At NYU, devilish Shlomo Sand predicts the Jewish past and pastes the Zionists

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 167 Comments

Of all the events I’ve covered surrounding Jewish identity and Israel in the last year, none has given me so much pleasure as the lecture last night by Shlomo Sand at NYU on the Invention of the Jewish People. Most events I go to are grinding, awful, heartrending, often with lamentations and pictures of mutilated children. This one was pure intellectual deviltry of the highest order by a Pavarotti of the lecture hall. And while it was fiercely anti-Zionist and included references to the mutilated children, it left me in just an incredibly elated mood. For I saw real light at the end of the tunnel, and not the horrifying dimness that surrounds almost all other events that deal with Israel politics here– for instance with the neoconservative Weekly Standard’s disgusting pursuit of J Street.

This pleasure was entirely Shlomo Sand’s achievement. He walked by me going down to the lectern and I noticed his physical vanity at once. He had expensive shoes on, designer jeans or cords, a zipup black jacket and a black shirt under that unbuttoned to the sternum. He is lean and mid-60sish, and behaves like a player. His beard is cut in an interesting manner, he wears designer glasses. I wondered if he dyed his hair. All glorious devil.

Sand has an excitable, self-referential style, and he began the lecture by breaking his guitar. “Jewish history is not my field.” No, but once he had discovered that the story of the connection of the Jewish people to the Holy Land was a myth, he decided that he would secretly explore the history but not publish until he got tenure for doing other work. Because if he published this first, “there would not be any chance of being a full professor. Not only in Tel Aviv. But at NYU too.”

Everyone laughed, but Sand said, “That is not a joke. I must write the book after I see that no one could touch me really.” More devil. Though Sand is right. This is no joke.

Sand studies European history, but Israel has a separate department in every school for Jewish history, and Zionists run these departments. “I have not a right to write about Jewishness.” The Zionist history holds that the Jews have an ancient connection biblically to the land, and were exiled from the Middle East in 70 AD, in what became the Diaspora. The Jews of New York and Warsaw. Sand began to question this story when he saw archaeologists’ work about the early Christian times and also when he saw scientific data. The exile is absurd. The Romans persecuted the Jews. They didn’t exile them.

At this point came the first interruption by a Zionist. A bald man in the third row or so called out, “What about Bar Kochba?” And: the Jews weren’t exiled because they were killed.

Sand seemed to live for this interruption. He walked up to the audience with his eyes gleaming, and congratulated the man for his knowledge of the Bar Kochba revolt of 135 AD, after the Second Temple destruction, and agreed with him, but also dismissed him. Yes many Jews were killed. And for the rest of the lecture Sand would dance toward this man and tease him that he was Jewish—he was—and urge him to buy the book to discover the gaps in his knowledge, or by the end of the lecture, say that he would buy the book for him himself, to improve him. More deviltry.

Back to the exile myth. The expelled diasporic Jews went in a straight line north to Europe, made a right into the land between the Caspian and the Black Seas, Kazaria, and also north to Russia and Poland; and when they got there in the 1800s they made a u-turn and started back to Palestine. The absurdity of the myth is that there were always Jews in the Middle East. The Jews were peasants and mingled with other populations. The Jews were not passive actors. They were at times a majority in the Holy Land and conquerors of the Arabian peninsula before the Arabs, and of North Africa too. For a time, they did not have a bar against proselytization. The Maccabees were the first to undertake forced conversion. In the 8th century the Jews and the Muslim Berbers were likely the invaders of Spain.

Sand offered very little by way of evidence. You will find that in his “boring” book, he said. This was an aria not a chalktalk. The Jews of the Middle East made several kingdoms over the years. One in Yemen, another in Babylon, another in North Africa, where they fought the Arabs. Sand said he loves the curly hair of the Yemenite Jews. More deviltry, with some concupiscence thrown in.

The Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe originated in Kazaria. They were hugely successful and founded a great city, Kiev. We can claim to have founded Kiev, but not Jerusalem, he said. Because the Jews who lived in the Holy Land stayed in the Holy Land. Many of the people we now call Palestinians were originally Jews. The chance that someone who lives in Hebron today and speaks Arabic is a direct descendant of a Jew in ancient times is 1000 times greater than the possibility that I am descended from a Jew, Shlomo Sand declared.

Let’s move on from the mythology to the issue of national identity. Identity is formed by many many associations. “I don’t deny Jewish identity. I’m not fighting against someone’s identity. There is identity of homosexuals. They are not a people. We are composed of a lot of identities.” Two Catholic share a religious identity, but again, that is not a national identity with a tie to land.

Nationalism took root in human political development in the 1800s. The Germans and French began the project by inventing the idea of a German and French people. The French history books declared outright in the first sentence that the Gauls were their ancestors. It was a way to valorize the nation state, which was an essential part of modernity.

What is a people? A people generally shares a way of life, a language, a food, a geography. There is no Jewish language. Shlomo Sand stumbles proudly in English, while of course many of the people in the audience were Jews speaking English. Food the Israelis have–stolen from the Palestinians—and still you must say that there is an Israeli people. But they are not the Jewish people. They are Israeli people, and the Palestinians are Palestinian people. Both made by Zionism.

The Zionist project began inventing the idea of a Jewish people in the 1870s as a reflection of other nationalisms. The Zionists turned to the Bible for the foundational myth. The biblical myths are taught in Israeli schools from before children are taught mathematics and language–taught about the biblical associations of Jews to this land. But the Exodus is a complete myth. “As a historian, I try and predict the past. I’m not a prophet.” And what are the true predictions of the past: at the supposed time of the Exodus, the Egyptians also controlled Canaan. The kingdom of David and Solomon was not a kingdom at all, but a small settlement around Jerusalem.

Sand had run over his 45 minutes. In the Question and Answer period, his passion and intellectual majesty announced themselves. He sought to engage with the Zionists in the crowd, and did so out of moral fervor. When Sand said that Israel was not a democracy, and a Zionist called out, “It is a flawed democracy,” Sand bellowed. No: a democracy is founded on the idea that the people are the sovereign, that the people own the state. That is the first principle of a republic going back to Rousseau. Liberalism and civil rights are not the core. Yes, Israel is a liberal society. It tolerates Shlomo Sand’s heresy, for instance, and puts him on TV. But it is a liberal ethnocracy.

Down the row from me were two Arabs. I recognized the man from other events I have been to. I noticed how fulfilled they were by the talk, how quietly approving, and it was in this connection that we saw Sand’s passion: on behalf of the Palestinians. This part of the lecture brought tears to my eyes, it was so forceful and unapologetic. The idea that Joe Lieberman has a right to move to Israel tomorrow and a Palestinian whose ancestors have lived there for centuries cannot is an outrage, Sand said. But for 50 years the Palestinian Israelis were afraid to speak out.

“They were afraid because of the Nakba. They were afraid because of the military regime. Today this is a generation of young Palestinian Israelis that stop to be afraid. They become more anti-Israel in their politics the more they become Israelis.”

Ravishing fire.

Sand said that Gaza was just an intimation of the violence that might come when the Palestinians declare that they want a genuine democracy, a state of their own citizens in Palestinian-dominated Galilee. These are young Palestinian Israelis who don’t want to be part of the West Bank or of Gaza. They will be like the Kosovars of Serbia, who when the Serbs started to make an ethnic regime of the former Yugoslavia, did not want to be part of Albania, with whom they share religious connections, no they wanted to be their own country. (And got it, by the way, 60 years after the world falsely promised the Palestinians that they could have a state.) “They will build in Galilee a state of their citizens. That will start to be the end of Israel. Israel won’t let Galilee become a state of its citizens. It will be a mass murder, I’m afraid.”

Don’t we want to get past the idea of the nation-state? Of course we do, Sand said, but that is the era we are in. And tell that to the Palestinians. They want a state. Sand is for the two-state solution because the Palestinians ought to get a state after being denied it forever. As soon as the occupation, which has denied these Palestinians any civil or human rights for 42 years—more fire!—is ended, that is the day we throw ourselves into the project of making a confederation of Israel with Palestine and Jordan. The one-state solution is a utopia. “Utopia has to direct politics. Not replace politics. It’s too dangerous.” (Something like Hussein Ibish’s new book in that.)

When Sand spoke to Palestinian professors at Al Quds University, they told him to speak Hebrew, because they had all learned Hebrew in Israeli jails. And he told them that just because Israel had begun with a great crime did not mean that it had not begun. “Even a child that was born from a rape has a right to live. ’48 was a rape. But something happened in history. We have to correct and repair a lot of things.” The next day the Palestinian papers had his rape line in big headlines.

You have not talked about anti-Semitism, or self-hatred, said another Zionist, with a cap on. “I am anti-racist. And an anti-anti-semite,” he said. “But look at me, do you think I hate the Jewish?” More devil eyes flashing. “I don’t hate myself… I hate the Jewish people? But that doesn’t exist. How can I hate something that doesn’t exist?”

More Zionist claptrap from the claque: You say that a Jew can’t marry non-Jews in Israel, but two men can’t marry each other in this country! Sand laughed. Men should be able to marry each other here if they want to, and anyone should be able to marry anyone else in Israel. Why won’t the state recognize such marriages? Not because of the orthodox. No: the secular Jews gave the rabbis the power over marriage when they founded the Jewish state in ’48. They did so because “they were not sure of their identity, and needed religious criteria.”

What do you think of Israel Shahak, whose work says that ethnocentrism and chauvinism are built into the Jewish religion? Sand said that Shahak was a chemist and a man of tremendous moral force, but he didn’t know the material. (I say he’s right about this; all religious doctrines are interlarded with racism.)

Why are you not on Charlie Rose? asked a man with a beard. The man said, I watch Charlie Rose every night and I’m up to here with the Zionism on the show. He held his hand at his neck. Not just the Israelis, the American journalists who imbibe Zionism. Sand didn’t seem to know who Charlie Rose was. He has been on lots of Israeli TV shows. And been 19 weeks on the bestseller list in Israel. “Also in France.”

I thought, Why has Yivo not asked Sand to debate Michael Walzer? Two years back at Yivo/the Center for Jewish History, Walzer declared that the Jews are a people, a people like no other, without national borders. They have maintained a political community for 2000 years without geographical sovereignty, through a religious-legal structure. Interesting ideas. And it would be a fabulous debate. Where are you chickenshit Yivo, when these great ideas are bursting forth from the Jews who hate what Israel is doing to our identity?

I hope I am conveying something of the power of this event, and its incredible optimism and second sight. Sand challenged every Jew in the room to reimagine the future. “Most of the Jews [in the world today] are a product of conversion… I see the shame. And it is a shame. If you are born in the 20th century, and we were all born in the 20th century– to base your identity on biology.”

I thought as always of the American Jewish project: to end the Israel lobby and to end the myth of Jewish outsiderness. Sand had addressed this too. “The destiny of Israel. And the destiny of the Middle East depnds a lot on you, Americans.” This was a subject for its own lecture. But it was necessary for the Americans now to “save us from ourselves. I’m not joking about this.”

Do you fear for your life? someone asked.

“I’m worried in New York. Not in Tel Aviv. It’s not a joke. Really, I’m not joking.”

167 Responses

  1. former coMMenter
    October 17, 2009, 3:54 pm

    This guy is fantastic but I would’ve loved to dig more at the two-state issue. What happens to Zionism in Israel after the Palestinians get a state? We know people like Tipzi Livni imagine the transfer of Israeli Palestinians to the future Palestinian state. What is the basis for the future “confederation” he mentions, especially if ethnic nationalism continues in Israel?

  2. Gellian
    October 17, 2009, 4:22 pm

    Wow, great post, Phil. I got Sand’s book the day it came out in English last month. Freakin’ amazing – and not at all surprising. When I started looking into the ‘expulsion’ of the Jews by the Romans 2000 years ago, I quickly — VERY quickly — found that there isn’t the slightest shred of evidence for it.

    And like Sand did, I kept my mouth very tightly shut.

    This guy is awesome.

  3. potsherd
    October 17, 2009, 4:31 pm

    Because the Jews who lived in the Holy Land stayed in the Holy Land. Many of the people we now call Palestinians were originally Jews.

    And the Israelis are now taking the role of the Romans and expelling the descendants of the Jews.

    And for the story of the Exodus, look for Israel Finkelstein: link to

  4. Craig
    October 17, 2009, 5:04 pm

    I’m glad Sand’s book The Invention of the Jewish People is finally coming out in English. Naturally there are already hostile reviews at Amazon from people who are obviously Zionists, though they do not identify themselves as such. Seeing such rubbish, I was all the more pleased to submit an order for the book.

