The ‘genetic truth’ of Jesus’s (and Hanna Rosin’s) ‘classically Semitic appearance,’ as revealed to Jeffrey Goldberg

Jeffrey Goldberg

Jeffrey Goldberg

It’s hard to know what to say about Jeffrey Goldberg’s latest piece. Drawn to racial territory by the Fox News trailblazer who said that Santa is white, Goldberg says in “I’m dreaming of a white Jesus,” that it is important to remember that Jesus looked Jewish; that Hanna Rosin, author, Atlantic editor, and (Goldberg alleges) his friend, also is “classically Semitic in appearance”; and Palestinians are an invention of the last 100 years.

Goldberg takes on Reza Aslan, author of “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,” who told the Washington Post that Christ can look however you want him to. Not so fast, says the ethnologist.

It is important, however, to understand how the historical Jesus — who was a Jew of Israel, born in Judea, raised in the Galilee — might have looked and how he dressed and ate and thought and prayed, because Christians have labored for many centuries, in a not-benign way, to Europeanize, and de-Judaize, their savior’s image. This campaign was an indispensable component of the church’s age-old project to separate its savior from his faith, and to therefore turn Christianity against its mother religion.

The most recent manifestation of the desire to de-Judaize Jesus has come not from European Christian churches, but from anti-Israel activists in the Arab world, who have engaged in a campaign to assert that Jesus was, in fact, a Palestinian (in other words, a member of a people that did not come into being until roughly 100 years ago), and that the Jews are guilty of deicide and genocide, among other -cides….
The genetic truth, as best we know, is more complicated and interesting than Aslan suggests. Jesus might have looked like a Palestinian; he might also have looked like a Bedouin, or a Druze or a mizrachi Israeli, those Israelis descended from the Jewish communities of the greater Middle East. He might have even had the physical characteristics of Ashkenazi Jews, descendants of the Jews who found their way to Europe from the land of Israel. The reason Jesus could have looked like a member of any of these groups is simple: Today, they all share an enormous number of overlapping genetic characteristics….

Hanna [Rosin], whose mother is from Aden, in southern Arabia, and whose father’s origins are in Syria and Turkey, is classically Semitic in appearance…
As a matter of faith, Christians should picture Jesus any way they want; as a matter of history, though, it’s important to recognize that Jesus was Jewish, in multifarious ways.

Hanna Rosin

Hanna Rosin

All these assertions only show how much Goldberg looks at the world from a tribal standpoint. I wonder what Rosin thinks of the oafish shout-out.

H/t Max Blumenthal:

Jeff Goldberg fears Palestinians will steal Jesus http://t.co/IZaN0BZ88C

— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) December 16, 2013

 

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 118 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. just says:

    For. Heaven’s. Sake.

    Goldschmutz Holidays.

  2. Krauss says:

    As I wrote previously, note that Goldberg is very comfortable acting as the universalist liberal when he can attack non-Jews, preferably goyish White Christians.

    He says Kelly is “afraid of change”. That’s a stretch. Racially biased? Sure. But so are most people. Kelly’s outburst was just very telling of her own racial preferences.

    Goldberg, in an Op-Ed a few days before that, wrote that Kerry is Israel’s “best friend” because he understands “the necessity to maintain the demographics”.

    So I asked: who is really afraid of change? And isn’t it amazing how fast a masquerading liberal like Goldberg turns into a nativist using language Lou Dobbs wouldn’t even use – as Max wrote – when it comes to Israel. The only difference? In Israel, Goldberg is part of the majority population.- That’s when your liberalism is really put to the test. And Goldberg is defrauded as a hoax; an ethnic nationalist using the cover of liberalism in America to advance what he perceives to be Jewish interests, which lends itself to take the opposite position in Israel.

    Some may think this is inconsistent, but it is not. This is how an ethnic nationalist functions. Not according to liberalism, but to race.

    • Instead of trying to pigeonhole Jesus Christ to one of the various categories of Jewish based on skin color , Goldberg should try to understand that the Jesus probably transcended that very divison when he took stand against the Romans( white) and against the priestly class of contemporary Judaism . Palestinian celebrate Jesus purely from this perspective. Never in the history of Zionism,one finds the mention of Jesus as a redeeming.,uplifting ,liberating figure ,guiding them how to be inclusive and correct injustice. Goldberg is trying to emphasize the Jewish origin of Jesus not to illuminate the understandings of the teachings of Jesus or to raise awareness of the existence of other rebellious prophets in Judaism but to numb the reaction to the oppressive behaviors of the Zionist to the Palestinians.

      • lysias says:

        I’ve always been puzzled by why so many Jews regard Jews who convert to Islam with as much hostility as Jews who convert to Christianity, even though Islam is so closely related to Judaism and does not have Christianity’s history of hostility to Judaism. I wonder if the fact that Muslims regard Jesus (Isa) with so much respect, even calling him “the Messiah” (al-Masih), may have something to do with it.

    • Citizen says:

      I agree that the Zionist is consistent; as with any ideology, to see this just look at it’s premises.

  3. Krauss says:

    By the way, re: Goldberg’s racialist world view.

    Notice how he stereotypes Jews in a certain way. Goldberg himself is dark blonde, blue-eyed. Apparently he is less Jewish because of it, in his own eyes. Is Max Blumenthal less Jewish?

    This racialist world view harms non-white Jews. Blonde Jews, with all due respect, are not exactly very oppressed people. But ask black or Asian Jews how it is like to being constantly, constantly, being quizzed and questioned on your Jewishness, with the nagging sense of being viewed as a fraud at best or an enemy at worst.

    I didn’t know people felt like this until I started to read blogs by Jews of Color. I had to overcome my own racial myopia, my own “Jewishness = whiteness but different culture than the majority” world view. Goldberg is still deeply wedded to this, but in order to seperate himself from the white mainstream he invents a world where all white non-Jews are blonds and all Jews – or excuse me, real Jews – are dark-brown haired and have big/pointy noses.

    I wonder if Goldberg ever looks himself into the mirror, wishing he didn’t look so WASPy. He got a very Jewish last name but that’s about it.

    • Krauss says:

      Also, slight addition(I’m on a roll!) re: White Jesus flap.

      As Ostrer, the professor in genetics Goldberg quotes in his article, admits; we simply can’t know how Jesus looked like. Sure, we can make assumptions on how he looked like but the bottom line is; we don’t know. During this era there were a lot of Jewish converts. And there was a lot of population mixing.

      And I also noticed this tendency among those who reacted to Kelly’s flap: they seem to assume that whiteness = Northern European blonde people. I guess this is the traditional beauty ideal of America, which lives on. Nevertheless, a lot of whites in America are dark-haired. Southern Europeans, “dark Irish”, many Germans are looking a lot like “typical Jews”, dark hair, brown eyes.

      In addition, the “white Santa” thing was even weirder. Santa was modeled on a Greek-European bishop, who lived in what was then Eastern Rome(or Byzantium).

      He couldn’t possibly have been white, the argument went, because he didn’t look white. This is essentially the same Nordicist view that prevailed in America pre-WWII when a lot of Nordic supremacists wanted to limit non-Northern European immigration, viewing Italians and Irish among others as non-white. Too many darkies among the Italians and we can’t trust the Papist Irish.

      The bizarre thing was, I actually could agree with Aisha Harris’ original argument. I also liked her solution. Instead of coming up with somekind of ethnically ambigous carmel-skinned Santa(and why not gender neutral while we’re at it?), she said maybe an animal instead, like a penguin. You remove the stigma of race and everyone child, at least all sane children, like cute animals anyway.

      But it was the counter-reaction to Kelly’s racist flap that revealed a racialist world view among many of her critics. The same people who constantly stress how whiteness has evolved all of a sudden became implicit Nordicists, just like Goldberg in his view of Jewishness.

