Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus
The Judean Hills

As a journalist, I was always very skeptical what the origins of the Palestinian people are. Some have argued that the origins of the Palestinians date back 1,000 years. Others claim that the ancestors of the Palestinians came much more recently, during the late Ottoman and British Mandate periods. And still others allege that the roots of the Palestinian people in the Holy Land are ancient. So what are we to believe?

The American archeologist Eric Cline reported in his book Jerusalem Besieged: “Although some would disagree, historians and archeologists have generally concluded that most, if not all, modern Palestinians are probably more closely related to the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, and other countries than they are to the ancient Jebusites, Canaanites, or Philistines. The major movements of those Arabs into the region occurred after 600 CE, more than 1,600 years after David and the Israelites had vanquished the original inhabitants of the land.” This fact is confirmed by Sherif Hussein, the Guardian of Islamic Holy Places of Arabia, who stated that the Palestinians ancestors had only been in the region for 1,000 years.


Numerous scholars have reported that following the Black Plague and Crusades in 1517, only 300,000 people were left in the Land of Israel, of whom 5,000 were Jewish, and that many of the ancestors of the modern Palestinians came in the late Ottoman and early British Mandate period. During the British Mandate period alone, 100,000 Arabs from neighboring countries immigrated to the Holy Land.

However, after conducting intense research into this issue, another story for the origins of the Palestinian people has appeared which further reaffirms Jewish attachment to the Holy Land. A Palestinian living in Jerusalem who wishes to remain anonymous has confessed in an exclusive interview that this persons’ family origins are 100% Jewish and that this person’s father’s family were Cohanim. He proclaimed: “Most of the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria are former Jews. The Ottomans converted them by force. My family converted to Islam in the early 1900’s.”

This Palestinian explained that the town where this person originally came from and the seven surrounding villages had a Jewish majority up until the early 1900’s: “My grandparents tell me they were born Muslim. The entire town which is Islin and the entire collection of towns near Beit Shemesh were Jewish. The entire towns around us used a Jewish judge known as Khawaja Kakum, who was a rabbi.”

The Palestinian noted that in the late 1800’s, the Ottoman Empire started to pressure the local population to accept Islam, after Herzl informed the Ottoman Sultan of the Zionist movements’ intentions. This resulted in the Sultan going crazy and making sure that would not happen, although he did refrain from issuing a formal edict of conversion: “The Ottoman soldiers would arrive, investigating and making sure everyone was Jewish and that would involve a humiliating act. The locals would have to bring all of the fancy rugs so the soldiers could use them. They had to fix hay mixed with sugar for the horses of the Ottoman cavalry. And then, the locals had to cook food for the soldiers. They were forced to mix yoghurt with lamb in a dish known today as mansaf.”

The Palestinian noted that Bayt Itab, which was near Beit Shemesh, was inhabited by Sephardic Jews: “A particular family in the town began holding Friday prayers on both Friday and Saturday, so the Ottomans would be fooled into believing that they were not Jews. Now Beit Shemesh, another nearby town, had mostly Jewish families that would later on become Palestinian, except for one family.”


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Rachel Avraham is a senior media research analyst at the Center for Near East Policy Research and a correspondent for the Israel Resource News Agency. She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”


  1. Well, the only thought that came to me is that the there is a great possibility that this is true if not entirely then in part. even being partially true, that points to the current conflict not being able to be alieviated by the UN nor negiations with PA, but rather the people directly, free from both Zionists and PA and Hammas. This could explained why everyrhing tried so far hasnt helped, only hurted more. This is a very hopeful sign. And not too far off. Anyone who has looked at the science of genetics and genetic ancestry could not only deem this likely, but be highly intrigued and in awe of the twists and turns of political history vs. The human condition

  2. I have known about this for years. It is time to make up for the mistakes made in the past. Take total control of Judea/Samaria and reach out to our long lost Jewish brothers.

  3. What an idiotic comment! Do you know that, when conquered, it was a ‘convert or die’ choice?

    Besides, this is only true around Hevron nd in the immediate vacinity of the Samaritan heartland (the Smaritans’ Temple, where there are around 40,000 ‘Arab Muslims’ who are the descendants of converted Samaritans). The Human Genome Project has dispelled the balance of the population being genetic Jews – they are mostly Syrians in the North and Egyptians/Saudis in Gaza – although there are genetic coverted Jews in Gaza too according to the Human Genome project Jewish Study.

  4. What a oad of BS…flying in the face of mountains of cultural, archeological, anthropological and recent genetic studies, this FOOL lists ONE ABSURD MAN’S STORY as ‘proof.’

    Some journalist! She’s an idiot who swalloed what she wanted to hear!

  5. One more thing, that could be why the arab countries dont want to take in the palestinians, the ' arabs" …. heh…What would the UN and Britian and international " occupier" bully system do if the two peoples found their connection and celebrated it and mourned their dead as one

  6. "A Palestinian living in Jerusalem who wishes to remain anonymous". Are you kidding? Who is the headline editor? I don't believe this for a second. I'm not saying tha there is not one or a handful of stories like this, but the Jews who withstood fourteen centuries of Arab and Muslim degradation did not suddenly succumb to the Ottomans.

