When and where Civilization was born

Prof. Mohamed Rabie

Palestine, the Birthplace of Civilization

The human race passed through two major civilizations on its way to the present one: the agricultural and industrial civilizations. For a society to build a civilization it has to be settled and productive; no society that lived on the move, like the hunter-gatherer and the tribal societies could build a civilization or produce anything of real value; therefore, neither one made history. The tribal age lasted about twenty thousand years before the development of agriculture and the dawn of civilization. However, about two thousand years before the agricultural age, the tribal man managed to domesticate several animals and use them to improve the quality of his life, strengthen his capacity to fight his enemies, and ease the movement from one place to another. As a result, the tribal man paved the way for the discovery of the life cycle of plants, and the birth of civilization.

The agricultural age lasted about ten thousand years before man managed to transform life again and start a new age, the industrial age, which became evident in the second half of the 18th century. While the days of the agricultural age were serene and seemed changeless, the days of the industrial age were busy and exhausting. Now, unlike previous ages, we live in an age that changes day by day and cannot stop changing because no power is in control of the ongoing change. This new age, which I call the knowledge age, started to reveal itself, culture, and characteristics in the mid-1990s with the widespread use of the Internet for communication and other purposes. This development made life a highly dynamic process of transformation that affects every aspect of our daily life, causing living to become chaotic with no certainty of what will happen the next day; the knowledge age has made change the only changeless fact of life.

This paper tries to identify where civilization was first born, when it was born, and who is responsible for its birth and development. Civilization was born with the discovery of the life cycle of plants some twelve thousand years ago. People who made this discovery were also the first to produce scientific knowledge and use it to transform tribal life, develop agriculture, and give birth to civilization. And with the full development of the agricultural way of life, a new, much different society with its own culture and economy emerged, giving birth to the first civilization in human history. Civilization means a new, more enjoyable, and secure way of life, a more productive economy, and a more sophisticated culture that changes people’s attitudes and character, making them more humane and respectful of others’ rights.

Who Discovered Agriculture?

Historians of ancient times agree on two points: first, agriculture was discovered in the geographical area that lies between the Euphrates and the Nile rivers, or in the area that includes present-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Egypt. The second is that Jericho, Palestine is the oldest city in the world and the first agricultural settlement to appear with a social organization and a productive economy. The history of Jericho as an agricultural settlement dates back to 10,000 BCE. “The Ein es-Sultan spring at what would become Jericho was a popular camping ground for Natufian hunter-gatherer groups…Around 9600 BCE, the droughts and cold ended, making it possible for Natufian groups to extend the duration of their stay, eventually leading to year-round habitation and permanent settlement.”[1] The inhabitants of those settlements are the people who discovered the life cycle of plants and developed agriculture, which gave birth to civilization.

“Jericho is located 258 meters below sea level in an oasis in Wadi Qelt in the Jordan Valley, which makes it the lowest city in the world. The nearby spring of Ein es-Sultan produces 1,000 gallons of water per minute, irrigating some 10 square kilometers through multiple channels and feeding into the Jordan River, 10 kilometers away. Rich alluvial soil and abundant spring water have made Jericho an attractive place for settlement.”[2] Weather in Jericho and around it is pleasant in the fall and winter, not too bad in the spring, and hot, but dry in summer.

Jericho “is believed to be one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world and the city with the oldest known protective wall in the world.”[3] Archeologists have unearthed the remains of more than 20 successive settlements in Jericho, the first of which dates back 11,000 years. “Jericho is one of the earliest continuous settlements in the world, dating perhaps from about 9000 BCE. Archaeological excavations have demonstrated Jericho’s lengthy history: it provides evidence of the first development of permanent settlements and thus of the first steps toward civilization.”[4] Jericho is described in the Hebrew Bible as “the city of palm trees.”[5]  Yes, palm trees, banana farms, watermelons, oranges, and grapefruits are Jericho’s most famous agricultural products.

According to UNESCO, “the first permanent settlement on the site of Jericho developed near the Ein es-Sultan spring between 9,500 and 9000 BCE.”[6] At Jericho, circular dwellings were built of clay and straw bricks left to dry in the sun and then plastered together with a mud mortar. Each house measured about 5 meters across and was roofed with a mud-smeared brush. Palestinians inherited these techniques from their ancestors and used them throughout history. After the Israelis ethnically cleansed about half of the Palestinian people from their homes and cities in 1948, thousands of the refugees settled around Jericho, used the same material and techniques, and built little houses in which thousands still live today.