      My cynical viewpoint is that the need for Nordicism continues, because without it, it is harder to be an ethnic nationalist, especially if you look like Goldberg or Jon Stewart or even someone who look like a Greek-European but who happens to be Syrian, Lebanese or Argentinian.

      • seafoid says:

        Jesus looked like Charles Manson. The Turin shroud proves it.

      • W.Jones says:

        Krauss,

        This is really funny. By saying that Jesus IS White, Kelly actually proves Aslan’s point that Jesus can be any color. And it goes along with Aisha Harris’ desire for what FOX News calls an “inclusive” Jesus.

        Being able to reinvent Jesus as one’s own is reaffirming the point all along.

        Even Goldberg reaffirms the point and makes the impossible possible. Israeli law says Christians cannot be Jews and vice verse. By saying Jesus is Jewish, Goldberg has made Jesus into another nationality than that which the State considers Him.

        On another note, it turns out some people went on an HCEF trip, and they cleared all this up by seeing Jesus. It turns out that He is Palestinian:

        I tell you now, resoundingly, yes, I saw the face of Christ. I saw Christ suffering today under systematic oppression and discrimination; I saw Christ weeping over violence and the death of loved ones; and I saw Christ resurrected in the faces of people of all faiths building bridges to each other through love and reconciliation. Finally, I saw Christ in the faces of my fellow pilgrims, each one astoundingly beautiful and uniquely gifted by God.

        link to hcef.org

    • bilal a says:

      Goldberg looks Waspy? Yeah a regular Jimmy Stewart. Not the blogging poster child for the death of Wasp culture:

      —— NPR —–
      Mr. JOHNSON: Yeah. That’s one of the things I’ve been writing about. The WASP culture is a dying culture in this country, and I think I’ve seen evidence of that over the course of my lifetime.

      CONAN: Give us some examples.

      Mr. JOHNSON: Well, there – I feel like – the WASP community obviously used to control a majority of the political and financial and cultural institutions, in Manhattan, specifically, and they really no longer do. And one of the examples that I wrote about was the renaming of the New York Public Library at 4nd Street for Stephen A. Schwarzman, who is the CEO of Blackstone Group. And he recently donated 100 million dollars to the library’s fundraising campaign, and in exchange for his gift, he’s going to have the building – his name incised on the exterior of the building. This caused a great deal of outrage within the old-money, WASP community in New York.
      link to npr.org

      • Krauss says:

        I cannot for one thing quite understand how WASP culture somehow means “the lives of the 1%”.

        How did this begin? What led to this laziness? I don’t know. But I have some theories, more on that later.

        First, let’s debunk the most obvious myth. Let’s begin by stating the simple fact: the vast, vast majority of WASPs are not rich people. They are not old-money. And they don’t give a flying fuck on whose name is on library, just like most non-ultra rich people don’t give a fuck. Do you? I don’t. I don’t think most Hispanics, blacks, Asians or for that matter WASPs do either.

        So how did “WASP culture” become somehow the same as the top 1%?
        Never accurate, but never challenged by the interviewer either.

        My guess is that the people who defined WASP culture this way were essentially people like my parents; upwardly mobile Jews. Or actually, that’s a lie. My parents became upper-middle class. The people I’m talking about are elite Jews. People who can view themselves as potential donors to the NY Public Library.

        And for them it was ethnic competition. Johnson grew up in New York, in the 1980s and 1990s. He essentially has made a career of stroking these prejudices. Is it a surprise that he is himself the born son of the ultra-rich WASP Johnson family? How representative is he of WASPs? Maybe as representative as Romney and his six homes are.

        But as I said, what does snobby white people have to do with the great white masses? Or inversely; what does Wall St tycoons like Schwarzmann have to do with most Jews? Not a lot.

        WASP culture does not really exist anymore. A more appropriate term would be white culture. Is there such a thing? I’m pretty sure there is, but they are calling it “American” and then realizing that their “American” identity is actually white American identity. Just like the whole “Santa is white” fake controversy. Most white people take these things for granted, so they are at once very ethnocentric and not ethnocentric(in a conscious way) at all.

        So in some ways, the death of WASP culture was really inevitable. Why? Well, as Irish, WASPs, Italians and to some extent Jews melded into a white America, the identity of each sub-group became harder to maintain. Obviously my group has done best to preserve the specific identity, but if we are to believe the latest Pew report, not by much.

        But yes, Johnson’s take on “WASP culture” should really be called “the top 0.1% WASP elite”. Not very representative, and highly insular. I don’t fault Johnson for being an idiot son of a wealthy scion. That happens a lot. I do fault NPR not to challenge him on the obvious socio-economic background. What you’re describing, they should have said, is less race and more wealth.

        In some ways this whole thing reminds me of the intra-wealthy spats between the Rothchilds and their Gentile Bankster rivals. Both groups were scumbags. Am I supposed to root for a Jew while he steals from me just because he outwitted his Gentile bankster rival? lol
        That mentality allowed Madoff to rip off Holocaust survivors and Jewish trust funds.

    • Goldberg is the spitting image of Ed Schultz.

  4. Scott says:

    I’d say he’s mostly right, even about Hanna. No big deal. Important too to remember that Jesus was a rebel against the religious establishment of his time, that’s the crux of the matter. But the Palestinians can certainly claim Jesus; I’d bet many Palestinian Christians have some Jewish forbears.
    (No expertise in these matters, just what I think.)

    • Pamela Olson says:

      It’s as likely as anything that many or even most Palestinians are actual descendents of the original Jews and Christians. And he lived on their historic homeland. So it makes perfect sense for them to claim him.

      To claim the Palestinian people “did not come into being until roughly 100 years ago” is frankly bizarre. Did they spontaneously spring into existence? Did they come from outer space?

      They may have changed what they called themselves for various reasons throughout history, but guess what? THEY WERE STILL PEOPLE. And they still had/have rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness — same as any other humans.

      • just says:

        Oh, but there’s the rub. If they admit that the Palestinians are a People and have been a People forever, their narrative goes *splat*.

        Denial is one of their weapons of choice. Not working so well anymore……

        • pabelmont says:

          It is one thing to allow that the Palestinian people may to a large extent be progeny of the ancient Jews of The Land (and, of course, also of the ancient Christians of The Land). It is quite another to say that they were then a “Nation” a concept that (we are told) is quite recent and the recency of which eliminates the need to consider the Jewish folks of those same bad old days a “Nation”.

          Try telling that to the Zionists.

          • pabelmont says:

            Oops, forgot.

            Yes, Jesus looked Jewish. But, Jewish as Jews of Palestine looked in those days. Probably not “white” (like some ideas of Santa Claus), but “olive hued.”

            Olive-hued like many Palestinians and other Arabs — and quite a few Jews. After all, the Crusades had not brought “white” genetic admixture to Palestine yet, had they?

            Poor olive-hued Jews, second-class citizens of Israel, despised in Israel by many Ashkenazim — the “white” Jews, many from Khazaria with no roots in ancient Palestine — for their Arab-like appearance and culture etc.

            I mean, horrible cultural practices, like eating the awful HUMMUS and FELAFEL Oops, sorry, that’s all been declared authoritatively fully Israeli now (like tolerance for gays — no matter what the Torah may say) and no longer despised. Gotta keep track of things around here. Need a program to identify the players.

          • Citizen says:

            @ pabelmont
            Is the translation in the old testament (and in the new, if applicable) of the noun “nation” and its plural form accurate? In original Greek or Arabic (and Hebrew translation?) what are those words, and do they mean the same as modern English’s “nation(s)”?

            nation |ˈnāSHən|
            noun
            a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory: leading industrialized nations.
            • a North American Indian people or confederation of peoples.
            DERIVATIVES
            nationhood |-ˌho͝od|noun
            ORIGIN Middle English: via Old French from Latin natio(n-), from nat- ‘born,’ from the verb nasci .

