Did Anyone Live In Palestine Prior to the Formation of Israel?

There Were People In Palestine

Many claim that no one lived in Palestine prior to the formation of the state of Israel. Indeed, Israel was sited in Palestine under the slogan:

“A land without a people for a people without a land” ….

But the history of Palestine is much more complicated:

The claim that no one lived in Palestine is undercut by this video footage shot in 1896:

And these images taken before the State of Israel was formed:

And any implication that there was no place called Palestine is undercut by this map from 1847:

(Click for larger image)

This map from 1861:

And hundreds of other antique maps.

The following is Palestine circa 100 AD according to Ptolemy (map by Claude Reignier Conder of the Palestine Exploration Fund):

File:Palestine, Ptolemy, Claude R Conder, 1889.jpg

And see this.

And here is a travel advertisement from the 1940s:


Additional, fascinating pictures here.

Update: Prominent Jewish leader Henry Siegman says:

[The idea that Palestine is a land without people for a people without land] was the common understanding and referred to repeatedly in Ari Shavit’s book and others, that the Zionist movement, at its very birth, was founded on an untruth, on a myth, that Palestine was a country without a people. And as he says, obviously—and he recognizes in his book that it was a lie. And therefore, from the very beginning, Zionism didn’t confront this profound moral dilemma that lay at its very heart.


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  • Eric Hollingsworth

    Apparently, Herodotus (the dude who coined the term history) referred to Palestine, although that might be an artifact of translation. I don’t read ancient Greek so I can’t say. In any event, what the land was called and who the ancestral people were doesn’t matter. Killing people because they are inconvenient is wrong, and if there is a God, woe unto they that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope.

    Those of us who live in the farther reaches of the contiguous United States, and who have paid any attention to the matter, might have formed the impression that the job of U.S. soldiers was at least as much to protect the natives from the settlers than it was the other way around, regardless of John Wayne and other equally worthy icons of genocide.

    If every single Jew were a lineal descendant of Hebrews who lived in the fertile crescent, displacing the modern Palestinians would still be a horrific moral, ethical, and human wrong. Killing is only a team sport among the warped and loathsome.

    • Soaring Hawk

      In the U.S., pilgrims/europeans believed it was their godly divine right to take Native American land by force and eradicate people and their way of life.

      This mirrors what is happening in Israel today as a new way of european racists eradicating the natives of that land. A new Manifest Destiny for a new century.

      Columbus wrote (while rampaging the Caribbean Islands and eradicating Natives):

      “As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by
      force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these

      Powhatan wrote, in Virginia 1607 of these crimes:

      “I have seen two generations of my people die…. I know the difference between peace and war better than any man in my country. I am now grown old, and must die soon; my authority must descend to my brothers, Opitehapan, Opechancanough and Catatough-then to my two sisters, and then to my two daughters-I wish them to know as much as I do, and that your love to them may be like mine to you. Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love? Why will you destroy us who supply you with food? What can you get by war?”

      Maryland Indians 1645:

      “It is the manner amongst us Indians, that if any such accident happen, wee doe redeeme the life of a man that is so slaine, with a 100 armes length of Beades and since that you are heere strangers, and come into our Countrey, you should rather conform yourselves to the Customes of our Countrey, than impose yours upon us….”

      As Dr. Cotton Mather, Puritan theologian, put it: “It was supposed that no less than 600 Pequot souls were brought down to hell that day.”

      It was not the Pequots who went to Hell that day.

      • And the Indians wandering about in those days, did they not take the lands from others also through warring, killing off rivals?

        • SRVES339

          Ahhhh, American revisionism… just tell the lie often enough…

          . Many blacks had slaves too, so what’s the problem?
          . Lincoln assassinated by a lone nut… not a posse working for the banking cabal to end him printing the country’s own debt free money (as he did with greenbacks to fund the war).
          . We had no choice but drop nuclear bombs on two major Japanese cities “to save American lives”… yet history now says (for those who care to read it) that the war was over and Japan had agreed to surrender. The US murdered at least 200,000 innocents (and an unknown number of later cancer deaths) to intimidate Russia and the world and begin the US hegemony regime.
          . JFK… no it wasn’t a coup by a fascist blend of rogue government agents, the mob, and oil titans… just a single commie sympathizer with a rusty old rifle…lol!
          . RFK… who had confided to multiple close advisors he was about to “blow the lid off the JFK assassination once he became president”… he was assassinated minutes after clinching the democratic nomination (he would have easily won the presidency).
          . MLK… was causing too much trouble for the white establishment.
          . Noriega was a commie thug and must be taken out (actually he stopped cooperating with the criminal CIA drug trade).
          . Saddam was behind the terrorists… he sold oil in non USDs and the US invaded to gift the energy resources to the corporations that run the government, and put an end to his non USD trade.
          . Gaddafi was a terrorist and a brutal dictator… actually, he sold oil in non USDs and was developing and African trade zone without the mighty buck… he also provided the working class of Libya with healthcare, and a social safety net that made ‘merica look third world and the people loved him.
          . America supports Israeli genocide unconditionally… while accusing the victims of “terrorism.” Of course all ‘merica had to do was send them a few $billion a year in military equipment, and illegal nuclear capabilities, and the palestinians wouldn’t have to resort to “terrorism”… they could become “just actions” like Israel and use conventional warfare to “wipe Israel of the map” the way they have methodically done to Palestine with US blessing and support!

