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Thanks very much for your quick response. In fact, Keith does not
use the term to refer to the *pre-Israelite* residents of the South
Levant; nor does he use the term as an *ethnic* designation. Rather it
seems to be used as a term for the population of the region of every
period; so that one might also think of ancient Israelites and Jews
as "Palestinians," much as one might think of "Europeans" or "East
Asians:" the residents of a geographical region, not an ethnic term. I
agree that the political noise it makes--much likje the comparable
term "Eretz Israel" outside of its biblical or contemporary political
context and signification--is unfortunate. I much prefer the term
"South Levant" myself. I also think it useful to keep a clear
distinction between anti-Zionism (which is an open choice in the
democratic society of Israel) and anti-Semitism (which is criminal).
As for the question of the hiding of Palestinian identity in
some scholarly research of the last 70 years or so, you know that I
do not entirely agree with Keith on this, but I would recommend
your taking a look at my, Van Cangh, and Francolino Goncalvez'
Toponomie Palestinienne (Louvaine la Neuve, 1988). The issues raised
by Whitelam are indeed quite serious and necessary.
> 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 and should be withdrawn from scholarly parlance. If there is indeed no
> such intention then I apologize to the framer of the term, but do not at
> all step back from my request that this term be deleted from all future
> study of ancient Israel.
> AVigdor Hurowitz
> Ben Gurion University
> On Mon, 15 Apr 1996, Thomas L. Thompson wrote:
> > To slander a scholar such as Keith Whitelam, who has made some very
> > significant contributions to both the history of the South Levant and
> > to the history of Israel over the last two decades as both
> > unscholarly and anti-semitic I think requires more than purported
> > "clout." It requires evidence. I think both Avigdor and Yirmiyahu owe
> > Keith an apology for such a vicious ad hominem attack. If this
> > discussion has anything to do with Orion or scholarship, perhaps this
> > it might have value if this attempt at defamation of character become
> > an actual argument against what Professor Whitelam has actually
> > written in his book.
> > Thomas
> > > "Palestinians"
> > as a pre- israelite ethnic designation is an invention of
> > > the person who wrote of "inventing ancient Israel" and should be
> > > dismissed out of hand from scholarly jargon. It is unscholarly and
> > > probaly anti-ZIonist and anti-semitic in the classical sense of the term.
> > > Avigdor Hurowitz
> > > I didn't have the clout to say this myself, but I can sure second it!!!
> > > Kol ha-kavod.
> > > Yirmiyahu Ben-David, Pakiyd 16
> > >
> > >
> > >