Friday, November 05, 2010


Most of you will recall the famous Bible story of the young Israelite named David who volunteered to go one-on-one against the mighty warrior Goliath. Legend has it that David picked out some stones from a creek bed, placed them in a small leather satchel and walked out onto the killing field to do battle with the fierce and notorious Goliath. Goliath laughed at him and mocked the Israelites standing afar off for sending a boy to do a man’s job. David took out one of those smooth stones, placed in the web of his homemade slingshot and buried that rock in the middle of Goliath’s forehead killing him instantly. He then took off his head with a sword. Goliath was a Philistine and he and his countrymen were doing battle with the Israelites to lay claim to the land in which both peoples resided. About 1,500 years later a Roman official responsible for governing the area around Jerusalem decreed it to be called Palestine – a bastardization of the word Philistine. That was the first utterance of the word. Prior to that decree there was no nation called Palestine and there were no people known as Palestinians.
The Philistine people are thought to have come from various regions in the Aegean, conquered a strip of land on eastern the Mediterranean and there developed their own Semitic-type culture. The last records of their existence were in the 5th century AD.
2,100 years later this ‘false’ title still persists but history does not support the existence of the place or the people. Of course, ‘they’ are demanding a homeland, a capital and sacred sites – right there in the City of David. Goliath may be laughing again but I believe David’s little pouch is still full!


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