Jericho was surrounded by extensive defensive walls strengthened with rectangular towers and possessed an extensive underground burial chamber. During the Middle Bronze Age, Jericho was a small prominent city of the Canaan region, reaching its greatest Bronze Age extent in the period from 1700 to 1550 BCE. Jericho seems to have reflected the greater urbanization in the Canaan era at that time. Due to Kathleen Kenyon’s discoveries, “Jericho was recognized as the oldest continuously occupied settlement in history.”[7] 

“The wall may have served as a defense against floodwater, with the tower used for ceremonial purposes. The wall and tower were built around 8000 BCE. For the tower, carbon dates published in 1981 and 1983 indicate that it was built around 8300 BCE and stayed in use until 7800 BCE.[8] The wall and tower would have taken a hundred men more than a hundred days to construct, thus suggesting the development of a social organization. “The identity and number of the inhabitants of Jericho during that period are unknown. But what is known about this population is that it had domesticated emmer wheat, barley, pulses, and hunted wild animals.”[9]

Michal Strutin is the author who wrote that Jericho is “the city with the oldest known protective wall in the world history.”[10] But as Strutin admitted this astonishing fact about Jericho, she could not tell a true story without trying to falsify the consciences of her readers, claiming that the land belongs to Israel, when the story she is telling predates Judaism and the arrival of the Israeli tribes to Palestine by more than seven thousand years and predates the state of Israel by about eleven thousand years. Otherwise, Strutin would have to admit that the land belongs to the Palestinian people who existed and flourished in that land about 10,000 years before Zionists uprooted most of them to create Israel. A reviewer of Strutin’s book says about Jericho that it is “a land where nature and people have interacted since the dawn of civilization. It is an eloquent tribute to a beauteous land whose geography is inscribed upon her heart.”[11] However, the reviewer talks about Jericho and the land and nature, but without mentioning the identity of the people who interacted with nature since the dawn of civilization.

“Year-round warm weather, the abundance of water and fertile land, and the availability of domesticated animals made a semi-nomadic life possible. And this, in turn, enabled man to observe nature closely, follow its seasonal course, and ultimately discover the life cycle of plants. Since tribal man was forced by nature and culture to spend most of his time foraging, it is believed that the woman was responsible for the discovery of the life cycle of plants and thus the development of agriculture.”[12] In fact, women in most traditionally agricultural societies continue to spend most of their time cultivating the land, tending plants, preparing produce for food, and preserving it for cold seasons and hard times. “Plant and animal domestication meant much more food and hence much denser human populations. The resulting food surpluses and the animal-based means of transporting those surpluses were a prerequisite for the development of settled, politically centralized, socially stratified, economically complex, technologically innovative societies.”[13]

This suggests that the Palestinian woman is history’s genius who discovered the life cycle of plants, developed agriculture, and caused the transformation of humans from being savages killing each other to being civilized living in houses and working peacefully together. Therefore, the Palestinian woman must be considered the mother of scientific Knowledge, the Palestinian family the incubator that developed civilization, and the Palestinian society the maker of history. Before Jericho appeared as a permanent agricultural settlement, there was no scientific knowledge in the world, no civilization, no productive social organization, and thus no history. No doubt that archeologists have discovered many old sites around the world; though stones and sites may be able to give a vague idea about a situation, they cannot tell the story of an epoch, because history is a process, not stones. As scientific knowledge was discovered, humanity took its first step toward civilization, and history started recording human achievements and tragedies ever sense.

The above information proves that the formation of permanent human settlements in Palestine happened more than 7,000 years before Judaism appeared and the Hebrews invaded Palestine, about 9,000 years before Jesus was born and Christianity appeared in Palestine, and about 10,000 years before Islam and most other religions appeared in the world. Therefore, no religion or state or people had anything to do with the birth of civilization, except the Palestinians; it was the Palestinians who used their brains to discover the life cycle of plants, build permanent settlements in their land, and give birth to civilization. 