    The history of the old Yishuv is not obscure, and neither is the history of the Arab invasion, occupation and colonization of the Jewish land of Israel. From Time Immemorial (Peters), Battleground (Katz), The Rape of (Jewish) Palestine (Ziff) adequately explain how foreign Arabs came to Eretz Yisrael and came to act like they owned the place.

    Leave these things to Tishbi.

  7. Nonsens! Some clans and a beduin tribe: the rest moved into the country by the Turkish Sulatan back in the 1830 from Tunis, and muslims from Caucus fleeing the Russian ockupation. Then there was massive immigration by Arabs from Egypt and Syria in the time between the two World Wars.

  8. There may be some pockets of this phenomenon, but that doesn't mean most Arabs in the region are former Jews. Given the incitement they are taught from a young age, most of them would probably consider such a theory an insult. Of course, any Muslims who try to convert "back" to Judaism face honor killings and the like.

  9. It’s true mike. Logically, Islamic conquerors would force natives to covert. That was the singular reason for the crusades.

    And Muslims are just freaking liars. Like you, trying to impersonate mike. Am sure your name is Mohammed or something.

  10. I’m not buying this .If this were true and the Muslims are Jews and they know this ,then why are they bent on Israel’s destruction ? The Sovereign nation of Isreal has 5400 years of history and archelogical proof .Again ,the Jews have always lived in their ancient homeland .And this alledged archeological evidence sounds fabricated to me .

  11. Actually, the Arab immigration into the land during the Mandate (1920-1948) was more like 500,000 than 100,000. Now if Misinai has done his homework (and I believe he has) on the genetics of this population, it needs to be asked: was the new prosperity in the land the factor that gave force to something in the unconscious of these people which said, 'Time to return', although the people themselves may not have known it at the time?

  12. The article brings a lot of evidence that there are Palestinian/Israeli Arabs with Jewish roots. However, it in NO WAY proves that this is the majority, or close to the majority of them. It is well known, as this article itself states, that there was a massive influx of Arabs from the surrounding areas during the period of Zionist development.

    Even if the majority of indigenous Arabs had Jewish roots, they weren't that many people. Apparently, the immigrants are the big majority.
    Additionally, there are probably hundreds of millions of gentiles descended from Jews all over the world.

    Nevertheless, there are specific villages known to have been Jewish a 100-150 years ago, why not reach out to them?

  13. There was pressure to convert. If you couldn't afford the additional dhemmi taxation heaped on your Family, your only other option was to convert to Islam, or immigrate elsewhere. But there were not that many Jewish Villages where that occurred. There were not that many Jewish Villages. There were not that many Villages of any sort. Likely around 250k Muslim Arabs in the 1820'1860's…the Ottomans began shipping in Muslims from Circassia and the Balkans to begin with. Most Muslims who are called "Arab Palestinians" families immigrated in between 1870 and 1947. Those last between 1921 and 1947 did so illegally.

  14. A Turkish census of Palestine in 1893/5 reported
    59431 Jews
    55823 Muslims
    37853 Christians
    On 13/6/1871, William H Steward, pres. Lincoln's secretary of state quoted the population of Jerusalem as 8000 Jews and 4000 Mehomedans.(sic)

  15. Well, then, why did we not hear about them until 1967? There is no group called "Palestinians" with a separate ethnic origin,never was. They are, as you say, descendants of Arabs from the countries surrounding Israel and NOT a separate ethnic group, as they claim to be. If we are to move forward, the very first thing we must do is to stop talking about them and about an Arab "Palestine" as if they actually exist, something that only gives credence and acceptance to the terrorist cause. Take that away, and their premise disappears. Every conversation about them needs to begin with "Palestine" and, therefore, "Palestinians" never existed."

  16. The Jewish Press choice of headline is most Bizarre,
    same as also Bizarre was another Jewish Press headline shouting
    The American Indian: Descended From The Ten Lost Tribes? (Part I)
    By Dr. Yitzchok Levine : January 2nd, 2015
    which text ended saying "None of them, of course, have any basis in fact."

    Oh well! B'hatzlaha to Rachel Avraham the post Author.

  17. If that is the case would they not be given the same choice or even encouragement to convert. If not at least to keep the Noahide Laws. Why should they be condemned to take the lives of their brothers. Why give them no choice but to forfeit their World to Come by being victim to daily indoctrination in hate and being warehouses by UNWRA in permanent refugee camp. But it would be as ambitious as freeing the citizens of Iran from the Islamic Revolution. I wish they would instantly repent but that's at risk of a beheading.

  18. This is only one section of the inhabitants of the former Palestine, as is pointed out 100,000 Arabs settled in Palestine as soon as the Zionist pioneers began to develop the port of Jaffa. As for Gaza, almost all Gazans can trace their families back to Egypt, even a couple of generations ago. Every eye witness account of early 19th century Syria-Palestine comments on how few people lived there, it was all either swamp or desert except for towns such as Safed, Jerusalem, and Hebron that had majority Jewish populations.

  19. The 500K were in both sides of the Jordan River. People do not change identities that easily, even if their current identity is fake. So there is nothing wrong with the Jewish success being a motivation of many. they left us since we were not successful. So it is about time for correction.

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