            The Zionists claim the Palestinians are an “invented” people. Not according to the sample definition of “nation.” They imply, and often say there were no Palestinians because they did not have a nation state when the Zionists robbed them of land they had lived in for centuries. But the Jews had no nation state in 1947….

          • braciole says:

            @pabelmount

            After all, the Crusades had not brought “white” genetic admixture to Palestine yet, had they?

            Maybe, but the Romans most likely already had since they controlled Palestine for about seven hundred years.

      • Pamela, we’re all descended from all of them. It’s a simple matter of numbers. 2 parents, 4 great-grandparents, 8 great-greats, etc. 10 generations out, we each have slots for over 1000 8-greats (some double-filled due to cousins marrying). 20 generations, its over a million, 30 generations, its over a billion. 30 generations is about a millennium. There may not have been a billion people on the Earth in 1000 CE, so odds are we are all descended from everyone alive and procreating 1000 years ago in the areas of the world from which our ancestors came. Each of our billion 28-greats living around 1000 CE themselves had a billion 28-greats of their own living around the time of Christ. The Mediterranean being a mixing bowl for European, Asian and African merchants, sailors, slaves, and travelers, and Rome having carried its genes throughout Europe and UK (not to mention the proverbial wandering Jew), there’s no way the average American is likely NOT to have Abraham as a direct ancestor, many times over.

      • LeaNder says:

        Did they spontaneously spring into existence? Did they come from outer space?

        Pamela, it’s usually referred to as the Palestinian Big Bang. First there was nothing and suddenly “100 years ago” there they were, inhabiting a terra nullius to be legally taken by others.

        I’d say he’s mostly right, even about Hanna.

        I don’t know, Scott. Outside Germany traveling with a girl friend as a juvenile, I was frequently assumed to be Italian and my friend Spanish, Hanna maybe would have had a similar experience. Since we have dark hair?

        Goldie: (I once interviewed a leader of Hamas in Gaza who looked exactly like my late uncle Julie, for instance. I noted to him this uncanny resemblance, and he wasn’t happy.

        Look Goldie, that may have to do with the above Palestinian Big Bang argument and a specifically religious right to the land, he may not be so sure what you are trying to tell him?

        Besides, so what? My grandpa, my mother’s father looked a lot like Yaacov Peri.

        • just says:

          “Pamela, it’s usually referred to as the Palestinian Big Bang. First there was nothing and suddenly “100 years ago” there they were, inhabiting a terra nullius to be legally taken by others.”

          Brilliant, LeaNder. Positively brilliant.

      • American says:

        Pamela Olson says:
        December 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm
        It’s as likely as anything that many or even most Palestinians are actual descendents of the original Jews and Christians.””

        I am going to keep repeating this till it sinks in—-> it does not matter if some of the Palestines had forebears *who once practiced Judaism. *
        It is IMMATERIAL to any claims of the Palestines right to be there.
        The Jews were ARABS.
        The Christians were ARABS.
        The Palestines then and now are ARABS.
        Religion affiliation DOES NOT DETERMINE ancestry.
        No one is “genetically or nationaly or ethnically descended” from a fricking religion.
        So it makes zero, jack shit difference whether some of the ancestors of present day Palestine once practiced Judaism or not.

        • Pamela Olson says:

          I didn’t say it made a difference to claims or rights to be anywhere. I’m just pointing out how extra-special stupid a lot of Zionist claims / talking points are.

          • American says:

            Pamela Olson says:
            December 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm
            I didn’t say it made a difference to claims or rights to be anywhere. I’m just pointing out how extra-special stupid a lot of Zionist claims / talking points are.>>>>>

            I’m sure you were.
            However my MW mission today is to stamp out any whiff of language that suggest anyone is ‘descended’ from Jews or Christians or ‘related’ -’in peoplehood’ because of a religion.
            There is enough of the zio talk about ‘Jewish descendents” as if they were genetically distinct race already. It’s the core cry of Israel and the zionist’s world wide nation of Jews. Dont help them…even inadvertently.

          • talknic says:

            Pamela Olson “I’m just pointing out how extra-special stupid a lot of Zionist claims / talking points are”

            ALL of them are link to wp.me

    • bintbiba says:

      You think right,Scott.
      I think I may be one of those !
      When In the US ,I was asked ‘Where are you from?’ …as a teaser I would say “The Middle East”. The immediate reaction: “Aah Israel!” I don’t look Arab , you see.

  5. Pamela Olson says:

    I think Jeffrey Goldberg must be pescitic. He has that classically puffer-fish-esque appearance.

  6. Cliff says:

    Goldberg is such a tool.

    [...]

    hoppy can you elaborate?

  7. I think Pope Francis should give Jeffrey Goldberg a wood carving of St. Paul.

  8. Abdul-Rahman says:

    Goldberg (in his sourceless blabbering) is apparently very unfamiliar with the most recent genetic research on the general topic he seems to be trying to talk about.

    link to books.google.com

    ‘Palestinians are an indigenous people who either live in, or originate from, historical Palestine. .Although the Muslims guaranteed security and allowed religious freedom to all inhabitants of the region, the majority converted to Islam and adopted Arab culture.’ Bassam Abu-Libdeh, Peter D. Turnpenny, and Ahmed Teebi, ‘Genetic Disease in Palestine and Palestinians,’ in Dhavendra Kuma (ed.) Genomics and Health in the Developing World, OUP 2012 pp.700-711, p.700.

    As for Judaism, it is of course a RELIGION, not a “race” (an unscientific social construct as “race” is to start with), regardless of what Nazis and Zionists claim.

    Johns Hopkins University geneticist Dr. Eran Elhaik link to eelhaik.aravindachakravartilab.org “The various groups of Jews in the world today do not share a common genetic origin. We are talking here about groups that are very heterogeneous and which are connected solely by religion… (the) genome of European Jews is a mosaic of ancient peoples and its origin is largely Khazar.” (Haaretz, link to salem-news.com)

    and

    link to nytimes.com;

    link to nature.com

    “A substantial prehistoric European ancestry amongst Ashkenazi maternal lineages” by geneticist Dr. Martin B. Richards of Yorkshire, England’s University of Huddersfield link to hud.ac.uk

    And I will close by simply offering a few quick responses to this specific statement from Goldberg’s ramblings: “descendants of the Jews who found their way to Europe from the land of Israel.”

    The responses to this specific section of Goldberg’s claims, can be found in these links below:

    link to versobooks.com Shlomo Sand “The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland”

    link to nfb.ca “Exile – A Myth Unearthed” by Ilan Ziv

    link to richardsilverstein.com

    • Sibiriak says:

      Abdul-Rahman:

      And I will close by simply offering a few quick responses to this specific statement from Goldberg’s ramblings: “descendants of the Jews who found their way to Europe from the land of Israel.”

      Goldberg points do appear to be “ramblings”, but their self-contradictory nature is actually logical required by their underlying purpose– rationalization of Zionism

      Goldberg wishes to identify Jews genetically with a middle eastern people, “classically Semitic in appearance”. But he can’t go too far with that argument, as it would bring into question the genetic-Jewishess of “Ashkenazi” Jews. So he tries to have it both ways.

      In one place he writes:

      [ Jesus] might have even had the physical characteristics of Ashkenazi Jews, descendants of the Jews who found their way to Europe from the land of Israel.”

      This is necessary ideologically to establish the genetic unity of the “Jewish People”, their historical origin in “the land of Israel”, and thus their “historic rights” to return and set up a “Jewish state” in “the Jewish homeland”.