And from Palestine, agriculture and thus civilization traveled to the surrounding areas. The history of the old empires tells us that the Akkadian Empire was the first empire in history, it was established in and around present-day Iraq in 2334 BCE and ended in 2154 BCE. The second oldest empire to appear in history was the Assyrian Empire; it was established in 2025 BCE and ended in 605 BCE; it included parts of modern-day Iraq, Turkey, Syria, and Iran. The third oldest empire was the Babylonian Empire, which appeared in 1894 BCE and ended in 1595 BCE; it controlled modern-day Iraq. The fourth oldest empire was the Hittite Empire; it was established in 1600 BCE and ended in 1178 BCE; it controlled parts of modern-day Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. And the fifth oldest empire was the Egyptian Empire; it was established in 1550 BCE and ended in 1077 BCE; it controlled many parts of Egypt.[14] This means that it took people around Palestine over 7,000 years after the development of civilization to establish empires, build social and political organizations, and armies to expand and rule several parts of the world nearby.

“While the Roman Empire was one of the longest empires and is probably the most famous in the span of human history, it is fairly modern. The earliest empires preceded the Roman Empire by over 2,000 years. These early empires were formed by the early civilizations of Ancient Mesopotamia and the surrounding areas. As these civilizations grew, so did their sphere of power and their desire to conquer near and distant lands. Many of these first empires ruled over the same lands, eventually replacing one another as they fell.”[15] However, all those empires, including the Roman Empire, appeared around Palestine, the birthplace of scientific knowledge and civilization. So it took the first and oldest empire about 8,500 years after Jericho was established to appear.

 Throughout most history, Palestine was ruled by various groups, including the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Turks, and Egyptians, and now the Israelis.[16] Nevertheless, the Palestinians have never considered forming an empire, yet they continued to develop, change, and enrich the lives of peoples around them for more than 10,000 years before Zionist Jews began to arrive in Palestine as settlers colonialists in the 19th century.

James Henry Breasted says in, The Dawn of Conscience, that the Book of Proverbs of Judaism was taken from a much older Egyptian book of moral wisdom; “this discovery proves that civilized development in the countries surrounding Palestine was several thousand years earlier than that of the Hebrews. Our moral heritage, therefore, derives from a wider human past enormously older than the Hebrews, and it has come to us through the Hebrews rather than from them.”[17] Breasted says further that “the rise of man to social idealism took place long before the traditional age of revelation began. It was a result of the social experience of the man himself and was not projected into the world from the outside”[18]

Evolvement of Civilization

During the agricultural age, villages, cities, and commercial centers appeared, allowing the agricultural man to work and think and organize life in ways that made him more social, productive, and secure. And this caused society to enter a slow but continuous process of change and transformation. And unlike the tribal man, the agricultural man moved from concentrating on the material things to discovering the human values of justice, truth, and honesty and develop the concepts of self-awareness and social responsibility. This happened when humans began to differentiate between right and wrong, moral, and immoral behavior, and develop a conscience that understood these values and tried to abide by them. Having a family living in a home located on or near a farm made this human transformation not only possible but inevitable. Attachment to one’s home and love of man to wife and parents to children and children to parents and each other was a natural development of family life spending its time working and eating together and entertaining each other.

Religion appeared around the middle of the agricultural age or about 6,000 years after the birth of civilization. By that time feudalism had become a major institution controlling the best agricultural land, exploiting farm workers and servants, and denigrating the weak and poor. Faced with this situation, religion tried to replace the emphasis on material things with emphasis on the moral and ethical aspects of life. Injustice, exploitation, the enslavement of the weak were the major forces that caused religion to appear and call for justice, empathy, truthfulness, and morality. For example, during the reign of King Ikhnaton in Egypt, he moved faith in god from the local sphere to the universal one, he made god one entity that controls life on earth and man’s destiny in the hereafter life. Consequently, Ikhnaton made God eternal, universal, and one entity, and therefore, moved religion toward monotheism, telling believers to depend on God who controls their destinies; a message that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam embraced when they appeared centuries later.

However, the humanizing process of man that started with the development of agriculture about 10,000 years ago in Palestine, was never completed. And due to the chaos that characterizes the current transition from the industrial to the knowledge age, the pillars of the old society are crumbling slowly and no new ones are being developed or even conceived to replace them, causing much of the progress in character and conscience that was achieved in the distant past to be lost.

