Israeli negotiators were stunned on Saturday when during a joint session at a security conference, the chief Palestinian negotiator cited a seminal event in the biblical book of Joshua to claim that his people were present in the disputed territory thousands of years before the Jews.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat, who lives in Jericho, said, “I am the son of Jericho. I’m 10,000 years old. I celebrated last year the birth date of my city.”
“I’m the proud son of the Natufians and the Canaanites. I’ve been there 5,500 years before Joshua bin Nun [son of Nun] came and burned my hometown Jericho,” Erakat said.
According to the biblical narrative described in Joshua chapter 6 to which Erakat was referring, the Israelites led by Joshua encircled the city, blew horns and shouted, causing the walls of Jericho to collapse.
Saeb Erakat said the Palestinians were in Jericho 5,500 years before Joshua son of Nun (Screenshot: Israel Broadcasting Authority)
Erakat was speaking alongside Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni at the Munich Security Conference when the subject of recognizing Israel as the Jewish state arose.
“I’m the proud son of the Natufians and the Canaanites," Erakat said. (Screenshot: Israel Broadcasting Authority)
“I’m not going to change my narrative,” Erakat said. “When you say accept Israel as a Jewish state it means you’re asking me to change my narrative.”
Israel’s Channel 1 News and the Israeli news site Calcalist characterized Israeli negotiators as being “flabbergasted” by Erakat’s claims.
(H/T: My Right Word)