      But later he writes:

      I asked Ostrer just how possible it is, given the diversity of appearance among Jews, that Jesus might have been fair-haired. “[...] It is likely that Jesus had the swarthy coloring of a Middle Easterner, but there’s a chance that he was fair-skinned as well.”

      This is good news for the Tom Brady camp, I suppose, but ultimately, I’d bet against this possibility.

      So, Goldberg in effect, turns out to support the same view he purports to reject: that Jesus would look like a Palestinian of today, not a typical Ashkenazi Jew.

      Goldberg:

      Aslan is not in the camp of those who deny, or minimize, Jesus’s connection to Judaism, but in this answer, he made an obvious attempt to associate Jesus with the Palestinians, rather than with the Israelis of today.

      The genetic truth, as best we know, is more complicated and interesting than Aslan suggests.

      But Goldberg make no honest attempt to find “the genetic truth”–he instead adopts without question the views of Harry Ostrer as if they were the final word on the matter–ignoring the fact that Ostrer’s views are highly controversial.

      Dr. Eran Elhaik, cited above by Abdul-Rahman, has drawn attention to Ostrer’s well-known pro-Zionist biases:

      To illustrate his point, Elhaik swivels his chair around to face his computer and calls up a 2010 email exchange with Ostrer.

      “It was a great pleasure reading your group’s recent paper, ‘Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era,’ that illuminate[s] the history of our people,” Elhaik wrote to Ostrer. “Is it possible to see the data used for the study?”

      Ostrer replied that the data are not publicly available. “It is possible to collaborate with the team by writing a brief proposal that outlines what you plan to do,” he wrote. “Criteria for reviewing include novelty and strength of the proposal, non-overlap with current or planned activities, and non-defamatory nature toward the Jewish people.”

      That last requirement, Elhaik argues, reveals the bias of Ostrer and his collaborators.

      Allowing scientists access to data only if their research will not defame Jews is “peculiar,” said Catherine DeAngelis, who edited the Journal of the American Medical Association for a decade. “What he does is set himself up for criticism: Wait a minute. What’s this guy trying to hide?”

      link to forward.com

    • The curious thing is that despite the widening genetic spread of its adherents Judaism remained a tribal religion of people who imagined a common descent from “our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” As this was enshrined in the Holy Book, I suppose it was difficult to throw off. The Khazar king who introduced Judaism among the Khazars claimed to have had a dream in which God made a covenant with the Khazars, distinct from though obviously modeled on the covenant He had previously made with the Israelites. Descendants of the Judaized Khazars forgot all about this separate covenant.

    • LeaNder says:

      I am not so fond of the Khazar theory, admittedly, Abdul-Rahman. Or what feels to me attempts to explain centuries of European Jewish existence with one main origin in space and time. The Jewish community here in the Rhinelands, or more precisely Cologne, can be traced back to a document of 321 CE/AD. …

      But admittedly I am just as puzzled by attempts to prove a distinctively Jewish Middle Eastern genome. I have to admit that I feel deeply prejudiced against people using racial arguments. At least as long as I no one explains to me why and how I could embrace and research in “racial studies” as something positive while the Nazis obviously were negative, I don’t think there is any debate that the latter were negative. …

      Thus strictly I have to admit I like this approach: Eran Elhaik, The Jewish Genome Challenge

      It has been suggested in the scientific and popular literature that Jewishness is a genetic trait found in our genes and that worldwide Jews comprise a genetically distinct group with some Jewish communities being described as “population isolates” (e.g., Atzmon et al. 2010; Behar et al. 2010; Ostrer 2012). For example, Atzmon et al. (2010) wrote that: “European/Syrian and Middle Eastern Jews represent a series of geographical isolates or clusters woven together by shared IBD genetic threads.” Behar et al. (2010) wrote: “The most parsimonious explanation for these observations is a common genetic origin, which is consistent with an historical formulation of the Jewish people as descending from ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant.”

      Concerning Israel’s foundation myths. Historically it is really nothing specifically new simply enormously anachronistic post enlightenment. Political Theologies in the Holy Land: Israeli Messianism and its Critics, David Ohana

      • Sibiriak says:

        LeaNder:

        Thus strictly I have to admit I like this approach: Eran Elhaik, The Jewish Genome Challenge

        The “Jewish Genome Challenge” is a proposal
        to put to test the claims that Jewishness is the genes.”

        You quote Elhaik:

        [...] Behar et al. (2010) wrote: “The most parsimonious explanation for these observations is a common genetic origin, which is consistent with an historical formulation of the Jewish people as descending from ancient Hebrew and Israelite residents of the Levant.”

        But you leave out the crucial continuation:

        The cover of the book “Legacy” says: “Ostrer shows that Jews from different Diaspora groups are linked by the genetic threads that provide a biological basis for Jewishness.”

        However, none of these blury descriptions of “genetic threads” are substantiated by any particular genetic nucleotides, haplotypes, or genetic regions and even after decades of genetic research, these ideas remain controversial among geneticists as well as historians and social scientists (e.g., Sand 2009; Elhaik 2013; Venton 2013) with some proposing that these notions are driven by non-scientific ideologies (e.g., Kirsh 2003).

        It has been further suggested that traits such as intelligence are more strongly associated with Jews than with non-Jews (Ostrer 2012). Based on these notions, genetic testing companies now offer genetic tests that promise to accurately determine one’s Jewishness.

        Recently, A.B. Yehoshua an Israeli writer and scholar proposed that “A Jew is a Jew because he chose to be a Jew and not because he was forced – because of biology or by some external social force, to define himself as a Jew” dismisssing any genetic notion of Jewishness.

        We therefore propose to put to test the claims that Jewishness is the genes.

        link to eelhaik.aravindachakravartilab.org

      • Sibiriak says:

        LeaNder:

        I am not so fond of the Khazar theory, admittedly, Abdul-Rahman. Or what feels to me attempts to explain centuries of European Jewish existence with one main origin in space and time. The Jewish community here in the Rhinelands, or more precisely Cologne, can be traced back to a document of 321 CE/AD. …

        My understanding is that the Khazarian hypothesis and the opposing Rhineland hypothesis are aimed at explaining the origin of Eastern European Jews.

        Elhaik’s own conclusion is:

        Our findings support the Khazarian hypothesis depicting a large Near Eastern–Caucasus ancestry along with Southern European, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European ancestries, in agreement with recent studies and oral and written traditions. We conclude that the genome of European Jews is a tapestry of ancient populations including Judaized Khazars, Greco–Roman Jews, Mesopotamian Jews, and Judeans and that their population structure was formed in the Caucasus and the banks of the Volga with roots stretching to Canaan and the banks of the Jordan.

        link to gbe.oxfordjournals.org

        • LeaNder says:

          populations including Judaized Khazars,

          sibiriak, I have absolutely no problems with that. Considering we look at traces over millennia. It is really easy to see that e.g. the German Jews from the Rhinelands had to go somewhere after they were expelled or the Jews in Britain for that matter. And that these traces hardly vaporized. Just as they may well have come here with the Romans.

          But lets not dive too deep into this. I am not even sure if scientist no matter how much of a hype around the subject, can already grasp some final truth. Fact is, i sometimes wonder if genetics generally does not bring in racial studies through the backdoor. But strictly I don’t know enough about it or its history and am not interested into any attempts to cut it down for the layman. All I know is that genetic manipulation of crop or bioprospecting raises a series of ethical concerns, just as it does concerning inquiries into a group specific genome. If you ever read theses written under the Nazis you develop a huge dislike of Darwinian thought, I am not sure to what it could enter this topic, that’s all.

