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As a half a Jew, a person with a gentile mother and Jewish father, I have always been interested in the bible and the "holy land" of Israel.  At Sunday school, the teachers told us stories of the bible as if they were true fact.  Israel, they said was promised by God to the Jewish people.  

Growing up as a child before there even was a present day Israel, beside my bed I always had a small cardboard bank in the shape of a church for my "pennies for Israel."  It turns out there may never have been a historical Israel or Jewish people as described in the bible.

We are presently in "a golden" period of Archeological research about Israel.  Now scientists in Israel are investigating historical claims to the land, the bible, when it was written, how accurate it is and just WHO was Jesus?  I have been engaged recently reading other related research and the newest book out on the subject of Jewish historical entitlement to the "land of Israel" is out: This is a link to the book launch for the book "The Invention of the land of Israel!" http://www.youtube.com/...

The archeologists’ digs near the Jordanian border find evidence of domesticated camels sort of 930-900 BC. But they don’t find that evidence in any settlements older than 930 BC. There is a pretty clear dividing line between the pre-domestic camel and post- domestic camel settlements.

Although it was likely based on previous oral tales, the Bible probably wasn’t written down in something like its present form until the Babylonian exile, 586-539 B.C. When those scribes reworked the folk tales of the Canaanites, they projected sixth-century BC realities back into the past. Thus, they had characters riding camels before they were domesticated. Riding a camel was taken for granted in 580 BC.

You might think this point is a minor one. But it demonstrates how the scribes worked. They projected recent things into the distant past.

The archeological evidence shows that not only weren’t people riding camels in the Levant when the Bible says they were, David and Solomon didn’t have a huge palace in Jerusalem in the 1000s and 900s BC. The Assyrians, the gossips of the ancient world, wrote down everything on their clay tablets. They knew events in the whole Middle East. They did not know anything about a glorious kingdom of David and Solomon at Jerusalem. Indeed, in the 1000s when David is alleged to have lived, Jerusalem seems to have been largely uninhabited, according to the digs that have been done. Jerusalem was not in any case founded by Jews, but by Canaanites in honor of the god Shalem, thousands of years ago. There is no reason to think anyone but Canaanites lived in the area of Jerusalem in the 1000s or 900s BC. Likely some Canaanites became devoted to Y*H*W*H in a monotheistic way during the Babylonian exile when they began inventing Judaism and becoming “Jews” and projecting it back into the distant past.

In short, those far right wing Israelis who use the bible stories as a basis for kicking Palestinians out of their homes in East Jerusalem are making many mistakes, including historical ones, as well as human rights mistakes.(my bold)

Well, this raises a lot of questions in my mind.  I wonder what the implications are for folks, true Christian believers and fundamentalists?  It is quite startling to me an unbeliever.  Please go below the squiggle for more:

I am now also reading “The Bible Unearthed” by Finkelstein and Silberman (The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts)which discusses related research.

In this iconoclastic and provocative work, leading scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman draw on recent archaeological research to present a dramatically revised portrait of ancient Israel and its neighbors. They argue that crucial evidence (or a telling lack of evidence) at digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon suggests that many of the most famous stories in the Bible—the wanderings of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua’s conquest of Canaan, and David and Solomon’s vast empire—reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts.
Considering all the great and substantial religions of the world and the provable time they have been in existence, it always strikes me as inappropriate the sway that Judeo/Christian/Abrahamic religions have on the planet.

Again, this is a link to the book launch for the book "The Invention of the land of Israel!" http://www.youtube.com/...  and here again is the link to the book seller of The Bible Unearthed: The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts

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Comment Preferences

  •  History and myth often get entangled. (10+ / 0-)

    It only becomes a problem when myths are taken as facts.

  •  Fascinating stuff (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whenwego, Keone Michaels, Brecht

    Once your particular group has inhabited an area for a century or so, you feel like it's "your" land.  And that it must have always been that way.

    The Cake is a lie. In Pie there is Truth. ~ Fordmandalay

    by catwho on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:03:25 PM PST

    •  Well, I've been living in this house for 15 years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels, catwho

      And now no one can construct ANYTHING around me: NIMBY!

      Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

      by whenwego on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:08:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  similar views are held by those who (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels

      believe that the American Southwest should be "given back to Mexico"

      After all, the descendents of white Spanish settlers stole it from the indigenous people long before the descendents of white English settlers stole it from them.