    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 11:52 am

      And Craig, the funniest part is this, as I well know fron my Jewish childhood: if you asked those people for the story of their lives and their families, just in the last few generations, it’s easy to see that conditions absolutely precluded any kind of genetic or even cultural or social insularity or cohesivness.
      Cause when you are being persecuted and kicked around the globe, the first thing you do is investigate all potential mates religious
      bona fiderwitzes.

      So which is it, Zionists? Did the Jews live in a maelstrom of persecution which made mere survival challenging, or did we all live comfortable, secure and prosperous lives which gave us all the time and resources to investigate the background (all the way back to the Ten Tribes) of any potential mates?

  5. VR
    October 17, 2009, 5:09 pm

    Yes, that is some good stuff from Israel Finkelstein potsherd.

    “The Zionists turned to the Bible for the foundational myth. The biblical myths are taught in Israeli schools from before children are taught mathematics and language–taught about the biblical associations of Jews to this land. But the Exodus is a complete myth. “As a historian, I try and predict the past. I’m not a prophet.” And what are the true predictions of the past: at the supposed time of the Exodus, the Egyptians also controlled Canaan. The kingdom of David and Solomon was not a kingdom at all, but a small settlement around Jerusalem.”

    It is interesting that you mention “fire” Phil. When someone is on fire, as in logic on fire, people will gather to watch him burn. Some have fire and no light, others have light and no fire, the combination of the two is unbeatable. Of course, all of this seems to be coming out now (perhaps being popularized) regarding the “origin” of the Jewish, but some have known for quite some time like biblical “minimalist” Philip R. Davies of Sheffield University, etc.


    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 11:54 am

      v, I always say (as you no doubt are painfully aware) that the Zionists are a bunch of Jews who are willing to die for the 19th (and early 19th, at that) Century British Public-school Biblical Geography!
      Oh well, you know the old saying: Dress British, and speak Yiddish! Excpet the ZIonists don’t like Yiddish, but that’s another sad story.

  6. MRW
    October 17, 2009, 6:06 pm

    Phil, Phil, Phil. Get an interview with him to post here.

  7. MRW
    October 17, 2009, 6:09 pm

    Phil…question: How did the audience react?

  8. MRW
    October 17, 2009, 6:13 pm

    Just for the record, Sand is the kind of Jew I knew before the 1979 Holocaust Museum went up, and everything became heavy-handed. Irrepressible, erudite, great sense of humor, and an allegiance to the truth, not to mention irony.

    Then, to my amazing disappointment, these same started carrying water for the Zio-myths that we debunk here regularly.

    • VR
      October 17, 2009, 7:16 pm

      Sand was actually a member of Matzpen in the 1960’s (something I posted a link to once when I was asked what a true Socialist view in Israel is like, especially when someone like “Chris” aka of Judeofascism infamy intimated that socialism was the driving force that caused the treatment of the Palestinians to be so horrid, as well as the “Jewish Mind” being the hatching place of all evil). I would say this gives him some progressive bona fides that has long roots, especially in light of the fact that Matzpen was in conflict over the nature of the Zionist state.


      For those who do not like to read –


      • MRW
        October 18, 2009, 5:45 am

        Great links.

    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 11:55 am

      What am I, chopped liver?

  9. carnas
    October 17, 2009, 7:37 pm

    Even if what Sand says were right, where does that get us? How does that move the discussion forward? Contribute to a peaceful resolution to the conflict?
    Sand himself acknowledges that there is an Israeli people, and they’re not moving anywhere. So it does none of these, but rather distracts from attempts to bring tangible change. And gets more money in his pocket, so he can work on his “physical vanity”.

    • VR
      October 17, 2009, 8:02 pm

      Lets see carnas – hmmm…in the main, rabid fascist Zionism which is doing these atrocious things to the Palestinians, plants its existence squarely on a myth. With the myth debunked there is no more charade, in religious garb. It is than incumbent on Israelis to say they plant their feet firmly in solid air.

      One of two things happens with this “unveiling,” either the Zionists continue on in the same direction and lose complete credibility in the global community (with none of their claimed foundation) or they admit it is true (what Sand says) and continue as complete hypocrites, or they do the reasonable thing and start to act like a true democracy (perhaps in degrees, but definitely move in this direction).

      If they insist on moving in the same direction declaring the myth it would br like me wearing a mask of Richard Nixon and talking like him – than someone tears the mask off my face but I keep acting the part and become a laughing stock. Or, after the mask is ripped off I admit I am not Richard Nixon, but keep talking like him and making his pronouncements, and than I eventually become an object of scorn. The same would go for the third scenario.

      Nations do not last long as they become laughing stocks or the object of scorn, it is a fatal blow to their legitimacy. With the myth like mystique gone eventually all extra-religious support goes away. It will be and is so devastating because Israel firmly plants its existence on this myth, so it either changes direction or it will begin to disappear slowly but surely.

      • carnas
        October 17, 2009, 10:03 pm

        Like the existence of the US is planted on the myth that it was founded solely by a group of peace-loving Pilgrims, who celebrated Thanksgiving with their Native American neighbors? Where are your feet planted, v – in the gated neighborhoods of Chicago, which ignore the African Americans stuffed in ghettos to the south or flee as soon as one moves to the neighborhood?

      • VR
        October 17, 2009, 10:26 pm

        I know carnas –

        you suck
        we suck worse
        no argument just stupid hasbara (not clever, stupid hasbara)

      • MRW
        October 18, 2009, 5:52 am


        This country was Spanish 278 years before it was anything else. And there is the issue of what is now Canada, which formed part of the ordeal of creating nations, involving the British and the French. The Spaniards and the Canadians created Thanksgiving. First.

        Your goose-step to African Americans in ghettos follows no historical precedent. Just a grenade to invoke slavery (a wholly Jewish operation from Amsterdam via Curacao) in an effort to conjure up the national stain.

        Bottom line? You dont know your history.

      • Mooser
        October 18, 2009, 12:03 pm

        “you suck
        we suck worse

        etc… v.

        Good work, v! As you may have noticed, No.1 and 2 (Israel Rocks!, Arabs Suck!) is pretty hard to sell around here, so they are all leaning pretty heavy on Nos. 3 (You Suck!) and 4 (The Whole Fleurshuggannh World Sucks, Leave Israel Alone Already!)

        Carnas, I very strongly suggest you read the article “How to Make the Case for Israel- And Win!” so you can deal with hasbara like a Chinese restaurant menu. Carpal tunnel will prevent you from being a sniper in the IDF, and you wouldn’t want that, would you? So save yourself some keystrokes:

        link to

      • Shingo
        October 18, 2009, 3:19 pm

        “Like the existence of the US is planted on the myth that it was founded solely by a group of peace-loving Pilgrim”

        Unlike Israel, the US has aknowleged it’s genocial past, accepted that they were crimes against humnanity carried out against an innocent people, and paid reperations. Israeli apologists like yourself argue that Israel’s crimes should be overlooked or tolerated as growing pains of a modern society because the America did it centuries ago.

    • Cliff
      October 17, 2009, 8:34 pm

      Whatever Sand is doing, it doesn’t compare to the Occupation. The daily abuse of the Palestinians by Nazis like yourself carnas.

      • Psychopathic god
        October 18, 2009, 8:15 am

        Cliff said,

        Whatever Sand is doing, it doesn’t compare to the Occupation. The daily abuse of the Palestinians ….


        MRW wrote,

        Just for the record, Sand is the kind of Jew I knew before the 1979 Holocaust Museum went up, and everything became heavy-handed.

        Sand is a teaspoon at the edge of the Mediterranean.
        How can that teaspoon change “facts on the ground” in Gaza and in the minds of Israelis, and how can “facts on the Mall” in the US change the minds of Americans who reflexively (and ignorantly) express exactly the opinion their propaganda ministers have trained them to express since at least 1979: thou shalt not expose the clay of Jewish feet.

    • potsherd
      October 17, 2009, 10:47 pm

      Not even the discredited American myth holds that Old Jehovah appeared in a cloud off Plymouth Rock and granted the Pilgrims title to the New World in perpetuity.

      But plenty of Zionists rest their case for their right to expropriate the Judeans who never left the land on this excuse.

    • Shingo
      October 18, 2009, 3:15 pm


      “Even if what Sand says were right, where does that get us?”

      It moves us greatly forward because one of the strongest myths that stands in in the way fo a Palesitnian State of Palestinians rights is the belief that the “Jews” were there first and that the Palestinians have no historical righst to the place.

      Once that myth is busted, then the ethos of the right wing settler movement is gone. Once that myth is busted, dissent is no longer suppressed because criticism of Israel is anti Semitic.

  10. Richard Witty
    October 17, 2009, 7:37 pm

    1000 to 1 chance that he was descended from the original Hebrews?

    Don’t be so gullible Phil.

    There is a difference between “all were exiled”, “some were exiled” and “none were exiled”.

    Again, the Jewish people are a Jewish people because we self-identify. Blood might be a part of it, or it may not.

    • Cliff
      October 17, 2009, 8:34 pm

      Is there a representative for ‘the Jewish’ people? Israel is a State – a political entity. Zionism is a political ideology.

      You keep saying ‘we’ and I can understand the self-identifying part but you have to clarify what being a Jew means.

      What does ‘the Jewish people’ entail?

      And that’s the point of the argument.

      He’s right to say there is an Israeli people. But when you begin saying a ‘Jewish people’ exists you have to define it.

      Palestinians are not a race. Palestinian identity is nationalistic. Like American identity.

      The difference between the former two and the case of ‘the Jewish people’ is that the latter is all encompassing. And in trying to have it all, you run into problems.

    • Chaos4700
      October 17, 2009, 11:54 pm

      That gives you no right to claim Palestinian territory, then, Richard, if all being Jewish represents is religion. I dare say you’ve painted yourself into a corner.

    • MRW
      October 18, 2009, 5:21 am

      Again, the Jewish people are a Jewish people because we self-identify

      Hunh? It is what I say so because I say so? Oh gee, that’s really brilliant.

      As for the exile triumvirate, Sand says archeology proves none were exiled.

      • Richard Parker
        October 18, 2009, 9:37 am

        “archeology proves none were exiled” is nonsense, because digging up only a few scattered remnants of anyone cannot ‘prove’ they never existed.

        However, it is a fact that no archaeological evidence whatsoever proves (particularly in Jerusalem) that Jews were even in Palestine (or Judaea and Samaria, whatever) at any time before the first few centuries of the ‘Common Era’.

        And in those years, they were Greek, not Jews.

        Shlomo Sand has put together some of what has been documented long before. But his exhibitionary character (as described by Phil) will do no good. He’ll simply be marginalised by “Serious People”.

      • LeaNder
        October 18, 2009, 10:28 am

        It would be no doubt easier if archeology wasn’t used to prove real estate rights.

        I’ve heard Israel archaeologists complain that the aren’t allowed to enter the site of the above project. Which admittedly feels a bit peculiar. Some are suspicious, even Israeli experts, some celebrate. Confusing.

    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 12:10 pm

      Again, the Jewish people are a Jewish people because we self-identify. Blood might be a part of it, or it may not.

      Nobody ever self-identified more strongly than the National Socialists of 1930s Germany, Richard. Why do you think that is such a virtue?
      Another words, Richard, if enough Jews believe something, it must be true (well, enough affluent Jews, anyway, with lots of help from like minded Gentiles and their countries. Credit where it’s due. Anyway, Richard, we are gonna need a whole shitload more Jews, like several billion, to make that work. You better get busy, Richard.

      Oh, and by the way, Richard, what do you mean by “blood” exactly. Could you tell us what percentage of Jewish “blood” (or any other type, for that matter) brings which characteristics and beliefs?

      But as far as self-identifying, Richard: So when we can prove to you (and that day is coming, fast) that the great majority of Jews do not think Zionism is the answer to our problems, you will be ready to give it up, right?

      • Shingo
        October 18, 2009, 3:24 pm

        “Oh, and by the way, Richard, what do you mean by “blood” exactly. Could you tell us what percentage of Jewish “blood” (or any other type, for that matter) brings which characteristics and beliefs?”

        Yes Richard,

        Explain how this Jewish blood thing works, given that 85% of Palestinians have a blood connection to Jews. Why don’t the Palestinians then agree with the Zionist ethos?

    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 12:13 pm

      ” Blood might be a part of it, or it may not.”

      Blood you want? Blood? You should have seen my bris. I think the guy thought he got a job at Hebrew National, making mini-franks. Ah, shit, the mohel as I mentioned previous, was too drunk to think.