          • The problem has always been that the Jews who trekked east from France, Germany etc. in the wake of the medieval pogroms were not numerous enough to explain the large size of the Jewish population that appeared in eastern Europe. I suspect that even adding in Judaized Khazars doesn’t make a big enough difference. There must have been a large number of Slav converts to Judaism as well, presumably at the period when the Khazar empire encompassed large areas of Slav habitation in present-day Ukraine and Russia. Then there were the Jews who took refuge in Khazaria from persecution in Christian Byzantium. They were the most likely to have originally come from ancient Palestine (or whatever you want to call it).

      • MRW says:

        LeaNder says:
        December 17, 2013 at 9:56 am
        I am not so fond of the Khazar theory, admittedly

        LeaNder, it’s more than a theory. [NB: I did not read any of Abdul-Rahman's links, and I can't access my own archive here anymore.] A Russian archeological team discovered pottery and other artifacts that confirmed the Khazar/Jews link. It was announced about two years ago. (They said there’s still a lot more work to be done on it, but they could confirm the link.)

        My mentor’s friend was Arthur Koestler, so I heard about the Khazars 33 years ago. My mentor said at the time (and this was a couple of years before Koestler died) that Koestler was convinced he had been poisoned for writing the book, and that is one reason why he’d moved to a farm or property outside London. Of course, that’s where he died IIRC.

        • LeaNder says:

          Stephen, as far as I am concerned and I am no historian, I am satisfied with the basic assumption that the movement East had to do with the fact that Poland at one point in time was welcoming Jewish people. That later they wound up in Russia has to do with Polish history, more precisely the Polish partitions as a result of Russian, Prussian and Habsburg wars.

          MRW, I have no problem at all with the basic Khazar story, but am absolutely resistant to use it as an explanation for the whole European Jewish history. Starting with the fact there necessarily had to be Jews that convinced the Khazars that their religions was better than the leading one of the times. As someone was taught religion via the restricted Catechism, I can respect that to the point that I always felt slightly jealous of what I imagine is a much bigger debate and not religion taught as some type of thoughtless repetitions.

          Concerning Koestler, had you been close to him and not to one of “his friends”, he may have told you that two years before he took his life together with his wife he became president of Exit. Reminds me that I have to take care that no life sustaining measures will ever practiced on myself, I keep pushing that off, but it is on my mind ever since my grandpa insisted on it. That grandpa had Parkinson too, and he once admitted to me he didn’t want to live anymore.

          Why does this suddenly remind me you once wrote you studied in England. Didn’t you? And didn’t you have serious prejudices against the British too as a result?

  9. HRK says:

    Note the piercing eyes, the confident line-of-David countenance, the dapper (but by no means worldly) tie: I’m not sure how the other Christians commenting on this site feel, but I’ve always imagined Jesus as someone who looks just like Jeffrey Goldberg. . . .

  10. American says:

    Can I inject some reality into this Jesus thing.

    The Jews were ARABS—–there were No Jews before the creation of *the religion* of Judaism.
    There was not a Jewish ‘Race’ in Arabia. There was no Jewish “Ethnic” group in Arabia. There is and was no such thing as a Jewish’ race’, they are only ‘some’ Jews who have a semitic Arab genetic connection.
    Jews who look “semitic” got it from their ARAB Semitic heritage.
    Jesus’s ‘semitic’ looks came from being a semitic Arab.

    All this is FACT ..get Goldberg an anthropology text book for gawds sake….. or at least a subscription to National Geographic who has devoted a publication a year to the anthropology of the ME.

    The Goldbergs of the world are ignorant beyond belief. They should all be made to wear tinfoil hats so unsuspecting people would know their babble is the babble of the mentally disconnected.

    • American- You are speaking anachronistically. The nonJews who lived in Syria and Iraq and what you might call Palestine at the time of Jesus, no matter what their race, would not have called themselves Arabs. Arabs came from Arabia. (Nomads from Arabia, or maybe just nomads were called Arabs, but not the entire region’s peoples.) When the followers of Mohammed conquered half the western world, they spread their language and their religion. Most of the nations that belong today to the Arab League, prior to the conquests that I refer to would not have spoken Arabic or thought of themselves as Arabs. I’m not an expert, but I think I’m on solid footing on this one.

      • John Douglas says:

        I had a Jewish colleague in the States who was born and raised in Hebron, fought with Irgun, imprisoned by the Brits. I recall his description of his youth in Hebron. He was Jewish, some were Christian, most were Muslim, “But we were all Arabs, Arab Christians, Arab Jews, Arab Muslims.” It was a revelation at the time to me.

      • American says:

        @ yonah

        “Arabs came from Arabia. (Nomads from Arabia, or maybe just nomads were called Arabs, but not the entire region’s peoples.) ”

        I am not being ‘precise’ for the sake of brevity and not going into a thousand words on the anthropology of the ME….I am using Arabia to indicate the ‘region’ that was populated mostly by semites—-where the Jews arose thru Judaism. Arabs being ‘mixtures of various semitic Arab tribes and of Persians and of Greeks—-according to the anthropology of the ME.
        The point I am making with this, as I said, is there were no ‘Jewish semites’ that were racially or genetically ‘different’ from the Arab semites in the region.
        What I am objecting to is the use of ‘descended from’ Jews—-as if Jews were a seperate semite ‘race’.
        It smacks too much of the zionist claim and people can be lulled into thinking in terms of Jews as seperate race.
        So maybe I am being picky.

        • ziusudra says:

          Greetings American,
          … as if Jews were a seperate semite race……
          Mankind springs from central east africa ca. 200K yrs ago.
          Some reach north Africa & Arabia as early as 110K yrs ago.
          Mankind has the puny equivalent gene pool of 33 African Women
          that survived to pass on their genes.
          Miraculously Jews appear 3K yrs ago in Falesteena claiming that they
          are the Chosen (Hebrew Race) of God!
          ziusudra
          PS So much to the Claim that the Falesteeni are an Invention of 100 yrs ago!
          There is only one race of Mankind, we were all related before we left Africa.
          We even have 4% Neanderthal Genes. In our Gene pool, we only differ up to 3% from Chimpanzees!

          • just says:

            I think that the Chimpanzees may have the better genes in this and many other cases……

            It is so curious that some humans cling to fantasy instead of fact in order to justify their violence and their “rights” to displace/destroy/steal from other brothers and sisters.

            To commit genocide with no repercussions is quite something in 2013. To aid it, as the US does, is unconscionable and damning.

          • American says:

            @ziusudra

            Yes I have read articles on that.
            In fact it has been established that Neanderthals were the first to inhabit areas of the ME and what is now called Israel.
            Good article on the discovery of Neanderthal skulls in Israel in Nat Geo but sorry cant remember which issue—-was several years ago.

  11. Sibiriak says:

    [Jesus] might have even had the physical characteristics of Ashkenazi Jews, descendants of the Jews who found their way to Europe from the land of Israel.

    Ashkenazi Jews are much more likely descendants of European/Eurasian converts with no historic connection to “the land of Israel”.

    Goldberg needs to be strongly challenged on that ideologically-crucial point, especially since he proposes to contrast actual history with personal beliefs.

  12. piotr says:

    It was established that J.C. looked very much like Jeffery Goldberg which explains, in part, his popularity. Although Avigdor Lieberman is quite popular too, and has accomplished some miracles (mostly financial and legal), so this is another strong entry for the most plausible looks of Our Lord and Savior (or Their Lord and Savior).
    I would still vote for Goldberg: put a Crown of Thorns on his head and he can look like that:
    link to everypainterpaintshimself.com
    As the picture shows, the nefarious plot to obscure the Jewishness of Jesus hardly existed.

  13. American says:

    How long till Goldberg calls Jesus a self hating Jew who stole religion from the Jews and turned it into Christianity to wipe out the Jews.
    Stay tuned, that is probably next in the fever swamp that passes for his brain.

