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#1627322
Zionist Nationalist Myth Of Enforced Exile

Israel deliberately forgets its history


September 06, 2008 By Schlomo Sand
Source: Le Monde diplomatique


An Israeli historian suggests the diaspora was the consequence, not of the expulsion of the Hebrews from Palestine, but of proselytising across north Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East.

Every Israeli knows that he or she is the direct and exclusive descendant of a Jewish people which has existed since it received the Torah (1) in Sinai. According to this myth, the Jews escaped from Egypt and settled in the Promised Land, where they built the glorious kingdom of David and Solomon, which subsequently split into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. They experienced two exiles: after the destruction of the first temple, in the 6th century BC, and of the second temple, in 70 AD.

Two thousand years of wandering brought the Jews to Yemen, Morocco, Spain, Germany, Poland and deep into Russia. But, the story goes, they always managed to preserve blood links between their scattered communities. Their uniqueness was never compromised.

At the end of the 19th century conditions began to favour their return to their ancient homeland. If it had not been for the Nazi genocide, millions of Jews would have fulfilled the dream of 20 centuries and repopulated Eretz Israel, the biblical land of Israel. Palestine, a virgin land, had been waiting for its original inhabitants to return and awaken it. It belonged to the Jews, rather than to an Arab minority that had no history and had arrived there by chance. The wars in which the wandering people reconquered their land were just; the violent opposition of the local population was criminal.

This interpretation of Jewish history was developed as talented, imaginative historians built on surviving fragments of Jewish and Christian religious memory to construct a continuous genealogy for the Jewish people. Judaism's abundant historiography encompasses many different approaches.

But none have ever questioned the basic concepts developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Discoveries that might threaten this picture of a linear past were marginalised. The national imperative rejected any contradiction of or deviation from the dominant story. University departments exclusively devoted to "the history of the Jewish people", as distinct from those teaching what is known in Israel as general history, made a significant contribution to this selective vision. The debate on what constitutes Jewishness has obvious legal implications, but historians ignored it: as far as they are concerned, any descendant of the people forced into exile 2,000 years ago is a Jew.

Nor did these official investigators of the past join the controversy provoked by the "new historians" from the late 1980s. Most of the limited number of participants in this public debate were from other disciplines or non-academic circles: sociologists, orientalists, linguists, geographers, political scientists, literary academics and archaeologists developed new perspectives on the Jewish and Zionist past. Departments of Jewish history remained defensive and conservative, basing themselves on received ideas. While there have been few significant developments in national history over the past 60 years (a situation unlikely to change in the short term), the facts that have emerged face any honest historian with fundamental questions.

Founding myths shaken

Is the Bible a historical text? Writing during the early half of the 19th century, the first modern Jewish historians, such as Isaak Markus Jost (1793-1860) and Leopold Zunz (1794-1886), did not think so. They regarded the Old Testament as a theological work reflecting the beliefs of Jewish religious communities after the destruction of the first temple. It was not until the second half of the century that Heinrich Graetz (1817-91) and others developed a "national" vision of the Bible and transformed Abraham's journey to Canaan, the flight from Egypt and the united kingdom of David and Solomon into an authentic national past. By constant repetition, Zionist historians have subsequently turned these Biblical "truths" into the basis of national education.

But during the 1980s an earthquake shook these founding myths. The discoveries made by the "new archaeology" discredited a great exodus in the 13th century BC. Moses could not have led the Hebrews out of Egypt into the Promised Land, for the good reason that the latter was Egyptian territory at the time. And there is no trace of either a slave revolt against the pharaonic empire or of a sudden conquest of Canaan by outsiders.

Nor is there any trace or memory of the magnificent kingdom of David and Solomon. Recent discoveries point to the existence, at the time, of two small kingdoms: Israel, the more powerful, and Judah, the future Judea. The general population of Judah did not go into 6th century BC exile: only its political and intellectual elite were forced to settle in Babylon. This decisive encounter with Persian religion gave birth to Jewish monotheism.


