Inside the Middle East
October 15, 2010
Posted: 1516 GMT
A view of the West Bank city of Jericho.
A view of the West Bank city of Jericho.

Editor's note: For more on this story tune in to the next Inside the Middle East show on Wednesday 3 November. Go to the showpage for more detailed showtimes.

Everyone loves a good birthday party until they reach an age when they’d rather forget.   For the West Bank city of Jericho it’s a birthday to be proud of, a milestone no other city in the world has celebrated - 10,000 years .
It’s believed to be the longest continually inhabited place on earth and it’s one of the lowest on earth, skirted by the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley.
A treat for any historian no matter how amateur, the city boasts one of the first examples of a man-made stone tower …  discovered by a British archeologist in the 1950s, dating back to around 8000 B.C., although its use - whether for religion or security - is unknown.

An eight-meter tower with the world’s oldest known staircase descends from the top - 22 steep, well-worn steps to a tunnel below.
A cable car, opened in 1999, makes quick work of the journey to the summit of the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus is said to have spent 40 days and nights fasting and meditating, resisting the temptations of Satan.
Jericho is already popular for a West Bank city.  The tourism ministry tells CNN one million foreign tourists come every year, as well as 500,000 local visitors.  Only Bethlehem attracts more in the West Bank.
But by celebrating Jericho’s incredible birthday, Palestinian officials are hoping to attract many more.  Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad tells us, “We’ve been around a long time and we intend to do the best we can to stick around until we can live as free people in a country of our own.”
Mr Fayyad was front and center at the birthday celebrations, visiting one of the largest mosaics in the Middle East, unveiled for the occasion.  A 900-square-meter mosaic that is 1,200 years old, and covered by sand and canvas since the 1930s to protect it.
The PM opened a new road named after the late Mahmoud Darwish - considered the Palestinian national poet.  And Mr Fayyad was the first to use a brand new postage stamp designed specifically for Jericho 10,000.
A marathon, open air concert and many other projects contributed to the occasion, although for such a momentous  age, few tourists came.
Khloud Daibes, Palestinian tourism minister said, “Palestine as a destination is a very challenging one … we’re using this occasion to draw attention to the fact it is an exciting destination.”

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Filed under: Archaeology •Culture •Inside The Middle East •Jerusalem •Palestinians •West Bank

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John A   October 15th, 2010 6:02 pm ET

A wonderful ancient city founded by the Canaanite people (From an area now known as Lebanon, Syria & Turkey).

Later to be inhabited by the Assyrians (From an area now known as Iraq)

Then inhabited by the Babylonians (Now known as Iraq).

At one point the private estate of Alexander the Great (From Macedonia, Greece)

Then inhabited by the Hellenistic empire (Greek)

Then for a matter of 300 years it was occupied by the Maccabees, who were Jewish.

Then it was ruled by the Romans, who for a period leased it to the Egyptians.

Then came the Arabs in the year 661. It remained Arabic until 1947, when the imperial western powers decided against all logic to give this land to the Jews. Even though it had been ruled by Arabs for 1300 years.

The real founders the Canaanite's can be traced back to Lebanon, Syria & Turkey. But non of these groups fund Americas political campaigns, unlike the Jews.

The majority of ancient history in this region was clearly established by the people now known as Iranians & Iraqis, but they to failed to fund political campaigns in America (Unlike the Jews)

The Jews themselves were the people who contributed both in time and culture by far the least to this ancient area. But as they fund American political campaigns, the American super power gave it to the Jews in 1947.

The Jews being handed Israel in 1947 is as reasonable as the White House handing Goldman Sachs all of Americas wealth in a bank bail out in 2008. i.e. Israel was a reward to Jews for all the campaign money.

In fact if Israel was created in 2007 (as opposed to 1947) the land probably would have been given to Goldman Sachs. Im sure the banksters could also produce a hand written promise from God, claiming the land was offered to them.

The state of Israel is the biggest fraud of the 20th Century.
The real founders of this region were clearly from Syria, Iran and Iraq. Why not give it back to them?

There is absolutely no historic reason for the land to be made a Jewish state. To pretend this area was founded and developed by Jews is to promote ignorance of history. But as stated Israel is the biggest fraud in history and its got away with it because of a non factual mass media which teaches a limited understanding of history.

Knowledge of history is now defined as being anti semitic. The Jews have proven that in this day and age you can even buy history if you are prepared to fund American politicians campaigns.

miriam   October 17th, 2010 12:58 pm ET

John A,

It is quite obvious that you are an anti-semite, without even bringing Israel into the discussion.

As one who regularly dismisses history but conveniently picks out events of the past at his convenience, it is revealing what you have and have not recorded here.

