'The “Philistine-Palestinian” debate has been brought to the forefront again, this time by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Seemingly triggered — along with the rest of Twitter — by Linda Sarsour’s comments that “Jesus was Palestinian,” Netanyahu took to the social media platform to highlight what he said was proof that Palestinians were not as connected to the land of Israel and Palestine as Jews are.
Linking to a new Israeli study of DNA collected from an ancient Philistine site in the Ashkelon coastal region, Netanyahu said the study “confirms what we know from the Bible – that the origin of the Philistines is in southern Europe.”
A new study of DNA recovered from an ancient Philistine site in the Israeli city of Ashkelon confirms what we know from the Bible – that the origin of the Philistines is in southern Europe. https://t.co/bwmcPax9Jp
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 7, 2019
Netanyahu went on to reference the Biblical mention of a place called Caphtor, thought to be modern-day Crete, where the Philistines allegedly migrated from before arriving in Palestine.
He went on: “There’s no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later.”
“The Palestinians’ connection to the Land of Israel is nothing compared to the 4,000 year connection that the Jewish people have with the land,” the premiere concluded.
Palestinian activists and supporters were quick to tear down Netanyahu’s comments which they said were setting a dangerous precedent for the denial of Palestinian human rights.
Ali Abunimah, journalist and co-founder of the Electronic Intifada news website called Netanyahu’s comments a “warning sign of genocide.”'
Read more: Archaeologists on Twitter tear down Netanyahu’s claims that Palestinians have ‘no connection’ to homeland