Shlomo Sand’s sickening Guardian article slams both Israel and Judaism.


By Richard Millett.

There are times when something is so obviously wrong that it shouldn’t even need pointing out. That the Guardian thinks there is no problem promoting someone who wants to “resign” from Judaism shows how little respect its editors have for Judaism.

Last Saturday the Guardian allowed Shlomo Sand, a Tel Aviv university professor, to write a lengthy piece in its pages about how he has had enough of being Jewish (see above).

Sand is relatively unknown in the UK. This might be a news story in Israel, but in the UK? In the UK it isn’t news, but will only incite anti-Semitism. The Guardian wouldn’t dare treat another religious minority in such a demeaning manner.

Sand writes in his article:

“I am often even ashamed of Israel, particularly when I witness evidence of its cruel military colonisation, with its weak and defenceless victims who are not part of the “chosen people”.”

How can this often repeated “chosen people” mantra be anything but anti-Semitism? I have personally been on the receiving end of it. The RMT’s Steve Hedley, disliking my questioning of his violent rhetoric at an anti-Israel event, told me in a derogatory manner that I was one of the “chosen people”. He meant Jewish.

When, in the Guardian article, Sand complains of Israel’s “ethnocentrism” he is really complaining about Israel’s Jewishness. Would the Guardian allow another country to be attacked because it is Islamic, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist?

For the Guardian it is par for the course to have articles containing unsubstantiated attacks on Israel. It has become so blase about this that the Guardian’s editors are now unable, or unwilling, to notice when their newspaper steps over the line into promoting racist diatribe that attacks Jews and Judaism.

Meanwhile, Sand’s crackpot theory is simple: He believes that today’s Jews have no connection to Israel because the Romans never evicted the Jews from the Holy Land and, therefore, the Jews have no right to return there. It was early Zionist thinkers who twisted the facts to argue that Jews be allowed to return to Israel. Sand claims that today’s Jews are merely descended from a north African tribe that converted to Judaism.

Last year at SOAS Sand described Israel, among other things, as “a shitty nation”.

Sand’s overall rhetoric is poisonous and racist and could cause a backlash against Britain’s small Jewish community with its strong affiliation to Israel and obvious adherence to Judaism.

On reading the headline to Sand’s piece in the Guardian Shlomo Sand: ‘I wish to resign from being a Jew’ I thought of those times a Jew might have wished to resign from being Jewish. As Jews were being herded by the Nazis onto trains headed for Auschwitz-Birkenau some may have liked to declare “I wish to resign from being a Jew” to try and save their own and their family’s lives.

Had Sand been around back then and submitted his resignation to the Nazi in charge of the Jew-herding he would have been mocked before being sent on his way to Auschwitz.

This may be a game to the Guardian and Sand but publishing this article was crass and on a par with writings at the extreme ends of the political spectrum.

85 replies »

  1. For the Guardian anyone who takes a swipe at Israel is good to go.
    They obviously want to disseminate and popularize Sand’s crackpot theories.
    One can only wonder which other “respectable” anti-Semites will next get published by the world’s leading ‘liberal’ voice.

    Which reminds of something I heard the other day. It turns out that the English are not really English. There used to be English people but they were replaced by imposters in the late 20th century.

  2. The execrable Jon Snow of Chanel 4 News tweeted how “brave” Sands was in his article, just as though Jews behead those they disagree with.
    This appalling man is still happy to take money from the Israeli government.
    Let him leave Judaism and Israel. Good riddance!

  3. The Guardian and C4 are antisemitic cesspits, we know that.

    Sand? An ignorant little arsehole, or possibly severely mentally disturbed.

  4. The Guardian is a ‘shitty newspaper’ and I resigned from buying or reading it well over a decade ago.

    Richard’s point is entirely valid. There is a maliciousness to the Guardian bosses, and its general readership, who take delight in parading their moral superiority over the incorrigible Jews at every opportunity. What escapes their sanctimonious arrogance, is that their progressive world view is nothing more than an extension of an old and nasty European pathology based on bigotry and hatred, and it lies at the very heart of their culture.

  5. Sand is a pathetic self-hating asshole, desperate to curry approval among his Gentile colleagues by bashing his own people.
    Any why in the world, other than rampant antiSemitism, would the Guardian publish such an incendiary piece?