          And now we have the US spending $billions to overthrow an elected government in Ukraine (Biden’s son is now a senior executive in a fracking company that’s already moving into East Ukraine to start fracking even though the local population wants no part of it) and the US media bombards the sheeple with lies of Russian aggression… what would the US do if Russia set up a commercial and military occupation of Cuba right next door to Florida? Much more than Russia has in Ukraine!

          Did I mention the cynical, disgusting “gassing his own people” fraud (energy related of course) in Syria… and Amerca’s reaction… oops!

          *Note: Just a sprinkling of the fine work of the “exceptional” nation that likes to boast of being that “shining house on the hill” (even the values are blatantly decadent). But of course… “they hate us for our freedoms” I know, ’cause CNN said so!

          Back to sleep “SmackMac…”

          • That is one long list that screams “crazy” conspiracy theorist.

            Facts remain. The so-called 500 tribes were those left standing after killing off many more over many centuries long before Englishman and Spaniards arrived in North America.

            Back to meds “SRVES339…”

        • Adahy

          You apparently know little of actual Native American history. Don’t believe everything the revisionists tell you.
          Question: In a population of expert hunters who used stealth, bows, arrows, spears, and knives to kill game; why did they use blunt, wooden war-clubs for war?
          Do you even understand that the Native American ancient concept of ‘war’ is NOT the same as the modern concept for war? It was much more symbolic in nature. Not that people didn’t get hurt and sometimes killed, but death and destruction was not the point like it is in modern war.
          Stop looking through Euro-colored glasses and go sit in on a pow-wow; maybe talk to some elders and expand your world-view.

          • Exactly why is it “apparent?” Since you declared it is apparent, without doubt you can tell the world why you believe it so.

            Enjoy your fantasy life. Good luck!

          • Adahy

            I was saying that is it apparent (obvious) that you know very little of Native American history. It was made apparent to me through your comments that suggest either a lack of knowledge, or an intent to lie.

          • And again, it’s apparent that you know nothing except trying lame attempts ad hominem through innuendo.

            By the time colonial English arrived, already many inter-tribal wars had been fought. Only the tribes extant at the time of English settlement were the survivors of many wars.

          • Adahy

            The only humans alive at pretty much any time since civilization began are the survivors of many wars. Humans have brought war upon each other since the dawn of time all over the globe. But not all humans wage war the same, as I was trying to say.

            But, aside from all that, let’s just assume that you and your revisionist friends are correct; does that make it alright to commit genocide?

            If I see two people fighting in the street, am I correct to go and beat them both down and rob them? Explain this logic to me, because it seems like you are arguing FOR manifest destiny type genocides.

          • You can blather away about non-existent revisionism all that you desire if it makes you feel better.

            Facts remain. The many people living on the continent before the English, Spanish, Dutch, Swedes and Germans arrived were warring people.

            My initial comment above is thus:

            And the Indians wandering about in those days, did they not take the lands from others also through warring, killing off rivals?

            All comments by you and SRVES339 in response amount to self-serving foolery. You and the other one committed the fallacies of red herring as well as ad hominem.

            Good luck sorting out yourself!

          • nicjondon

            And even less about the words he uses. Methinks he has a fallacies list taped to desk. Racist imperialists are addicted to Fox news apparently for it’s cerebral nature and reporting. I hear it does wonder for cognitive ability. Such as excess and incorrect usage of fallacy’s.

          • Maiingankwe

            Oh, and NBC and CNN is so much better. They have continuously been brought down with actual facts time and time again when they have blatantly lied to their viewers. They have deliberately cut footage to slant their stories. They are no longer journalists.
            FOX news has raised their viewership and has beaten out all other news networks. Where do you think people go when they leave in disgust at NBC and CNN? They go to FOX.

          • Ha! Thanks for assuming I watch any such filth they’re all in the same bed – much like the left and right politicians deceiving millions. If you guess again methinks you will error again.

          • Maiingankwe

            You sure are a self inflated ass aren’t you?

          • Welp – you didn’t error. Lucky.