  14. stevelaudig says:

    Identity politics combines the best of boring talk and terrifying actions and brings to life Arendt’s tellingly succinct summation: banal and evil.

  15. Ecru says:

    A Zionist misrepresenting the words of a Muslim scholar? Oh please – say it isn’t so.

    No, let’s give Goldberg the benefit of the doubt, maybe he’s just too stupid to understand Aslan’s comments about this ridiculous flap. Here’s what Aslan has said about the historical Jesus (I’m not getting into that whole “did a historical Jesus even exist” thing thankyou),

    “He would look the way that the average Palestinian would look today, so that would mean dark features, hairy, probably a longer nose, black hair. To put it in the simplest way possible, he would’ve looked like me,” said Aslan, an Iranian-American Muslim.

    But he then went on to say something else about Jesus vs. Christ.

    …he told the Washington Post’s Max Fisher in an interview published Thursday that the historic Jesus had become a separate entity from the religious Christ.

    “What I just described is Jesus. What Megan Kelly described is the Christ — and they’re different people,” Aslan said. “In other words, the Christ can be whatever you want him to be.”

    So the historical Jesus was a typical Middle Easterner but the created religious figure, the Christ figure that was based upon but not limited to this historic character, can be any colour you like simply because he’s a religious figure and therefore beyond such mundane limitations. And isn’t it supposed to be blasphemous to put limits on God anyway? I think I’m beginning to understand why right-wingers are so angry all the time – it’s the weight of all the mutual contradictions they’ve had to internalise to support their world-view. Must be like living with a constant migraine.

    Anyway – here’s the link to the Raw Story article I took these quotes from.

    link to rawstory.com

    • W.Jones says:

      Hearing Kelly call Jesus a white man was really funny. But actually Jews and Arabs are labeled “white” in the US census. Apparently they are part of the “white” race and not part of the East Asian or “Black” races.

      Please do not ask me to explain it.

      • Taxi says:

        I’ll explain it,W. Jones.

        Caucasian is divided into two: Aryan and semite. They’re opposite ends of the same scale of white. Olive-skinned being the darker shade of white.

        Olive-skinned is certainly not African, nor Asian, nor Native American.

        • piotr says:

          Goldberg is an idiot and did not check anything about the iconography of Jesus. The current Anglo-Saxon version is actually not that old. Of course, the most mangled visage belongs to saintly bishop of Myra, now in Turkey, patron saint of Russia and a number of other countries, revered for his generosity and miracles. The Hellenic nature of St. Nicholas is totally obscured in popular iconography, and one can even surmise a nationalistic agenda: creating a tradition for the northern Nordic peoples that would make no references to Mediterranean culture and which use exclusively northern imaginary,

          Of course, there is a less sinister explanation, namely local productions use local imaginary and local standards of “pretty”. For example, there are children cartoons with Greek myths. When Perseus is rescuing Andromeda from a dragon, the maiden is pale and blonde, while in the myth she is a princess of Ethiopians which meant Black Africans, so she should look like that link to 2.bp.blogspot.com

      • Citizen says:

        Here’s all the historical confusion you can get on the US census taxonomy: link to scholar.harvard.edu

      • Stogumber says:

        “White” is malleable. Latinos are counted as “white” when they are perpetrators, but counted as a peculiar group when they are victims. South Asian Indians opted out of “white” (“Caucasian”), because they found more advantages in being counted as a peculiar group. On the other hand, Jews would find no advantage in being counted as a peculiar group, because they are so much overrepresented (“privileged”) in elite positions.
        Just because of that, it’s irrational for Jews like Goldberg to stress that there is a distinction between “whites” and “Jews”.

      • Citizen says:

        Wikipedia says Arabs successfully lobbied to be labeled white in the early 20th century so they could avoid then existing quotas and not be subject to discrimination generally. If memory serves the early censuses had just two categories white and black, so that’s why Jews are “white” according to the US census. Of course the US census does not use religion as a census category. In direct contrast, Wikipedia says “Israel has used the religion question on its census to determine the ethnic composition of its population from 1948 to the present day. ” Israel further divides Jews according to what continent they come from.

  16. W.Jones says:

    Well, that’s nice to hear:

    Goldberg says in “I’m dreaming of a white Jesus,” that it is important to remember that Jesus looked Jewish; that Hanna Rosin, author, Atlantic editor, and (Goldberg alleges) his friend, also is “classically Semitic in appearance”;

    Because before I had heard this:

    Celsus (2nd cent.) wrote a narrative describing a Jew who… ‘states that because he [Jesus] was poor he hired himself out as a workman in Egypt… the mother of Jesus is described as having been turned out by the carpenter who was betrothed to her, as she had been convicted of adultery and had a child by a certain soldier named Panthera.’

    link to en.wikipedia.org
    That was not the case, because we read about how Joseph and Jesus went to Egypt together and then came back and Jesus was not listening to his two parents in Jerusalem. It was through his relationship with Joseph that He became a workman in the first place.

    So things changed from seeing Jesus as a half-Roman, to now seeing him as having a homogenous background…………………

    • W.Jones says:

      The Panthera story was then passed down in the Toldot Yeshu and Talmud.

      I really want to show the irony in the author’s claims about how he sees Christianity trying to Europeanize its religion when Celsus reported that Jesus was being accused of following Egyptian magic, after going to Egypt, which obviously he could not have done with Joseph because Mary had been rejected at that point even though the Bible says Joseph married her anyway despite her being already pregnant.

      Fast forward to nowadays how Christianity, with its ideas that Jesus had divine powers at all, is considered by its opponents to make it a gentile pagan religion. So the opponents started out by saying Christians invented themselves as a Egyptian magic religion, and then others say Christianity is all wrong because the Europeans have made it into a pagan religion.

      So Christians cannot be right unless they just recognize that they were never a real religion in the first place, at best just some persecuted followers of a rabbi who told them to follow the Torah, after which they made up their own illegal religion so that they could get persecuted more?

      At least the article provided me with some humor.

  17. W.Jones says:

    You know what Jesus said after He was Crucified and Buried?

    link to youtube.com

  18. gamal says:

    Ah Jewish is genetically the averaging out of Yemeni with Turco-Syrian characteristics, that sounds about right, see below…

    “Then said Jesus: `Ye speak the truth, for now was Israel desirous to establish the idolatry that they have in their hearts, in holding me for God; many of whom have now despised my teaching, saying that I could make myself lord of all Judaea, if I confessed myself to be God, and that I am mad to wish to live in poverty among desert places, and not abide continually among princes in delicate living. Oh hapless man, that prizes the light that is common to flies and ants and despises the light that is common only to angels and prophets and holy friends of God!

    `If, then, the eye shall not be guarded, O Andrew, I tell thee that it is impossible not to fall headlong into lust. Wherefore Jeremiah the prophet, weeping vehemently, said truly: “My eye is a thief that robs my soul.” For therefore did David our father pray with greatest longing to God our Lord that he would turn away his eyes in order that he might not behold vanity. For truly everything which has an end is vain. Tell me, then, if one had two pence to buy bread, would he spend it to buy smoke?”

    From Barnabas 118, “would he spend it to buy smoke?” yeah, sometimes.

  19. W.Jones says:

    If I were to guess, I would say He looked like this:
    link to google.com

    Regarding this claim:

    Christians have labored for many centuries, in a not-benign way, to Europeanize, and de-Judaize, their savior’s image.

    This can be partly true as people may want to understand him from their own perspective. One group wants to see him as a radical revolutionary for social justice because they have a Liberation Theology view. Another group wants to see him as an enlightenment thinker or philosopher. But another group, Christian theologians from the 2nd century through the medieval period up to now did want to see him in the Jewish context, as they talk about him disputing the pharisees, celebrating feasts like Passover and Hanukkah, undergoing circumcision, etc. And yes there is even a Feast of the Circumcision.

