Bill, from Canberra, Australia writes: 'In a recent news report: Sister Mary writes from Jerusalem, Sister talks about the Palestinians as being ... the indigenous people of this land. Is it possible to ask Sister Mary how she has arrived at this conclusion?' Sr Mary replies: 'Indigenous means that they were here from time immemorial. The Native Americans are indigenous to the USA. The Mexicans even call their Indians los indigenos. 'So the Palestinians for the most part are descendants of the Canaanites who became Israelites (who remained in the land) who became Christian in the Roman-Byzantine period who became Muslim (a few remained Christian and Jewish). Many waves of invaders have swept through - various Turkic groups, Crusaders, Greeks, Egyptians, etc., but the basic DNA remains pretty constant. The results of a DNA study were published last year.' note: We will soon have a separate letters section on ICN.
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