      It's pretty hard to find the original people anywhere- and the notion that a particular god "gave" land to a particular tribe is really laughable. ( Notice that that god "told" the Israelites that he was giving them the land, but apparently didn't tell anyone else- and as we all know, with regards real estate, only written contracts are valid.)

      As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

      by BPARTR on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:48:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The original people who lived here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Keone Michaels

        in Northern New Mexico aren't hard to find at all. They're right down the road still. And I'm not sure how Mexico represents Native people better than the US would. Certainly the Zapatistas didn't think it did a decent job. It's good to remember that Mexico is also a relic of colonialism.

        I don't disagree with the rest of what you said. but the south west is one of the worst examples of what you're talking about.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:20:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That was really my point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Keone Michaels

          Mexico is also a relic of colonialism

          That is why the notion that the southwest is inherently "Mexican" is silly.  And, while the Native Americans or native populations of the southwest certainly are genetically closer to the "original" inhabitants of the region, population migrations and displacements occurred in prehistory here too.

          My point is how far back do you go?  Does Europe belong to the Neanders?

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:26:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  To be fair, ethnically the south west is closer (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Keone Michaels

            northern Mexico than to the majority of the US.

            My point is how far back do you go?  Does Europe belong to the Neanders?
            I noted my specific criteria. If the conquering people are still oppressing the displaced people then the displaced people have a right to restitution or land from the conquering people. "How far back" is a pretty useless measure in my mind. What the political situation is in regards to one group oppressing the other matters much more.

            People tend to cite native people and our displacement of them as some sort of impossible to resolve situation, when really it isn't that hard to figure out if we were actually serious about making things right. Ditto with virtually every other current situation. The biggest thing getting in the way is the people who are oppressors, not some sort of historical calculus. Because any other way we look at it leads us to pretty much throw up our hands and give up.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 03:54:34 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Different perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keone Michaels, Brecht

    I've never considered looking at the bible or any religious texts from that angle. Is the setting historically accurate seems to be such an obvious angle to view it from once it is pointed out.

    Of course to the religious, they all came from Noah who was far more advanced than what the archaeologists have found. Logic and facts have little value when fighting religious faith.

    The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

    by Travelin Man on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:11:46 PM PST

  •  Be careful with your suppositions. (8+ / 0-)

    Your case against the reality of the existence of ancient Jews (actually Israelites at the time -"Jews" were not a nomenclature until the division of Israel and Judah) is based on the same half-truths you level against the Old Testament. There is as much archeological evidence substantiating the bible stories as you claim invalidates them. Any accredited archeologist will tell that the digs they work  at reveal only bits of the truth and then only grudgingly.  

  •  The book you're talking about is not new. (5+ / 0-)

    Whether biblical stories are true or not, it has nothing to do with the fact that Jews lived in the area since at least 700-800 BC.

    •  Thanks for the comment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, brasilaaron

      You are right, The Bible unearthed was published in 2002.  The Invention of The Land Of Israel  was just published this year.  Go to the link to see the authors book launch.

      Many tribes have shared this space over the thousands of years.  The point is that the Bible cannot be taken as history or a justification for taking land.

      •  Assuming that none of the biblical stories (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Keone Michaels, GermanGuy

        that date earlier than 8th century BC are true (some probably are to some extent), Jews still lived in the area for a long time. That of course doesn't automatically entitle them to settle there again but post-WWII their options were rather limited. So we ended up with Israel. Some people use Bible to justify annexation of West Bank but people routinely use religion to justify doing what they want.

        •  Did you know Jews were offered a huge chunk of (0+ / 0-)

          prime Africa real estate instead of this peace of land that they ended up settling.

          The Zionists were adamant that it had to be where it is because "God" had promised it.

          •  3500 years of continuous... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mets102, Nisi Prius, FG, GermanGuy

            ...Jewish presence and history on the land isn't enough for you?

            I come from the same background you do, and I do not view "Zionist" as a dirty word.

            The Zionists were adamant that it had to be where it is because "God" had promised it.
            This statement is false.  Israel is our historic homeland because it is the place from where our people originate.

            We didn't come from Uganda.  We came from the place where modern day Israel exists, and therefore Israel represents a rare example of an indigenous people taking back their historic homeland.

