...A resident of Caesarea who is a lover of antiquarian books and Judaica found in Budapest an old book, in Latin, which had been written by a Christian named Reland, chronicling his trip in the land of Israel in 1695/6.
(Picture: Antiquarian book found in Budapest)
The writer, Reland, a man of many talents - a geographer, a cartographer and a philologist - knew Hebrew, Arabic and Ancient Greek, as well as the European languages, perfectly. The book was written in Latin. In the year 1695, Reland was sent on a tour of the land of Israel or, as it was then called, Palestine.
During that trip, he visited approximately 2500 places which had been inhabited and mentioned in the Bible or in the Mishnah (a collection of early oral interpretations of the scriptures compiled about A.D. 200.)... ...No settlement in the land of Israel has a name of Arabic extraction. The names of settlements are mostly of Hebrew extraction; some of Greek or Latin-Roman. In fact, no Arab settlement (except for Ramla) has had an original Arabic name to this day. Most names of Arab settlements are of Hebrew or Greek extraction which have been impaired and replaced by meaningless names in Arabic.
There is no meaning in Arabic for the names Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, Gaza or Jenin and the names of cities, such as Ramallah, El-Halil and El-Kuds have no historical or philological roots in Arabic. In the year 1696, the year in which the tour was taken, Ramallah, for example, was called Beit El, Hebron was called Hebron and Mearat HaMachpelah was called El Chalil (a name for Abraham of the Bible). The land was, on the whole, empty and desolate; the inhabitants were few and concentrated in the cities of Jeusalem, Acre, Safed, Jaffa, Tiberius and Gaza. Most of the inhabitants of the cities were Jews, the others were Christian; there were very few Moslems, mostly nomadic Bedouins. Nablus (Schem) was different, with a population of about 120 people from the Moslem Natsha family and about 70 Shomronites. In Nazareth, the capital of the Galilee, there were approximately 700 people - all Christians..
It is interesting that Reland mentions all the Muslims as nomadic Bedouin tribes who arrived in the area as seasonal workers, in both agriculture and construction. In Gaza, for example, there were approximately 550 people; fifty per-cent of them were Jews, the rest Christians.
The Jews engaged in flourishing agriculture, owning vineyards and olive orchards and growing wheat (like in Gush Katif) and the Christians engaged in commerce and the transportation of the produce. In Tiberius and in Safed there were Jewish settlements, though their occupations, on the whole, were not mentioned. The only exception was fishing in the Kinneret – a traditionally Tiberian activity. A city such as Um el-Phachem, for example, was then a village of 10 families, all Christian, consisting of about 50 people; a small Maronite church was also mentioned. (The Shehadah family) The book totally contradicts the post-modern theory of "a Palestinian heritage" or a Palestinian people, and strongly supports the fact that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews and not at all to the Arabs, who stole the land, and the name Palestine, as well, stole from the Latin and still claim to possess even that. Read it HERE
Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua