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PA: The Jews stole everything… “[They have] no dress no food no art. It is all stolen”

Nan Jacques Zilberdik and Itamar Marcus  |

Deputy Director-General of the PA Ministry of Culture:

  • Israel “has no folklore or story, and a nation without folklore is a nation without culture, a nation without a future”

  • Israel “is attempting to steal [our] story, this heritage, and to attribute them to itself”

  • Israel “has folklore in the lands it came from… Those who came from Europe have folklore in Europe, in France, in Britain, or in America… it knows well that it necessarily will return to where it came from because it has no existence in this land at all”

  • Israel “has no garb, no dress, no kind of food, no debka, and no art. It is all stolen”

To justify its denial of Israel's right to exist the Palestinian Authority as policy denies the abundance of evidence that shows the Jewish historical tie to the area in general and to Jerusalem in particular. Furthermore, the PA invents 5,000-10,000 year-old Palestinian roots and patents every single cultural phenomenon as “Palestinian.” All Middle Eastern traditional customs, expressions of art, foods and other parts of the folklore of the area are presented by the PA as exclusively “Palestinian.”

Lately, the PA has been harping on this narrative. During the Miss Universe competition that was held in Eilat in Israel earlier this month, the participants visited Tafadalu: Rahat Bedouin Experience in the Negev Desert, where they wore traditional Bedouin clothing. To the PA this equaled “heritage theft” and prompted “the Palestinian Garb Association” to launch an internet campaign “to fight the theft of our Palestinian heritage by the occupation.” The PA called it Israel's attempt to “erase the characteristics of Palestinian identity and culture.”

An article in the official PA daily expresses all the elements of the PA’s policy of denial of Jewish history and the accusation that “the Jews” have “stolen” everything:

It claims the Jews came from overseas on “imperialistic ships”:

“The Jews had just disembarked the imperialistic ships that brought them from Romania and Russia and afterwards from Poland, Germany, Belgium, the US, and a variety of world states…”

Having arrived, the Jews immediately “stole” the “Palestinian” foods. In reality dishes that are part of the traditional Middle Eastern cuisine, including that of local Jewish communities:

“The moment they came they… stole the hummus, falafel, knafeh, and maftoul…”

Despite the profuse evidence, including coins, texts, as well as references to the Israeli people in stone inscriptions of neighboring ancient nations that prove Jewish history in Israel, the article asserts that lacking both “roots” and folklore, the Jews then took “trees,” stole “dances” and crafts, “the land,” “the heritage” and everything “Palestinian”:

“They had no trunk or roots here (sic.) and therefore they stole the olive tree and transferred trunks of old trees to squares and parks, and they stole Bedouin dances and Palestinian embroidery.

After they stole the land and antiquities and plundered the libraries and property, they stole the heritage with all its tangible and morale elements: the Palestinian garb, popular songs, original Palestinian foods, and the oral narrative.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 17, 2021]

See the full article below.

Reporting on the so-called Israeli “theft”, the official PA news agency repeated the PA version of reality, claiming Israel has stolen not only land but also Palestinian garb and food:

“The occupation state did not make do with stealing the Palestinian land, but rather it is also attempting to steal our heritage. Recently, the organizers of the Miss Universe competition, which Israel will host on Dec. 16 (sic., 13) [2021], let the participants wear Palestinian garb. In pictures that were published on Israeli news websites, the contestants are seen wearing Palestinian garb and preparing a variety of Palestinian foods such as grape leaves, Palestinian ma’amoul, and falafel.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, Dec. 13, 2021]

Discussing the fact that the Miss Universe contestants wore Bedouin clothes, Deputy Director-General of the PA Ministry of Culture Muhammad Ayyad repeated the PA lie that Jews have no history in the land of Israel, but stole everything.

Official PA TV host: “We saw recently in the Miss Universe competition… [that the contestants] wore Palestinian garb and ate Palestinian foods as if this was part of the Israeli heritage, and of course this contradicts the truth and the Palestinian narrative…”

PA Ministry of Culture Deputy Director-General Muhammad Ayyad: “Why is it [Israel] doing this? Because it has nothing to tell them about its folklore and its story. It has no folklore or story, and a nation without folklore is a nation without culture, a nation without a future (sic., Jews have thousands of years of cultural history extending back to Israel before the Jewish diaspora, and some Jews have remained in Israel throughout history). It is attempting to steal [our] story, these elements, this heritage, and to attribute them to itself. It has folklore in the lands it came from, every individual for himself. Those who came from Europe have folklore in Europe, in France, in Britain, or in America, or in any other state, and it knows well that it necessarily will return to where it came from because it has no existence in this land at all. It is completely unlike anything [here], it has no garb, no dress, no kind of food, no debka (i.e., Arab folk dance), and no art (sic.). It is all stolen.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Dec. 16, 2021]

Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam also chimed in:

“Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam said that this is not the first time that the occupation is attempting to steal the Palestinian heritage, as it is attempting to create a history for itself in this false way.”

 [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 16, 2021]

The following are longer excerpts of the reports in the official PA media claiming Jews have no history in the Land of Israel but stole everything:

Headline: “The embroidered seam – the hands will remain Palestinian”

“The Jews had just disembarked the imperialistic ships that brought them from Romania and Russia and afterwards from Poland, Germany, Belgium, the US, and a variety of world states, and already they were singing shared songs or were united in garb that proves a heritage of their own.