            Israel's modern founding and continued existence has nothing whatsoever to do with belief in a g-d that neither I,  nor probably most Israelis, believe in.

            I wish this meme would stop.

            •  Well, not enough for ethnic cleansing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Keone Michaels

              And Jews came form all over. As did we all.

              That said, Jews have just as much right to live where they do right now as Palestinians, and my only problem with the situation is that the Palestinians don't enjoy the same right of return that Jews do.

              And 3500 years is a bit of an exaggeration. Based on archeological evidence it's probably 2500-3000.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:04:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mets102, Nisi Prius, GermanGuy

                ...that ethnic cleansing is a tragedy.  The 900,000 Jews who were ethnically cleansed from elsewhere throughout the Middle East in the middle of the last century found a welcoming home in Israel.

                Where we are all from.

                No, Jews do not 'come from all over.'  We come from Israel.  We have certainly lived in other places over the past few thousand years, but we are from Israel.

                The Palestinians are free to set any immigration policies they'd like within their own territories.  If you have a problem with their policies, it would make much more sense for you to take that up with them, rather than their neighbor, Israel.

                Otherwise, you'll run the risk of appearing to merely be much more concerned with destroying the world's sole Jewish state, than with building up a Palestinian state.

                Which I'm sure you are not.  Are you?

                •  I think that the ethnic cleansing of Jews from (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Keone Michaels

                  various countries in the region following the founding of Israel was horrible, absolutely horrible. It's sad that you can't recognize that the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was equally horrible.

                  Otherwise, you'll run the risk of appearing to merely be much more concerned with destroying the world's sole Jewish state, than with building up a Palestinian state.

                  Which I'm sure you are not.  Are you?

                  Unless I have some new found political power that I lacked previously then I have no control over either of these things. I can only say my thoughts on the situation and say what I think is wrong. And I apologize if you're offended by my opposition to a state founded on ethnic cleansing, but that's just who I am.

                  And the Jews did not come from Israel originally, they wandered and were in many different places. And seriously, were you born in Israel?

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:36:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So you only... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mets102

                    ...have 'the political power' to 'say your thoughts' that Israel is wrong even when your problem would clearly be much better addressed by speaking to those in charge of the Palestinian Authority?

                    It's sad that you can't address this.

                    I'm not aware of any state in this discussion founded on ethnic cleansing.  Perhaps that's something you should bring to the attention of the 21% of Israel's population which is Arab, and especially to the Arab members of the Knesset.  I'm sure they're in need of your enlightenment as to their having been wiped out of Israeli society, in the same manner in which Jews have been wiped out of the public life and population of all of its neighbors.

                    No, I wasn't born in Israel.  I was born in Lakewood, New Jersey.  Thanks for asking.

                    But my ancestors come from that land, as did all of ours.

                    And the Jews did not come from Israel originally, they wandered and were in many different places.
                    Oh, I see we have a scholar on the Jewish people here.  Please tell us more.  I would like to subscribe to your newsletter, sir.

                    (And excuse me while I roll my eyes...)

                    •  If you continue to deny the ethnic cleanising (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Keone Michaels

                      of Palestinians then there's no conversation to be had here.

                      Oh, I see we have a scholar on the Jewish people here.  Please tell us more.  I would like to subscribe to your newsletter, sir.
                      So now you think the bible is wrong?

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:05:07 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There's definitely a conversation to be had. (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mets102, GermanGuy

                        You just aren't open to having it.  Don't blame that on me.

                        I haven't read any bible, and I don't care what any of them say about anything.

                        If they're right they're right, if they're wrong they're wrong.

                        At least you didn't follow up here by asking for my blood type.  Or demanding to see my birth certificate.

                        So there's one positive, I guess.

                        •  Why would I ask either of those things? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Keone Michaels

                          And you can't even admit to the fact that you don't think Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from Israel. If that hadn't had happened then Israel would not currently be majority Jewish. Israel gives the right of return to people who have never lived in Israel and whose family hasn't lived in Israel for centuries, and yet deny the right of return to those who owned homes there before the founding of the state of Israel. But keep pretending it isn't built on ethnic cleansing.

                          The thing that really saddens me about the situation is that Palestine will only get "justice" once anti-semitism in the countries that support Israel reaches too high of a level for those countries to continue supporting Israel. And then the Jews in the region will be exiled again and the shitty cycle will begin again. And if that never happens then Israel will continue it's expansion from the Jordan to the sea.