    Talk about racist assholes…

    • True except for being self-hating: he is the opposite, a narcissistic 4-year old who adores himself and believes he can make the world whatever he wants it to be. Spouting the most illiterate racist garbage? So what? “I am an important professor, and if I say that 2+2=5 then 2+2 MUST be 5”. In a grown man, I’d say that is a sign of mental illness.

  6. The Grauniad may be progressive in some areas–I wouldn’t know, I stopped reading it years ago–but where Israel or Jews are concerned, it might as well be in Berlin in about 1935. Spot the difference.

  7. Sand is someone who introduces a theory based on dubious facts in order to question his origins as a Jew. This is all about him. He has got himself so mixed up in it that only antisemites and the Guardian derive pleasure quoting and abusing Jewish memory from what he is able to furnish them with. He looks miserable and haggard and must spend hours wallowing in anti-zionist strategy and producing scholarship of no value. What a sad person and what a sad way to be making a living. University Professors in Israel, many of them hardworking, make little money. Sand, and people like him are guaranteed an income stream for producing such low quality work. What a disgrace!

    • It’s not dubious facts and low-quality work – it’s complete garbage. He is a professor of French cinema, with no qualifications in this field whatsoever. Moreover, he has no affinity for or basic knowledge of the topic, therefore he makes basic howlers of the sort that a first year undergraduate would be failed for.
      He is a classic example of the problems created by giving tenure to idiots.
      You are right, though: it’s all about him. Pure self-aggrandizement and publicity-seeking. Not remotely about scholarship.

      • The entire pro-Palestinian=anti-Israel front is headed by mentally disturbed lunatics. Greta Berlin, for example, had been married to a Jew once before. Alice Walker, as another example, has issues with her daughter (who just happened to have a relationship with a Jew). Fact is, anyone that decides to show how morally on-target they are by pronouncing everything Israel does or Jews supposedly believe as the embodiment of EVIL!111! has some serious issues.

        And the world, because it wants to shit on Jews and Israel, sucks it up. Every last ounce.

  8. Sand’s dilemma is this: The people he most wants not to see him as a Jew are the same types who are incapable of seeing him as anything else.

  9. Essentially Shlomo Sand’s argument could be transferred to all modern ethnic/cultural heritage — why maintain to distinctions of our ancestors that only serve to separate humanity? And, for the most part, I tend to agree. Such meaningless identities do nothing but cause animosity and hatred. Of course, I don’t get how this gets published in a newspaper though, seems entirely personal. Oh yeah, there’s some Israel-bashing thrown in….

    • “why maintain to distinctions of our ancestors that only serve to separate humanity?”
      They serve to do more than that, and it’s a natural human tendency.

      • I understand it’s human nature to have families, extended families, tribes, ethnic affiliations, etc. etc. but I still look forward to the day when we’re all just humans. Anyway, Sand clearly has a high opinion of himself-why should anyone care that he’s changing his identity? How is this newsworthy? What is wrong with the editors at the Guardian?

        • “I still look forward to the day when we’re all just humans” – you are still not getting it at all. We ARE ‘just humans’ – which is a tribal animal.

          • Tribal animal, this isn`t state of the art, or scientifically secured, just an opinion, unless you enclose a defintion of tribe.
            The size of a tribe, clan or family varies according to the circumstances of earning a living together. Today we certainly live in an age of individualism, due to scientific and industrial development. Individualism is quite common for certain species, by the way.

            • You can mock ignorantly if you like, but this is still a scientific fact.
              “Today we certainly live in an age of individualism, due to scientific and industrial development” – irrelevant. We are still all parts of tribes. There are very very few people around who don’t belong to one, and they are usually regarded as pretty strange.
              “Individualism is quite common for certain species, by the way” – yes, thank you for that gem of information. We are H. sapiens. The behaviour of (say) Acinonyx jubatus is irrelevant to our behaviour.

    • amerycann, in that case (like Sand) you don’t understand human nature at all. We are tribal, cooperative animals. These identities are not remotely ‘meaningless’. They define cultural groups, effectively large tribes. This is all part of how human evolution has worked. It confers benefits on individuals at the physical, emotional and intellectual levels.
      Perhaps you would like everyone to speak the same language? Maybe dress identically? Eat the same food? Watch the same films? Like and listen to the same music? This experiment in utopia is being run in North Korea as we speak, and a stunning success it is turning out to be.