The moment they came they did not just open restaurants of popular foods and sweets, but also stole the hummus, falafel, knafeh, and maftoul (sic., these dishes are part of traditional Middle Eastern cuisine, including that of local Jewish communities).

They had no trunk or roots here (sic., abundant evidence proves Jewish history in Israel) and therefore they stole the olive tree and transferred trunks of old trees to squares and parks, and they stole Bedouin dances and Palestinian embroidery.

After they stole the land and antiquities and plundered the libraries and property, they stole the heritage with all its tangible and morale elements: the Palestinian garb, popular songs, original Palestinian foods, and the oral narrative.

The occupation’s latest attempt to erase the characteristics of Palestinian identity and culture was the appearance of the participants in the 2021 Miss Universe competition in Umm Al-Rashrash – ‘Eilat’ – while they wore Palestinian garb (sic., refers to contestants visiting the Tafadalu: Rahat Bedouin Experience where they wore Bedouin clothing; there was no claim it was Israeli).”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 17, 2021]

Headline: “‘The Palestinian Garb Association’ launches a campaign against the heritage theft by the occupation”

“‘The Palestinian Garb Association’ launched an internet campaign today, Monday [Dec. 13, 2021], to fight the theft of our Palestinian heritage by the occupation.

In a press release, the association explained that the campaign will last from Dec. 13-16 [2021], and it called to publish pictures, videos, and content on the topic of Palestinian heritage garb on social media and the various media platforms…

The occupation state did not make do with stealing the Palestinian land, but rather it is also attempting to steal our heritage. Recently, the organizers of the Miss Universe competition, which Israel will host on Dec. 16 (sic., 13) [2021], let the participants wear Palestinian garb (sic., refers to Miss Universe contestants visiting Tafadalu: Rahat Bedouin Experience, where they wore Bedouin clothing). In pictures that were published on Israeli news websites, the contestants are seen wearing Palestinian garb and preparing a variety of Palestinian foods such as grape leaves, Palestinian ma’amoul, and falafel.

On the picture sharing website ‘Instagram,’ Philippine beauty queen Beatrice Gomez published a number of pictures of herself together with other [contestants] in which they are wearing Palestinian garb and preparing Palestinian foods, and she responded: ‘Checking out Israeli culture’ (sic., PMW found no record of Gomez writing this; instead, on her Instagram account she posted pictures from the visit together with the following text: “Day in the life of a Bedouin”).”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, Dec. 13, 2021]

Official PA TV program Palestine This Morning, on UNESCO adding “The art of embroidery in Palestine – practices, skills, knowledge, and rituals” to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Official PA TV host: “This comes at the right time, at a time when the occupation has declared its theft, and against the activities that it is organizing as we saw recently in the Miss Universe competition that was held in Israel, in which [contestants] wore Palestinian garb and ate Palestinian foods as if this was part of the Israeli heritage, and of course this contradicts the truth and the Palestinian narrative (sic., refers to contestants visiting the Tafadalu: Rahat Bedouin Experience where they wore Bedouin clothing; there was no claim it was Israeli). Afterwards the UNESCO declaration came and restored the prominence, the true value, and the original story, and it showed the occupation’s falsification through this declaration yesterday [Dec. 15, 2021].” …

PA Ministry of Culture Deputy Director-General Muhammad Ayyad: “Just a few days ago the occupation dressed the beauty queens who came to it in clothing of this kind and claimed that they went to a Bedouin area in Be’er Sheva or something like that-”

Host: “And had them roll grape leaves, Palestinian foods.”

Muhammad Ayyad: “In short, why is it doing this? Because it has nothing to tell them about its folklore and its story. It has no folklore or story, and a nation without folklore is a nation without culture, a nation without a future (sic., Jews have thousands of years of cultural history extending back to Israel before the Jewish diaspora, and some Jews have remained in Israel throughout history). It is attempting to steal [our] story, these elements, this heritage, and to attribute them to itself. It has folklore in the lands it came from, every individual for himself. Those who came from Europe have folklore in Europe, in France, in Britain, or in America, or in any other state, and it knows well that it necessarily will return to where it came from because it has no existence in this land at all. It is completely unlike anything [here], it has no garb, no dress, no kind of food, no debka (i.e., Arab folk dance), and no art (sic.). It is all stolen.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Dec. 16, 2021]

“Official organizations, non-governmental organizations, and popular organizations participated in activity dealing with heritage yesterday [Dec. 15, 2021] in central Ramallah. This was in protest of the occupation’s attempts to steal the Palestinian national heritage and garb. In the activity – in which dozens of civilians, most of them women in Palestinian garb, participated – Palestinian heritage food was prepared…

Ramallah and El-Bireh District Governor Laila Ghannam said that this is not the first time that the occupation is attempting to steal the Palestinian heritage, as it is attempting to create a history for itself in this false way…

Palestinian Garb Association administration board member Lana Hijazi said that a large part of the responsibility belongs to the female contestants in the Miss Universe contest held (i.e., hosted) by the occupation state, who wore Palestinian garb and claimed that it was Israeli (sic., refers to contestants visiting the Tafadalu: Rahat Bedouin Experience where they wore Bedouin clothing; they did not claim the clothing was Israeli). She added: ‘We oppose that the occupation had the contest participants wear Palestinian garb, because this heritage belongs to our people.’

Association of Women Committees for Social Work member Nazek Anabtawi said that Israel is attempting to steal everything Palestinian. She emphasized that we must preserve it and the Palestinian identity.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 16, 2021]