          • Maiingankwe

            You are throwing all American tribes under one ideology. Yes, there were many whose fighting were symbolic in war. However, take a look at the Anishinabeg moving the Sioux to the west and out of their original ancestral lands. This was done throughout many battles. Many lost their lives.
            These stories come from my Anishinabee elders.

      • nicjondon

        Fitting since Columbus was a Jew.

  • Herodotus was Jewish…. He had a vivid imagination.

    • Eric Hollingsworth

      He was once known as the father of lies. But it turns out that he was right about many things that used to be dismissed. Perhaps his greatest error was misjudging the cycle of the Nile, as he flatly refuted the true explanation of the annual floods. But I sincerely doubt he was incorrect about the names of the regions in which he travelled.

  • Some pictures of Jaffa/Palestine before …. http://btd.palestine-studies.org/f-by-subject/27

  • Adahy

    “Those people over there on the land I want are SAVAGES I say…..”

    Ever notice that, if someone has something you want; the easiest way to rationalize taking it is to dehumanize them.

  • What is most amazing in images going back 120 years, is the limited amount of women with full headgear, and the westernization of dress styles, both male and female.
    If Islamic states want to compete and win, why not build infrastructure and do business? Instead, they keep their own people poor, unemployed, and dependent.

  • Ken Kelso

    Henry Siegman = Arafat terrorist apologist

  • Yefim Shestik

    Inventing the “Palestinian Nation ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=42&v=aYMviMHH0nc

    O, Yea they have some mixtures in their fakelestinian blood mixture of:

    “Palestinian” Arabs common family names reveals origins of the Fakelestinian people https://.www.liveleak.com/view?i=47c_1358574333

    Here is the partial list of common last names. of Fakelestinians ..with the translation. http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/182419

  • Yefim Shestik

    BDS surrendered – Israel to celebrate the anniversary of the partition of Palestine Translated by Google from Russian Language
    There is a widespread misconception, both in the media and among the heads of government, that Israel obtained its legal status on the basis of UN GA Resolution 181 (II) of November 29, 1947, popularly known as the “resolution on the partition of Palestine”.

    One of the main reasons for this misconception is that the text of the “Declaration of Independence” perpetuated the illegal concept of receiving Juras. the status of Israel, “based on the UN General Assembly Resolution”, on the basis of which, members of the People’s Council of Israel, announced the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948. Another reason was that the Declaration mentioned “our natural and historical rights”.

    It was further stated that

    “The State of Israel will cooperate with the UN in the implementation of the General Assembly resolution of November 29, 1947 and will take measures to ensure the economic unification of the entire” Land of Israel “(Eretz Israel).”

    The distortion in the “Declaration of Independence” is that it says that the State of Israel is based – “on the strength” of the “Decision on partition” with respect to its legal regulations. This hides and distorts the fact that, ISRAEL’S LEGAL FOUNDATION, BY INTERNATIONAL LAW, LEAKS FROM THE RESOLUTION ADOPTED IN SAN REMO ON APRIL 25, 1920. , and not from the Decision on the division of 1947, which is simply an optional recommendation, without any force of law.

    The San Remo resolution is a legitimate introduction and approval of the Treaty of Sevres, of August 10, 1920, and then its introduction into the first three readings of the Mandate Mandate to Palestine, which was confirmed by the 52 member states of the League of Nations in 1922, and separately by the United States, in 1924, in an agreement with the United Kingdom.

    The “Declaration of Independence” mentions the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate on Palestine in its historical part, but in justifying the creation of the Jewish state, in its working part, it ignores these two interrelated documents and remembers them only casually, using the phrase “historical rights”.

    The “Declaration of Independence” does not refer to the most important document that laid the legal foundation of the Jewish state – the San Remo Resolution, which transformed the Balfour Declaration of 1917 from an act of British policy into a legally recognized binding act of international law in 1920.

    This means that even Israeli leaders who composed the text of the “Declaration of Independence” – David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Charet – did not show curiosity about the immense significance of the San Remo Resolution, otherwise they would surely quote it as a true fundamental a document for the proclamation of the State of Israel, and not a UN resolution on the partition of Palestine.

    Any serious analysis of these two decisions shows that the decision to partition Palestine actually contradicts the letter and spirit of the San Remo resolution in that it illegally allocates a significant part of Western Palestine to create an Arab state, i. The territory that already belonged to the Jewish state according to the San Remo resolution, based on the historical / biblical formula for defining the borders of Palestine for the Jewish national home and the future independent Jewish state.

    In addition, in the San Remo Resolution, the Arabs were generously rewarded with all the land they needed for their own state or states in the rest of the Middle East or the Levant.

    In the face of this, the Zionists’ agreement to partition was unreasonable, since this document denied the national and political rights of Jews already recognized over this part of the land of Israel and reassigned them to the new Arab state.