It is not unusual for the PA to ignore any Jewish connection to the Holy Land, that being the case when their regular denials would be particularly rediculous.

Traditionally, Jericho was not a centre of Jewish life, resulting from the curse associated with anyone attempting to rebuild the city. However, that did not prevent Jews living there at various times.

With the Babylonian exile of Jews in 586 BC, the town was entirely depopulated, only to be resettled with their return 47 years later. After the 70CE destruction of Jerusalem and exile of Jews, Jericho declined and became a garison town for the Romans.

Excavations have revealed two synagogues built in the 6th century CE, with a mosaic pre-dating the one mentioned above. Interestingly, one of the synagogues was found under an Arab house.

A significant population of refugee Jews settled in Jericho after their massacre by Mohammed in Khaiber.

Your account excludes the Crusader control of the city from 1187.

In 1947, if the Arabs had accepted the Partition Plan, Jericho would have been located in the Arab state, however their rejection was backed-up by war and the illegal occupation of the territory by Jordan. Israel gained the territory legally in a defensive war, with the town remaining entirely Arab. Control was handed to the PA in 1994, who proceeded to ban Jews from visiting the Synagogue and to turn a blind eye to its repeated vandalism.

Finally, there are no people today who have continually claimed descent from the Canaanites, most of whom died out or were absorbed into other nations. Palestinian claims are self-defeating since as you point out, Canaanite roots were not in the Holy Land.

Jews, however, have a religious, historical and cultural connection, internationally recognized for hundreds of years and which cannot be dismissed and denied by a modern historical revisionism invented by anti-Zionist bigots who reject the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination in favour of the globalization of the Islamic Caliphate.

John A   October 17th, 2010 7:43 pm ET

Miriam says, " Your account excludes the..."

Poor Miriam, its is not my account and its not an anti Semitic account. It is historical fact and you cant deny a word without denying history.

To add to the history, we can say Judaism was practiced in ancient Jericho. They also practiced Judaism in cities of Egypt and in larger numbers. They also practiced Judaism in Babylon and in all other regions of the middle east. Judaism was simply a minority religion.

As a religion Judaism had no boarders. Judaism is a faith, it is not and never has been a race of people. Judaism in ancient times could be found in many countries. Should all these countries be handed over to what was and still is a minority religion.

In ancient times Judaism was a minority faith in all corners of the middle east. The only difference is that a band of Jewish rebels (ancient terrorists) called the Maccabees took Jerusalem from its past owners by force. This was the single military success of the Jewish religious group anywhere in the middle east. But their success was short lived, only approximately 300 years.

The point being more Jews practiced Judaism in huge ancient Egypt than tiny ancient Palestine. Hence there is no special reason at all for the Jews to have been given Israel. And without any historical doubt the ancient Canaanite's (people of modern Lebanon, Syria & Turkey) and Babylon (modern Iran) were much larger in numbers and cultural influence in ancient Palestine.

Sorry Miriam, The idea of a Jewish state remains an historical fraud.

Modern Israel exists and most states accept this. Even though no state of earth recognizes it as a Jewish state, for the exclusivity of Jews. But this does not hide the fact that the foundation of modern Israel was built of a fraudulent lie. The fraudulent lie is the reason Israel has been cursed with problems throughout its short 60 year history. Until the fraud of modern Israel is correctly resolved Israel will continue to have problems.

Filipe   October 19th, 2010 10:38 am ET

John A,

Wasn't it the UN and the member nations who developed and created the partition plan of British Mandate Palestine in 1947?

Isn't Jerico in the West Bank ??

Wasn't Jerico occupied by Jordan after 1947?

Weren't the Palestinians of the West Bank liberated from Jordanian occupation in 1967?

Why not give your precious USA back to the Native Americans and the Mexicanos?

John A   October 19th, 2010 11:31 am ET

Is CNN not allowing my factual / historical reply to Miriam's pro Zionist non sense.

Whats the matter CNN. We can have opinions but we cant demonstrate facts which are not to the Zionists liking. That sums up media in the USA.
I'm so pleased I dont live in that brain washed society with lobby gangsters running the politics.

A reply to Miriams nonsense has been sent days ago, but as usual too much truth is not appreciated in the USA. Guess thats why many Americans have turned to alternative media in droves. Lame stream media is a sock puppet for an American government which pretends to be democratic. The USA is in desperate need of a truth lobby, lets hope things start to change after 2nd November.

Jay O.   October 19th, 2010 5:29 pm ET

Miriam, you couldn't have said it better! – John A. is a typical ignorant (bigot) that unfortunately espouses venom with little or no facts to back up his claims feigning sympathy for a cause he obviously knows nothing about....

University Rector   October 19th, 2010 9:09 pm ET

Jay O, I guess you write as Miriams invisible friend and God knows she needs one.