      • Of course, Sand doesn’t want everyone to disappear, only Jooz; displaying stunning ignorance of Jewish history in the process.

    • Of course, Sand does not want everyone to disappear, only Joooz; and he displays stunning ignorance of Jewish history in the process.

    • You’re right, its not good or interesting enough to be published. But Sand is a God for Guardian circles and everything that will ever come out of his mouth is God-sent. Also because the Guardian are now essentially an large internet troll who no longer care for absolutely anything else than generating clicks (or selling copies) by provocation.

  10. Sand doesn’t understand the rules of the market, by becoming a non-Jew he will turn himself into one of the millions of common antisemites losing his value as a Jew-hating Jew so loved by the Guardian and its fan-club.

  11. A non-story. It’s certainly nowhere near being ‘on a par with writings at the extreme ends of the political spectrum’. In addition mentioning Auschwitz-Birkenau in this context is inappropriate. That sort of overreaction does not support Israel or Judaism.

    • A non-story.
      For any Guardinista the negation of the right of the Jews to a national existence is a non-story, you are not alone with this opinion.
      In addition mentioning Auschwitz-Birkenau in this context is inappropriate.
      For the same Guardinistas any mention of the Holocaust is inappropriate apart from comparing it to the Palestinians’ sufferings – as above you are only repeating the Guardian mantra.

  12. Resignation accepted. Now get out.

    p.s. The Guardian would of course never publish a header like “I wish to resign from being a Muslim” because that’s “Islamophobia”. (And because their offices might get mysteriously burnt during the night.)

  13. “Last year at SOAS Sand described Israel, among other things, as “a shitty nation”.”

    Well, Shlomo Sand is either calling himself a shitty person or is simply after the new fashionable thing, hating everything Israeli…
    Mind you, he’s probably both.

  14. The Israeli government should inform Mr Sand that his wish to ‘resign’ from his Jewish heritage has been accepted and that his passport and citizenship are being withdrawn forthwith! Case closed.
    By they way, they should do the same with that ‘Tootsie’ lookalike, Mira Bar Hillel!

  15. Well seriously, if Israel is such a horrible place, why does he live and work there? Is he a masochist on top of everything else? Omar Barghouti has some slick answer for why he is a student at Tel Aviv University while doing everything he can to undermine the state of Israel. The fact that these people can get away with open sedition simply proves how extremely (possibly too) tolerant Israel is.

  16. What is of course completely lost on Sand, is that his opinions are only relevant to the people he wants to look good to is b e c a u s e he’s Jewish.

    Would anti-semites tell you how they’re not because they’ve read him or Norman Finkelstein or Felicia Langer etc. if these had not been Jewish?

  17. If you don’t want to be a Jew….don’t be a Jew. You are free to choose, just as you don’t need to be a rabbi or Talmudist. So don’t be a Jew. But why do you have to write a self-serving book and article in The Guardian that you know will only be used to incite yet more hatred of my people–MY people, not yours? You are like the fourth child, the wicked child of The Passover story.

    You don’t want to be a Jew, then stop being a Jew. Become a Christian, an atheist secular humanist, an Arab Muslim or whatever. But you don’t need to tell the whole world because all that would do is make you out to be a self-serving narcissist. Right? No matter what you do, maybe instead of writing a book or an article about it you should just send a few sessions with a therapist. We’d all be better off.

  18. Considering the moron resigned from the Human Race a long time ago, he hardly needs to resign from Judaism – he never qualified to be a Jew

  19. I have two points I’d like to make, each given the time and attention they deserve:
    First off, if someone of Sand’s “caliber” does not want to be Jewish anymore, I think his departure is awesome, hope he sticks to it for the rest of his worthless life, and see no reason to give him any more attention (which, I have to admit, I’m doing to some extent by even commenting on his sorry ass).
    Second, there have been articles in the past in many publications that are objectively smarter and sharper at their craft than CiF (not a short list) that covered individuals who left or changed faiths under negative circumstances–Muslims who could not abide the actions of Hamas and Catholics who could not continue to worship there after the reality of criminal sexual behavior and cover-ups regarding it became known–but those pieces were critical of the problems inside those faiths and they NEVER scraped the bottom of the barrel for representatives of angry estrangement. CiF has no problem with doing just that.

