The Arabs who live in what most call “Israel proper” as well as Judea & Samaria claim to be indigenous to the land.
Israel’s detractors around the world don’t realize or maybe have conveniently forgotten is that, unlike the Jewish people, the roots of many of the Arabs who reside in and claim to be from this place do not stem from here.
They stem from what are today Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Egypt.
Enter congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, part of the famed “Squad”, who are currently accusing Donald Trump of racism because he instructed those who don’t like this country to go back where they came from.
While Tlaib herself was born in Detroit, her mother hails from a small village called Beit Ur al-Fauqa near Ramallah. Beit Ur al Fauqa is the site of Upper Bethoron, where The Hasmoneans twice blocked the way of Hellenistic forces marching toward Jerusalem. (part of the real Hannukah story). It was also in the ravines near Bethoron that the 12th Roman Legion under Cestius Gallus was destroyed in 66 CE at the start of the Great Jewish Revolt.
As evident, this location plays a significant role in Jewish history. Almost as significant as the birthplace of Tlaib’s father, which is Beit Hanina in Jerusalem. Beit Hanina is the site of an 1800-year-old Roman road discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which dates back to the Roman Empire and led from Jaffa to Jerusalem.
So how, you may ask, did Tlaib’s ancestors end up in what was the Land of Israel?
For starters, her family (maiden) name is actually Harbi, from the tribe of Harb which means ‘war’ in Arabic. Harb originally hail from Yemen and migrated to what is today Saudi Arabia, specifically Medina.
Could it have possibly been the Islamic CONQUEST and OCCUPATION of the Levant that brought them here?
Nah. No way. Impossible. Arabs couldn’t possibly occupy anyone or anything.
As a retort, one may say: “Well the Jews also came from far away lands to settle in what is today Israel!”
Except there’s one big difference: Unlike the Jewish people, the Arabs were never exiled from the Levant and then returned. They migrated from their ancestor’s spiritual homeland, which is mainly the Arabian peninsula and then occupied the Levant.
Mind you, the only “European NGOs” complaining about the Muslim occupation of Palestine (a Roman name) were the crusaders, but that came 400 years after the Muslim conquest.
Prior to that, no one really cared about this barren wasteland. This was roughly one millenium before all the hi-tech and advanced medicine was created by those pesky “sons of apes and pigs”…I mean Jews.
This was also way before Taglit Birthright Israel came into existence.
There were a few Rabbis here and there, mainly roaming around the holy city of Tzfat (which the Arabs call Safed), who were writing some “weird” books about the metaphysical fabric of our universe.
Nothing to write home about really.
And as for the Jews in the diaspora, they could only pray and dream of one day returning to the land of their forefathers. Blessings that are part of the Amidah, the 18 blessings that are said 3 times a day, which speak of the Rebuilding of Jerusalem and the return of the shechinah, the holy “dwelling” of G-d, to Zion.
Little did they know what would transpire in roughly 1000 years:
That Jerusalem would return to its rightful owners and that we would begin to see the Ingathering of the Exiles. The very text of the blessings written in our siddurim (prayer books), coming to life.