      • Citizen
        October 19, 2009, 9:04 am

        Hey, Richard Witty had no choice there either; so you share the loss of infantile blood
        just not the invisible tissue connection with the land, as in “blood and soil?” Witty views this as an insurance policy, worthy no matter the cost to the whole world; so, Witty might ask you, Goosey, what’s your insurance policy, is it as firm as solid ground? Or just those old musty books you’ve mentioned? Witty’s faith is obvious–it’s a faith in force of superior arms planted on actual land totally controlled by self-identifying Jews. (Sort of like a new Massada–but supported by Rome, rather than attacked by Rome?) Witty might ask you, what do you put your faith in? Anything as substantial?

  11. OhioJoes
    October 17, 2009, 8:10 pm

    Is it relevent to mention that Sands is an historian of Modern France?
    Even if much of what he says is true, all that means is that Israel is no different than any other nation. And what would any other nation do with those whiny fucking Palestinians after they’d lost their, what, sixth war?
    Yes, I know, rule whatever, everybody does it. But isn’t that how we measure moral judgement, against other examples?

    • VR
      October 17, 2009, 10:38 pm

      Hi OJ, got you’re hat on and whip, ready to save us from the Nazis? lol The problem is that Israel is at the same process NOW at the wrong time, and since the 19th century we have become more enlightened – except for you OJ. So, we go back to the same non-argument hasbara stunt –

      we suck
      you suck worse
      etc. no argument, no prize

      • VR
        October 17, 2009, 10:46 pm

        One other matter OJ, Israel is found out in the middle of the process – too bad they cannot complete their version of Manifest Destiny, eh? You would think that with the remorse inherent in the process that was carried out in what is now called the USA that we would not only encourage but demand that Israel ceases this genocidal process, but no – we have spurious apologists like you.

        Plus the “appearance” (because that is all that it is to ignorant people) of the murderous activity is clung too more tightly by Israel, it is its current life blood if it wants to continue its racist/fascist quest. I am afraid the facts as presented by Sands is the end game OJ, and it (Sands book and work) needs to permeate Israeli society so that no corner remains blissfully ignorant.

      • VR
        October 18, 2009, 12:28 am

        One other matter, you will notice something very peculiar about settler states – they are never satisfied with their atrocities just committed on one group, they have to expand and do it to more. At the risk of sounding crass, it is like eating a Lay’s potato chip – “you can’t eat just one.” It is like a disease.

        So, Israel is building up an impressive portfolio – some of their own enslaved masses in other territory, and assisting Western global hegemony in other instances. This way, just like their American/Euro elders they can get fat off of the natural and human resources of other entities. Just like the Americans, they (Israeli “leadership”) are telling their people that it can be different at home than abroad (indeed, than next door in their case).

        However, just like the Americans are finding out now, that the teaching and preaching of you can live with dual purposes of foreign and domestic bifurcation is complete bullshit – because it will eat up the people and the institutions of the host country, soon the Israelis will be feeling the same squeeze. Until eventually they start devouring their own, a type of elite cannibalism.

        So, this type of existence that Israel lives as a voracious settler state has to stop, for the sake of others (because it will always spread) and for their own sakes. The trick is stopping the elites from this process, one way or the others. However, to really be frank, the prospect of a change of power happening bloodlessly is a long shot when you study history, because power never steps down willingly.

    • Chaos4700
      October 17, 2009, 11:55 pm

      I don’t know, OhioJoes? What did we let happen to France after they were overrun by Germany, twice? I guess you must believe the Nazis had something going for them, then, if you believe that might makes right.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 9:09 am

        Israel has legal borders on a number of frontiers: 1. With Egypt it has signed a peace treaty and has recognized borders. 2. With Jordan it has signed a peace treaty and has recognized borders on the nonWest Bank frontier. 3. With Lebanon it has withdrawn its troops and the UN has asserted that it has withdrawn from Lebanese territory. (The Shaba farms is a Lebanese-Syrian dispute rather than a Lebanese Israeli dispute.)

        So it is true that it does not have complete legal borders (in regards to the West Bank), but it does have incomplete legal borders.

    • MRW
      October 18, 2009, 12:48 am

      Israel isn’t yet a nation. It is a society. It has no legal borders. It has no constitution. It has a name, and an attempted legal system with no teeth if the ruled upon dont like the verdict.

      The uneducated boobs who created the country had no knowledge of history or the grand scale of world history. They knew what they knew from their shtetls and that was it.

      Zionist leaders took as their model the nationalisms which emerged in largely undemocratic societies and seemed to have little understanding of the dynamics of free, open societies such as France, England and the United States. “We must bear in mind,” writes [Yakov M.] Rabkin, “that Zionism takes as its example the organic nationalisms of Central and Eastern Europe, where nationalists were struggling to create a state, to set up legal and political structures for an already existing nation. Contacts with the exclusive aspects of German, Polish or Ukrainian nationalism were to exert a long-term influence on the Zionist movement and Israeli society. But few Zionists were aware of a countervailing reality, such as that of France, where in a slow and deliberate process, the state made use of an existing legal and political framework to create a nation. They had never experienced the kind of tolerant nationalism that could allow for a clear distinction between nation, religion and society — the model that enables large Jewish communities to thrive in France, England and the U.S. today (and where a substantial number of rabbinical critics of Zionism can be found). In fact, once they discarded Judaism as the cultural foundation of the Jews, the Zionist movement and the State of Israel had no choice but to promote a national identity based on ethnicity and consolidated by the Arab threat. The survival of a ‘secular Jewish people’ is therefore contingent on the perpetuation of the Zionist state.”

      • Psychopathic god
        October 18, 2009, 7:53 am

        Israel isn’t yet a nation. It is a society. It has no legal borders. It has no constitution. It has a name, and an attempted legal system with no teeth if the ruled upon dont like the verdict.

        The uneducated boobs who created the country had no knowledge of history or the grand scale of world history. They knew what they knew from their shtetls and that was it.

        Zionist leaders took as their model the nationalisms which emerged in largely undemocratic societies and seemed to have little understanding of the dynamics of free, open societies such as France, England and the United States. “We must bear in mind,” writes [Yakov M.] Rabkin, “that Zionism takes as its example the organic nationalisms of Central and Eastern Europe, where nationalists were struggling to create a state, to set up legal and political structures for an already existing nation. Contacts with the exclusive aspects of German, Polish or Ukrainian nationalism were to exert a long-term influence on the Zionist movement and Israeli society. But few Zionists were aware of a countervailing reality, such as that of France, where in a slow and deliberate process, the state made use of an existing legal and political framework to create a nation. They had never experienced the kind of tolerant nationalism that could allow for a clear distinction between nation, religion and society — the model that enables large Jewish communities to thrive in France, England and the U.S. today (and where a substantial number of rabbinical critics of Zionism can be found). In fact, once they discarded Judaism as the cultural foundation of the Jews, the Zionist movement and the State of Israel had no choice but to promote a national identity based on ethnicity and consolidated by the Arab threat. The survival of a ‘secular Jewish people’ is therefore contingent on the perpetuation of the Zionist state.”

        The genius of America is that its Founders were highly literate and intelligent; they traveled in France, Italy, Russia, they were keenly aware of the ‘mythologies’ that served as the foundation of ‘Western’ values — Ovid, Dante, Plutarch, Herodotus — and of the history of the development of the Italian city-states, especially the experiments in governing that took place in secular Venice, where Jefferson visited and on whose inspiration he built his home.

        America was not founded on the mythology of Torah, it was founded on the principles of the Italian Renaissance and the Enlightenment; that is the biggest difference between Israel and America.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 9:10 am

        MRW- Israel has legal borders on a number of frontiers: 1. With Egypt it has signed a peace treaty and has recognized borders. 2. With Jordan it has signed a peace treaty and has recognized borders on the nonWest Bank frontier. 3. With Lebanon it has withdrawn its troops and the UN has asserted that it has withdrawn from Lebanese territory. (The Shaba farms is a Lebanese-Syrian dispute rather than a Lebanese Israeli dispute.)

        So it is true that it does not have complete legal borders (in regards to the West Bank), but it does have incomplete legal borders.

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 10:30 am

        That’s a laugh, WJ. That’s like saying a burn victim whose “only” lost %30 of the surface area of his skin is “almost healthy.”

        Not only that but it’s false. Israel is in open violation of the Camp David Accords (specifically, non-compliance with UN 242) with it s continued ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. It’s in violation of its borders Jordan insofar as Jordan recognizes that its border on the Jordan River is with Palestine, not with Israel and Israel doesn’t recognize that properly.

        And seriously, Shebaa Farms? That’s like arguing that the border dispute was between Belgium and France while Nazi soldiers were in occupation. You really expect anyone to take you seriously?

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 10:37 am

        The peace treaty with Egypt should be the paradigm for future peace treaties. Once a peace treaty is signed with Syria, the Shebaa farms issue would be settled.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 10:56 am

        Chaos- would you say that the US had no legal borders until after the Mexican war?

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 10:59 am

        See, WJ, that’s your problem. This is the 21st century now. You’re still thinking like you’re living in the 19th. We have these things now called international laws. You should really look them up.

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 11:00 am

        WJ, it’s not Syria’s troops and settlers in Shebaa. It’s Israel’s.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 11:02 am

        And regarding the Shebaa farms- the United Nations had an option after the six day war to repeat the demand that was made on Israel in 1956 to immediately withdraw. It did not do so. Instead it passed resolution 242, which stated that there should be peace negotiations and then a withdrawal to recognized boundaries. As far as I know there are no settlers in the Shebaa farms and therefore the occupation is legal until such time as a peace treaty is negotiated between Israel and Syria. I know you cannot resist comparing Israel to the Nazis, but sometimes just for practice sake you should resist. Instead of Godwin’s law we’ll call it chaos’s law. One out of every three times you will refrain from mentioning the Nazis.

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 11:11 am

        …and by illegally occupying and settling Syrian territory in the Golan Heights, Israel makes a peace treaty with Syria impossible to come by. Hey look! It’s a two for one land steal.

        How about we also enact the Wondering Jew Libel Statute while we’re at it? When somebody fails at forwarding an argument, they have the legal right to distract from the issue by posting personal attacks and ad hominems.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 11:28 am

        There are no settlers on the Shebaa farms. Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights is not illegal, the settlements on the Golan Heights are illegal.

        There have been no suggestions that the settlements on the Golan Heights were the make or break issue in the negotiations between Ehud Barak with Assad pere in 2000.

        It is not an ad hominem attack to mention that you make the Nazi analogy with a regularity that exceeds any other major commenter on this blog. I am attacking your mode of argument, not you. I don’t know you.

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 11:30 am

        So you don’t deny that Israel is willfully obstructing a peace treaty by colonizing the Golan Heights? That Israel is actively violating international law, and therefore treaty obligations? That’s a start.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 11:39 am

        There were settlements in the Sinai as well. They were illegal as well. But they did not stand in the way of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. If you wish to mention Israel’s breaking international law, you have succeeded. If you wish to cite the cause for the lack of peace between Syria and Israel, you have not succeeded.

      • LeaNder
        October 18, 2009, 11:40 am

        “organic” is never a good sign in the German political discourse over the last centuries. There is a brilliant study on the topic by a German sociologist, admittedly slightly dated now. I am sometimes a bit confused to get the complex political definitions of an interesting Jewish American independent scholar, but for her and from her very different studies and historical focal point “organic” is a highly suspicious term too.

        This “political organicism” is a myth, usually easy to recognize by all kind of allusions to biology and wholeness. The division between belonging to the whole and not belonging is absolutely arbitrary. Look at Europe. Are the Hugenots that at one point fled to Germany, Germans or do they remain French? What about the Romans that left their traces all over Europe, the medieval masons, that went wherever in Europe their expertise was needed to build churches. They surely left quite a bit of semen wherever they went. I could go on.

        reference: “that Zionism takes as its example the organic nationalisms of Central and Eastern Europe

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 11:52 am

        Are you forgetting that Israel only removed those settlements under not only serious pressure from the Carter administration to bargain, but also by negotiating for billions in foreign aid money from the US? We had to literally bribe (and threaten) Israel to make peace. And then, to be equivocal, we’ve had to shovel out almost as much money to Egypt as well.

        Israel — the United States most expensive ally. And Israel’s stillstealing land in Golan, Shebaa and the West Bank. I guess their milking it for another few billion a year.

      • Mooser
        October 18, 2009, 12:19 pm

        “They knew what they knew from their shtetls and that was it.”