Then there is the question of the exile of 70 AD. There has been no real research into this turning point in Jewish history, the cause of the diaspora. And for a simple reason: the Romans never exiled any nation from anywhere on the eastern seaboard of the Mediterranean. Apart from enslaved prisoners, the population of Judea continued to live on their lands, even after the destruction of the second temple. Some converted to Christianity in the 4th century, while the majority embraced Islam during the 7th century Arab conquest.

Most Zionist thinkers were aware of this: Yitzhak Ben Zvi, later president of Israel, and David Ben Gurion, its first prime minister, accepted it as late as 1929, the year of the great Palestinian revolt. Both stated on several occasions that the peasants of Palestine were the descendants of the inhabitants of ancient Judea (2).

Proselytising zeal

But if there was no exile after 70 AD, where did all the Jews who have populated the Mediterranean since antiquity come from? The smokescreen of national historiography hides an astonishing reality. From the Maccabean revolt of the mid-2nd century BC to the Bar Kokhba revolt of the 2nd century AD, Judaism was the most actively proselytising religion. The Judeo-Hellenic Hasmoneans forcibly converted the Idumeans of southern Judea and the Itureans of Galilee and incorporated them into the people of Israel. Judaism spread across the Middle East and round the Mediterranean. The 1st century AD saw the emergence in modern Kurdistan of the Jewish kingdom of Adiabene, just one of many that converted.

The writings of Flavius Josephus are not the only evidence of the proselytising zeal of the Jews. Horace, Seneca, Juvenal and Tacitus were among the Roman writers who feared it. The Mishnah and the Talmud (3) authorised conversion, even if the wise men of the Talmudic tradition expressed reservations in the face of the mounting pressure from Christianity.

Although the early 4th century triumph of Christianity did not mark the end of Jewish expansion, it relegated Jewish proselytism to the margins of the Christian cultural world. During the 5th century, in modern Yemen, a vigorous Jewish kingdom emerged in Himyar, whose descendants preserved their faith through the Islamic conquest and down to the present day. Arab chronicles tell of the existence, during the 7th century, of Judaised Berber tribes; and at the end of the century the legendary Jewish queen Dihya contested the Arab advance into northwest Africa. Jewish Berbers participated in the conquest of the Iberian peninsula and helped establish the unique symbiosis between Jews and Muslims that characterised Hispano-Arabic culture.

The most significant mass conversion occurred in the 8th century, in the massive Khazar kingdom between the Black and Caspian seas. The expansion of Judaism from the Caucasus into modern Ukraine created a multiplicity of communities, many of which retreated from the 13th century Mongol invasions into eastern Europe. There, with Jews from the Slavic lands to the south and from what is now modern Germany, they formed the basis of Yiddish culture (4).

Prism of Zionism

Until about 1960 the complex origins of the Jewish people were more or less reluctantly acknowledged by Zionist historiography. But thereafter they were marginalised and finally erased from Israeli public memory. The Israeli forces who seized Jerusalem in 1967 believed themselves to be the direct descendents of the mythic kingdom of David rather than - God forbid - of Berber warriors or Khazar horsemen. The Jews claimed to constitute a specific ethnic group that had returned to Jerusalem, its capital, from 2,000 years of exile and wandering.

This monolithic, linear edifice is supposed to be supported by biology as well as history. Since the 1970s supposedly scientific research, carried out in Israel, has desperately striven to demonstrate that Jews throughout the world are closely genetically related.

Research into the origins of populations now constitutes a legitimate and popular field in molecular biology and the male Y chromosome has been accorded honoured status in the frenzied search for the unique origin of the "chosen people". The problem is that this historical fantasy has come to underpin the politics of identity of the state of Israel. By validating an essentialist, ethnocentric definition of Judaism it encourages a segregation that separates Jews from non-Jews - whether Arabs, Russian immigrants or foreign workers.

Sixty years after its foundation, Israel refuses to accept that it should exist for the sake of its citizens. For almost a quarter of the population, who are not regarded as Jews, this is not their state legally. At the same time, Israel presents itself as the homeland of Jews throughout the world, even if these are no longer persecuted refugees, but the full and equal citizens of other countries.