                          Of course, you want to think I hate Jews. I don't. You want to think that anyone who opposes Israel necessarily opposes Zionism and is anti-semitic. Mainly because it lets you continue dehumanizing Palestinians. It lets you continue to pretend that they weren't ethnically cleansed like the Jews have so often been. But you won't admit these things, and I don't expect you to. That's why there can't be a conversation.

                          At least you didn't follow up here by asking for my blood type.  Or demanding to see my birth certificate.
                          Why would I ask for those things? You're the one who brought up the diarist's Jewishness. I assume you're Jewish and American, although I could be wrong on the second one I suppose. But either way, what would your blood type have to do with it? Are you going to accuse me of saying you drink the blood of babies next?

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:37:36 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Because... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mets102

                            ...you asked this of me, just a couple of comments upthread -

                            And seriously, were you born in Israel?
                            Can you please provide a list of people who own homes within the State of Israel who are being denied the right to return to them?

                            Again, I suggest you bring this 'ethnic cleansing' thing to the attention of the 21% of Israel's population which is Arab, and its members serving in the Knesset.  For you to withhold this very important information from them is just wrong.  They need to be told by you, these things that you know.

                            Your Livingstone Formulation is duly noted.  I have never once made an accusation of antisemitism throughout this thread.

                            Your assumption would be correct, though since I've already told you that I was born in New Jersey, and my username indicates I was recently in Portland, and a click on same would inform you that I am now living in Philadelphia, I'm not quite sure why you would question whether or not I am an American.

                          •  First, sorry for the confusion about the "born in" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Keone Michaels

                            Question. But you said all Jews were from Israel. You specifically said:

                            No, Jews do not 'come from all over.'  We come from Israel.
                            I can understand why you would take offense at that based on the history of "dual loyalty" bullshit that Jews have to endure. That was not my point at all. You weren't born in Israel. You are not "from" Israel. You're far less "from" Israel than I'm from Ireland, and I'm not allowed to move back there. So what makes you so special that you have the right to go back to somewhere that relatives you've never met and who's name you likely don't even know were kicked out of their homes thousands of years ago and you're so special that you have a right to displace people to go "home".

                            And sure, maybe Israel waited out the hundreds of thousands they ethnically cleansed. It was more than 60 years ago now, so they won the waiting game. Not including of course the people removed from their land to build the apartheid wall. Of course, you don't count them because they're terrorists, or enablers.

                            I have never once made an accusation of antisemitism throughout this thread.
                            Except when you brought up the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the various countries as if I didn't know or didn't care. You can pretend that you didn't imply that I only cared about the Palestinians. You can also pretend that this:
                            Otherwise, you'll run the risk of appearing to merely be much more concerned with destroying the world's sole Jewish state, than with building up a Palestinian state.

                            Which I'm sure you are not.  Are you?

                            Wasn't actually an accusation of me being anti-semitic. Pretend away. What you're implying is clear. Just because you don't use the word doesn't mean you aren't saying it.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:11:12 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Actually... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mets102, GermanGuy

                            ...if you have one Irish grandparent, you are allowed to move to Ireland.

                            Look it up if you'd like.  Dozens of other nations have favorable immigration laws for those of their ethnicity, as well.

                            Since you mentioned being Irish, why don't you set the example by battling Ireland's laws of return first?

                            Again, you definitely need to inform the 21% of Israel's Arab population, and the Arab members of the Knesset, that they've been ethnically cleansed from Israel.  They certainly need to know this important fact.

                •  The evidence just doesn't support your meme. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  That is what the Israeli scientists are saying.  Didn't you read the post?  Historical and archeological evidence does not support continuous occupation in the holy land by either the Jewish people or the Palestinians for that matter.  3,500 years.  Just plain wrong.  Read the historical and DNA evidence please.  Then come and talk about it.

                  Also, the  DNA evidence just doesn't support:

                  Israel--Where we are all from.
                  A lot has been said about "the Jewish gene" which does not really exist the way ultra orthodox Jews believe.  According to the analysis of the DNA, the majority of what ended up being the 8 million European Jews that immigrated originated from Jews that were driven into Europe by the Romans and they came from tribal areas of Turkey.  They were in the main, Jewish men with Christian wives and the whole fantasy about a pure population that originated in Israel and persisted in it's purity thru the ages is just fallacy.
                  •  I know... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Mets102

                    ...that, of course, the guy who leads his diary off with the words...

