New Hebrew Book Denies Everything We Were Ever Taught

From Haaretz:

Israel’s Declaration of Independence states that the Jewish people arose in the Land of Israel and was exiled from its homeland. Every Israeli schoolchild is taught that this happened during the period of Roman rule, in 70 CE. The nation remained loyal to its land, to which it began to return after two millennia of exile. Wrong, says the historian Shlomo Zand, in one of the most fascinating and challenging books published here in a long time. There never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion, and the exile also never happened – hence there was no return. Zand rejects most of the stories of national-identity formation in the Bible, including the exodus from Egypt and, most satisfactorily, the horrors of the conquest under Joshua. It’s all fiction and myth that served as an excuse for the establishment of the State of Israel, he asserts.

According to Zand, the Romans did not generally exile whole nations, and most of the Jews were permitted to remain in the country. The number of those exiled was at most tens of thousands. When the country was conquered by the Arabs, many of the Jews converted to Islam and were assimilated among the conquerors. It follows that the progenitors of the Palestinian Arabs were Jews. Zand did not invent this thesis; 30 years before the Declaration of Independence, it was espoused by David Ben-Gurion, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi and others. 

But note that this is not really a history book but a political one:

Prof. Zand teaches at Tel Aviv University. His book, “When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?” (published by Resling in Hebrew), is intended to promote the idea that Israel should be a “state of all its citizens” – Jews, Arabs and others – in contrast to its declared identity as a “Jewish and democratic” state. 

It will be interesting to see whether this book will cause a lot of controversy or simply be ignored.

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2 Comments on “New Hebrew Book Denies Everything We Were Ever Taught”

  1. Jeffrey Levine Says:

    Many Arab and Muslim countries are ruled by Sharia. That is Islamic religious law.

    Why then aren’t the Jews entitled to one state that identifies as Jewish. Even Israel is not run as a Jewish theocracy as opposed to theose Arab and Muslims countries. If people do not like the laws in ISrael, they can always move!

  2. Hadassah Says:

    Or write books!


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