        Do you think that really describes Chaim Weitzman? Actually, if your contention was true, it would be a point in the Zionists favor.
        “from the Shtetls” may have described some of the unfortunate people who became the Zionist’s (and the British, don’t forget them) raw material, but I don’t think it describes the Zionist leaders very well.
        Would you describe Albert Einstein that way, “from the Shtetl”? And yet, the Zionists twisted him right around their fingers. Some of the stuff Albert Einstein said for the Zionists was amazing! If they were from a shtetl, they must have learned hypnotism from the local wonder-Rabbi.

      • Citizen
        October 19, 2009, 9:17 am

        LeaNder, what’s your point? Nobody here is denying the myth of “organic” ethnic/religious nationalism as it was used in the ways you mark; we all know the myths used
        by Europeans in the 20th Century that led to such disastrous results for so many millions of people, both in the “organic” states and those declared outside the organism. Do you think Zionism bears any traces of implementing an organic myth itself?

    • Psychopathic god
      October 18, 2009, 7:34 am

      And what would any other nation do with those whiny fucking Palestinians after they’d lost their, what, sixth war?


      this comment on an essay that argues that Palestinians are most likely Jewish.

    • America First
      October 18, 2009, 9:54 am

      Whiny Palestinians? Sure you don’t mean Elie Wiesel and Abe Foxman?

    • Shingo
      October 18, 2009, 3:28 pm

      Way to go OJ. America had it’s genocidal past and thus Israel should be entitled to it’s own because that’s what civilized countries do right?

  12. OhioJoes
    October 17, 2009, 8:24 pm

    Hey, wasn’t Sands the guy who said Israelis are racists for not raping Palestinians? Oh my God, I think he was.

    • lyn117
      October 17, 2009, 10:20 pm

      The Israelis did rape Palestinians – it seems to have been part of their ethnic cleansing campaign of 1948. Israel was born of r-pe, in both senses: as to “r-pe a land” (invade and loot) and to “r-pe a woman”.

      I can’t find any quote from Sands remotely resembling “Israelis are racists for not raping Palestinians”. Ohio, you seem to be approving of murdering and r-ping innocent people because everyone does it. Correct me if I’m wrong? or maybe you approve just because Israel does it?

      Excellent report, Phil. Sands is just like you describe. I may not agree with him on all points, for example, while I agree that children of rape deserve to exist (and are as legitimate as any other children), I don’t see that that legitamacy extends to nations. The people are legitimate, not the nation. Correct and rectify the sins of the Zionists, and I might allow state of Israel legitamacy. Meanwhile, the r-pe continues.

    • MRW
      October 18, 2009, 1:12 am

      Where did he say it, cheeseburger? You speak French? You speak Hebrew? Because with the exception of one interview on radio in Berkeley last March, and another short Youtube, he has no interviews in English. And I just listened to his interviews in French, and he said nothing of the kind. Ditto the March 2009 English interview. (all available in the link Phil gave above.)

      Where Sand describes his definition of racist Israel, albeit briefly, from 23:00 to 26:39 min.
      link to

    • Shingo
      October 18, 2009, 3:35 pm

      “Hey, wasn’t Sands the guy who said Israelis are racists for not raping Palestinians? Oh my God, I think he was. ”

      Oh my God, I think he was, but I’m not going to try to provide any evidence because well, that would ruin the surprise wouldn’t it?

  13. OhioJoes
    October 17, 2009, 11:44 pm

    I’m reminded of that Australian quotation ( where is Glenn Condell for thus) about why so few Aboriginals were raped. “there are things that a man, no matter desperate, will nit, nay cannot, do.”

    • Chaos4700
      October 17, 2009, 11:56 pm

      We get it, OJ. You’re a racist neo-Nazi. You don’t have to keep brandishing your racism over and over again in multiple posts.

      • johd
        October 18, 2009, 12:41 am

        He’s not a racist neo-Nazi, he is a Zionist. Neo-Nazis are well known for their Miscegenation – having created entire new categories of race classifications, as is well known. No, Zionist practice crypto racism; casting the blame of their hate onto others they also hate.

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 12:52 am

        I’m not seeing a whole lot of difference between Zionists and neo-Nazis these days. Both attack Jewish people and other Semitic groups with extreme viciousness. Both endorse ethnic cleansing and “racial purity” as means of nation building. Why bother making a distinction between them, ultimately? They’re on the same wavelength.

  14. VR
    October 18, 2009, 1:03 am

    From the Angry Arab Comments Section Site

    “In 1967, the late Mahmoud Darwish (13 March 1941 – 9 August 2008) penned his famous poem, ‘A Soldier Dreaming of White Lilies’. The poem was in fact written about Professor Shlomo Sand, as he describes in the introduction to The Invention of the Jewish People:”


    “They passed a sleepless, drunken night immersed in the fumes of alcohol beside windows made dim by cigarette smoke. The poet tried to persuade his young admirer to remain and resist, rather than flee to alien cities and abandon their common homeland. The soldier poured out his despair, his revulsion with the general air of triumphalism, his alienation from the soil on which he had shed innocent blood. At the end of the night, he vomited his guts out. At midday, the poet woke him with a translation of a poem he had written at first light, “A Soldier Dreaming of While Lilies” … In 1968, a Palestinian poem about an Israeli soldier capable of feeling remorse for his violence and for having lost his head in battle, of feeling guilty about taking part in a conquest of the land of others, was perceived by the Arab world as a betrayal—surely such Israeli soldiers did not exist. The Haifa poet was roundly chastised, even accused of cultural collaboration with the Zionist enemy. But this did not last. His prestige continued to grow, and he soon became a symbol of the proud resistance of the Palestinians in Israel.”

    “He dreams of white lilies, an olive branch, her breasts in evening blossom.
    He dreams of a bird, he tells me, of lemon flowers.
    He does not intellectualize about his dream. He understands things as he
    senses and smells them.
    Homeland for him, he tells me, is to drink my mother’s coffee, to return
    at nightfall.
    And the land? I don’t know the land, he said.
    I don’t feel it in my flesh and blood, as they say in the poems.
    Suddenly I saw the land as one sees a grocery store, a street, newspapers.
    I asked him, but don’t you love the land? My love is a picnic, he said, a glass
    of wine, a love affair.
    – Would you die for the land?
    – No!
    All my attachment to the land is no more than a story or a fiery speech!
    They taught me to love it, but I never felt it in my heart.
    I never knew its roots and branches, or the scent of its grass.
    – And what about its love? Did it burn like suns and desire?

    He looked straight at me and said: I love it with my gun.
    And by unearthing feasts in the garbage of the past
    and a deaf-mute idol whose age and meaning are unknown.
    He told me about the moment of departure, how his mother
    silently wept when they led him to the front,
    how her anguished voice gave birth to a new hope in his flesh
    that doves might flock through the Ministry of War.
    He drew on his cigarette. He said, as if fleeing from a swamp of blood,
    I dreamt of white lilies, an olive branch, a bird embracing the dawn in a
    lemon tree.
    – And what did you see?
    – I saw what I did:
    a blood-red boxthorn.
    I blasted them in the sand…in their chests…in their bellies.
    – How many did you kill?
    – It’s impossible to tell. I only got one medal.
    Pained, I asked him to tell me about one of the dead.

    He shifted in his seat, fiddled with the folded newspaper,
    then said, as if breaking into song:
    He collapsed like a tent on stones, embracing shattered planets.
    His high forehead was crowned with blood. His chest was empty of medals.
    He was not a well-trained fighter, but seemed instead to be a peasant, a
    worker or a peddler.
    Like a tent he collapsed and died, his arms stretched out like dry creek-beds.
    When I searched his pockets for a name, I found two photographs, one of his
    wife, the other of his daughter.
    Did you feel sad? I asked.
    Cutting me off, he said, Mahmoud, my friend,
    sadness is a white bird that does not come near a battlefield.
    Soldiers commit a sin when they feel sad.
    I was there like a machine spitting hellfire and death,
    turning space into a black bird.
    He told me about his first love, and later, about distant streets,
    about reactions to the war in the heroic radio and the press.

    As he hid a cough in his handkerchief I asked him:
    Shall we meet again?
    Yes, but in a city far away.
    When I filled his fourth glass, I asked jokingly:
    Are you off? What about the homeland?
    Give me a break, he replied.
    I dream of white lilies, streets of song, a house of light.
    I need a kind heart, not a bullet.
    I need a bright day, not a mad, fascist moment of triumph.
    I need a child to cherish a day of laughter, not a weapon of war.
    I came to live for rising suns, not to witness their setting.
    He said goodbye and went looking for white lilies,
    a bird welcoming the dawn on an olive branch.
    He understands things only as he senses and smells them.
    Homeland for him, he said, is to drink my mother’s coffee, to return safely,
    at nightfall.”


  15. wondering jew
    October 18, 2009, 3:28 am

    A number of first reactions: 1. Phil Weiss’s joy in Sands’ thesis and performance seems unseemly.
    2. When somebody says about somebody else, “He/she looks very Jewish”, what does this mean? If it doesn’t mean that he/she is performing a torah or talmudic ritual, according to Sand this statement is meaningless. When I first saw a photo of Madeline Albright, I said to myself, “A goy? Bullshit.” It wasn’t her love of mitzvos that made me say that, but rather the shape of her facial features.
    3. There seems to be some proof that there is a high percentage of DNA that Jews have in common with Palestinians. I am not a biologist; but this is what I’ve heard.
    4. The Jews define themselves as a people. The Jewish religion defines its adherents as a people. When someone converts to Judaism, they are given a new name and a new father. That father is Abraham.
    5. A people that is dispersed that is permeable will by its very nature include others and include various strains of genes. There are religious attributes and other attributes to Jewish “peoplehood”. Because we don’t fit the 19th century’s definition of peoplehood, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have our own definition of peoplehood.
    6. Personally I don’t look very Jewish, but I was fortunate enough to have met all my grandparents although some of my great grandparents were murdered by einsatzgruppen in the sad fall of 1941. Of my grandparents one looked Middle Eastern, one looked what one would call Jewish, one looked as Oriental as Brezhnev, family lore attributes this to the invasion of Genghis Khan and his rapine soldiers and one looked like a Cossack’s granddaughter. Unlike Malcolm X who hated (in his pre Mecca days, admittedly) the white blood that flowed through his veins, I do not hate any nonJewish blood that flows through my veins. I accept a dispersion for what it is, a prophecy of the bible that we would be dispersed among the nations, and the effects of this dispersal are natural. Another prophecy prophesied the ingathering of the exile (sorry for the unhistorical term). If not for the American immigration laws of 1924 and the advent of Hitler that ingathering would not have taken place. But behold today there are approximately five million Jews in Israel. To tell me that they are not Jews because of various strains of DNA doesn’t convince me. Professor Sand has an ideological ax to grind. I’m “glad” he’s a good performer. I am not convinced.

    • johd
      October 18, 2009, 5:31 am

      There seems to be some proof that there is a high percentage of DNA that Jews have in common with Palestinians. I am not a biologist; but this is what I’ve heard.

      You need to simply abandon this line of thinking. What you heard is wrong, there is no study that proves Jewish common DNA with Palestinians. Someone did a study that Zionist twisted to mean what it did not mean; much to the embarrassment of professional Jewish DNA Scientist. I am no Scientist but even I could see they were talking in terms of eons – tens of thousands of years, not hundreds or thousands of years.

      The study came out about ten years ago and Zionist jumped on it to ‘prove’ their assertions, but even the Venda people of the northern Transvaal in South Africa had more of that DNA in their little finger than all the Jews of Europe had in their entire family chain. Ridiculous nonsense.

    • MRW
      October 18, 2009, 5:57 am

      The DNA claim was found to be a joke. Laughable.

    • MRW
      October 18, 2009, 6:13 am

      Personally I don’t look very Jewish

      What does ‘look like a Jew’ mean? Schnozability? Some indented brand on your forehead? A look in your eye? You smell a certain way? Your eyes wag this way or that?

      What fucking poppycock. You can’t tell a Jew from looking at him, or her, unless there’s a yarmulke on the head, or Star of David around the neck. Unless, of course, you’re talking about an Eastern Europe nationality that historically was Jewish. And, then, you make an educated guess. Big whoop.

      Sephardim Jews, on the other hand, have occupied the USA for over 480 years. Waaay before the Zionist immigrants got here. You can scope them out…really? Good luck with that, sports fan.

    • LeaNder
      October 18, 2009, 6:45 am

      one looked what one would call Jewish Wondering Jew, I would be interested in what exactly feels “looking Jewish” to you. Can you give me an image, a person.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 7:27 am

        I’m not telling secrets out of school.

