Who are the Palestinians?

Simply stated, Palestinians are Arabs. That itself is an important distinction. Many have wrongfully assumed some connection to the ancient Philistines due to the similarity of names. The history of the word Palestinian speaks to the claims made on the ownership of the land of Israel and Palestine.

The land of Israel and the Palestinian territories was known as the land of Israel from the time Joshua led the Hebrews from the desert, crossing the Jordan River into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their descendants after them.

When Israel revolted against the Romans in 66 A.D., the city and the Temple were destroyed as was foretold by Jesus in the Gospels. The Jews again struggled against Rome in 132 A.D. in what became known as the Bar Kokhba Revolt. As a result, Rome extensively depopulated Jewish communities, the area was renamed Palestinia. The city of Jerusalem was renamed Capitolina and a temple to Jupiter was erected on the Temple Mount.

Why did the Romans give it the name Palestinia? To offend the Jews, they named it after the ancient mortal enemy of Israel, the Philistines. It has been called Palestine since.

The name Palestinian refers to an area, not a nationality. Palestinians are Arabs, descended from Abraham through Ishmael.

Palestine is not a nationality, it has never been a state. Israel’s claim to the land comes from the promises God gave to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and their descendants. It was called the land of Israel since the time of Joshua until it was renamed by the Romans in 136 A.D.

By Pastor Rich Jones

Bethlehem West Bank Palestine October 14 2010 Palestinians walk past the Peace Fountain located a block from Manger Square in the historic center of Bethlehem The Peace Fountain was designed by Juan Ribeira and presented to the city of Bethlehem in 1999