With Arabs and Israelis spending the best part of the previous century trying to wipe each other of the map, it is not surprising that little time has been devoted to investigating their common ancestral ties.
But Tsvi Misinai has made it his life's work to explore the genealogical ties between the two historic enemies. And speaking to The Jerusalem Post this week, he revealed some startling details about their shared heritage.
Following years of research, Mr Misinai says he can claim with virtual certainty that 90 per cent of Palestinians are descended from Jews.
The expert insists that most Arabs living within Greater Israel – whether they reside in the Gaza, the West Bank or Israel Proper – are the descendents of Hebrews who managed to escape Roman-imposed exile.
Rather than leave their fatherland, those who stayed during the Byzantine era switched religions to become Christians. And then when the Ottomans conquered the region in the 15th century, they changed over to Islam.
Several centuries on, Mr Misinai contends, the Middle East is now the victim of history's worst ever case of inadvertent internecine.
He cites the example of Emir Faisal, the king of Iraq and Syria, who wrote in 1917 about the "racial kinship and ancient bonds existing between the Arabs and the Jewish people". The Emir's letters continued: "We are of the same race and blood, and cooperation will bring great prosperity to the land."
Faisal's dream of Judao-Arab kinship stemmed not just from idealism but also an informed understanding of his own personal ethnic roots.
The king's father was Hashemite, making him a direct descendent of the prophet Muhammed, but his mother's side included descendents from a family of forced converts to Islam who emigrated to the east bank of Jordan.
"Unlike today, when Faisal was growing up, his grandfather's mother's Jewish origin was known, and they made no great effort to hide it," Mr Misinai noted. "What was known to Faisal is known to many Palestinians today as well."
This subconscious awareness of ancestral ties is borne out in several Palestinian cultural practices – ranging from Jewish-style mourning rituals to linguistic traits – but in the MidEast few people care to acknowledge it.
One piece of evidence came to light in a study carried out in 2002 by Tel Aviv University. Researchers found that only two ethnic groups on the planet were vulnerable to inherited deafness syndrome. They were Ashkenazi Jews and Palestinian Arabs – with other Arabs lacking susceptibility.
But after decades of war, neither side as yet has shown much desire for fraternal reconciliation. Mr Misinai hopes that one day that will change.
"There are large clans throughout the country – in the Hebron Hills, in Samaria and among the Negev Beduin – who know of their heritage and even have family trees that document their roots," he told The Post.
"[They] have specifically Jewish customs, and their neighbours would call them 'the Jews,' even though they were ... as Muslim as anyone else."