Jay O, If you look at your post you call names and nothing else. Dont you have any shame for being such a hypocrite. You behave just like Miriam, one would almost think you are the same person (Nice try Miriam) hahahahaha

If you look at the post of John A, you will see he makes claims concerning recorded history. I have checked his claim on Wikipedia and they are correct:

Miriam & your invisible friend Jay O, do you ever check facts before you write. It seems you thinks Judaism is some sort of superior religion. You write non factual statements and call names to protect your false and arrogant beliefs.

If you're typical Zionist, it becomes very understandable why the world is repulsed by Israel.

miriam   October 20th, 2010 12:22 pm ET

John A,

The Jews are not just a religion, but a nation with a connection to a specific territory.

Despite the fact that there are cultures where it is possible to repeat a lie enough times that it is taken to be the truth, the evidence against your claims is too overwhelming.

You whine to CNN about its supposed "Zionist" control. CNNI which oversees this blog does not favour Zionism over any other national movement. In fact it would be easy to argue that it frequently shows a distinctly anti-Zionist bias, feeding off the same propaganda you reproduce here. CNN USA broadcasts to a domestic audience and it is easy to see how someone who identifies as being non-American might not understand an American mind-set and values system.

John A   October 21st, 2010 9:03 am ET

Miriam, now you attack CNN because they don't always act like Israels sock puppet. This must be a shock for you, as they have previously sucked up to all Israeli propaganda. But rats jump from sinking ships and the lie of Zionism is sinking faster than you can type pro Israeli BS. Must be hard for you to face facts.

proud zionist   October 21st, 2010 11:41 am ET

Wikipedia is now the authority on anything and everything?

Since anybody can change entries there, I wouyld seriously recommend not to rely on anything starting with wiki..

or John A baby, for that matter

miriam   October 21st, 2010 1:32 pm ET


You believe everything in Wiki to be fact?!!!!!!!!!!

Academia is known not to accept Wiki references.

Which institution do you work for?

Incidentally, what I wrote is fact.

John A   October 22nd, 2010 6:24 pm ET

To the dumbos',
Now your only defense for the fraud of Israel, is Wikipedia doesn't know everything. hahahaha

On this matter Wikipedia repeats the same facts as all other history books. Get a life dumbos'.

Filipe   October 23rd, 2010 5:01 pm ET

John A post s...."Is CNN not allowing my factual / historical reply to Miriam's pro Zionist non sense."


Maybe they perceive your posts as fiction ????

Just a thought !!!

proud zionist   October 23rd, 2010 8:57 pm ET

Johnny A baby

go away, you bore the hell out of all of us

John A   October 25th, 2010 11:29 am ET

Filipe as usual your thought is wrong!! CNN posted the message after a two day wait. They like to give Zionist dribble more air time, thats all.

Proud Zionist, you sound like you're going to cry. Dont worry princess, the truth will set you free.

miriam   October 26th, 2010 2:15 pm ET

It appears that CNN must have been one of the only attendees at the birthday party.

As a consequence of a report by a journalist in a US newspaper, detailing the poor turn-out and its reasons, the PA has placed even more restrictions on journalists visiting the WB, with the purpose of further censoring any (rare) negative coverage.

Filipe   October 26th, 2010 9:42 pm ET

John A,

Then why are you compaining ???? No need to get your knickers in a bunch !!! He he he he he !!!!

And for your information........ Wikipedia will post whatever BS any moron on the face of palnet decides to post on their site!

So, if that's the only place you can find the information that suits your agenda.....fell free to reprint that same BS that any moron on the face of the planet decided to put on Wikipedia !!!!!

John A   October 28th, 2010 2:42 pm ET

Filipe, Wikipedia refers to many history books. Are all the books wrong and only little Filipe and blinkered Miriam are correct??

Filipe the only way you can win is if you start burning books. So when is that going to start? hahahaha

Filipe, The big advantage I have over you, is an ability to read.

You should take a few lessons, it will change your life.

Filipe   November 1st, 2010 4:04 pm ET

John A,

Wiki doesn't refer to anything....... only those who post there make references................. So, believe what you prefer.

Again, being able to read has nothing to do with comprehension.

I'm glad that you can read !!!

Let us know when you take the next step !!

John A   November 3rd, 2010 7:43 pm ET

Its great that you and Miriam think you can rewrite history. But to write history you must first be the victor. Have you ever won anything?

miriam   November 11th, 2010 2:51 pm ET

John A,

History is recorded in many forms and not just in written form and certainly not only by the victor. Although a victor will often try to erase the memory of the defeated.

Re-writing history is a hobby for those who want to deceive the uneducated.

You should know.

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