The Philistine People Of Gaza

About the same time (1180-1150 B. C.) Moses led the Jews to the eastern border of “the promised land” from where Joshua led them into it another group was entering from the coast on the west. Their journey began from their homeland in Crete and the Aegean islands. These lands in the Bible are called Caphtor. Known as People of the Sea they repeatedly attacked Egypt and were eventually repulsed by Ramesses III. His actions led to these roving pirates settling on the fertile plane south of Joppa on the Mediterranean coast in what is now known as the Gaza Strip. They developed the cities of Gaza, Gath, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron.
Primary Bible characters associated with the region are Saul, Samuel, Samson, and David. For years the principle god of these people who came to be known as Philistines was the Semitic god Dagon. Currently most who live there are Muslims.
Persians, Hasmoneans, Selucids, Egyptians, Romans, and Israelis have tried to rule them unsuccessfully. In recent years after conquering the territory the Israelis gave up on trying to govern them and gladly relinquished the territory. Egypt didn’t want them back. The ultimate group that has tried on several occasions to rule them unsuccessfully is their self-governance. No one has ever successfully ruled them.
Philistinism is a derogatory coined word that describes people who disregard art, beauty, intellectualism, spiritual values and are materialistic. Historically there are brief periods of their existence that dispute this depiction.
Goeth (1749-1832) wrote of them, “The Philistine not only ignores all conditions of life which are not his own but also demands that the rest of mankind should fashion its mode of existence after his own.” The term is in general one of social scorn.
That gives an idea of the long held mentality of the people and their ancestors who live in the Gaza Strip. Perhaps it explains why it is difficult to negotiate with them. Many are insisting the Israelis negotiate with them. No one has ever been able to do so. No one.
The people who govern there now were elected by the people. America pushed for them to have open elections several years ago against the warning that Hamas would be put in control. Unfortunately instead of dedicating themselves to providing a better way of life for their people Hamas dedicated themselves to the destruction of Israel.
Were it not for belligerence and obstinacy the conflict could easily be resolved. All that would be required would be for Hamas to stop firing rockets into Israel. Israel does not want the Gaza Strip and the responsibility of trying to govern a people no one has ever been able to govern.
A few months ago we visited the Costal Plain and the valley in which the Hebrew David fought the Philistine Goliath. It is a lovely fertile area. Vineyards and other forms of agriculture proliferate. This is now part of the area being hit by rockets. Seeing such a placid area you wonder why such destruction is desired.