                    As a half a Jew
                    ...should certainly be taken as an authority on all such matters.
                    •  And you have some sort of evidence to offer (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Keone Michaels

                      in support of what you're saying? Or should we just take your Jewishness as proof enough?

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:23:59 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I've not claimed... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Mets102, GermanGuy

                        ...to be an absolute authority in such an offensive manner.

                        I freely offer anybody the opportunity to challenge anything I say.

                        I'm not quite sure what the point of your reply here is other than to try to get some sort of 'shot' in at me.

                        If you do have something of value to say, please clarify and I will consider and respond accordingly.

                        Thank you.

                        •  So you aren't actually making any claims (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Keone Michaels

                          except that the people you disagree with are wrong. But you won't say exactly how except that they are only "half Jew". Maybe you can show me the evidence you have of your earlier claim: "No, Jews do not 'come from all over.'  We come from Israel.  We have certainly lived in other places over the past few thousand years, but we are from Israel." Because I haven't seen you provide a lick of evidence for this claim. So please, let me know, where's the evidence of this?

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:40:52 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I feel no need... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mets102

                            ...to prove what is obvious to one who seems intent on denying history.  You have Google.  You can look up the history of the Jewish people for yourself if you're really interested.

                            Exactly why you seem so intent on proving whatever 'point' you are trying to make is beyond me.

                          •  That had the least content of any (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Keone Michaels

                            comment I've ever seen.

                            You should have just said "google it". and been done with it.

                            Of course, since I don't know what your point is I can't know what to google. Not that you care about making a point here, apparently other than "the diarist is wrong". You haven't even provided a link disproving a single thing the diarist wrote. Not a single link. And yet it's suppose to be obvious. If I have something obvious to prove I provide a quick link when someone asks, or I shut up.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:15:27 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I did say that, actually. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Mets102

                            In response to your completely content-free comment, I told you to Google the answer you sought.

                            I tell you the same thing now.

                            The 'content' you seek is well within your own grasp.

                          •  Which means you can't support your argument (0+ / 0-)

                            so you want me to do the work for you.

                            Sorry, if you can't be bothered to provide a link then you've got nothing I care to read.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:12:46 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wow, I wish I knew I could jest tell people (0+ / 0-)

                            to go to google when I was in school and did research papers. It would have made it a lot easier to convince people of things.

                            And you do realize that google customizes search results, right? So I'm not going to get the same results as you. Not that you care about convincing anyone, if you were then you'd provide some evidence.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:55:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Mahalo for the participation Jay (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      JayinPortland

                      I didn't mean to offend you or anyone else with the term "half a Jew."  It has been my observation that the term is commonly recognized as a derogatory label with most Jews as there is no such thing according to the Rabbinical doctrine and otherwise humorously by most "observant Jews."  

                      I meant it in a self deprecating way and meant to be humorous.  I'm sorry that escaped you.

                      Jews aside, the story of Israel is one of a mixture myth and real events like the rest of human history.  Bones reputed to be those of Alexander are tested and found not to be his, etc.  A thousand examples exist on the planet.  Timelines shift.  Etc. etc.  The public face is not always the face of reality.  

                      Anyway, thanks for the comments.  Reading your responses I see how much you are committed to your religion and admire that.  Aloha.

          •  Oh please. That Africa deal was a joke. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, Keone Michaels

            They would have died from tropical diseases.

    •  history (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels, GermanGuy

      With that logic, should native Americans retake Long Island?  Don't get me wrong, I think Israel is now a fact--and has to dealt with as a modern nation.

      Actions speak louder than petitions.

      by melvynny on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:42:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is a wonderful comment. (0+ / 0-)

        In your mind you made a leap that was not even inferred by what I wrote but nevertheless, that apparently is how we made the decision to  "give" the "holy land" to Jewish settlers from Europe.

        If you are "promised" the land by God, that apparently was the basis for transfer of sovereignty to a new nation.   No wonder it has a taint.  Which God?  Whose God?  