  20. I wonder if it’s possible for Mr Sand to give away his unwanted Jewish status, a kind of ‘pay forward’, like Starbucks did with their coffee. I’d be happy to relieve Mr Sand of his Judaic status and wear it with pride the rest of my life.
    I’m already part way there. When I read this report about Mr Sand I exclaimed, “Oi vei!”

  21. Sand is just another alienated and narcissistic yekke and phudnik who thinks himself superior to his countrymen. Anyone else read that brilliant book by Theodore Lessing on Jewish self-hatred? It fits him to a tee.

  22. I SO detest self-hating weasels like this, when I see how my father suffered, along with millions of others during the Shoah, for the simple “crime” of being Jews. His formal education stopped at 14 when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, he spent the next 3 years disguised as a non-Jew smuggling between Warsaw and his ghetto 80 miles away, survived almost 3 years in Auschwitz and was rescued, near death, out of a ditch by an American soldier during the Death Marches. Along the way, his entire family was exterminated in the camps. So the poor professor is so ashamed of being an Israel and a Jew! Oh poor, poor boy – let him go live with the “Palestinians” and see how long he’ll last. What a schmuck

  23. Ed Frias
    Syria loves Shlomo Sand
    A symposium was held yesterday at the Lecture Hall of the al-Assad National Library in Damascus, as reported by Syrian’s official TV network website.

    The subject? “The Invention of the Jewish people.”

    Yes, the entire symposium was dedicated to the absurd ramblings of Shlomo Sand.

    The sponsors of the meeting was the “Syrian Arab Popular Committee to support the Palestinian people and resistance to the Zionist project.”

    I guess the only people who take Sand seriously are School of Oriental and African Studies in London – and the Syrian government.
    May 24, 2012

  24. Ed Frias
    FEBRUARY 22, 2013
    May 16, 2012

    Latest nonsense from Shlomo Sand – “The Land of Israel is a myth”
    Shlomo Sand, the academic with no background in history who wrote an absurdly ridiculous book “The Invention of the Jewish People” to much acclaim by anti-semites, has now come out with a new piece of fiction masquerading as scholarship.

    And the anti-Zionists are lapping it up.

    I don’t have the book, titled “The Invention of the Land of Israel,” but Yossi Gurwitz’s worshipful review at 972mag shows enough to prove that this book is as absurd as Sand’s previous work (and that Gurwitz is as much of a fraud as Sand is.)

    As with the previous book, when Sand makes a blanket statement as fact, all one needs to do is provide a single counterexample to prove that he is a fraud. And as with his previous work, it is trivial to do exactly that.

    The heart of Sand’s thesis is the intentional confusion in Zionism between the Halachic – Jewish law – concept of Eretz Israel (“The Land of Israel”, EI) and the concept of a place which is under Jewish sovereignty, and yearning for such a place. “Eretz Israel” is, originally, a Talmudic concept – not a biblical one – which delineates it as a territory that imposes extra religious obligations on Jews living in it, which Jews living outside of it are unburdened of.

    Really? There was no concept of Eretz Yisrael in the Bible? It originated in the Talmud?

    Tell that to Ezekiel, who quoted God as using that exact term when delineating the borders of the Land in Ezekiel 47.

    The term is also used in Ezekiel 40:2, in 1 Samuel 13:19, and in 2 Chronicles 34:7.

    Of course, for much of the times of the Prophets, it was divided into two kingdoms – Israel and Judah. The latter phrase is used another half dozen times in the Bible. Moreover, the phrase “Kingdom of Israel” was used a number of times, as it was more specific designation than “Land of Israel.”

    Is that enough to show that Sand is just making stuff up? Well, there’s more:
    The rabbis came up with the Three Vows, which forbade Jews from massively emigrating to Eretz Israel, forbade them from rebelling against the nations of the world (it’s worth noting the rabbis, servitors of the emperors, gave divine sanction to their rule), and the third vow is directed at the nations: “That they should not enslave Israel too much.” Rabbinical Judaism left Eretz Israel behind. Sand quotes some later rabbis who opposed emigrating to EI since the Halachic demands on those living in it are very high, and failure to meet them would make the land impure.
    The Three Oaths are based on a Midrash and it is far from clear that they are legally binding. But even here Sand is being deceptive, because the relevant oath was not against Jews “massively emigrating to Eretz Israel” but against “storming the wall.” What that exactly means is not clear but it probably means forcibly returning to Israel by war.