        Let’s take some famous Jews- Lenny Bruce, the Marx Brothers, Bob Dylan, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. Well, with Dylan, Woody Allen and Mel Brooks one would comment on the nose. Lenny Bruce, Chico Marx and Groucho were dark, as is Mel Brooks. Harpo had red hair. Certain shades of red hair are Minnesota and German or Irish and other shades of red hair are more Jewish. Chico was cast as an Italian. Very often Italian actors are cast as Jews, (John Torturro played a Jew in Spike Lee’s “mo better blues”, the Italian lady who played the shrink on the Sopranos played a Jewess in Goodfellas.) in the old days, Edward G. Robinson and Paul Muni were cast as Italians.

        Are you going to tell me that Allen Ginsburg didn’t look like a Jew. Okay, so Castro did as well. (I’ve heard he had converso roots.)

        Sara Silverman and Larry David, Adam Sandler. Dark and hairy. (Have you ever heard Silverman’s routine about how she looked like a monkey compared to the other kids growing up?) David Steinberg. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Henry Kissinger has a large nose. Compare Trotsky’s face to Stalin’s face. A jewish punim versus a goyish punim.

        roseanne barr, not very Jewish looking. Gilda Radner looked Jewish. Gene Wilder looked Jewish (nose, frizzy hair). Chevy Chase very goyish looking. Gary Shandling Jewish (nose, frizzy hair, big lips) Bill Murray very goyish. John Belushi could pass for a Jew.

        Have you never heard the phrase, “Are you Jewish, you don’t look Jewish?”

        The popes wear yarmulkas. Pope John Paul II did not look Jewish. The current German pope has large eyes but very light coloring.

        It’s true, it’s tough telling Sephardic Jews from Arabs.

        By the way this is for LeaNder. MRW seems to have some animus on this issue, calling Eastern European immigrants to America Zionists. What does that mean, MRW?

      • LeaNder
        October 18, 2009, 8:43 am

        I accept Allan Ginsburg, the King of May. Incidentally one of my biggest loves. He even identified with the same Dostoevsky character as me.

        But look, that’s exactly what the Hahn (Dutch origins) tribe, my mother’s father and my mother look like. Good nose, big mouth (not sure if present in Allan’s case, beard!), big ears. And that is probably the reason, why I love this physiognomy. Oh, and since I didn’t inherit that stipe’s light blond hair, I could easily be cast as an Italian, or as you have shown a Jew.

        I didn’t know Edward G. Robinson was Jewish, one of the most favorite actors of my partner. I liked Peter Lorre, even more. Some here didn’t share my “adoration”, I vaguely remember. But Peter Lorre even played a Mr. Moto a Japanese, remember?

        Marx is a bad example. Although when I was a teen I sometimes did portraits, and man with huge beards and/or glasses is something really fine and fast to do. Just as the rest of your cast is rather diverse.

        But strictly, neither names nor appearance was of much help for the Nazis. Just as many Germans looked into the mirror and compared their faces to the Nazi cartoons.

        Thanks anyway. Sara Silverman sounds Jewish, but I still have to find something distinctively Jewish in her features.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 8:55 am

        Jerzy Kozinski was once being interviewed by Charlie Rose and he commented about the fact that he had to flee the Nazis when he was a kid. “If I looked like you, I wouldn’t have had a problem.” Certainly Jews with blonde hair had less problems than dark skinned Jews who tried to flee. Jewishness cannot be established by looks. Certainly Jewish peoplehood cannot be established by looks. Yet “the Jews are a religion and not a race or a people” is an incomplete thought. Jewish has elements of both.

      • LeaNder
        October 18, 2009, 10:16 am

        It wasn’t really about having blond hair either. But let me tell you a really funny thing. I read a couple of autobiographies/memories of German Nazi period actors. There were quite a few who tricked themselves into believing that Hitler had bright blue eyes. No joke.

        But yes that may have helped. There is an old Jewish artist (dark hairs), who survived right in the middle of Nazi Germany. The tales often are a vast collection of accidents, it feels there must have been an intuition whom you can trust. He was a socialist and partly used the networks. The Swiss caught him and sent him back. But he made it inside the hell. He worked in a German factory undiscovered till the end of the war. You only needed to not wear the yellow star, and get rid of your passport. Not easy to get through without. But the later the more easy. Bombs on town halls, bombs on cities. You better took care to avoid the chain-dogs too , more and more on the lookout for “runners from the flag”, not just SS and the usual suspect.

        Working for a firm that was relevant in the armor industry wasn’t a bad cover . As networks helped to find a place were people wouldn’t ask too many questions.

      • Mooser
        October 18, 2009, 12:44 pm

        Anyone can tell, from reading “wondering jew’s” comments the deep truths and immutable principles on which Zionism is based.
        And as “wondering” points out, the science of nasology (often called probiscometrics) trumps any of that DNA crap, which is just an old wives tale.

        But tell me, do you think “wondering jew” operates and discusses the issues in the rest of his life on this fraudelent basis? And if he did, would he be so fucking proud of his bigotry and ignorance? I really doubt it. No I really do.

        Good peoples, I am sticking with my operative axiom of “ziocaine”. That is, for certain people, mostly American Jews, any discussion of Zionism induces an internal chemical reaction, releasing all kinds chemical messangers, and effectively rendering them high out of their minds. Except, as Woody said, it’s a bum voyage. You can’t tell me someone who isn’t pretty well impaired talks like that! “not seemly” said the drunk before he collapsed off the barstool.
        I’m telling you, the long term effects are pretty much like cocaine and alchohol, deadening of moral sensitivities, along with delusions of grandeur.
        It’s one thing to become brutalised by events in your life, very few people can rise above that. But to be vicariously brutalised? I don’t think there is anything lower.
        They must be loaded. “wondering jew” ( Why isn’t the “J” upper case? Unseemly!)
        shows us: This is your brain on ziocaine.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 2:38 pm

        Hey Mooser,

        I’m sorry if I used the casual word “unseemly” to describe Mister Weiss’s joy at Shlomo Sands’ ideas. I will try to find a better term.

        My meandering thoughts on what are Jewish facial features was a reaction to Leander’s innocent question. Not everyone who comments on this web site happens to be devoted to sneering. I’m sorry you had to witness my reactions to a friendly question.

        My point was that the idea that Jewishness is merely a religion is incomplete. There are ethnic and cultural aspects to Jewishness. Mister Sands’ dogma “Jewishness is just a religion” is just that- dogma. And false dogma at that.

        Obviously you are not a fan of Zionism. But let me list some of its accomplishments. Whether by luck or will Israel today has the largest or the second largest Jewish population on the planet. Their language is Hebrew, a Jewish language that enables them to read ancient Jewish (religious) texts in their original. The calendar emphasizes Jewish holidays and people wish each other “Shabbat shalom” rather than “Have a nice weekend.”

        Obviously these accomplishments are paltry when measured against the suffering the Palestinians have endured. But for a moment let us measure the accomplishments of Zionism rather than its sins.

        The millions of Jews who left Eastern and Central Europe and found their way to America would never have invented Zionism on their own. It was invented with the passion of Eastern European Jews reacting to the antisemitism of the pogroms and it was turned into a movement by one creative Theodor Herzl, who reacted to the “Death to the Jews” cries that he heard in reaction to the Dreyfus persecution. Neither the pogroms of Eastern Europe nor the Dreyfus prosecution were primarily religious in nature. They were a hatred for an ethnicity, a people.
        This is historical fact. I have not read Mister Sands’ book, so I don’t know what he makes of the hatred of the Jews. We are not a people, I guess, but we are hated as if we were.

        The militarism that is close to the essence of Zionism is ugly. “Only thus” written in Hebrew was the Irgun’s motto over the drawing of a hand holding a rifle. Personally my aesthetics prefer Einstein’s pacific face in Princeton. But the militarism did not come from thin air. It came from history. It came from the experience of a people.

        I feel that Shlomo Sands is a liar. The Zionists tried to fit the Jewish peoplehood into the definition of nation that was a 19th century European invention and it was less than a perfect match. But to deny the fact that Jewish means more than just a religion is ignorant and I do not think that Shlomo Sands is ignorant. I believe that he is a liar. And I believe Phil Weiss is a liar when he endorses Shlomo Sands’ lie. Sometimes a lie can be exhilarating. And that seems to be the case here.

        This is worse than unseemly. It is mendacious.

      • Citizen
        October 19, 2009, 9:34 am

        WJ does not negate Sand at all in terms of realistically deconstructing the common notion of the Jews as “a people;” howver WJ does state the 20th Century historical case for Jews individually identifying themselves as a people for the same reason Palestinians have come to “self-identify, ” as a people, that is, an ID of solidarity
        motivated by the need for protection against outside powerful outside elements.

        This analogy is not on all fours, but: Nowadays all native Americans feel a solidarity and affinity as such due to their
        common history with the “palefaces.” But history reveals much less such affinity and solidarity as between each separate native American tribe.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      October 18, 2009, 2:22 pm

      I would guess that “wondering jew” has never been to Israel because the one thing that becomes immediately obvious when visiting there is that the people who call themselves Jews are as ethnically diverse in appearance as one will find among the population in most American cities.

      • Todd
        October 20, 2009, 9:47 am

        That’s one of the first things you notice. Going by looks alone, my guess is that each group of Jews has more in common genetically with the poeple they fled than with each other.

    • wondering jew
      October 18, 2009, 4:14 pm

      Check out Julian’s link below. None of these scoffers over here cite a single scientific journal whereas Julian’s PNAS is a scientific journal.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 4:16 pm

        link to this is Julian’s link. Does somebody have some science to counter it with or just your usual hot air?

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        October 18, 2009, 7:57 pm

        Well, apparently I was correct. “wondering jew” is not “wandering jew” to the extent that his affinity for Israel has not reached the extent that he decided to travel there and see for himself what exactly is the reality that he defends. This I find not unusual.

        In the past when I have had arguments with American Jewish defenders of Israel and have asked them when was the last time they had been there, they shamefully admit that their love affair is of the long distance variety. Strangely (or not so strangely), they have preferred France, Greece and the UK. It is easy to defend a poster image than the reality behind it.

        Forget the scientific journals, “wj,” as they say in court, “res ipsa loquitur,” the fact that Israeli Jews are ethnically diverse speaks for itself and far louder than any scientific experiment contrived to prove that white skinned, often blue eyed Ashkenazi Jews have any connection to the once and future Palestine other than illegal an unwelcome interlopers.

        I wonder now if Richard Witty has ever been there. So let’s find out. Well, Richard, when was the last time you were there?

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 9:45 pm

        Jeffrey Blankfort is apparently an expert in biology. He can deny a scientific experiment just with his eyes. He cannot address me directly. He must refer to me in the third person.

        Did you bother visiting the PNAS link, Mister Blankfort? Do you have any scientific proof that it was a contrived experiment? Do you know that creationists believe their own eyes prove that evolution must be false? Believers in spontaneous generation believe their own eyes too. Those who believe that the sun revolves around the earth believe their own eyes too.

        I have been to Israel many times.

        Ask a scientist sometimes whether blue eyes disproves genetic kinship with brown eyed Jews. You might be surprised by the answer.

        Are you a scientist? Do you have a ph.D in genetics? Find me scientific proof that the article in PNAS has been disproved. Maybe PNAS is not a truly scientific journal. I never heard of it before. But I am not a scientist and apparently you are.

        By the way, since we are casting aspersions based on personal experience or lack thereof, how many generations are you in America? What is the closest relative of yours to be killed by the Nazis?

        (Do you favor the disappearance of the Jewish people? What strategy for survival do you favor?)

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 10:11 pm

        Did it ever occur to you, WJ, that you are so onerous that few people can bring themselves to address you directly? I’m only used to it because I’ve worked customer service often enough — I’m used to dealing with total jerks.

        I’d just like you to tell me that the typical Euro-migrant Israeli really has a more significant genetic tie than Palestinians whose families have been living there for centuries. Seriously. Heck, at that point you don’t really need a genetic test, do you? It’s kind of like testing maternity between a mother and child immediately after she’s just given birth.

        I mean, there are Palestinian Jews we can test, and we can compare those results to Palestinian Christians and Muslims. I’m fairly confident we’d find a genetic link that is an order of magnitude stronger than what you’re testing. Heck, I’m guessing I’d pass the genetic test of such loose standards as you’ve forwarded, WJ.

    • Saleema
      October 18, 2009, 10:21 pm

      When a person converts and becomes a jew why is he given a new “father?” Abraham wasn’t a Jew. He’s the spiritual father of all monotheistic faiths. Abraham was the ancestar of two peoples, one of them Arabs, let’s not forget that.

      When someone convets to Islam, he’s adopting a new religion, not abandoningg his identitiy to any ethnic group he may belong to, or nation, or whatever.
      This symbolical act of giving a new father seems racist.