      •  They should have a right to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Keone Michaels

        as far as I'm concerned. But they're also still under the oppression of the people who kicked them out of Long Island, so it's a very different situation. If Rome still ruled the Levant then it would be something analogous.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 01:25:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Israel (0+ / 0-)

    Although zionism had its roots well before WWII, Israel was created to rid Europe of any remaining unkilled Jews.  Anti-Semitism was still rampant and cramming Jews into a place as uninvited guests was sure to continue a "final solution."  I know this sounds cynical, but it does make sense.  Did Europeans rush to help nascent Israel?  Did the US?

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:26:16 PM PST

  •  Breaking News (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keone Michaels

    Stories in the bible

    reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts.
    The "bible" (or whichever version is currently in vogue)
    is not a historical record! Who wudda thunk?

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:43:23 PM PST

  •  Off to the library but will answer comment laterz (0+ / 0-)
  •  when you think about it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keone Michaels

    it is most likely that the canaanites became the ancient hebrews over time, and that the present-day palestinians are probably in large part the descendants of the ancient hebrews. ethnicities, languages, religions and identities wash over populations who more or less stay in place. yes, there are outside influences, with conquests and diasporas, but it's not like agrarian populations just evaporate when a new regime shows up and starts writing new histories of the new collective identity.

    the same dynamic is true in places all over the world. the aryan conquest of india and the chinese conquest of south china largely follow the same basic pattern.

  •  Sand also says there was no Palestinian people. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keone Michaels, AoT
    Finally, did a Palestinian people exist?

    No. The Palestinians were Arabs who lived in this region for hundreds of years. Zionist colonization forged the Palestinian people.

    Nor was there a French, Russian, Italian, or Vietnamese people, as well as no Jewish people, 500 years ago.

    Ha'artez Interview.

    Regarding Sand's first book, Anita Shapira, heads the Chaim Weizmann Institute for the Study of Zionism and Israel at Tel Aviv University, told Ha'aretz:

    There was nothing new in Prof. Sand’s first book, Shapira says. It is, after all, the old debate about nationalism, from the 1980s: Does nationalism contain an ancient historical core, or is it a creation of the 19th century? Other than resorting to extreme terminology, Sand does nothing there that we didn’t argue about earlier.

    ... The expression ‘All Jews are responsible for each other’ is not a religious one. Sand repeats the same mantras that were already trite in the 1980s and 1990s, and recycles them. ...”

    Reviewing Sand's current book, Israel Bartal, Dean of Faculty of Humanities at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Avraham Harman Chair in Jewish History, takes a different approach: "the author sets out to demonstrate in this volume what every researcher of nationalism knows and what all researchers of Zionism stipulate: the Land of Israel as a geopolitical concept was born only in the modern era." (Emphasis in original).
    Anyone who is well versed in the rich research literature on the Land of Israel and its history, and relates only to the historiographic level of Sand’s book, may mistake it for just another old-fashioned ‘Zionist’ work, somewhat conservative and rather weakly related to the current state of research. For example, the claim that the Zionists nationalised the Jewish religious discourse and transformed holy soil into national territory –‘the Land of Israel’ – was agreed and accepted (to differing degrees) by almost all producers of the foundational texts that line Zionist bookshelves, not to mention several generations of Zionist historians. Is there anyone in Israeli academia (after all, Sand is a professor of history at a leading Israeli university) who does not know that the pioneers of the Jewish national movement, keen to rebel against the Talmudic legacy and the kabbalistic spiritualisation of the Land of Israel, recruited the Bible for a revolutionary venture in national culture under the influence of Protestantism? They laid hands on the age-old treasures of the Jewish religious corpus, extracted various concepts and insights from it and coupled them to a new national narrative. Zionist activists were well aware of the relations that existed between British and other Christian millennialists and the Jewish intellectuals who are known as the ‘forerunners of Zionism’ – a connection that Zionist historiography has researched up, down, and across for generations.