    The Talmudic discussion about this Midrash was referring to the desire of a single rabbi to move to Israel, not a “massive emigration.”

    It was clearly not forbidden for Jews to move to Israel, because many of these rabbis who Sand say ignored the Land did in fact make aliyah. Encyclopedia Judaica gives details:
    During the time of the Second Temple there were many immigrants to Ereẓ Israel. A famous example is the aliyah of Hillel, who went from Babylonia (Pes. 66a) poor and without means, and later became the head of the Sanhedrin (Suk. 20a), founding a long line of nesi’im (see *nasi). One of the high priests appointed by Herod was Hananel ha-Bavli, i.e., of Babylonia. Aliyah, mainly from Babylonia, did not cease after the destruction of the Second Temple (70 c.e.). Sources cite many immigrant scholars who achieved a prominent place in the Jewish community of Ereẓ Israel. In the third generation of tannaim after the destruction of the Temple (110–135 c.e.), Hanan ha-Miẓri (“of Egypt”; Yoma 63b) and Yose b. Dormaskos, who went from Damascus (Sif. Deut. 1), are mentioned. The next generation (135–170 c.e.) included R. Johanan ha-Sandelar of Alexandria (tj, Ḥag. 3:1, 78d) and R. Nathan ha-Bavli, who was the son of the exilarch in Babylonia. Among the fifth generation of tannaim are (170–200) R. Ḥiyya the Great, the disciple and colleague of Judah ha-Nasi (Er. 73a), and Issi b. Judah (Pes. 113b), both of whom emigrated from Babylonia, and Menahem the Gaul (i.e., France; tj, Ber. 4:4, 8b).

    Aliyah from Babylonia did not cease in the amoraic period, despite the fact that the great centers of Jewish scholarship were located there. Of the first generation of amoraim (220–250), R. Ḥanina b. Ḥama, a disciple of Judah ha-Nasi and one of the greatest amoraim in Ereẓ Israel, emigrated from Babylonia (tj, Pe’ah 7:4, 20a). In the second generation (250–290), Eleazar b. Pedat, rosh yeshivah in Tiberias (Ḥul. 111b), R. Zakkai (tj, Shab. 7:1, 9a) and R. Ḥiyya b. Joseph (Ḥul. 54a), who emigrated from Babylonia, and Ḥinena Kartigna’ah (of Carthage; tj, Shab. 16:2, 15c) are mentioned. The latter attests emigration from Africa. Two amoraim called Rav Kahana also emigrated from Babylonia (Zev. 59a). There was a particularly large aliyah among the third generation of amoraim (290–320), some of the immigrants forming the leadership of the Jewish community in Ereẓ Israel. Prominent among them were: R. Abba (Ket. 112a); R. Avina (tj, Shev. 4:2, 35a); R. Oshaiah and his brother Hananiah (Sanh. 14a); R. Assi, the colleague of R. Ammi, who was rosh yeshivah of Tiberias (mk 25a); R. Zera, a central figure of both Talmuds (Ket. 112a); R. Ḥiyya b. Abba (Shab. 105b); and R. Ḥelbo (Yev. 64b; tj, Ta’an. 2:1, 65a); R. Yudan of Gaul (Lev. R. 20:4); R. Jeremiah, who later became rosh yeshivah at Tiberias (Ket. 75a); R. Samuel b. Isaac (tj, Ber. 3:5, 6d); R. Samuel of Cappadocia in Asia Minor (Ḥul. 27b); R. Simlai (tj, Pes. 5:3, 32a); and others. In the fourth generation (320–350) the well-known immigrants included: Ray Huna b. R. Avin (tj, rh 2:2, 59a), R. Haggai (mk, 25a), R. Yudan of Cappadocia (tj, Ber. 3:1, 6a), and R. Kahana (tj, rh 2:6, 59b).
    So far from Sand’s thesis that the rabbis abandoned Israel and discouraged aliyah, many prominent members of their ranks actually moved to Israel themselves. If the Land of Israel was unimportant in Talmudic times, why would they do that?

