Ha’aretz reports that Shlomo Sand, a Tel Aviv University history professor has won the Aujourd’hui Award, which is “given to the best non-fiction political or historical work from French journalists.”
The book that Sand wrote, “When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?” which in its American translation is known as “The Invention of the Jewish People,” presents a theory that the entire idea of Judaism as a nation was concocted by wily Jews back in the 1800s. It suggests that most Jews are not genetically linked to those Jews who lived in Israel 2000 years ago but are, instead, the descendants of converts to Judaism such as the Khazars. He also claims that the Jews who lived in Israel were never exiled but converted to Islam and are today’s Palestinians.
And guess which political view he holds?
Hey, you got it on the first guess! A one state solution where Jews and Arabs, or should I say, fake Jews and the Real Jews all get together and make yet another country because everybody is the same except for the Jews who are fakes and the Palestinians who are real.
Of course, the book doesn’t stop there, but lists the incredible conspiracy that the Israeli government and Israeli scholars have been running for decades to fool the idiot fake Jews that they are…a nation.
At least Professor Sand, a former member of Matzpen, an Israeli Socialist organization, is honest in his book and outlines his vision for a one state outcome. I assume he also believes that he’ll have the same freedom to research and publish that he enjoys now as a government-funded employee of a national Israeli university under the future regime. Good luck with that.
So far, the best critique of Sand’s book is Anita Shapira’s which can be found here. Talk about a takedown! Of course, she’s also part of the conspiracy Sand discusses. Not to worry, though, because the far-Right loves this book.
There is also a rebuttal article in Ha’aretz by an Israeli scholar who, of course, is also part of the conspiracy that Sand describes and needless to say, dismisses Sand’s premise and research. But don’t worry, because the French journalists love this book and so do the French public.
This article is being mostly reprinted because Ha’aretz tends to erase or change links to old articles. It is, however, currently available on their site and I encourage all to read it there for as long as it stays up. They published it and deserve whatever advertising revenue that is generated by your click. So please go there to check if it’s still up!
Inventing an invention
By Israel Bartal
The first sentence of “When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?” reads: “This book is a historical study, not a work of pure fiction. Nevertheless, it will open with a number of stories rooted in a collective memory that has been adulterated with a considerable degree of imagination.” I recalled these words when I found myself utterly astounded by the statements of the author of this learned, fascinating study, concerned with the “period of silencing” in the “Jewish-Israeli collective memory,” a period that, to quote Sand, gave rise to a total avoidance of “any mention of the Khazars in the Israeli public arena.”
This assertion, according to which an entire chapter in Jewish history was deliberately silenced for political reasons, thrust me back to my days as a ninth grader, in the late 1950s. I recalled the Mikhlal Encyclopedia, an almost mythological reference text that nearly every Israeli high school student relied on in those years, the flagship of what is termed “mainstream Zionism,” in the lean Hebrew of 21st-century Israel. …
Sand suggests that it was “the wave of decolonization of the 1950s and 1960s [that] led the molders of Israeli collective memory to shield themselves from the shadow of the Khazar past. There was a profound fear that, should the Jews now rebuilding their home in Israel learn that they are not direct descendants of the ?Children of Israel,’ the very legitimacy of both the Zionist enterprise and the State of Israel’s existence would be undermined.”
With considerable trepidation, I returned to my yellowing copy of volume IV of the Mikhlal Encyclopedia.
The remainder of this article is also published here.