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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

The Origins of the Name “Palestine”

Filed under: Israel, Jerusalem

On September 5, 2017, Amb. Dore Gold presented 3,000 years of Jewish history in Jerusalem to the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London, England’s oldest think tank.

See his full presentation on “The Struggle for Jerusalem in International Diplomacy.”

After crushing the Bar Kochba rebellion, in 135CE, the Roman occupiers decided to annihilate all Jewish hope for freedom. Now how did they do that? They named Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina, and they also gave the land of Judea a new name: Syria-Palestina. This is the actual origin of the name “Palestine.” That was the methodology then – and that is the methodology today: attacking our very identity. Today, it’s called the delegitimation of Israel. Well, let me tell you something: It didn’t work then – and it’s not going to work now.

Look at this ancient synagogue at Masada. Do you know what direction it faces in? North. It faces north. But this synagogue in the Golan Heights, in the area of Kuneitra, it faces south. Why does one face north and one face south? Because they both face the location of the temple of Jerusalem. You know what, every single synagogue in the entire world since antiquity, to this very day, faces Jerusalem.

By the mid-19th century, the British Consulate in Jerusalem made the following determination, according to this report, which I found in the Public Record Office in Kew, it states that Jews were a majority in Jerusalem, when? already in 1863 – that’s long before Theodor Herzl, before the Britt’s arrived, or Lord Balfour.

See the guy on the right, William Seward, he was Secretary of State of the United States during the American civil war, under President Abraham Lincoln.
When Seward’s term ended, he visited the holy land, he visited Jerusalem. And he wrote a memoir. And in his memoir, it is written, “There is a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.”