During the tribal age, the tribe was the nation to which every member gave allegiance. And due to the tribal way of life, the family did not play a major role in societal life and thus in shaping the tribal culture. And since character and conscience were developed in farm homes during the agricultural age, the tribal man behaved in a savage way that did not give much consideration to human life. In the agricultural age, though the clan became the unit of society, the family became the heart of society; love for children, wife, land, and neighbors became the major source of pleasure, if not the essence of life. Farming the land forced man to live on his farm or close to it, build a house where he and his family lived together, and perform most tasks as one team. Since there were no schools for kids to attend, all able members of each family worked together and pursued one purpose in life that all shared.

“The surviving documents demonstrate historically that the thing which was long called the moral consciousness of mankind has grown up with each generation out of the discipline and the emotions of family life, supplemented by reflections and teachings of experienced elders. The supreme values which lie within the human soul have, therefore, as a matter of historical fact, entered the world for the first time through the operation of those gentle and ennobling influences which touch us continually in our family life; they were not anywhere here upon our globe until the life of father, mother, and children created them. It was the sunshine and the atmosphere of the earliest human homes that created ideals of conduct and revealed the beauty of self-forgetfulness.”[19]

Sean Ellerker says that “anyone who has not specialized in ancient history could be forgiven for thinking that nothing meaningful happened before the Fifth Century BC when the western classical age is generally considered to have begun. However, the civilized world existed and flourished for an incredible 3,500 years before the classical Greeks first came to prominence.”[20] 3,000 years is how long it took agriculture to travel from Palestine to North Europe and start a process to civilize its people.

No doubt that the family of the agricultural age was the force that labored day and night to enable us to develop conscience and character. Meanwhile, religion, particularly in the absence of the state, played a leading role in humanizing us; however, its overall impact on people’s conduct was more negative than positive, as it was transformed into an ideology that discriminated against the followers of other religions. For example, Jews discriminated against the Canaanites and massacred them in Palestine about 4,000 years ago; Christianity discriminated against Jews and persecuted them during the reign of the Roman Empire; Islam discriminated against both Christians and Jews and killed many of them during its conquests. Today, Hindus and Buddhists discriminate and kill Muslims in India and Myanmar, Christians kill Muslims in the Philippines, and Zionist Jews kill Muslims and Christians in Palestine.

During the industrial age, the nucleus family replaced the clan of the agricultural age as the basic unit of society. And in the evolving knowledge age, the individual is fast becoming the unit of the new society replacing the nucleus family of the industrial age. However, the individual is incapable of further developing the character or conscience of man because he rarely interacts with the larger society or cares for a human cause. Meanwhile, the nucleus family of the industrial age can no longer play the role it had played earlier because it does not have shared tasks to perform or time to stay together long enough to shape cultures; kids attend schools, most parents work to make ends meet, and even rich parents are driven by the lust for money and power, leaving the upbringing of children to nannies and kindergartens.

Due to passing through a difficult transition that is taking us from the industrial to the knowledge age, chaos, loss of direction and the lust for money have combined to create a new jungle that engulfs the lives of most people everywhere. No individual or group of people or a state seems stable enough to think deeply or behave rationally. This is why I believe that our world has never had a collective leadership that is so politically and economically corrupt and morally and intellectually bankrupt as the one we have today. Moreover, the crumbling of the pillars of the industrial society has allowed big corporations to lose business ethics and see each customer as an object to exploit; a commodity to sell to maximize profits. Most humans in this age have become prisoners in a virtual world that they can neither understand nor control. Consequently, humanity suffered a serious setback that it cannot overcome without changing the systems that regulate business organizations and manage societal life.  

How to get out of this chaotic and unhealthy transition and reorient society to move in the right direction is difficult to say, especially since no social, political, or business leader seems to know the right direction. Based on my unique experience of living in many countries and going through all stages of human development from the hunter-gatherer to the knowledge age, I can say that we have become leaderless. Nonetheless, nothing can be done as long as the current leaders and economic philosophies and social systems are in place; these are philosophies and systems that serve the interests of the rich and powerful, enabling them to legally confiscate the rights and wealth of the general public and falsify its conscience to pursue their evil intentions.