    Oh well, Sand is proven a liar again. And his selective quoting of “some later rabbis” discouraging aliyah is shown to be more of an anomaly than a mainstream view, and proves that he is using sources selectively.

    As the article goes on to say, it was Christian persecution of Jews in Israel that slowed aliyah down dramatically after this, not any supposed “oath” based on a non-halachic midrash. Indeed, Maimonides himself – who counseled the Jews of Yemen not to rebel against their rulers based on his interpretation of the three oaths – moved to Israel himself, and Nachmanides declared moving to Israel to be obligatory.

    All of this of course predated Zionism by the better part of a millennium.

    So Sand is again shown to be an academic fraud, cherry picking sources that he pretends proves his point and even taking them out of context when it suits him.

    The only people who take him seriously are those who desperately want to believe him, because they have already made up their minds that Zionism is the world’s biggest evil.
    Posted by Elder of Ziyon at 11:33 PM 476 Comments and 0 Reactions

  25. Ed Frias
    FEBRUARY 23, 2013 @ 4:55 PM

    Lee Kaplan also rebukes the liar Sand.
    Exclusive: Lee Kaplan decries NYU event showcasing theory of Israeli author

    A “Marxist Theory Colloquium,” that is, a conference at which scholars or other experts present papers on, analyze and discuss a specific topic, is taking place at New York University today with the principal speaker being an Israeli history professor who says the Jewish people was invented in order to justify the taking of the Holy Land from the Arabs, and that today’s Palestinians are in fact the descendants of the real Jews from biblical times.

    The guest speaker is a history professor at Tel Aviv University named Shlomo Sand who recently published a book titled “The Invention of the Jewish People.” Sand has been called a pseudo-historian by organizations that monitor anti-Israel academics working in Israeli universities.

    The meeting has been promoted by an NYU “professor of media ecology” named Mark Crispin Miller who claims his expertise is in “modern propaganda, history and tactics of advertising.” However, the Sand theory of today’s Israeli Jews being part of an invention to steal Arab/Muslim land is being presented as scholarly fact and not as another form of anti-Israel propaganda. Miller has also written books claiming the 2000 and 2004 elections of George W. Bush were “stolen” and that 9/11 was an inside job by the U.S. government.

    Whereas a colloquium is classified as an open forum to debate ideas, professor Miller’s event is clearly defined to present Shlomo Sand’s book as fact. On his blog, Miller writes, “It is an extremely scholarly, very original and often shocking work – the title is meant literally – with profound implications for Zionism and the ongoing conflict between Israel and its neighbors.”

    However, Sand’s book is replete with historical inaccuracies. For one thing, it claims there is no historical evidence that Jews were forced out of Israel into the Diaspora after the Third Jewish Revolt. Numerous historians of Rome have long ago confirmed that the Roman Coliseum was built by Jewish slaves. The ruins of Pompeii show the corpses of Jewish slaves left behind as caretakers when the volcano erupted wiping out the city. During the siege of Masada, the Roman armies brought in Jewish slaves who were simply worked to death without water because the nearest water was deemed too far away in Ein Gedi to transport it to the site. At the time, a Jewish slave was considered of lesser value than a horse and they were dispersed throughout the empire because the Jewish nation had revolted more often than any other Roman colony.

    The Romans, in fact, after the Third Revolt changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina and forbade circumcision. Israel was renamed Philistia (which later become Palestine in English) after the Philistines (once the greatest enemy of the Jews) as an insult. Jews, however, still maintained a presence in the Holy Land for millennia afterward even after pogroms by the Roman occupiers.

    Part of Sand’s thesis is based on the existence of the Kingdom of Khazaria that once existed near the Black Sea that converted to Judaism circa A.D. 1200. The pagan king there converted his people, of Turkic Asian extraction, to Judaism as a compromise between the expanding Christian and Muslim hordes on his doorsteps. Khazaria disappeared after being defeated and swallowed up by Russia. Sand maintains that Ashkenazic or European Jews are the descendants of Khazarians (including Sand’s parents) and have no title to the land of Israel. His theory ignores the fact that less than half of Israel’s Jews are of Ashkenazic origin, most coming from the Middle East. Sand also explains that Yiddish, a bastardized German spoken by European Jews, was developed from the Turkish language of the Khazars with a few borrowed German words. However, Yiddish contains no Turkish or Asian words in it at all.