A global ethnocracy invokes the myth of the eternal nation, reconstituted on the land of its ancestors, to justify internal discrimination against its own citizens. It will remain difficult to imagine a new Jewish history while the prism of Zionism continues to fragment everything into an ethnocentric spectrum. But Jews worldwide have always tended to form religious communities, usually by conversion; they cannot be said to share an ethnicity derived from a unique origin and displaced over 20 centuries of wandering.

The development of historiography and the evolution of modernity were consequences of the invention of the nation state, which preoccupied millions during the 19th and 20th centuries. The new millennium has seen these dreams begin to shatter.

And more and more academics are analysing, dissecting and deconstructing the great national stories, especially the myths of common origin so dear to chroniclers of the past.


Shlomo Sand is professor of history at Tel Aviv university and the author of Comment le people juif fut inventé (Fayard, Paris, 2008)


source

What this history prof is saying is that there was no slave revolt, no diaspora, and no historical claim to being begat from the "original" Jews of the Bible. He is also saying that the present-day Palestinians - the ones who were ethnic cleansed by the incoming Eurojews - were the original Jews, who long-ago converted to Islam or Christianity.

All of this Jewish History was fake, and - in the author's own words, the product of "talented, imaginative historians," in other words, it was manufactured propaganda.
User avatar
By danholo
#1627335
What Shlomo forgets to write in his text is that, no matter what, antisemitism is alive and well in the world, regardless of our factual blood line. What's with this fixation about debunking the existence of the Jewish people, as us Jews know it? We are living a lie, but the outsiders know the truth? First we're "owning the world" but then it turns out that we're not Jews at all because, the racists say, we can't make a clear study of blood line. But, alas, the Jews were never meant to be a puritan, racist society. Only these neo-racists are changing Jews into something else; a race.

I don't think this person has mentioned anything new to Jewish historiography.
User avatar
By QatzelOk
#1627384
I don't think this person has mentioned anything new to Jewish historiography.

Well, what he has mentionned is that the following are fake:

The original slave revolt

The "Discovery" of Monotheism (it was Zoroastrianism)

The fleeing to a Promised Land

The Diaspora

The Forced Exiles

The genetic link (begats)


Obviously, other important events in Jewish History -- like the Holocaust -- are not denied by this historian, because they are true. But the entire list above -- according to him -- are fake.

And yet they were used as justification for the Eurojewish invasion of Palestine. It's important to note that these "events" are all nationalistic propaganda. It gives a better understanding of the creation of a nation state based on shared lies.
User avatar
By Ideational Ontarian
#1627615
Uhhh maybe you shouldn't be so hasty to take one scholar to be right over so many others. Ancient history is inherently unreliable so it's more likely that the truth is somewhere between the Bible and this scholar.

One thing I find interesting is how the author mentions how the Jews of Palestine "embraced" Islam and Christianity but that the Jews themselves "forcibly converted" other peoples. It's a major stretch to say that any Christian or Jewish peoples "embraced" Islam. It's more like a mix of forced conversions and overwhelming economic and social coercion.
User avatar
By QatzelOk
#1627712
IO wrote:the truth is somewhere between the Bible and this scholar

Well, since I wasn't looking for "the truth," but simply "some truth," your post doesn't really apply.

This historian teaches history at a university in Israel. If he isn't an authority on what actually transpired in that part of the world, then you should provide another scholarly work that contradicts him.

Simply saying, "Let's meet half-way between science and self-help mythology" doesn't convince anyone. We're not bidding on what may be true, we're comparing scholarly texts with the fundamentalist interpretations of a mythological book.

To defend the text in the Bible when faced with contradictory evidence of a historical scholar, makes you worse than any fundamentalist Moslem I have ever met.

Fact is, a fundamentalist interpretation was used to create a colony on top of the dead and displaced bodies of an entire nation of people. And these people who were displaced were the actual historical people who lived in Israel and Judeah. That's a pretty big con-job that the world suffered through.

What other elements of Jewish "History" are fake? Did all of those Pogroms really take place, or was this just more inspirational fiction?