Since racism is an attitude based on certain beliefs, it cannot be a part of the human genes; it is an ideology taught to people, often at an early age, that poisons their souls and lead them to hate others and discriminate against them. Children born in racist families and closed religious communities have become racists with falsified consciences. Racism must therefore be considered a contagious disease that moves from one group to another, and from one generation to another.  Racists who succeed to cleanse themselves of this curse oftentimes become strangers in their native communities, if not outcasts forced to find a new community to belong to. This is why Jews who recognize the rights of the Palestinian people and support their just cause are accused of being self-hating Jews. So to be a good Jew you must hate all Palestinians and everyone who supports them, and celebrate the Israeli killing of Palestinian children in their homes and villages; you also must deny the Palestinians their human rights, including the right to return to their stolen land and homes in Palestine.


James Breasted defines the dawn of conscience as “the rise of the ideals of conduct and the resulting Age of Character; there was a time when man was completely unaware of conduct when all that he did was a matter of instinct. It was an enormous advance when he first became aware of his conduct and a still greater advance when he reached a point where he discerned conduct as something to be approved or disapproved.”[21] This discernment was a great step towards the appreciation of conscience and its constructive role in human life. And as conscience developed, it slowly became a powerful social force, influencing the culture of societies that had produced it, as well as other societies that became aware of its existence and role. Breasted also says that the process of humanizing people began in the ancient Near East. This is probably why the Palestinians have remained peaceful throughout their history and behaved in a civilized manner with a mature conscience. Palestinians never tried to form an empire like their neighbors and therefore, they did not prepare themselves to face the savages who invaded their land in the older and modern times.

For people to understand what civilization and character mean, they only need to consider what happened in Palestine between the UN partition plan of November 1947 and 1949. Tom Segev Israeli journalist and historian said, “Of the tens of thousands of [Jewish] immigrants in transit vans, hundreds came with their meager possessions to Jaffa day by day, searching for homes in abandoned properties in the newly captured towns. Few found anything. For nearly every inhabitable home had already been taken over. As for the Arabs who stayed in Israel, they felt defeated, humiliated, and scared. They had good reason to be frightened because the Israeli soldiers often had few compunctions about looting, even when houses were still occupied. Robbing and looting of Arab property were rampant during and immediately after the 1948 war and Ben Gurion was bitterly surprised by the mass looting, in which all sections of the Jewish population participated.”[22]

In contrast, during the same period, which lasted over two years, there was no government in charge of the free Palestinian territories, and therefore no police to protect people from criminals. But despite the spread of poverty and homelessness, the Palestinians did not experience one incident of stealing, rape, or killing. Their experience with poverty, insecurity, fear, homelessness, and hunger made them more passionate, they helped each other and behaved as members of one family. And on the road to nowhere, the young helped the old, small children found boys to carry them, and women with babies found men to guard them while feeding their babies.

My family and I were terrorized and forced to flee our home on the 22 of January 1948 on a rainy, very cold, and extremely dark night. We walked from our orange groves to the old town barefooted with only our sleeping gowns. We were never allowed to go back. On the way to nowhere, we slept in caves, mosques, churches, and on streets. But the residents of the villages we passed through did not leave one person hungry or thirsty. We arrived in Jericho at the end of 1948 without money, food, or hope; we built a little shack using some bamboo sticks wrapped in old clothes. We lived in that shack about 17 months before the United Nations Relief and Works Agency arrived and began to provide us with food. During those months, my older sister and I spent one day climbing the hills around the camp looking for wild vegetables to feed the family, and one day wandering in the desert looking for dry bushes to make a fire to cook the vegetables we collected the day before.

Historical events and facts prove that some Palestinians who survived the onslaught of the Israelites in older times embraced Judaism. However, many of them left Judaism and converted to Christianity when Jesus began to preach his message. Many more Palestinians abandoned both Judaism and Christianity and embraced Islam in the 7th century when their land was occupied by Muslim forces. For example, there is a large Israeli tribe today that has the name Rabie, which is my family name, and there is a Christian family in the village of Birzeit in the West Bank that has the same name. There are also two Christian Palestinian and Jewish Zionist families that have the name Tamari. This means that members of the Rabie families are likely to be the descendants of an ancient Arabic or Jewish tribe, and so are members of the Tamari families.

