(by Jan Willem van der Hoeven)

News item: Israeli Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am Ta'al Party) February 13, 2010 declares that the Palestinian Arabs were not immigrants to the Land of Israel: "We did not arrive in the country on planes and we did not immigrate here ... if someone wishes to expel us, I'll say this: Whoever got here last will be leaving first." Fellow Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash) echoed Tibi's words: "We did not immigrate from anywhere. This land is ours. To my regret, most of this land had been robbed over the course of dozens of years" (Ynet).

No, Mr. Ahmed Tibi, the Jewish people were not latecomers and do not therefore, as you cleverly try to insinuate, have to be evicted first due to the fact that the Palestinians 'arrived first, before them.'

But, you know history as well as I do, Mr. Tibi? You know that, willed by God, the Jewish people arrived here already during the time of Moses and Joshua, and that they were longer occupants of this land - holy to them by God's decree, than any other occupying power - be it the Canaanites, the Mamluks, the Turks, the British or the - by the world labeled "illegal"- Jordanian occupation.


The Palestinians were never occupying masters of this land, but the few who were here during the Turkish, British and Jordanian occupations lived under the flag of those powers. In fact, many who now claim to be the authentic 'Palestinians' immigrated to this land during the time of the British Mandate, attracted by the conditions to earn a living which were better here than in the surrounding countries from which they came. This has been superbly documented by Joan Peters in her classic From Time Immemorial (JKAP Publications, Chicago, 1984).

What, then, is this clever insinuation all about, Mr. Tibi? Whom do you want to impress with your erroneous statement? Those Jews who have forgotten their roots; where they came from?

They were longer here than any other nation. And though many may not believe it anymore themselves, the God of Israel does. He not only gave them this, His land, "as an everlasting possession," but He promised repeatedly through His prophets that, after a time of dispersion, He would bring them back to it.

So next time be careful when you speak about eviction! For if you, as a Muslim, believe that your Allah is the same God as the God of Israel - and even the Quran speaks of the return of the Jewish people to their land - then surely you and all of us need to fear and tremble lest we find ourselves fighting the will of the Almighty!