It's a major stretch to say that any Christian or Jewish peoples "embraced" Islam.

And what are you basing your interpretation of History on? The bible again? Go live in a whale.
Last edited by QatzelOk on 08 Sep 2008 16:39, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Donald
#1627716
Well, thank God he didn't invalidate the Holocaust.

That's the important one.
User avatar
By pikachu
#1627726
Historiographers are gradually coming to the realization that history itself is in fact a series of consensual myths. It's not necessarily a nation's past that shapes its mythology, but its mythology which shapes its past. Taken apart, analyzed and then re-assembled, history's fragments reveal a cyclical structure. Within this recurring pattern, the history of an entire people is actually no more than a collective projection -- an illusion shared by millions.
User avatar
By Potemkin
#1627737
Most of anyone's national history is fake. Most of Scottish history is certainly completely phoney. :hmm:
By admaht
#1627746
Fact is, a fundamentalist interpretation was used to create a colony on top of the dead and displaced bodies of an entire nation of people. And these people who were displaced were the actual historical people who lived in Israel and Judeah. That's a pretty big con-job that the world suffered through.


This is a disgusting, despicable and false statement.

I would doubt that had you been alive 80-90 years ago, you would have had few problems with the massive arab muslim migration from Syria, Egypt and Jordan.

Nor would you have had an issue with the massive, genuine ethnic cleansing of Jews from arab muslim countries.

If there is one, and only one thing, that can be culled from your posts, you really, really despise Jews.
User avatar
By QatzelOk
#1627782
If there is one, and only one thing, that can be culled from your posts...

But there are so many things that can be culled from them. Especially the OP.

Trying to squeeze critics of Israel into a "neo-nazi hate" stereotype is wearing pretty thin, though you may want to try your hand at writing History. You seem like you may have a talent for positioning certain groups within a text.
User avatar
By Ideational Ontarian
#1627801
Qatz wrote:This historian teaches history at a university in Israel. If he isn't an authority on what actually transpired in that part of the world, then you should provide another scholarly work that contradicts him.

What? You mean most history books out there? What I meant to say is that one broad interpretation of history is never enough to get the truth. To start a serious discussion about this you would either need books or experts themselves on Roman, Egyptian, Jewish, and Levantine history.

Basically, there is probably some truth to what this guy is saying but there probably is truth in other interpretations as well.

And what are you basing your interpretion of History on? The bible again? Go live in a whale.

Don't be retarded. Militarily forced conversions are well documented even by Islamic scholars. So are the economic and social pressure exerted on non-muslims. There were heavy taxes levied on people of other faiths and they were socially lower ranked (had to walk in the gutter, etc).

In other words, similar to the way many indigenous peoples have been treated by empires.
By Maas
#1627803
The thing a lot of people keep forgetting is that a lot fo "stories" from the bible/torah/quran are quiet simular. It's not soley that they stole eachothers stories. It's because a lot of stories were stolen from other (Sumerian / Babylonian and who knows what else) civilisations.

Has nobody noticed that Israel being "the promissed" land, isn't exactly the garden of Eden, there are worst places, true.... it looks like crap! Fucking mayor hint.


Doesn't surpise me at all that some other stuff, like the exile from Egypt, couldn't actually have happened either.
User avatar
By QatzelOk
#1627813
IO, Christian mythology wrote:There were heavy taxes levied on people of other faiths and they were socially lower ranked (had to walk in the gutter, etc).

I think this "history" of Islam was written by the same people who wrote all that Jewish "history," IO. If you're going to claim that "Islam was nasty," you'd better provide a link to a scholarly article by a recent Arab historian. Don't just recycle the bullshit mythology that sustains Western ignorance. We all know this "history" all too well because of commercial media and poor access to other religious traditions.

Donald, Jewish mythology wrote:Well, thank God he didn't invalidate the Holocaust.

That's the important one.