One of the conclusions reached by Breasted says that “the Hebrews, on entering Palestine, were in immediate contact with a highly advanced composite civilization of the Canaanites, built up largely out of Babylonian and Egyptian elements. This Canaanite civilization had already passed through a long social experience during which many cultural elements were also developed due to the Canaanites themselves. Indeed it was, without doubt, the very language, which the Hebrew invaders found in Palestine, the Canaanitish speech, current there at the time, which the Hebrews adopted, and which has descended to us as the Hebrew of the Old Testament.”[23] However, “the god who had led the Israelites into Palestine, had found savage pleasure in the slaughter of the Canaanites.”[24]

James Breasted says further that “the Hebrew people were still very largely the product of their long centuries of pastoral life as nomadic herdsmen on the desert fringes before they entered Palestine. They still carried with them the rude and barbarous habits of the desert tribesmen and even the half-savage practices of a primitive stage of life, like the slaying of first-born children as a sacrifice to the tribal god.”[25]

The above remarkable statements were made by a social scientist who dedicated his life to studying the history of man’s conscience decades before Israel was created and the Zionist forces managed to colonize the western mind in general and the American mind in particular. If another Breasted comes today, he would not be able to write or publish a book like the Dawn of Conscience; he would be accused of Antisemitism and probably prosecuted and imprisoned for telling such facts about the Hebrews and the heinous crimes they committed in the past.

Nevertheless, those tribes were subjected to events that caused them much pain; they were punished by their God who had adopted them and promised them the land of Palestine that was the Canaanites’ home. Jack Miles describes the Israelites journey from Egypt to Palestine as follows: “the first crescendo is that of Israelite suffering; groaning in Egypt, briefly exulting at their liberation, complaining after that event, timorously shrinking from and then meekly submitting to the Lord at Sinai, finally sinking into idolatry and suffering a horrendous punishment by the hand of the same God who rescued them. The second crescendo is that of divine militance, first waging war against Egypt, then warning Israel, then terrifying Israel with a display of unpredictable violence, then actually attacking Israel. The third crescendo is that of divine justice. The fourth is that of Moses’ intensifying relationship with God. Moses, the frightened shepherd, ends up speaking to God, face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”[26]

Miles tells us what God had said to the Israelites. “I will send forth My terror before you, and I will throw into panic all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn tail before you. I will send a plague ahead of you, and I shall drive out before you the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites. I will not drive them out in a single year, lest the land becomes desolate and the wild beasts multiply to your hurt; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and you will drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. They shall not remain in your land, lest they cause you to sin against Me; for you will serve their gods, and it will prove a snare to you.”[27]

Again and again, this god proves to be hateful and insecure; shows determination to hurt as many people as needed to gain some followers whose souls are poisoned by his deeds. “In an age of such moral vision, the old Midianite nature god of the desert, who had led the Israelites into Palestine, had found savage pleasure in the slaughter of the Canaanites.”[28] And by saying “for you will serve their gods, he admits that he is not the universal God that created all peoples, or even the only tribal god; therefore, he cannot be just or merciful. However, Jews moved later toward monotheism and universalism, claiming that their god is the creator God. But to change gods, which they have the right to do, must first disavow the acts and promises of the first god, acknowledge the crimes they committed upon his instructions, and return to the Palestinian people what they had stolen from them.

Mathew Tindal says that “no wonder that a single person in the power of another might be devoted to God, since free and independent nations were so devoted; and it was by virtue of such a vow, which Israel vowed unto the Lord, that the Canaanites, who had never done Israel the least injury, men, women, and children were to be utterly destroyed.”[29] Here God acts, not as the Lord of the Universe, but as King of the Israelites, granting them favors at the expense of other nations that did not deserve to be punished because they committed nothing wrong against either God, his prophets, or his the Israeli people.

