by Zelig Krymko

"When you come into the land that G-d your L-rd is giving you as an heritage, occupying and settling it." (Deut. 26:1)

One of the grave mistakes Eretz Yisroel's government and pro-Israel PR groups are making in their presentation of the current situation to the world is that they continue to call the Arabs who are occupying Eretz Yisroel "Palestinians."

The language we use in incredibly important. As is taught in kabbala, a person's name is connected with his essence. It is vital to understand why our enemies have chosen a media propaganda campaign based on rights of a false "Occupied Palestinian Nation" in their war against the Jews.

A bit of history. The Romans destroyed the second Beis HaMikdash, butchered thousands of Jews, and sent the surviving Jewish people out of Eretz Yisroel, scattering us throughout their empire. In an attempt to erase all Jewish connection to the Holy Land, the Romans renamed Jerusalem Aelias Capitolina, or Capital City, and renamed the entire Eretz Yisroel "Palestina." Why "Palestina"? Because the Philistines, who lived on the Mediterranean coast near Gaza and Ashkelon, were our arch enemies. To further humiliate and degrade the Jewish people, not only did the Romans kill and exile us from our Holy Land, but they also renamed the entire Land of Israel according to the name of our arch enemies, the Plishtim, or Philistines.

Now, the Philistines were not Arabs at all. The Arabs had not yet invaded Eretz Yisroel. The Philistines were descendants of the Aegean Greeks, who migrated down the coastline from Greece.

There was never a "Palestinian" nation or a "Palestinian" people. The name "Palestine" stuck, and the Holy Land was referred to by this name by many goyim, as well as by certain Jews, who called themselves "Palestinians."

This is evidenced in the books, songs, and publicity of the Zionist movement in the early part of the 1900's. And at the World Fair in 1939, the Palestine exhibit was none other than the exhibit of the Jewish community of Eretz Yisroel at the time.

Sure there were Arabs who lived in Eretz Yisroel, but they were migrants from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and other Arab lands. Even Arafat, yimach shmo, the "leader" of the "Palestinian" nation was born in Egypt, as were his parents.

For public relations and educational purposes, it is absolutely critical that we cease to call the Arabs of Eretz Yisroel by a name that helps their goals of feeding the world misinformation and hostile propaganda, in claiming that the Holy Land belongs to them.

We must begin to make a conscious effort to call them what they truly are: ruthless Arab settlers, Arab occupiers of our country, the land that G-d gave to us, the Jewish people. Or simply, "Arabs." But not Palestinians. May the darkness of Galus be no more and may all the nations of the world see the truth with the coming of Moshiach now!


Zelig Krymko is former Director of College Activism for ZOA, and is the national director of He does presentations and debates on college campuses, Chabad Houses, and communities across the U.S. When he was a student in Safed he worked as a counselor in Ascent.

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