    Roman records tell us that there were sizable Jewish communities along the Rhine as the Empire died out that then moved further into Germany. In addition, Khazars as converts would not have so many Cohens or Levis, the priestly Jewish class, as exist in the modern Ashkenazic community.

    Rather than being a groundbreaking or original scholarly work, Sand’s book is just a rehashing of anti-Semitic tracts distributed by a Jewish convert to Christianity in the pay of Arab interests named Benjamin Freedman who claimed the same historical nonsense from about 1946 to 1961. The only difference was that Freedman also tried to claim falsely that the Jewish Talmud encourages pedophilia and sex with animals. Freedman’s career was built on first opposing a Jewish state from the U.N. and later to alienate American Christian support away from the Jews. Sand merely took Freedman’s thesis and spruced it up for anti-Israel groups to use as propaganda against the Jewish state.

    Sand also tries to claim today’s Palestinians are the real Jews who were forcibly converted to Islam after the seventh century. This, too, is academically false, as the majority of Arabs and Muslims residing in Israel and the Palestinian Authority today immigrated to the region in the mid 20th century as a result of the Zionist movement.

    “The Invention of the Jewish People” is published and distributed by Verso Books in London, a firm that used to be called New Left Books. It is a publishing house that specializes in Marxist, Communist, Maoist, anti-Israel and even pro-jihadist literature for radical groups and bookstores. Its most recent book is proudly promoted as having been written by and expressing the wisdom of Osama bin Laden. Shlomo Sand is a lifelong communist who has run with Israel’s Communist Party factions since his teens. In adhering to the old Soviet party line, most communist parties in Israel are opposed to the existence of a Jewish state.

    Part of the anti-Israel campaign on U.S. campuses is to suggest that Jews in America need not support a Jewish or “Zionist” state where Israel is in order to be Jewish. The number of Jewish students at New York University is staggering in terms of the student population there, so what better place to have a Marxist professor like Miller and pseudo-historian like Shlomo Sand from Tel Aviv University come and speak to explain that the Jewish people was nothing more than an invention to justify taking Palestine from the Arabs. However, the event is really just another form of anti-Semitism and hatred against the Jewish state masquerading as an academic discussion to indoctrinate impressionable students.

  26. Ed Frias
    FEBRUARY 23, 2013
    Gilbert Achcar and Shlomo Sand: Peas in a pod
    Friday, February 11, 2011

    From Richard Millett’s blog:
    Gilbert Achcar asked me to leave last night’s talk at SOAS given by Shlomo Sand. If I didn’t he said he would call security.

    The talk was called On the Nation and the ‘Jewish People’, although it was all taken from Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People.

    For an hour I bit my lip while Sand tore into the idea that the Jews had any connection with Israel. He said there had never been an exile of the Jews under the Romans and so, as there was no exile, there could never be a return.

    But all Israeli school textbooks spoke of this mythical “exile” he said.

    He claimed the Jews were merely a religious phenomenon and as they came from all over the world, and so had no connection with each other, they could not be described as “a people”. Sand is an Israeli Jewish atheist.

    Today’s Jews, he said, are just descendants of converts from African tribes i.e. the Khazars and the Berbers. These tribes had simply converted en masse to Judaism.

    Zionists had only recently taken Jewish myths and cultured them into a nationalist ideology.

    But Jews had never wanted to originally go to Palestine. Only after 1924, when America closed the gates, and eventually the British too, did they finally set sail for Palestine….

    Then, after defining Nazi Germany as an ethnocentric state, he said he was against Israel being defined as a Jewish state because “I am sure it will finish with the massacre in the Galilee, because 20% are non-Jews in this state”.

    What is the point of an unopposed two hour verbal attack on Israel and the Jewish people at a British university? No one learns a thing apart from more anti-Israel propaganda.

    During the Q&A I asked Sand what is the problem with the Jews calling themselves “a people” if they wanted to. He might not like it but most Jews think of themselves as being part of “a people”. That is how nationalism works.