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 10:25 pm

        Well, as Sand pointed out, the notion of a Jewish “race” is a comparatively modern construct. Zionist Jews are using “Jewish race,” rather paradoxically, in exactly the same context as Nazis used the term.

        To put a finer point on the charge of racism, one notes that when Ethiopian Jews were allowed into Israel (something which is no longer allowed at this point, one notes) they had to undergo forced “conversions.” Apparently, they weren’t Jewish enough for Israel as is.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 10:48 pm

        First you assert that Abraham was the father of more than one nation and then you assert that attributing the new convert’s fatherhood to Abraham is racist. How can it be both?

        Abraham was not the first Jew, true. In fact there were no “Jews” until Moses made the contract with God at the occasion of the revelation at Mount Sinai. (The term Jew comes from only one tribe of the 12 tribes, that of Judah, but nonetheless I’ll use the term “Jew”.) But according to Jewish tradition Abraham was the person who discovered the unity of God at a time when the world was up to its neck in polytheism. He also converted many to the belief in one God. And that is why a convert receives Abraham as his father. Abraham’s name was originally Abram until God changed it at the time that Abe accepted the commandment to circumcise himself. The new name Abraham means “I gave you as a father to many nations” and thus Abraham’s fatherhood is appropriate when the new convert accepts the commandments.

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 10:56 pm

        But then doesn’t Saleema’s point stand? Abraham’s children, by extension, do not include merely the Jews — they include, ideologically speaking, Christians and Muslims as well. So why is “changing one’s father” even necessary at all, that being the case? Unless maybe someone from completely outside the context of the Abrahamic faiths were converting to Judaism.

        It seems, WJ, you have again inadvertently proved the point that Judaism is a religion, not a race — Jews are those bound by the contract of Moses, and therefore the quality of being Jewish lies not in bloodlines but within the context of that mandate. Your own recount of your faith discounts the concept of a “Jewish race.”

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 11:12 pm


        I trust you didn’t sneer at your customer/jerks when you were working customer service.

        There have been certain comments on this thread denigrating the scientific article that was cited by Julian. I don’t know enough about biology to defend its findings. So far the perception I have is that the attacks are general rather than specific, that is they are not scientific.

        I am not trying to assert the Jews’ right to the land supercedes the Palestinians’ right to the land. Shlomo Sands assertion was that the Jews are not a people, but a religion. He compares the community of Jews to the community of homosexuals. I am asserting that the Jews are more than just a religion. The article asserts that the Jews have genetic markers different from their host nations and in common with each other. The article disproves Shlomo Sands’ contention.

        The Zionists were attempting to put Jewish tradition into 19th century garb. They therefore called the Jewish people, “am” (spelled ayin, mem, in Hebrew) a nation or a race. When Jews still believed, the relationship of Jews to each other was self evident. When the Jews threw off the shackles of their religion they expected to be accepted by the nonJews as equals. The failure of the nonJews to accept them came as a shock. As moderns without the constructs of their religion they tried to adapt the modern zeitgeist’s terminology to the religious constructs they were leaving behind. Thus terms like Jewish race and Jewish nation.

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 11:37 pm


        All humans are obligated to follow the seven laws of Noach. When a son of Noach converts to the Jewish religion he is accepting a whole truckload of commandments that were not incumbent on him beforehand. Just like Abraham upon the acceptance of the command of circumcision, so the convert when he accepts new commandments is thus kin to Abraham.

        The religion or people conundrum is not going to be decided by Shlomo Sands in a book or in fifty books or fifty shelves of books or by you, Chaos, in fifty words on a thread on a web site in the year of your lord 2009. If it does not suffice to say that there are various elements to Jewish identity (both religion and people), then I will quote the prototype Jewhater from the book of Esther, Haman, when he proposed to Ahasuerus to exterminate the Jews. “There is a certain ‘am’ scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all the people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it pleases the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have charge of the business to bring it into the king’s treasuries.”

      • Chaos4700
        October 19, 2009, 9:37 am

        Were that Julian’s article a legitimate scientific inquiry, I might have a problem with that too. As it happens, it isn’t — and your constant vacillation between pseudo-science and religious dogma rather shows how contaminated your rationale is.

      • Citizen
        October 19, 2009, 10:39 am

        “All humans are obligated to follow the seven laws of Noach. When a son of Noach converts to the Jewish religion he is accepting a whole truckload of commandments that were not incumbent on him beforehand. Just like Abraham upon the acceptance of the command of circumcision, so the convert when he accepts new commandments is thus kin to Abraham.”

        Well, yes, according to Torah and Talmud all humans are obligated to follow seven laws of Noah/Noach. So, what are those seven laws?

        1. Prohibition of Idolatry: You shall not have any idols before God.

        What does this mean? Is it the usual, e.g., don’t worship Mammon, or material comfort and goods before the theoretical anthropomorphic single cause of our existence? Before what amounts to a synthesis of poetry and the scientific urge
        toward a lineal first cause, an ultimate mechanical universe that somehow is blessed
        with a good parental role model? Don’t be a whore because your father or mother is not? Be altruistic, even at your own material expense in spades?

        2 Prohibition of Murder: You shall not murder. (Genesis 9:6)

        Makes sense to me. Of course homicide is only murder if one is not successful in
        convincing the powers that be of a justifying cause for the homicide. The most obvious defense is self defense, another is defense of property, often hanging on
        whether the defense was disproportionate to the offense.

        3. Prohibition of Theft: You shall not steal.

        Ah, property rights, I can agree–yet, Marx took this to the ultimate level in a way.

        4.) Prohibition of Sexual Promiscuity: You shall not commit any of a series of sexual prohibitions, which include adultery, incest, bestiality and male homosexual intercourse.

        Well, this conforms to my personal predilections, but obviously, at least in the West, there’s a big issue here, no?

        5.) Prohibition of Blasphemy: You shall not blaspheme God’s name.
        Damn, well this was a venal sin when I was an 8 yr old Catholic; who takes this
        seriously today, other than devout Muslims? And how do you distinguish blasphemy from a modern Job shouting at God (G-D)? Choice of hurled nouns?

        6.) Dietary Law: Do not eat flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive. (Genesis 9:4)

        Not unless I’m really starving.

        7.)Requirement to have just Laws: Set up a governing body of law (eg Courts)
        Gee, even the Lord of the Flies kids did this, as did Orwell’s kids.

        And, your choice if you want to convert to Judiasm, another 613 little laws. And circumcision too? Not hardly. And again, what does this have to do with Haman’s
        conclusion (adopting Witty’s “dissent” interpretation?) that the Jews were traitors to the then existing host state?

  16. Eva Smagacz
    October 18, 2009, 6:38 am

    When my youngest daughter travelled round the world she was disconcerted with the number of occasions that she was spoken to in Hebrew. She is dark skinned, black eyed and has dark hair. Presumably she has “Semitic” features. Her family on the father side talks of roots in Armenia – just a stone throw from Khazaria. Can she claim a condo in East Jerusalem?

  17. Psychopathic god
    October 18, 2009, 6:57 am

    Ahmadinejad’s major offense was to neglect his wardrobe.
    Sounds like he and Sand have a lot in common, otherwise. Iranians know their history and the intertwined history of Jews and Iranians; only Americans can be so thoroughly buffaloed by zionist mythology.

    It is terrifying to listen to Americans call in to programs such as C Span/Washington Journal. Their brains are set firmly in the cement of their Sunday school Bible stories, which they’ve never challenged or explored beyond the level of using every color in their Crayolo box to color between the lines on Joseph’s coat, and on that intellectual foundation declare emphatically, forcefully, insistently: “Bomb Iran; them people is nuthin’ but liars! ?

    • Citizen
      October 18, 2009, 10:11 am

      To be fair, I’ve also heard more comments intelligently discussing the influence of AIPAC, history of the I-P conflict, and Israel’s policies from Americans calling into Washington Journal, which I watch and/or listen to every morning. What they say
      is never discussed otherwise on network or cable TV, nor of course in mainstream print media.

  18. America First
    October 18, 2009, 7:23 am

    I like Ahmadinejad’s scruffy look–a man of the people.

  19. OhioJoes
    October 18, 2009, 7:34 am

    When Phil returns from fellating Sands in Washington Swuare Park, he might comment on all this. He’s constantly saying people “look Jewish.”

    • Chaos4700
      October 18, 2009, 10:23 am

      Dude, seriously. We addressed you before. Nobody cares about your obsession with racism, OJ.

    • Citizen
      October 18, 2009, 12:56 pm

      Does Bernie Madoff look Jewish? How about Joe Lieberman? And Bush Sr & Jr? Chaney? Kissinger? Greenspan? Beck? Michael Savage? Hillary Clinton or Bill?
      Barbara Streisand? Rachel Corrie? Wolf Blitzer? Bill O’Reilly? Just asking.

  20. Julian
    October 18, 2009, 7:51 am

    The Khazar myth was debunked years ago. link to
    link to
    link to
    “The study, reported in today’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted by Dr. Michael F. Hammer of the University of Arizona with colleagues in the United States, Italy, Israel, England and South Africa. The results accord with Jewish history and tradition and refute theories like those holding that Jewish communities consist mostly of converts from other faiths, or that they are descended from the Khazars, a medieval Turkish tribe that adopted Judaism.”

    • Shingo
      October 18, 2009, 3:42 pm

      “The Khazar myth was debunked years ago”

      Obviously if Jewish history has itself been debunked, then how can the Khazar theory have been debunked?

      The myth of Israel’s presence in Egypt and it’s civilization in Palestine is not suported by any evidence, so the reality is that there is no Jewish history as yo know it.

    • MRW
      October 18, 2009, 3:52 pm

      The Khazar myth was debunked years ago. Oh, really?

      On September 8, 2008 Arutz Sheva published this:

      Found: Ancient Capital of ‘Jewish’ Khazar Kingdom
      by Ze’ev Ben-Yechiel
      “This is a hugely important discovery.”

      A team of archaeologists claims to have discovered remnants of the legendary Khazar kingdom in southern Russia, according to a recent report. If the findings by the Russian team, reported by the French agency AFP, prove to be indeed the long-lost capital of the reputed Jewish state, they would represent one of the largest breakthroughs in Jewish archaeology.

      “This is a hugely important discovery,” said the leader of the expedition, Dmitry Vasilyev. Vasilyev, from Astrakhan State University, made the comments after returning from the excavation site, located near the Russian village of Samosdelka, just north of the Caspian Sea. The location of the site corresponds roughly to the area in which historians believe the empire may have existed.

      “We can now shed light on one of the most intriguing mysteries of that period – how the Khazars actually lived,” he added. “We know very little about the Khazars – about their traditions, their funerary rites, their culture.”

      The Jewish University in Moscow and the Russian Jewish Congress helped finance the excavations, which took place during the summer in various locations throughout the region in which the discovery was made. The digs were overseen by a number of university professors, and roughly 50 students took part as well.

      The Khazars were known to be a semi-nomadic Turkic people who dominated the Pontic steppe and the North Caucasus regions from the 7th to the 10th century CE. The origin of the Khazars and their apparent conversion to Judaism is the subject of major dispute among modern historians.

      In the 7th century CE, the Khazars founded an independent khaganate, or kingdom, in the Northern Caucasus along the Caspian Sea. It is believed that during the 8th or 9th century, around the height of their kingdom, the state religion became Judaism at the order of the king. At this point, the Khazar khaganate and its tributaries controlled much of what is today southern Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the Caucasus (including Circassia, Dagestan, Chechnya, and parts of Georgia), and the Crimea.
      The first Jewish Khazar king was named Bulan, which means “elk”, though some sources give him the Hebrew name Sabriel. A later king, Obadiah, strengthened Judaism, inviting rabbis into the kingdom and building synagogues.

      References to a Jewish kingdom of Khazars are numerous in rabbinic literature from the Middle Ages and later. Among them is the famous tale by Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy, related in his 12th-century work The Kuzari, which recounted the conversion of the Khazar king to Judaism resulting from a lengthy conversation with an unnamed Jewish “wise man.”

      Among other Jewish sources supporting the Jewish identity of the Khazars is a letter written by Avraham ibn Daud, a renowned writer, who reported meeting rabbinical students from Khazar in Toledo, Spain in the mid-12th century. The well-renowned Schechter Letter recounts a different version of the conversion of the Khazar king, and mentions Benjamin ben Menachem as a Khazar king. Saadia Gaon, considered by many to be the greatest rabbi of his generation in the 10th century, also spoke favorably of Khazars in his writings.

      The belief in a Jewish Khazar kingdom enjoyed wide belief in non-Jewish literature as well, including classical Muslim sources cited in modern times to demonstrate that the homeland of the Jews is in Khazar and not Israel.