    Some things need to be recognized here. Jesus is seen as overcoming the Law, and this is something Paul writes about too. However, I disagree that this means He was not Jewish, just as I would say Mondoweiss’s dissent on various issues means that MW is not part of the communities it is criticizing. One can take a dissident viewpoint.

    Another thing. Much of the contradiction is summed up in this sentence from the first chapter of John:
    10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
    11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    The European Christians, like Christians today, are aware of Jesus’ nationality and the society and community He came from. They do not take it away from Him. Rather, there is a contradiction of being part of a society and yet not being accepted by it.

    When it comes to understanding Christianity’s relations to national societies and His vision for it. I would have to give particularly high “marks” to Mark Braverman. I mention him because he especially connects the Christian ideas to an approach that addresses the divisions and conflict in the Holy Land.

    Regards.

  20. xanadou says:

    “(…) Christians have labored for many centuries, in a not-benign way, to Europeanize, and de-Judaize, their savior’s image. ”

    This is ignorant, irresponsible, inflamatory, and paranoid demagoguery.
    For one thing, the pre-Descartes way of thinking, especially during the Middle Ages, is a huge unknown to us. Furthermore, at the height of proselytising in largely pagan Europe, one needed a figure with an easily recognizable appearance to make the sale. This was also a time when Europe was riddled with endless and violent conflicts between betitled and highly irritable relatives, it was vastly underpopulated, with few people traveling away from the safety and familiarity of their own village: a time of fearful distrust of the unfamiliar. These were also pre-literate societies, utterly oblivious to the world beyond their own immediate geography. The blue-eyed, blond Jesus in the N/E Europe looked familiar, ergo, acceptable, non threatening. Ditto with the brown-eyed and dark-haired Jesus to the South.

    The Jew-Christian conflict has it roots in the distrust of newcomers who had come to established communities and promptly locked themselves away behind walls. That bred fear, resentment and suspicion, fertile ground on which the use of the invisible unknown, i.e., yet more fear-inducing religions had eventually become a convenient ruse applied by the usual suspects: the wealthy and powerful who, then, as today, had/have much to gain from an largely unsophisticated society, cleaved and pitched against each other over a non-issue that ultimately means nothing to the non-believer: hello to the perfect useful idiots. And as long as people believe that their choice of worship is the cause of ongoing conflicts, nothing will change.

    Conflicts are a two-way street: the victims and villains exist in equal numbers on both sides. And demagogues like Goldberg contribute by fanning the flames with inane rhetoric in the service to their/his well-heeled benefactors who have much to gain by keeping the status very much quo. The more things do not change, the longer they stay the same. Hence the idiocy of: “The most recent manifestation of the desire to de-Judaize Jesus has come not from European Christian churches, but from anti-Israel activists in the Arab world.” It means nothing, but Goldberg is playing with words known to get a rise from among the unthinking useful idiots. And that is just the point.
    QED.

  21. seafoid says:

    Every single nation is mongrel. The notion that the Palestinians turned up 100 years ago is puerile and would be.laughed at in a first year university lecture. Same goes for the notion of the empty land. Zionism is a fantasy that has severe difficulties engaging with reality.

  22. Do Sirhan Sirhan circa 1968 and Yigal Amir circa 1995 look that different from each other? Odds are Jesus looked more like them than he did like Willem Dafoe.

    As far as Jesus was a Palestinian. I’ve heard this before and it is either poetry: Jesus suffered like the Palestinians suffer or anachronistic geography. I highly doubt that any of the residents of the turf we refer to as Israel/Palestine called it Palestine at the time of Jesus. Even if the Romans and some ancients might have referred to it that way, I have never heard any proof that any of the residents at the time referred to it that way. Jesus would never have referred to himself as a Palestinian and anyone who asserts that he would have, has an argument coming from me, again unless you’re speaking poetically.

    • MRW says:

      Well, Yonah, you would be wrong:

      I highly doubt that any of the residents of the turf we refer to as Israel/Palestine called it Palestine at the time of Jesus.

      They called it Palestine going back to 1200 BC, 1200 years before Jesus. It’s in the ancient maps (Univ of Texas) and the archeological records, records that Israeli archeologists have uncovered.

    • Citizen says:

      I thought Jesus looked like Pat Boone back in his great singing career days. But now I realize Jesus looked like Mohammed Assaf. And we all know who Moses looked like.

      • just says:

        Yeah. But Boone is now selling tubs and bits of the “Holy Land”. A money changer…..beware of false prophets (profits).

        Yep. M. Assaf is much more fitting in.every.way. A man of peace with a joyful voice and story that must be told and heard.

        (I’ve been watching “Mandela and de Klerk” again…… Poitier and Caine… amazing. de Klerk called apartheid “social engineering”…………. and called for its end.)

  23. Citizen says:

    Kelly says she was speaking tongue-in-cheek about Santa’s pigmentation, addressing the equally-tongue-in-cheek article by the African American woman that Santa should be depicted as a penguin (which she said was a mammal, and she’s now corrected that to a bird). link to slate.com

    Note that Kelly also says she didn’t know until a couple of days ago that the notion of Jesus as a white man has long been disputed.

    Everyone needs their myths; their role models, I guess. I wonder if Kelly now knows that whether Jesus ever existed has been a subject of debate for, what, about a century anyway?

  24. MHughes976 says:

    Josephus refers to ‘Palestine’ in the final chapter of the final book of ‘Antiquities’ – he was resident there for some time. Philo, of a leading Jewish family in Alexandria – ie not quite a resident but in the closest touch with things on that turf – also regards ‘Palestine’ as a legitimate name. (‘Every good man is free’, para.75).

    • Thanks for filling in my education, MHughes. I would think that it is feasible that the educated class which included Josephus and Philo would recognize Roman nomenclature which apparently had incorporated Palestine in their discussion of the area. Jesus was educated in rabbinics, but not in Roman nomenclature. I doubt that he would recognize that term as anything other than a play on the Philistines, a term which he would recognize because of his knowledge of the holy books of the bible. If someone would have told him, you are a Palestinian, I think he would have reacted in horror- “No, I am Jewish.” (Again with provisos if he saw the suffering angle that he shared with the Palestinians today.)

    • JeffB says:

      Wikipedia has a pretty good article on this (though I’d quibble with some details): link to en.wikipedia.org

    • W.Jones says:

      Herodotus referred to Palestine a few centuries BC and talked about how the people there were circumcised. Jewish scholars use the passage to refer to ancient Israelites.

      • MHughes976 says:

        That is so, WJ, and the Jewish scholars who interpret the passage that way go all the way back to Josephus. But it is a very problematic interpretation because Herodotus himself regards circumcision as an Egyptian custom and/or a mark of Egyptian influence.
        Still, I agree with Yonah that it would have been very difficult for any Jewish person in the first century to say ‘I am a Palestinian’. Mark’s Gospel has to use the rather complicated ‘Syrophoenician’ for the Palestinian woman who defeats Jesus in argument and Matthew resorts to the obsolete ‘Canaanite’ for this episode. The word ‘Palestinian’ had been much discouraged by the Septuagint, which wherever it can, which is most of the time, uses ‘allophyloi’ = ‘mixed bag of foreigners’. But in a way that usage only highlights the fact that ‘Palestine’ is the only attested ancient word for all of what is Palestine now, as I argued in my Mondoweiss contribution of June 22.

        • W.Jones says:

          That is so, WJ, and the Jewish scholars who interpret the passage that way go all the way back to Josephus. But it is a very problematic interpretation because Herodotus himself regards circumcision as an Egyptian custom and/or a mark of Egyptian influence.