    I challenged him on whether Jewish history really spoke of the Jews being “exiled” by the Romans. Instead, the Jews had lost sovereignty to the Romans and many Jews left the area to become the Jewish diaspora. Therefore, Jews have a historical right to return.

    What about “Next Year in Jerusalem” and the ancient religious festivals when Jews look to return to Israel and Jerusalem one day? Was that all made up by Zionists?

    Anita Shapira’s destruction of Sand’s book is good on this.

    Sand answered that 93% of the Jews living under the Romans were peasants and so they couldn’t leave. And diaspora Jews had only ever thought of Israel as a “Holy Land”, not as a “Home land”. “Israel” is a theological notion, not a political one.

    Jews felt that the land did not belong to them, but to G-d and Jews went to Palestine only to die, not to live, so they could be the first to be resurrected when the Messiah came.

    I understood the religiousness of the “Holy Land” point he was making but Sand wasn’t answering my main question: What is wrong with Jewish nationalism?

    I called him a coward for not answering that question, which eventually spurred him into action.

    “The Jews only came to Palestine because the doors to America and Britain were closed,” he screamed at the audience.

    Even if that were true it still doesn’t preclude Jews from recognising themselves as “a people” and calling for a Jewish state.

    It is not too disimilar from what the Palestinians have done. Many of them are not indigenous to what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories either, but came to the area when Jews started arriving from Europe. But they are also demanding a state.

    I continued to try to question Sand but he just mocked me for being a Zionist who can’t speak Hebrew and who doesn’t even live in Israel like he does.

    By then Achcar was out of his chair and bearing down on me insisting that I leave or he would call security.

    I refused to leave but sat there, silent, like a good boy for the rest of the Q&A.

    On the way out I was surrounded by people wanting to lecture me, including one woman who insisted that I apologise to Sand for calling him Shlomo, instead of Mr Sand, and a coward.
    I already exposed Achcar as an academic fraud in his book.

    As far as Sand goes….Saturday afternoon prayers ask G-d rhetorically, “Who is like the people of Israel, a unique nation in the world?” These are not Biblical words but words written during Rabbinic times – after the Diaspora began.

    That’s just one tiny example of how Jews always considered themselves a nation.

    Their desire to return to Israel is not only mentioned in the annual recitations of “Next Year in Jerusalem” but also multiple times in daily prayers.

    Not only that, but non-Jews universally recognized Jews as a nation, as I mentioned recently.

    If a group of people call themselves a nation and the world agrees (and even admits where that nation’s land is), its hard to argue that there’s no nation there.

    Sand’s postulating the discredited Khazar theory shows he has no intellectual integrity at all. But since I cannot resist demolishing arguments, here are a couple:

    Some Jews are descendants of Aaron (Kohanim) and Levi (Leviim.) Kohanim and Leviim have different roles in the religion and that status gets handed down from fathers to sons. If all Jews are converts from Khazaria, how did many of them turn into Kohanim and Leviim?

    Moreover, there is a continual written record of Jewish legal issues from the Mishna through the rest of the Talmud through the Geonic period, Rishonim and later. If there was an influx of a huge number of converted Jews coming out of Khazaria, it would have engendered many new questions and legal rulings regarding their status as Jews. Where are they?

    Not only that, but to get to the level of expert legal knowledge required by leading rabbis is a long educational process. How could a large group of new converts gain such expertise so thoroughly that they could be accepted by the existing Jewish communities without any record of them attending any existing institutions of Jewish study? Jewish law is nothing if not complex.

    Finally, as to Sand’s point that Jews did not go to Israel to live but to die, there are a host of prominent Jews who moved to Israel far before the First Aliyah. Speaking of, that event also predates Sand’s bizarre claim that Jews didn’t move to Israel until 1924. By 1924 there was already a nascent Jewish political infrastructure in Palestine.

    Two liars, pretending to be academics, sharing the platform at an anti-Israel event, where an idiotic audience eats it up. This is a sick world.

    • He is not a ‘historian’ but an ignorant idiot. One only needs to ask him when Tel-Aviv was established, never mind Petah Tikva.

  27. Many thanks for linking to this wonderful article by Shlomo Sand!! Small wonder his books are best-sellers in Israel, much to the consternation of Judeo-Nazis everywhere. Go Shlomo!!