---- Original Message -----

From: Ismail Zayid
To: newsonline@bbc.co.uk
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 5:09 PM
Subject: How about historical accuracy?

July 30, 2001
The Producer
BBC News
Dear Producer:
We have become accustomed to consider BBC News as a reliable and generally fair source of information. However, we find the recent statement on your news stating that "Palestine is the Jews' homeland from antiquity" as lacking in historical accuracy.
Let me remind you that the Hebrew tribes came to the Land of Canaan[ today's Palestine], as invaders and were diven out by other invaders, the Romans. They were followed by many other invaders, including the Greeks, the Persians, the Crusaders, the Turks and the British, amongst others.
 Today's Palestinians are the descendents of the Canaanites, the Jebusites, the Philistines and other tribes that have lived in this land since history began. Professor Maxime Rodinson, who was Professor of History at the Sorbonne University in Paris, who was incidentally Jewish, wrote in 1968 : " The Arab population of Palestine was native in in all senses of the word and their roots in Palestine can be traced back at least forty centuries." H.G.Wells hit the nail on the head when he wrote, commenting about the British issuance of the Balfour Declaration: " If it is proper to 'reconstitute' a Jewish state which has not existed for two thousand years, why not go back another thousand years and reconstitute the Canaanite state? The Canaanites, unlike the Jews, are still there."
The noted British historian Professor Arnold Toynbee put it succinctly when he commented about the British role in issuing the Balfour Declaration, when he wrote : " We were taking it upon ourselves to give away something that was not ours to give. We were promising rights of some kind in the Palestinian Arabs' country to a third party."
The well known Jewish writer, Arthur Koestler, put it equally succinctly when he described the Balfour Declaration as a document in which " One nation promised a second the country of a third".
I think it behooves us all to remember the history.
Yours sincerely
Ismail Zayid, MD.