Finally it's done, another Easter... another year of explaining why 'my' Easter (Orthodox Easter) comes at a different time than everybody else's, another year of explaining to people that "yes, I AM Palestinian and I'm Christian". "No, not ALL Palestinians are Muslim...some are even Jewish..." I usually say.
Phew...it gets tiring!
One of the greatest things about Palestine is it's people. People who have many different kinds of backgrounds. Linguistically, ethnically and religiously. I've often called Palestine "The Original Melting Pot". We were accepting people from all over the region all of the time.
I'm not an expert at the 'movement of people', but probably because of geographical location, all kinds of people were wandering in and out of the region throughout history. Jews, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders and others have all settled in the region and intermarried. Many of their descendants converted to Christianity and later to Islam and spoke different languages depending on the language of the given time period. My family traces it's roots back to the Canaanites some of the earliest inhabitants!
Here's an interesting fact for you: so much intermarrying has taken place among Palestinians and the people who came and went through history that DNA testing has shown that today the various Jewish ethnic divisions and Palestinians are genetically closer to each other than either is to the Arabs (of Arabia) or non-Jewish Europeans.
Like the United States, Palestine is made of many kinds of people. Which is why it's silly for any one group to claim it as their own. For the world Jewish population to claim Palestine as there own is as naive as the Italians (or Roman descendants) to call it theirs or how about the Christians to claim it as an exclusive Christian state!
Fueled by religious extremism we need to turn the heat down before this melting pot boils over! A free Palestine is for everyone!