Former Congressman (Florida-R) Col. Allen West addressed the 2017 Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit in Washington DC on Monday, warning that pro-Arab activists in the US and abroad were working to erase Jewish history, and thus undermine the State of Israel.
West, who represented Florida’s 22nd congressional district in the US House of Representatives and is a combat veteran from both Iraq wars, argued that the fate of Western civilization was tied to the future of the Jewish state.
"As goes Israel - so goes the United States of America and so goes Western civilization. And so many of our adversaries and enemies know that. That's what we're facing all across the Middle East and, truthfully, all across the world."
Aside from the obvious military threats from Iran and other adversaries, as well as the ubiquitous danger of terror attacks, West argued that Israel faced another, more subtle threat – the rewriting of history to erase the Jewish past, and ultimately undermine the Jewish state’s legitimacy.
To illustrate his point, West noted how the term “Palestinian” has entered the political lexicon of the Middle East conflict almost unquestioned, along with the historical links it implies to the ancient Philistines – despite the fact that modern day “Palestinians” are relative newcomers to the country, with no ties to the people of Greek origin called “invaders” (Plishtim in Hebrew) by the Jews.
"During the Simeon Bar Kochba revolt, it was Emperor Hadrian, Roman Emperor Hadrian who decided to punish the Jewish people,” said West.
"After he defeated the insurrection of the Simeon Bar Kochba revolt, he said that the name of this region shall be changed from Judea to Palaestinia. Palaestinia is a derivative from the root word 'Philistia'. And if you know something about the ancient Philistines, you know they had nothing to do with Arabs. The ancient Philistines were descendants of the Greeks. So when we have people today that are saying this is 'Palestine, and I'm a Palestinian,' we need to understand that the whole reason this word was introduced was as [Rome's] punishment for the Jewish people."
"So if we're going to return Palestine to the rightful owners, then we're talking about returning it to the Jewish people, who were punished in the first place."
"But because we allow people to hijack history - and that's even happening here in the United States of America, where people are trying to destroy history. Think about the recent UNESCO decision on Hevron, when all of a sudden they're saying that it's the Palestinians that have a right to the Tomb of the Patriarchs. This goes along with a lot of this false narrative, this propaganda out there, where people are saying that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, even Jesus, are prophets of the religion of Islam."
The Jewish Bar Kochba Revolt against the Romans took place in Judea from 132-136 C.E. while Islam originated in the 7th century C.E. in the Arabian Peninsula.