Who are the Legitimate Heirs of the Land of Israel-Palestine?


By William John Cox

If the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people is justified by the Holy Bible, their story begins with the migration of the family of Abraham from Ur (Iraq) and his obeisance to King Melchizedek, the "Priest of the God Most High," at Jerusalem. According to Genesis (18:19), Abraham and "his children and his household after him" were commanded by GOD to "keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice." As the covenant of Abraham to peacefully share Israel-Palestine is organic to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, who are the legitimate heirs of the land?

There is little archeological confirmation of the expansive realms of Kings David and Solomon described in the Bible; however, there are extensive ruins of the contemporary northern Kingdom of Israel. Following the conquest of this biblically "sinful" kingdom by the Assyrians around 720 BCE, the northern "ten tribes of Israel" were not "lost," but their leaders and chariot warriors were deported to northern Iraq. Ninety percent of the population remained, with some migrating to the area of Jerusalem, where their separate religious books were combined.

Although the southern Kingdom of Judah never extended much beyond the city-state of Jerusalem, its walls and temple were destroyed in 586 BCE by the Babylonians, who removed its leadership. During their exile, a scholarly sect of rabbis (masters of the law) began to teach an "Oral"Torah. When the Persians (Iranians) conquered Babylon (Iraq) in 539 BCE, King Cyrus freed the Judahite captives, allowed them to return to Jerusalem, and helped them to rebuild their temple.

During the following centuries, the descendants of Israel in the north and Judah in the south continued to populate the land throughout its conquest in 329 BCE by Alexander the Great, and its subsequent rule by the Greeks. The religious leaders of the priestly Sadducees supported Hellenization, and later, the Pharisaic rabbis collaborated with the Romans, who defeated the briefly independent, indigenous Hasmonaean Kingdom in 63 BCE and
subjugated the inhabitants of the province the Romans labelled Syria Palaestina.

The poor people of the land continued to follow the ancient Abrahamic religion, and increasingly they were led by the Essenes (Osim, or "Doers of the Law") who documented the Way of Righteousness and whose library at Qumran included the Dead Sea Scrolls. They established an alternative priesthood and provided the priestly "Sons of Light" leadership of the Zealots who rebelled against Roman domination.

With the Roman defeat of the Zealot revolution in 74 CE and the destruction of Jerusalem, the youth of the land were transported into slavery. The Sadducees and Levite priesthood disappeared from history; however, the rabbis of the sect of Pharisees continued to cooperate with the Romans and relocated their academy to a coastal village. Expanding their Oral Torah, the Pharisees evolved into rabbinic Judaism, with their descendants in the Diaspora becoming the Jews of today.

The people who remained in the land continued to endure the rule of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires until the Muslim conquest in the seventh century, when most were converted to the Abrahamic religion of Islam. Generally, as "People of the Book," the status of Rabbinic Judaism improved within the Islamic Empire, while the Jews in Europe suffered
discrimination under the Holy Roman Empire and other Christian governments that falsely accused them of murdering Jesus Christ.

Following the deadliest of the Jewish persecutions" the Nazi genocide of European Jewry known as The Holocaust-the survivors and members of the Zionist movement revolted against England's Mandate for Palestine and established the State of Israel in 1948 as a homeland for the Jewish people. The victors violently expelled hundreds of thousands of the resident Palestinian descendants of ancient Israelites and Judahites from the land.

At the same time, a legal "right of return" and automatic Israeli citizenship was provided to all Rabbinic Jews, worldwide, including the Sephardic Jews from areas once occupied by the Islamic Empire and the Ashkenazi Jews from Europe.

Modern genetic testing establishes that Israeli Jews and Palestinian men descended from the same parental ancestors who resided in the land 2,000 years ago. Ostensibly, Orthodox Judaism (and the state) only recognizes matrilineal descent; however, 8 percent of the mitochondrial DNA maternal lineages of Ashkenazi Jews are traced to mothers of European descent.

Today, the only realistic difference between the two groups of Abrahamic descendants residing in the land is their relative military power to violently achieve and maintain religious, political, and social dominance-all in defiance of the original commandment to peacefully coexist with righteousness and justice.


William John Cox is an America public-interest lawyer who represented an Auschwitz Survivor and prosecuted "The Holocaust Case" in 1981 against the radical organizations that denied the Nazi genocide, contracted for the publication of the suppressed Dead Sea Scrolls in 1991 on behalf of a still-secret client, and authored The Way of Righteousness: A Revealing History and Reconciliation of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. For more on William John Cox go here.