    However, as a mitigating circumstance, it should be noted that under the conditions that existed in 1948, there was an urgent need for the immediate proclamation of a Jewish state in order to absorb and arrange hundreds of thousands of homeless Jewish refugees still languishing in European camps for displaced persons in Germany and Poland after the end of World War II.

    The decision of the Jewish Agency to take an illegal decision to partition was thus an act of desperation carried out under duress, which makes such recognition legally invalid.

    Be that as it may, the rejection of the Plan for the partition of Palestine by the Arabs, and the aggressive war that the Arabs unleashed against the young Jewish state, makes its recognition by the Jews also invalid, which allowed Ben-Gurion to consider this plan null and void in August 1948, when he decided to annex the territories of West Jerusalem to the Jewish state and the approaches to it.

    He then did the same in all other areas of Eretz Israel, which are outside the UN partition line, which were already occupied by the IDF or were about to be occupied soon after the War of Independence.

    To realize his decision, Ben-Gurion put forward a law adopted by the Provisional State Council, whose goal was ultimately to bring all the areas of Eretz Israel, which the IDF had mastered, into a single State

    Israel. This clearly shows that for Ben-Gurion, that is, for Israel, the decision to partition Palestine was already a dead letter because of the Arabs’ refusal and aggressive war. Not only did the Declaration of Independence of Israel, which did not mention the San Remo Resolution . The resolution was also not mentioned in the decision on the section itself, and in the previous report of August 31, 1947 for the General Assembly prepared by the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), which included 11 states. The UNSCOP report mentioned the San Remo Resolution in the discussion of Palestine in according to the mandate and said that “On April 25, 1920, the Supreme Council of the Allies agreed to transfer the Mandate to Great Britain to Palestine with the understanding that the Balfour Declaration will be implemented.” This hint did not have a further interpretation of the value of Re Zolutions of San Remo as a reasonable basis and meaning of the establishment of the Jewish state in Palestine under the auspices of the Mandate. The absence of specific references to the San Remo Resolution in the decision on the division of Palestine or in the UNSCOP report can be considered a convincing proof that the international community “conveniently forgot” about this fundamental document. This document took the form of an agreement between Britain, France, Italy and Japan and designated indivisible Palestine for the Jewish people as its national home. If the authors of the UN documents from 1947 understood the diplomatic and legal history of Palestine embodied in the Resolution of San Remo, they would have thought to recommend a division of Western Palestine into the Jewish and Arab states. This recommendation violates not only the San Remo Resolution, but also Article 5 of the Mandate to Palestine, which explicitly prohibits the partition of the country (and which is still in force), as well as Article 80 of the UN Charter of 1945, which preserves all Jewish national and political rights to Palestine and excludes Arab land claims.

  • Yefim Shestik


    The League of Nations ceased to exist as a legal entity on April 20, 1946. The League of Nations transferred almost all its functions to the UN, established on October 24, 1945. As the International Court of Justice decided, the mandates did not end with the disappearance of the League of Nations. The mandate for Palestine has created an international status – “valid in rem”, which is effective against the whole world, defining the boundaries of the mandate’s territory as a national home of the Jewish people, with the guarantee of the rights of the non-Jewish population as a protected minority in the Jewish state. This status and these rights were preserved even after the end of the existence of the League of Nations.

    Related image On November 29, 1947, at the UN General Assembly, resolution 181 was adopted, proposing the completion of the British mandate and dividing Palestine into two states – Jewish and Arab.

    The Jews accepted this plan, the Arabs did not. Instead, the Arabs started the war. In addition, despite the fact that Resolution 181 required the UN Security Council to implement this plan, the Security Council did not do this and did not take binding decisions. Because of this – in the absence of agreement and implementation – Resolution 181 did not take root and therefore could not affect the boundaries established earlier by the mandate.

    Despite the fact that Resolution 181 is not existing, certain bodies continue to promote this proposal as a supposedly recognized partition plan. This interpretation is erroneous on several levels.

    First, paragraphs 10 and 14 of the UN Charter clearly indicate that the General Assembly can only issue non-binding recommendations.

    Secondly, as the name of recommendation 181 (“the plan for partition with the economic union”) indicates, the section is only one part of a long decision, detailed and detailed, based on broad economic cooperation, coexistence and peace.

    Thirdly, the adoption of the resolution 181 by Jews in 1947 presupposed Arab agreement with this plan. It is therefore ridiculous to say that the section that talks about partition in that resolution is still on the table and that the agreement of 1947 is perceived as continuing to this day. Any conclusions of this kind contradict the logic and the basic principle of international law.

    As an empty and non-binding document, resolution 181 failed in its attempt to change the legal status of any mandated territory, this resolution has no legal force.