Two slogans were used by the Zionists who invaded Palestine with the help of the British colonizers; the British even coined one slogan and gave it to the Zionists as a gift to help them deceive the world public and justify their crimes in Palestine. The slogan says, “a land without people for a people without a land.” The crimes committed by the Zionists in Palestine include killing and maiming thousands of Palestinians, carrying out many massacres, and confiscating 78% of Palestine land, and causing about 800,000 Palestinians to live in squalid refugee camps for generations. The second slogan says that the Zionists “made the desert bloom.” In 1936, tiny Palestine exported more oranges to Europe than any other country in the world. Moreover, Palestine hosts probably the oldest olive tree in the world whose age is estimated at 5000 years; “It has stood in this spot near Bethlehem longer than Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, since before the time of the prophets of the Holy Land.”[30] What the Hebrew god told his people about Palestine and its land in older times indicates that Palestine was a paradise on earth, not a desert in the wilderness.

Nevertheless, the Zionist claim that the Israeli tribes of older times were the first to settle the land of Palestine continues to be believed in many circles, despite having been refuted, not only by Breasted and Miles, but also by Israeli historian Professor Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University who wrote two books on this topic: The Invention of The Jewish People, and the Invention of the Land of Israel.

When the early Zionists came to Palestine from Europe in the 19th century, they had the American model of colonizing the New World to follow; and those who came to Palestine after being tortured and massacred by Nazi Germany in the 1940s had the Nazi model to follow; so the Nazi model became the tool to ensure the implementation of the American colonial model. And to translate this policy into facts on the ground, Israeli leaders borrowed the South African apartheid model of creating scattered cantons surrounded by high walls to divide and control the Palestinians who managed to remain in Palestine. People who are ignorant of these facts cannot be blamed; most of them live under social and political systems that work hard to falsify their conscience and lead them to be content and obedient believing in fiction, miracles, and revelation. People who know the facts but condone Israeli crimes provide Israel with the space and support to complete its colonial project; those are people whose conscience is infected with hatred and enmity to whoever does not look like them and others who do not believe in their religions.

Breasted acknowledges that man never hesitated to use military force to destroy his kind, yet he urges us to resort to our conscience because it is the only force that can save us from destruction. However, Breasted realizes, and urges us to realize, that “man has been fashioning destructive weapons for possibly a million years, whereas conscience emerged as a social force less than five thousand years ago.”[31] This suggests that, for conscience to catch up with the material progress we have made, there is a need to slow down the development and application of military force and speed up the sociopolitical and sociocultural processes to resurrect the conscience, which cannot be done without recognizing the rights of the natives of every old and new occupied land.

Laws are being enacted today in America, Germany, France, Britain, Greece, and other states to shield Israel from being held accountable for its heinous crimes and silence whoever criticizes Israeli behavior. These laws, while violating the principle of democracy and human rights, they are limiting freedom of speech in the West and hurting companies that refuse to do business in Jewish settlements erected on land confiscated from the Palestinians. This means that almost everyone in the West is paying a price due to Israeli crimes and colonialist policies. Consequently, no citizen in the West will regain his freedom until the Palestinian people are freed from occupation with their historical and human rights restored.

In May 2021, the number of Palestinians in historic Palestine outnumber Jews. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, the Israeli population was 9,327,000, of whom 6,894,000 are Jewish (74%) and 1,966,000 (21%) are Palestinian Arabs.[32] As for the West Bank and Gaza, the population was 5,203,080.[33] This makes the Arabs in historic Palestine about 7.2 million, compared to about 6.9 million Jews. This makes the total number of Arabs and Jews in Palestine 14,06 million, 51% of them are Arabs and 49% are Jewish.[34] But with an Arab fertility rate of 3.3 births inside Israel, and 4.4 in the West Bank and Gaza, compared to 1.5% for Jews, the number of Arabs will reach 8.4 million in 2025, compared to 7.3 million Jews, or 54% Arabs and 46% Jews, causing Jews in historic Palestine to become a shrinking minority. But when a minority controls a majority and denies it its rights, it becomes an apartheid state, which human rights organizations, inside and outside Palestine have declared Israel to be.