With progaganda, it's always the latest story that's the most believable. Of course, the holocaust happened. It's just that the details of it are probably skewed, and there are a lot of people protecting the conventional wisdom on it -- it's almost as if their livelihood depended on it.
User avatar
By Ideational Ontarian
#1627840
Dude stop taking everything I say to the extreme. I'm not saying the Muslims were any worse than other empires. The fact is, peoples had a choice when faced with an Islamic invasion: 1. Die in battle, 2. Convert, 3. Pay tribute. Once they were conquered, they ended up with lower social status, less rights, zero political power, and new taxes. Much like the Byzantine Empire imposed similar inequalities on other religions. If you weren't Christian or Jewish (not part of the imposed "Dhimmi") you were even worse off in Islam. Then there was the obvious influx of Arab people as well. Thus the great pressure to convert - unless you were in a great defensive position like the Maronites of Mt. Lebanon.
User avatar
By QatzelOk
#1628601
Tell us, IO, how many Islamic armies did it take to convert Cat Stevens to Islam?

Now, after you answer this, please link us to a scholarly historian who describes the military process of Islamizing the world.

From what I've read, most of the people of North Africa and the Middle East were in desparate need of something to believe in at the time. Much like we consumer-termites of today.

The fake History of Islam that you have regurgitated was written by the same imaginative and devoted history-writers who wrote Fake Jewish History. And they both serve the same propaganda purposes in our media, don't they.
User avatar
By Nets
#1628714
Qatz wrote:From what I've read, most of the people of North Africa and the Middle East were in desparate need of something to believe in at the time. Much like we consumer-termites of today.


What utter hypocrisy from some one who spends all his time ranting against text, while saying knowledge is only gained through experience.

So you know about the Islamic world through the texts you've read, whereas IO has experienced it first hand while living in Lebanon.

Who has the upper hand in this discussion, under your own logical system, Qatz?
User avatar
By QatzelOk
#1628729
So you know about the Islamic world through the texts you've read, whereas IO has experienced it first hand while living in Lebanon.

I've experienced Moslem text, just as much as IO has. A text like this one doesn't belong to any piece of land.

And it's true that Islam is a text. But it was extremely important that it spread when it did, because many Arabs and Middle Easterners had recently converted to Judaism, which was a text that had very anti-social results.

Some texts are more toxic than others. And in the case of Islam, what it really did was to prevent the spread of a cancerous one that really promotes selfishness and materialism, more than anything else.

At least, that's what I've experienced from the Jewish texts.
User avatar
By Ideational Ontarian
#1628790
So basically Judaism= bad and Islam= good? You have some interesting positions considering your past arguements. I don't know how one would "experience" ancient history but the fact is that you don't conquer a massive area by hugging everyone.

Yes, Qat, your precious Islamic Empire spread by the sword. Get over it. You don't see me here arguing about Constantine converting his empire. You're deluding yourself if you think Islam was filling some big void of spirituality outside Arabia. The Middle East, North Africa, and Persia all had strong and diverse religious traditions before the Arabs conquered them.
User avatar
By QatzelOk
#1628903
smash wrote:Most religious history is fake.

Does the Holocaust count as "religious history?"

IO wrote:So basically Judaism= bad and Islam= good?

It has been said that Judaism introduced the self into public discourse, and this leads to selfishness, narcissm, nationalism, and warfare. But like I said, the selfishness and morbid materialism are my experiences with the Jewish text, and not something I can isolate in a test tube and show you unequivocally.

The large quantity of fake Jewish history makes it a kind of text hegemony, which feeds into Jewish collective tyranny by removing any kind of empathy from the Jewish collective. The fake history of persecution, right up to Ayn Rand's victimhood texts, all ask Jews NOT to empathize (or even trust) non-Jews. They do this in en encoded way, but the subtext is always, "Jews can't trust others."

If you're Jewish, these texts are ALL ABOUT YOU AND YOUR SUPERIORITY. Other lesser mortals are all murderers and thugs, not worthy of sharing with or caring about. This is the same text as the cowboys-and-indians one that wiped out hundreds of nations in the Americas.

This is a sick, cancer of a text, and Islam probably did the world a favor by containing it before it spread out too much (through proselytizing) and before this God-branded colonial text had a chance to kill the world with no resistance from the less selfish and less morbidly materialistic.
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