      The city Vasileyev claims to have found was referred to as Itil in Arab chronicles, which the archeologist said may actually be an Arabic reference to the Volga River, on which the city was founded, or to the river’s delta region.
      Historical sources describe Itil as a city of unusual ethnic and religious tolerance and diversity. Travelers to the city described houses of worship and judges for Christians, Jews, Muslims and pagans.

      Until now, however, remains of the city had never been identified, and many believed that in the intervening millennium since the demise of the Khazar empire in the 10th century, all signs of the city were washed away into the Caspian Sea.

      Although archaeologists have been excavating in the area of Samosdelka for the past nine years, only now has Vasileyev’s team been able to claim findings conclusive enough to identify the site of the capital. Among the discoveries his team has unearthed are the remains of an ancient brick fortress.

      “Within the fortress, we have found huts similar to yurts, which are characteristics of Khazar cities,” said the researcher. “The fortress had a triangular shape and was made with bricks. It’s another argument that this was no ordinary city.”

      link to

      • wondering jew
        October 18, 2009, 4:29 pm

        MRW- the information you shared with us is fascinating, but it has nothing to do with the myth that today’s Jews come from the Khazars. The scientific article cited by Julian says that the Jewish Y Chromosome DNA comes from the Middle East and has much in common with Syrian and Palestinian DNA.

    • wondering jew
      October 18, 2009, 4:11 pm

      Thank you Julian. The PNAS reference is the first scientific reference in today’s discussion. Much obliged.

      • Julian
        October 19, 2009, 5:50 am

        They never let facts get in the way of ideology. Sand just rehashed a disproved myth. You would think Phil would have done a little research before posting such nonsense as fact, but Sand was saying what he wanted to hear.

      • Shingo
        October 19, 2009, 7:20 am

        But Sand’s research has been uspported by studies that show that 85% of Palestinians have Jewish ancestry.

        Israel Bartal, dean of humanities at the Hebrew University, says that “Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions.” Bartal added: “no historian of the Jewish national movement has ever really believed that the origins of the Jews are ethnically and biologically ‘pure.’ ” He noted that “[i]mportant groups in the [Zionist] movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely.”

        Sory to break it to you Julian.

      • Chaos4700
        October 19, 2009, 8:05 am

        Watching WJ and Julian pass their mythology as “fact” reminds me of the B.S. you saw when Nazis tried to construct the whole Aryan mythology around them. It’s really quite degrading.

      • wondering jew
        October 19, 2009, 8:28 am


        I have heard complaints that the PNAS journal article was not peer reviewed and some questions about their methodology. Are these questions specific enough and strong enough to compare the journal article to Nazi propaganda or Nazi science. Godwin’s law in reverse.

      • Chaos4700
        October 19, 2009, 8:45 am

        I don’t know. Do you suppose the whole Aryan mythology construction was peer reviewed? To be fair, what makes the two similar is two groups of European peoples trying to make a phony story that ties them to the Middle East via the abuse of genetic evidence that doesn’t support what they’re saying.

        Not, you know, that attacking me directly with Godwin’s Law smears instead of confronting the crappy research you’re touting as “fact” is the real issue here.

  21. Citizen
    October 18, 2009, 10:25 am

    Well, the last forty year’s of DNA cluster research repeatedly confirms five geographical
    areas of the world as distinct from each other as origin. Google it for the five types.
    Otherwise, does David Schwimmer look like he’s related to Arnold Schwartzenegger?

    This thread is a good place to alert you all that the House has just passed the hate crime bill as part of the latest military funding bill; it just needs to be passed by the Senate, and signed into law by Obama. With that in mind a congressmen from Ohio has recently
    sent a letter to Obama suggesting he should not sign the bill as it will be used to threaten/prosecute
    people openly criticising Israel’s policies as anti-semites. Here’s an article
    suggesting how that works:
    link to

    • Dan Kelly
      October 18, 2009, 10:32 am

      Citizen, do you have a link to the letter from the Ohio congressman?

    • carnas
      October 18, 2009, 11:43 am

      Would that “Ohio congressman” happen to be one James Traficant, a convicted fellon who was expelled from the House after being convicted of taking bribes, filing false tax returns, and racketeering?
      link to
      Good to know these are the kinds of people you look to for guidance.

      • Citizen
        October 18, 2009, 1:05 pm

        No, carnas, he’s Representative John A. Boehner (R-OH 8th). Anyone who desires
        to hear Traficant’s message can get it on YouTube; judge for yourself if that message
        is connected in any significant way to his criminal past.

    • VR
      October 18, 2009, 12:53 pm

      The hate crime bill is a continuation of a legal process that the Zionist contingency has moved along an incremental trail. They try to influence through smaller spheres first like local legislatures and quasi-legal instruments, and than they try to go for the prize through the national channel of the bill process.

      As an example, the attempt to confound ant-Zionism and the protesting about objectionable actions of the State of Israel with antisemitism through the sphere of academia. They tried to make the definitive change through the “US Commission On Civil Rights,” adding and subsection called “PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN TO END CAMPUS ANTI-SEMITISM.”


      “Campus Anti-Semitism reports that many college campuses throughout the United States continue to experience incidents of anti-Semitism, a serious problem warranting further attention. Anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist propaganda has been disseminated on many campuses that include traditional anti-Semitic elements, including age-old anti-Jewish stereotypes and defamation. For example claiming that the Jew are responsible for the killing of Christ or alleging that Zionism is racism.”

      I treated this process In an article I wrote called “ACADEMIC FASCISM.” What some fail to realize is that this was just the beginning, in fact I tried to elaborate on this point in the article –

      “Please do not mistake what I am telling you as a joke, they fully intend to have this move from the recommendation form to a piece of legislation. The machinery that you see cropping up, like Campus Watch, this Commission, the vetting of teachers for the tenure track, the divesting of teachers through the administrative process on campus’, the publicity of this will be used as Exhibits A, B, C etc. of a mushrooming “problem.”

      These are merely the investigative bodies that have been empowered in a clandestine manner to deliver a body of “proof” to the legislative bodies on the United States government, coupled with the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights recommendations. They want to make their definition of antisemitism as an example, if you were in a university classroom, and the teacher who begins to talk about the plight of the Palestinians and identifies the evils of Zionism, as if he/she proceeded to call all the students of color “niggers.” They want to inflame it to this point, this is their goal.”

      The point being that there will be the inevitable escalation of this process if it was ignored in the sphere of academia. This is just a confirmation of what I originally posted in 2007.


      If you have an “aversion” reading what I write you can examine this piece of trash in the “US COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS” –

      US Commission on Civil Rights Public Education Campaign to End Campus Anti-Semitism

      For an extra added bonus here is Rashid Khalidi addressing the same problem in real time on the Columbia campus through a teach in (just several minutes long), he mentions these issues winding their way through legislatures –


      The proverbial “chickens have come home to roost.”

      • Psychopathic god
        October 18, 2009, 1:19 pm

        that’s exactly the process the Israel Lobby (same-same as ZionistsUSA??) used to impose the first set of sanctions on Iran in Clinton’s administration: first, an executive order enjoining any US company from forming contracts with Iran of greater than $20 million.

        Concerned that a mere executive order might be undone by a different administration, Israel Lobby went to work to write and pass the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, 1995. (see Treacherous Alliance

        Parsi points out in Treacherous Alliance that 1. the order and the legislation worked AGAINST US interests; 2. that Israel did not pass similar legislation for itself; 3. that Israel continued trading with Iran, through third parties, if need be.

        Robin Wright put a fine point on it in remarks at a Wilson Center conference:

        link to

        If I recall correctly, Wright said something like, the sanctions cost US perhaps 10,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars. That’s just the immediate commercial cost; doesn’t count the cost in erosion of America’s standing in the world, in all the “what might have beens” of an ongoing US relationship with Iran that American legislators were bribed, bullied, hasbarad, holocausted, and Yad Vashemed into refusing to consider in preference for “our good ally, Israel.”

      • Citizen
        October 18, 2009, 2:13 pm

        And the chicken hawks here are leading them.

    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 12:55 pm

      “Well, the last forty year’s of DNA cluster research repeatedly confirms five geographical
      areas of the world as distinct from each other as origin”

      Nonsense, complete nonsense, and completly irrelevant even if it was true.

      Now, let’s be clear: you are saying homo sapiens eveolved seperately at five different points on earth, at about the same time?

      Absolute and complete horseshit.

      • Citizen
        October 18, 2009, 1:28 pm

        I said scientific DNA research confirms repeatedly clustering into five different
        groups geographically separate. Goosey say nonsense, complete nonsense. And tack on that’s completely irrelevant. I say to readers here other than Goosey of the absolute
        knowledge, go here and judge for yourself–don’t forget to follow the internal links offered:
        link to

        By origin I did not mean to imply they necessarily evolved separately at five different points from the start or even at about the same time–whenever man first came into being as it were–but the web site and its internal references does suggest
        that regardless of, say, man’s first appearance in Africa, an old theory, what the DNA clustering shows is that at some point our ancestors came from one of the five
        areas of the world. Is that relevant? You decide in the context of this thread, eugenics, race or ethnicity as a social construction, all nurture, no nature, etc.

    • MRW
      October 18, 2009, 2:16 pm

      Phil and Adam can kiss this site good-bye. Here is Boehner’s actual letter. This is outrageous

      Hate Crimes and Anti-Semitism

      President Barack Obama
      Sen. George Voinovich
      Sen. Sherrod Brown
      Rep. John Boehner

      October 12, 2009

      As of October 12, 2009, the Hate Crime Bill, recently passed by the US House of Representatives, is attached to the recently passed military appropriations bill.

      After passing the US Senate and being signed into law by the US President, the Hate Crime Bill will become enacted into federal law. It will become anti-Semitic to criticize Israel. Anti-Semitism will now be a hate crime. And, to criticize Israel will become a hate crime. [Emphasis: mine]

      The US Department of Justice is directed to establish and staff a hate crime unit, journalists, bloggers and others, can expect to be indicted for anti-Semitic hate crimes in US courts.

      Therefore, it probably would be very wise for book reviewers and others to cease making any negative comments about Israel and about Jews.

      Dayton , OH

      link to

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        October 18, 2009, 2:31 pm

        This does not seem to be a letter from Rep. John Boehner but from a constituent to him, Obama and Ohio’s two US senators from a constituent in Dayton, Ohio. From what I have seen of the Hate Crimes bill it does NOT make criticizing Israel a hate crime.

      • Citizen
        October 18, 2009, 2:48 pm

        JB: “From what I have seen of the Hate Crimes bill it does NOT make criticizing Israel a hate crime.”

        Jeffrey, the best intentions, especially with legislation, often go awry. I suggest
        you read this:

        link to

      • MRW
        October 18, 2009, 4:06 pm

        Oh, lord, Jeffrey, did I just go off half-cocked? Looks like it.

  22. VR
    October 18, 2009, 11:19 am

    Many of the comments here about “looking Jewish” sounds like celebrity trivia. Unfortunately we live (in the USA) on celebrity worship, a strange concoction of corporate image and fleeting fame. If you are going to base you’re identity on the cinema characterizations than it is just plain silly, and just like the characters played really bears no resemblance to reality. You will have embarked on the favorite American pastime of entertaining yourself to death. Plus they embrace 19th century concepts of “a people” while denying it, how choice and convenient.

    Than some make comments cannot help themselves, they just have to dig up the myth because of the will to believe (Wondering Jew) so they become the children of a biblical mythical character. Start carping about an aggressive eschatology with delusional concept of fulfillment, like Christian fundamentalists who read their bible with a newspaper, a form of grandeur which borderlines on collective insanity as if they can move some preordained clock by their questionable colonial actions in a foreign country. Religious crackpots with weapons and monetary juice who believe absurdities they are fed by an elite that engorges themselves (religion has always been used for this purpose), so they can commit atrocities to great to number (Voltaire loosely) with a divine animus of their god created in their own image. If it were not so pathetic it could be the greatest comic tragedy ever told.

    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 1:01 pm

      Yeah, it’s one thing to make your myths and legends operatively real when your adherents include a good percentage of earth’s more powerful and violent cultures, quite another when your entire cohort numbers less than some good sized African tribe-groups.
      But what the hell, if I could find a drug that made me feel as all-powerful, all-knowing and all-judging as ziocaine does them, I’d probably get addicted to it, too!

      • Citizen
        October 18, 2009, 1:38 pm

        Well yes, even if you’re talking only within a small cohort, it’s a slow process to kick
        the money changers out of the temple, so to say. And an even slower process internally within a large cohort–acutally it doesn’t happen without outside help, as with Rome, so now the USA.

