestinian as a designation of these 
people since this is politcally explosive and exacerbates all of the 
scholarly problems in the name Palestine itself.  Let us remember that 
Yasser Arafat recently referred to Jesus as a Palestinian.  No one would 
think that he meant to say that Jesus lived in Palestine. THat fact was 
trivial.  What Arafat meant was to remove Jesus from his Jewish context 
and at the same time remove the Jews from Palestine.  We should not 
forget that in current Arab historiography the Jewish presence is 
considered an aberration and of no permanence.  There were, so these 
propagandists would have it, Palestinians (ARabs) in the land from the 
beginning of time.  They were conquered for a short time by barbarian 
Habiru (i.e. Israelites and Jews) and the invaders eventually were 
expelled.  THis may sound simplistic but it is indeed what Arab 
propogandists present as history.  The current debate about the origins 
of Israel will easily enter this propoganda (just as the Habiru, 
supposedly a group only scholars should know about) and the use of 
Palestinians as a designation of the aborigines will be misused. So let 
us not misuse it!
AVigdor Hurowitz
Ben Gurion University of the Negev,
Beer Sheva, Israel

On Mon, 15 Apr 1996, Philip Davies wrote:

> >DEar Thomas,
> >My argument is not with Keith Whitelam whom I don't know and whom I can't
> >judge, but with the term     Palestinian to refer to the pre-Israelite
> >residents of the Land of Israel.  It is unscholarly, and in the current
> >political environment it resonates loudly as anti-ZIonist= anti Semitic
> >and should be withdrawn from scholarly parlance.
> So this debate continues. IN which case, if we are to remove anti-Zionist
> language, can we also remove Zionist language and have something politcally
> neutral, please?
> Philip R Davies
> Department of Biblical Studies
> University of Sheffield
> Sheffield S10 2UJ
> England
> Tel (0)114-282-4877
> Fax (0)114-255-2094