Kamal Khatib
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Photo: Hebrew University
Shiloach passage
Photo: Hebrew University

History lesson for Khatib

Assaf Wohl replies to Arab-Israeli leader who claimed that land’s past belongs to Arabs

“Not a foreign land we took and not with foreign possession but a land that belong to our ancestors that was occupied without a trial. And when we had the opportunity, we took our land back.”


Simon the Hasmonean’s words, now directed at Sheikh Kamal Khatib and his comrades


While speaking at an Islamic Movement ceremony to mark the “Nakba,” you, Mr. Khatib, said: “I emphasize this to the members of the Jewish people. We, the Palestinians, are here. We are the past, present, and future of this land.” And as I consider myself to be a member of the Jewish people, which you addressed, allow me to respond to your words.


Someone should have brought you up to date on this matter, Mr. Khatib. You may be able to sell your dubious merchandize in Gaza or on Tel Aviv’s Shenkin Street, but not to someone who studied history for more than 15 minutes. Or perhaps this was some kind of sense of humor, when you happened to speak at the location of two magnificent communities from the Second Temple era, Kfar Kana (today it’s Qana) and Zippori, while calling on me to recognize your right to this land.


If you visit the Louver, the British Museum, Chicago’s Oriental Institute, or any other place where historical facts speak, the ancient artifacts would surely shake their head with sadness upon hearing your words.


You should visit your brothers in Egypt. I am certain that they would be delighted to present to you the Merneptah Stele (also known as the Israel Stele,) which dates back to 1208 B.C. and commemorates Egyptian ruler’s Merneptah’s war against the tribes of Israel he encountered in Canaan.


Do you understand, Mr. Khatib? More than 3,000 years ago, there were Israelites at Canaan. And it isn’t me who’s claiming it, but rather, an Israel-hater called Merneptah. By the way, this Merneptah also claims that he exterminated Israel. Yet at this time, he is the one who happens to be lying in a museum, while we just celebrated our renewed independence.


But why go so far? At the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the capital of the sovereign State of Israel, you can take a look at the Tel Dan Stele and read about the “House of David.” Very surprisingly, this inscription was not found in Lithuania or in Poland, but rather, in the Galilee; and in this inscription too, the king of Aram boasts of victories over Judea and Israel. Look around Mr. Khatib, can you spot any Arameans around here?


Learn from history 

Not far from there, in the very same Jerusalem, you can find the Shiloach inscription, made by the slaves of Judean King Hezekiah. Just like any other Israeli, I can read it easily because, wonder of wonders, it’s written in the Hebrew language. There you go, Hezekiah and I are linked through culture, religion, and language, despite the 2,700 years separating us. This, Mr. Khatib, will not be changing. And even if you turn the entire Temple Mount into dust, you won’t be able to find even one inscription written in Arabic that dates back to the period before 638 A.D. – the year of the Muslim conquest of the land of Israel. Yes sir, Muslim conquest, I’m not confused – 1,600 years after David, the King of Israel, was at the throne.


So, Mr. Khatib, go out there and learn from Merneptah and from the king of Aram. Learn about the destiny of the Assyrian kings, Rome’s rulers, Hitler, and his good friend, your very own Mufti al-Husseini. All of them wanted to exterminate us. Take a look at them, and take a look at us.


Therefore, stop. Stop bringing disasters upon your public. After all, if the hatred within you could be directed for the purpose of producing electricity, you would be able to light up the Gaza Strip for 60 years. Did you reach any achievements whatsoever with that holy fury of yours?


Well, Mr. Khatib, by taking the path of deceit and blood you won’t make it anywhere. At most, you’ll end up in Gaza.


פרסום ראשון: 05.13.08, 00:59
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