    However, the Zionist innovators, unlike Shlomo Sand, did not consider their venture and political culture a forgery, a lie or a propaganda trick. On the contrary, they viewed it as an exalted act – the systematic uncovering of a historical truth that the rabbinical elite had concealed from the Jewish masses by silencing it and banishing it from conscious thought. The rediscovery of a real country with hills, vales, rivers and shores in ancient texts played a definitive role in the cultural endeavors of several preeminent Zionist thinkers. Izhak Ben Zvi and David Ben-Gurion ‘translated’ biblical and Talmudic geographic information into geopolitical concepts, à la European nationalism, and created a cultural infrastructure for the concretisation of the boundaries of the Zionist settlement project. Sand does relate to the geographic and historical project of these two socialist leaders but tosses in a pronouncedly ahistorical remark that links their book, Eretz Israel, with early 21st-century European colonialism. Nevertheless, by producing this book, Ben Zvi and Ben-Gurion made their contribution to the Zionist ‘Ingathering Project,’ a far-reaching cultural endeavor that its progenitors considered a vehicle that would link the intellectual assets of the past with the modern national enterprise. The idea behind this project, which Sand evidently considers yet another product of Zionist mendacity, was to provide the Jews with an alternative way of remembering the past. While embodying a rebellion against the past, it also offered much continuity. Obviously, the ultra-Orthodox Jew who adhered to the old world of faith, along with the liberal who wished to rupture for good his irksome link with the disturbing and embarrassing memory of a distant and unfamiliar land, were partners in their opposition to the dual-edged Zionist uprising: against both the ancient legacy and the contemporaneous universalism. In the historiographical part of his work, Sand describes accurately (albeit sometimes in a simplistic manner that overlooks the complexity of the cultural processes that modern nationalism instigated in Jewish society) the contours of this Zionist uprising.

    In sum, Sand’s book illuminates the metamorphoses of the Zionist struggle to impress on members of an ancient people a renewed and revolutionary connection with a homeland, the memory of which had been maintained for generations in collections of books, festival rituals and prayerbooks. Alongside that sits the author’s seething hatred of Zionism, and everything associated with it, and this prompts him to present the struggle of the Jewish national movement as a set of falsehoods, distortions and prejudices. The critical reader finds the perpetuation of the basic outlines of secular Zionist thinking and the rejection of those same outlines politically, as the author careens from an Orthodox anti-Zionist point of view to radical European Enlightenment-style anti-nationalism and back again. These two extremes, against which Jewish national thinking rebelled from its outset, delegitimised (and are still delegitimising) the historical and cultural relation between the Jews and the Land of Israel. Like those two extremes, the author of The Invention of the Land of Israel also vehemently rejects any connection with the land that is not ‘religious’ or its opposite, a ‘civilian’ relationship between nation and land. But if we bracket the epithets against Zionism specifically, and nationalism more generally, and overlook the statements of political disagreement that shadow the familiar Zionist historiography, we find that Sand has produced an account of a complex historical process in which intellectuals, authors and statecrafters managed to re-weave strands of an age-old religious heritage into an innovative whole in political ideology. Sand has corroborated the familiar, or one may even say the classical Zionist account.

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:25:48 PM PST

  •  On the foxnews chiron right now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keone Michaels

    800,000 year old footprints found in England.  really.

  •  Comment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Keone Michaels

    Most of the Old Testament is pretty disconnected with fact.  This doesn't mean the Israelites weren't around before 900BC.  (I don't know when they developed a monotheistic religion, which is when they could reasonably be called "Jewish" irrespective of when they self-identified using that term.)

    And the hazard with all of this is that you're applying recent (e.g., the last 300-400 years) Anglo-American real estate law to something that came down 3000 years ago.  There was no concept of "property" as we understand it now.  And the Middle East is entirely about real estate (and the black gooey stuff underneath it).

    Incidentally, Israel was originally populated overwhelmingly by refugees from Europe (and to a lesser degree, North American emigrants), who tended to be well educated and progressive.  Now, the fastest growing groups are Jews from other parts of the middle east, who are far more culturally conservative and who were largely unaffected by events in Europe.  (Remember that ultra-Orthodox Jews don't recognize Reform or Conservative Jews as Jewish, nor even most Orthodox.  

    •  Another funny twist. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, liberaldregs
      Incidentally, (present day) Israel was originally populated overwhelmingly by refugees from Europe (and to a lesser degree, North American emigrants), who tended to be well educated and progressive.
      A lot has been said about "the Jewish gene" which does not really exist the way ultra orthodox Jews believe.  According to the analysis of the DNA, the majority of what ended up being the 8 million European Jews that immigrated originated from Jews that were driven into Europe by the Romans and they came from tribal areas of Turkey.  They were in the main, Jewish men with Christian wives and the whole fantasy about a pure population that originated in Israel and persisted in it's purity thru the ages is just fallacy.
  •  New title for the Old Testament? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Keone Michaels

    Tall Tales from the Desert.

  •  Great post. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Keone Michaels

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