John Brennan is about to become the head of the CIA. I’m providing a link to a speech of his. What’s notable about it is that he twice refers to the State of Israel as “Palestine”. Since the United States does not recognize any country named “Palestine”, you wonder where he’s coming from?
Obviously, for Brennan, America’s ally “Israel” should be replaced with a new country named “Palestine”. For his part, Brennan might argue that he wasn’t referring to the present political landscape. He might say that he was referring to the territory called “Palestine” under the British mandate, prior to the birth of Israel in 1948. But that territory included the modern State of Jordan, which was carved out of British mandate Palestine in 1947. Simply put, 80% of what was called “Palestine” under the British is now called Jordan. But Brennan refers to Jordan, as “Jordan” in his speech. He does not ignore the existence of modern Jordan. The only part of British mandate “Palestine” that he calls “Palestine” is the part called “Israel” today.
Clearly, in his speech, Brennan is not referring to history. He’s not referring to the past. He’s referring to the future. He wants Jordan to continue to exist. It’s Israel that he has a problem with. He can’t even bring himself to say its name. More than this, when referring to Jerusalem (Hebrew “Yerushalaim”), Israel’s capital, 2 out of 3 times he calls it “Al Quds” which is the name the Arab States use to deny any Jewish sovereignty or a Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem. And this is the guy that’s going to be the head of the CIA.
For the sake of historical accuracy, Mr. Brennan, there has never been a country called “Palestine” in the Middle East. The area now called Israel was called “the land of Israel” for thousands of years. The earliest attestation of the name “Israel” from a non biblical source is on Pharaoh Merneptah’s stele. Mr. Brennan, since you studied at the American University in Cairo you could have visited it. It is in the Cairo museum. It’s dated to c. 1205 BCE, meaning, according to Egyptian sources, the land has been called Israel for at least 3218 years! As for Jerusalem, it has been Israel’s capital since the 10th century BCE i.e., for 3000 years.
The land of Israel was first called “Palaestina” not by any “Palestinians” but by the Romans. Two thousand years ago, the Jews of the state of Judea in the land of Israel repeatedly revolted against Roman occupation. Finally, the Romans crushed the Bar Kochba revolt (132-135 CE) and sent the Jews into exile. To add salt to the wound, they renamed the land of the Jews, the province of “Palaestina” after the biblical enemies of the Jewish people i.e., the Philistines. The Philistines were an Aegean people – Goliath and Delilah are the most famous Philistines – who had long since disappeared. But after defeating the Jews, the Romans renamed the land of Israel “Palaestina”. It’s not an Arabic name, it’s a Latin name. It doesn’t refer to Palestinians, it refers to Philistines.
After 2000 years of exile, in 1948, the Jewish people regained sovereignty over part of ancient Israel and established an old/new Jewish state called Israel. Several times various Jewish leaders, including the present prime minister, have offered local Arabs who have developed a “Palestinian” national consciousness the option of establishing – for the first time – a modern Arabic Palestinian state living peacefully alongside Israel. But today’s Palestinians, much like the biblical Philistines, have refused. They prefer to do what Brennan does i.e., replace Israel, with Palestine, Jerusalem with Al Quds.
The irony is that when Brennan uses the name “Al Quds” instead of Jerusalem, he thinks he’s using Arabic instead of Hebrew. But the historical fact is that “Al Quds” is based on the Hebrew words “Ha Kadosh” i.e., the holy one. Meaning the Arabic is based on the Hebrew and attests to Jerusalem’s holy status in Jewish history.
Bottom line; here’s a speech by a man who’s going to be the director of the CIA. What it demonstrates is both political and historical blindness.
(By the way, notice how he mentions at the end that what he says should not be repeated to those who do not speak Arabic)