On the other hand, the number of Palestinians in the world is estimated at 13.3 million, compared to 14.7 million Jews. But since the rate of population growth among Palestinians is 2.7 times the rate of growth among Jews, it will take the Palestinians 4 years to outnumber Jews in the world. Therefore, the Palestinians are not going to disappear or shrink, but the numbers of both Israeli Jews and world Jews are shrinking fast compared to the Palestinians. So the longer the Israelis wait to reach a peaceful settlement with the Palestinian people, the more power and credibility they will lose. Being an apartheid state is not going to save Israel from the fate of South Africa despite American official support. Support for the Palestinians among young Jewish Americans and liberals is much more than anyone had expected a few years ago. History tells us that no colonial settler state has ever survived without exterminating the natives of the land, and no savages have ever won a cultural war against builders of civilization in the long run.


Prof. Rabie is a distinguished professor of International Political Economy; he attended 5 universities and taught at 10 others on four continents. He has published 52 books in addition to over 120 scholarly papers and 1,500 newspaper articles. Books are 15 in English, one in Albanian, and 36 in Arabic. English Books include four published by Palgrave Macmillan between 2013 and 2017: Saving Capitalism and Democracy; Global Economic and Cultural Transformation; A Theory of Sustainable Sociocultural and Economic Development; The Global Debt Crisis and its Socioeconomic Implications. Arabic Books include 3 poetry collections, 2 novels, and a story; the rest is mostly academic books and collections of ideas and reflections. Prof. Rabie is president of the Arab Thought Council in Washington, DC, a member of the Arab Thought Forum in Jordan, and a fellow of the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation since 1992. Grants and scholarships financed his education from high school to receiving his Ph.D. in 1970; grants covered studies in Jordan, Egypt, Germany, and America. He is the winner of the State of Palestine Lifetime Achievement Award for scholarly publications and several other awards. His writings and positions reflect a strong commitment to peace, social justice, freedom, human development, as well as social, cultural, economic, and environmental sustainability.


[1] Mithen, Steven, After the ice: a global human history, 20,000–5000 BCE (Harvard University Press, 2006) 57. 

[2] Broadman & Holman (The Holman Illustrated Study Bible-HCSB, 2006) 1391

[3] Michal Strutin, Discovering Natural Israel, (Jonathan David Publishers, 2001) 4.

[4] Jericho, history and facts, Britannica; https://www.britannica.com/place/Jericho-West-Bank

[5] Deuteronomy 34:3

[6] Ancient Jericho: Tell es-Sultan”. (UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 2012)

[7] Wikipedia, Kathleen Kenyon

[8] Jericho, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jericho

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Jonathan David Publishers, Discovering Natural Israel, https://www.jdbooks.com/jddetails.cfm?Book=94

[12] Mohamed Rabie, Global Economic and Cultural Transformation, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) 25

[13] Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies, (W.W. Norton, 1999) 92

[14] 8 Oldest Empires in the World, Oldest Empires in the World; https://www.oldest.org/politics/empires/

[15] Ibid, the Oldest Empires in the World

[16] Palestine, History.com; https://www.history.com/topics/middle-east/palestine

[17] James H. Breasted, the dawn of conscience, the golden age project.


[18] Ibid

[19] James Breasted, The Dawn of Conscience, Scribner Sons, New York, 1933 pp. 410–411

[20] Sean Ellerker, The Dawn of Civilization, Troubador. https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/history-politics-society/the-dawn-of-civilization/

[21] Breasted, The Dawn of Conscience, xxxiii

[22] Tom Segev, “1949-The New Israelis,” New Outlook; August/September 1984; 40

[23] Breasted, the dawn of conscience, (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1933) 347

[24] Ibid, 359

[25] Ibid, 349

[26] Jack Miles, God, a Biography, (Vintage Books, 1995) 114

[27] Ibid, 118

[28] Ibid, Breasted, 359

[29] Mathew Tindal, Christianity is Old as Creation, (London, 1732)

[30] Shatha Hammad, This olive tree in Bethlehem has stood for 5,000 years, Middle East Eye, November 11, 2019 https://www.middleeasteye.net/discover/tree-trust-meet-man-guarding-palestines-oldest-olive-tree

[31] Ibid, Breasted, xi

[32] Latest population statistics for Israel, 2020, Vital Statistics. https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/latest-population-statistics-for-israel

[33] https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/state-of-palestine-population/

[34] Palestinians to outnumber Jewish population by 2020 https://www.haaretz.com/pa-palestinians-to-outnumber-jews-by-2020-1.5285402