  23. OhioJoes
    October 18, 2009, 11:21 am

    OHIO CONGRESSMAN?!?! Give my state a break! That guy is no Congressman, he’s an independent Jew hater. We elected Trafficant–one of those guys per century is quite enough.

    • Chaos4700
      October 18, 2009, 11:27 am

      …Wow. You really are completely off the deep end, aren’t you?

    • Citizen
      October 18, 2009, 1:40 pm

      I didn’t say it was Trafficant, your fellow traveler, carnas assumed it was Trafficant.

    • Citizen
      October 18, 2009, 2:02 pm

      John A. Boehner (R-OH 8th)

  24. OhioJoes
    October 18, 2009, 11:49 am

    Sorry for the caps. Perhaps I should jar let you guys alone in your ignorance. Sure. He’s a congressman. Speaker of the House in fact.

    • Chaos4700
      October 18, 2009, 11:53 am

      I continue to find it amusing that you accuse us of ignorance when you can’t even find the “Reply” button.

      • OhioJoes
        October 18, 2009, 12:12 pm

        Happy, assshole?

      • Shingo
        October 18, 2009, 3:45 pm

        “Happy, assshole? ”

        At least he helped you with your ingnorace.

    • potsherd
      October 18, 2009, 4:37 pm

      The person who claims Boehner is the Speaker of the House accuses others of ignorance.

      I laugh.

      • OhioJoes
        October 18, 2009, 7:37 pm

        How’s that spelled again, Shitgo?

      • Chaos4700
        October 18, 2009, 7:39 pm

        One thing at a time, OJ. We trained you to use the Reply button. I don’t want to overload you, especially when you’re in the middle of a temper tantrum.

      • Shingo
        October 19, 2009, 5:10 am

        Keep it up Ohio and you’ll be off this list in no time.

        Try and make an effort not to get banned from the forum.

  25. munro
    October 18, 2009, 2:04 pm

    the establishment response
    link to

    • Citizen
      October 18, 2009, 2:22 pm

      Thanks for the url reference, munro–the author, Lee Kaplan says Sand is just a
      commie-anti-semite; he doesn’t address the details in Sand’s book at all. Never heard of Lee Kaplan? Why, here:
      link to

  26. MRW
    October 18, 2009, 2:07 pm


    Do you think that really describes Chaim Weitzman? Yes, actually, when you look at what he actually did. Although, I was referring to the people who actually built and ruled Israel from 1948.

    I can give inches of quotes here about Weizmann (proper spelling, BTW) but will give you a link instead. Even though Weizmann was educated at university in England after the age of 30 — he was born in Russia — he didn’t have Ben Gurion’s statesmanship. Ben Gurion, alone, among all the creators of Israel, had the grander mind in that regard. It was Weizmann who came up with the ‘land without a people’ bullshit. He held the Palestinians in complete disdain. Weizmann’s words:

    “In its initial stage, Zionism was conceived by its pioneers as a movement wholly depending on mechanical factors: there is a country which happens to be called Palestine, a country without people, and, on the other hand, there exists the Jewish people, and it has no country. What else is necessary, then, than to fit the gem into the ring, to unite this people with this country? The owners of the country [the Ottoman Turks] must, there for, be persuaded and conceived that this marriage is advantageous, not only for the [Jewish] people and for the country, but also for themselves.” (Expulsion Of The Palestinians, p. 6)


    In the early 1920s, Ben-Gurion asked Chaim Weizmann why he had accepted the promise of a “national home” in Palestine (as referred to by Balfour Declaration) rather than holding out for a state, Weizmann responded the he did not demand a state because he would not have gotten one. For him the choice of “national home” was a “tactical question”. Weizmann believed in cautious, gradual action, in a doctrine of stages. (One Palestine Complete, p. 101)

    Read more here. link to
    As for how peopleless Palestine was, I refer you (rhetorical) back to your great link :-)
    link to

    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 2:58 pm

      I think we were sort of agreeing by disagreeing. Whatever else he was or wasn’t, Weizman (I knew I was wrong as I typed it, thanks) became a very sophisticated political operater and organiser. I didn’t mean to imply (or infer, for that matter) that he left his prejudices behind as he grew in political skill.
      Thanks for providing, as you usually do, links and information to back up your contentions, MRW.
      Anyway, recently finished a biography of Einstein, and it is indeed amazing what the Zionists got Einstein, Albert Einstein, to sign on to. It’s actually worth a post of its own. It’s like they hypnotised him, or slipped ziocaine into his coffee. But that’s another matter.

  27. DG
    October 18, 2009, 2:53 pm

    “Some of the stuff Albert Einstein said for the Zionists was amazing!”

    Einstein was offered the role of presidency of Israel in 1952. He replied, “I could never be the president of a country founded on the misery and suffering of those who were there before.”

    • Mooser
      October 18, 2009, 3:05 pm

      Right D. exactly. Albert Einstein had a record of becoming too easily enamored of movements which appealled to him, and then having to back off later. The fact that he did come to his senses eventually just makes some of the things he said when he was in love with Zionism (it faded, it faded) more amazing.
      And as you correctly point out, he got it straight eventually. I would bet you can still find his earlier statements featured on Zionist websites,

  28. johd
    October 18, 2009, 7:05 pm

    It is disappointing that people have little time to debunk the misuse of this study of Y-chromosome Biallelic Haplotypes amongst semitic peoples. The study itself was not peer reviewed, but what is alarming is the racist misuse of the data, which at its core does not suggest what people assert it does: that Jewish people around the world have similar genes and DNA. The reality is that Ashkenazi Jews do have similarities with Arab Jews, because they spring from a similar gene pool centered around the central Asian region. The similarities are hundreds of centuries old, not a few humdered or thousand years.

    What was not not studied was the similarities they have with Turkic people, with whom they probably have even more direct and recent similarities.

    link to

    Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh had a lot to say about the politicization of Gene Pool Studies which he likens to the practice of Eugenics in the United States in the Early 20th century. I also read somewhere of the embarrassment experienced by the professional scientific community of the misuse of scientific study due to the influence of politically motivated funding. But embarrassment is not an issue for some here – its similarity to Nazi scientific studies notwithstanding.

  29. OhioJoes
    October 18, 2009, 7:45 pm

    This whole argument is, as John Cleese would say, symbolic of your (ye Philipinas) war against reality. There are characteristic Jewish appearances, they are common, by no means universal. There are Jews from Yemen who look like Adam Sandler. There are Moroccan Jews who look like Bob Dylan.
    And if Eva Smegma’s daughter was constantly “disconcertingly” mistaken for a Jew, might that have something to do with her real father?

    • Chaos4700
      October 18, 2009, 7:52 pm

      So what you’re saying is… Judaism is a religion, not a race?

      Supporters of Israel are so civil, aren’t they? Questioning one’s parentage must be the height of polite society in Ohio, one gathers.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      October 18, 2009, 8:03 pm

      Have you ever actually seen a Jew from Yemen, OJ? They look as much like Adam Sandler as they do like George W Bush. Jews from Yemen are simply Arab Jews and for the most part they are physically indistinguishable from Moslem Yemeni except that they no longer grow their beards or where traditional headdress. When they were brought to Israel as cheap labor they were treated as subhuman. See Tom Segev’s “1949” The First Israelis.”

    • Shingo
      October 19, 2009, 5:12 am

      ‘There are characteristic Jewish appearances, they are common, by no means universal.”

      Except that if yo’re Jewish and you point this out, you get called an anti Semite.

      • Citizen
        October 19, 2009, 10:59 am

        And so too, if a non-Jewish person happens to often notice similar appearances that distinctly do not conjure up the likes of Arnold Schwatzenegger, for example. OTH, the typical German has a button nose? Look at Heydrich.

  30. Saleema
    October 19, 2009, 10:54 am

    Wondering Jew,

    You were giving Abraham as one of the proofs of the jews being a people, and so when one becomes a Jew he is given Abraham as their father. Being the spiritual father of monotheism and being the ancestor of two peoples are two very different things.

    A converted jew is a Jew in religion, he does not become part of a nation in the physical sense. He does not change his ethnicity.

    Sorry, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    When someone becomes muslim, he is not given a new father–Mohammed or Abraham. He is the son of the person who conceived him. He just has a new religion.

    • Saleema
      October 19, 2009, 11:01 am

      Every person, regardless of their ethnicity, is good enough to become a muslim or a christian. No new father assigned to them, but to be a jew one is assigned a new father. Why?

      • wondering jew
        October 20, 2009, 8:27 pm

        Saleema- It is true that a converted Jew does not become part of the Jewish ethnicity upon conversion. The assignment of Abraham as one’s father combines both elements: the religious and the national. Abraham was told that he would be the father to many nations. When one converts one is given a new father. The analogy that comes to mind is adoption. Imagine a child who is raised by a family that he wasn’t born into and after a bureaucratic hassle government permission is granted for the adoption to go through. The adoption becomes official. “Son, you are now a member of the family.” This is essentially the point that I am making. People might say about that family, “Oh, they have four children plus an adopted child.” The father might make a point of saying, “I have five children.”

        (Just as that family has elements of biology and something other than biology) Judaism has aspects of both peoplehood and a religion. When a male converts he is circumcised. This is a blood ritual to be inducted into the tribe.

        It is interesting to contrast and compare Judaism to Islam and Christianity. One obvious fact is that Judaism is much older than the other two. There are tribal elements that exist in Judaism which do not exist in the other two.

        Every person regardless of ethnicity is good enough to become a Jew if they are sincere and show that they are willing to accept the yoke of the commandments. For many generations prospective converts were warned that the Jews are a hated people, are you really sure that you want to become one of us? When we were a hated people we were rather sure about the sincerity of those who wanted to join. Today (in America) Jews are less hated than usual and it might be seen as a plus to join, so the sincerity of would be joiners might be doubted. Thanks to the new antisemitism maybe we are now coming back again to a time when the sincerity of would be converts is more assured. (irony)

        Islam and Christianity are religions with more than a billion adherents. Judaism has barely 14 million or so. Besides the different histories the varying sizes carry with them differing dynamics.

        You seem to be be trying to stress the superiority of Islam because of its more universalist aspects. If you were born without a religion and chose Islam then I might congratulate you for making a superior choice. But if you were born into Islam God made the choice for you. I did not choose Judaism. I was born into it. God made the choice for me. Are you telling me that God made a mistake? Are you telling me that I should alienate myself from my family and throw off the religion of my birth because it is inferior to Islam? If that is what you are implying, I don’t think you are being wise.

  31. Citizen
    October 21, 2009, 12:02 pm

    Aren’t most people born into a particular religion? Is it wiser to stay so yoked, or to reach for something else as a matter of choice, rather than birth? For example, I was born as as
    a baptized Christian, does this curcumvent any Christian POV?
    Similar, does being born as as a Jew, offer a different POV s s on the Power that is?

  32. Citizen
    October 21, 2009, 12:02 pm

    Aren’t most people born into a particular religion? Is it wiser to stay so yoked, or to reach for something else as a matter of choice, rather than birth? For example, I was born as as
    a baptized Christian, does this curcumvent any Christian POV?
    Similar, does being born as as a Jew, offer a different POV s s on the Power that is?

  33. aront
    December 1, 2009, 2:04 pm

    Wondering Jew asked for scientific “evidence.” Here is an article in a genetics journal which re-evaluates earlier studies and provides genetic evidence regarding the Khazar theory.

    In any case, let us remember, folks that science is about theories not “truth.” Moreover biology is still far from physics and is not yet a predictive science. To say that geneticists have “proven” anything one way or another about ancient historical events is to misunderstand and misuse science. In particular, Jews should be very leary of bandying about science as “proof” of any racial theory.

    History is even less about truth. It is about narrative and stories people tell one another about events of long ago. These stories have limited possibility to be”true” in a factual sense , since only rarely, if we are lucky, do we have eye-witness accounts (and even then, we all know how reliable those are).

    Rather, histories may contain human truths, or perhaps more usefully, authentically resonate with their audiences and convey deeper meanings about the human condition that strike us as real and useful. I would hope that as a historian Sand isn’t claiming he is providing scientific “truth.” He is (hopefully) only claiming that there is an alternative narrative, an alternative story about the origins of the Jewish people which is just as legitimate and authentic as the Zionist narrative. This alternative story allows all Israelis to identify with and develop the unique culture of the country Israel, in a way which is more democratic and inclusive than the Zionist narrative of Jewish history and the current foundation myth of Israel.

  34. aront
    December 1, 2009, 2:09 pm

    Woops. Forgot the link:

    link to

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