          I don’t see what makes it necessarily problematic. Perhaps Egyptians were circumcising and then in the story Abraham was told by God to do this practice, which by the way he saw among the Egyptians.

          The Philistines were raising bigs and were Hellenistic. Even in Jesus time there were Hellenistic Jews who were not circumcising. The Israelites on the other hand were clearly influenced by Egyptians in many ways as the story with Moses shows.

          Still, I agree with Yonah that it would have been very difficult for any Jewish person in the first century to say ‘I am a Palestinian’.
          Well, Hughes, it was not really a Jewish term, but one used to describe that geography, so you are not wrong. But does that mean the term must be wrong? Native Americans in the 16th century probably would not call themselves Americans or American Indians either. In fact, many would probably not call themselves Indians today either. But I think “Indian” is a valid term based on years of use in America. I think the term Indian has come to have two meanings for two locations. Even if it is not used it still has meaning.

          This is all why I think Palestine and Palestinian are valid terms for the ancient Jews living in what was called Palestine by Herodotus, et. al.

          • piotr says:

            A little correction. The earliest Philistines clearly exhibited elements of Aegean culture, but it it is unclear if the notion of “Hellenic” existed at that time or if Philistines were specifically Hellenic, as Aegean region had other peoples too. They clearly consumed both pork and shellfish. “Hellenistic” refers to the period of Greek culture when, in the aftermath of conquest of Alexander, it spread through Asia all the way to India, and most pertinently, in Egypt and Levant.

            In Hellenistic era, Jews were not speaking Hebrew, but either Aramaic or Greek.

          • MHughes976 says:

            I think we’re on the same side here, WJ, both in our view of the ancient and of the modern world – and I’ve no objection to anything Piotr says. Palestine and Palestinian are indeed valid terms for the Jews of around 400 BCE – that’s clearly how Herodotus and Aristotle referred to everyone in that refreshingly multicultural area.
            There is much that is very problematic, indeed mysterious, about the origins both of Judaism and of Christianity. At what point did circumcision become a sign of being Jewish rather than of being in the Egyptian cultural sphere? It’s the multicultural nature of Palestine, the intellectually exciting crossing point between the two main population centres of the ancient ME, Egypt and Iraq, that to my mind needs more emphasis than if often gets.

  25. rplatkin says:

    Israeli nationality, like Palestinian nationality, and all nationalities are new historical phenomena. Goldberg is technically correct about Palestinians being invented with the past 100 years, but his comments equally apply to Israel, the United States, and all other countries and national movements. They first appeared in the early 19th century, when the nation state became the primary form of political geography.

    Goldberg also might like to know that some historians, like Ilan Pappe, estimate that at least 25 percent of Palestinian villages were originally “Jewish” in the Roman era. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that many current Palestinians have more Jewish ancestry than Goldberg. In fact, some of them may well be related to the historical Jesus!

    • Bravo, Platkin. Many Palestinians are more “Jewish” than many Jews. If one is talking descent.

      • Peter in SF says:

        It is also not disputed by anyone, Jewish or Christian, theologically liberal or conservative, that
        (a) Christianity originated within the boundaries of what later became the British mandate of Palestine; and
        (b) during the first two centuries of Christianity, the majority of its followers were of Jewish origin.

        What happened to the descendants of the Christians living in Palestine who were of Jewish origin? The most natural answer would be that these people are those who call themselves Palestinians today, either still Christian or Muslim (after conversions in the 7th century or later). Even if you buy the argument that all Jews have a right to live there because their ancestors did, you still have to say the same for Palestinians. I have never heard Zionists say outright that by converting from Judaism to another religion, one gives up the right to live in one’s homeland.

        • Shmuel says:

          I have never heard Zionists say outright that by converting from Judaism to another religion, one gives up the right to live in one’s homeland.

          See Law of Return, section 4A:

          The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law, 5712-1952***, as well as the rights of an oleh under any other enactment, are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew, except for a person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion.

          • just says:

            Free will is “punished”.

            Neat.

            btw– how does one determine the strength or veracity of one’s Jewishness?

            (it’s so very weird)

        • Sibiriak says:

          See Law of Return, section 4A…

          See also the “Brother Daniel” case:

          link to en.wikipedia.org

          And on the distinction between a being a Jew and Jewishness:

          link to kolhamevaser.com

          • Shmuel says:

            Free will is “punished”.

            The crux of the matter is that the Zionist idea of “return” (enshrined in the Israeli Law of Return) is national rather than individual, and is conferred upon individuals only by virtue of their membership in the nation (also extended to family members, following the Nuremberg paradigm), which roughly corresponds to membership in the religion. A member of the Jewish nation cannot be a member of another religion, and one who has been a Jew and voluntarily converted to another religion may not even claim the rights afforded to relatives of Jews (although they too would have suffered persecution as “Jews”, under Nuremberg).

        • JeffB says:

          @Peter –

          Yes both of those two are disputed.

          On (a) quite a few historians believe that Christianity didn’t originate directly from Palestinian Judaism at all. The earliest clear signs we have of proto-Christianity is in Alexandria not Palestine. The sect we can track the best, is one that failed to merge. The Sethians, who move towards a form of Gnostic Christianity, fail to merge with more mainstream sects during the 2nd century and then

          What we consider Christianity today is several generations removed from anything Jewish, and the story of Jewish origins came later. For example one thread of Christianity may have been:
          Essenic Judaism (a non Sadducean ofshoot ) to Essenic Gnosticism. This merges with Samaritanism (not Judaism official though another close cousin) and a personality cult to form Simonianism, a form of proto-Christian Gnosticism. Samaritan sects exists mostly or exclusively outside Palestine and become popular among God Fearers who are not Jews. These sorts of sects institutionalize into various forms of Encratite Christianity and that again merges and morphs into proto-Catholicism.

          This is a meaty topic. But no. You can’t assume that Christianity formed in Palestine.

          On (b) absolutely not. We have very little evidence for the majority of Christians in the first two centuries being Jews. Rather from the mid 2nd century on, the majority of Christian literature when it discusses Jewish topics shows a remarkable degree of ignorance about Judaism. This is the kind of literature that could only evolve in a community almost entirely devoid of Jews. Further if you look at evidence from Christian burials the people being buried in the later 2nd century don’t have ties to the Jewish community. So you have something like Jews -> God Fearers -> non-Jewish enthusiasts. But Jews at that time in the Roman empire are heavily residing outside of Palestine and proto-Christianity seemed to have mostly evolved among Hellenistic Jews, not the sects that were most popular in Palestine.

          For example the concept of an angel named Jesus that creates the world is Hellenistic, you see it briefly mentioned as Philo. The idea of a Logos intermediary between unknowable Theos, comes from Stoicism and is popular in Hellenistic Judaism as well. A spiritual Melchizedek running a pure priesthood in heaven unlike the corrupt priesthood on earth is Essenic you see it in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their merger of the three you see in the theology of the Book of Hebrews which is clearly Jewish makes reference to itself as being from an Italian community (at least in its canonical form) and represents a proto-Christianity.

          As for continuity remember that Palestine gets devastated in 3 wars, one in each generation starting with 69 CE. There is no continuity of population. The Palestinians are genetically likely mostly a group that arrived in the 7th century, though that Levant had plenty of migration before and after.

          Finally Shmuel is correct below that yes apostasy removes rights under the law of return. The case this came from: link to en.wikipedia.org

          So sorry. The argument falls apart.

          • Antioch was highly important in early days of Christianity, and that city is now in Turkey.

          • Peter in SF says:

            Shmuel: Thanks for the links. I’m familiar with that part of the Law of Return and have heard of cases like Brother Daniel’s. But I haven’t heard Zionist apologists actually defending this policy. They like to talk about the right of Jews to live in the land of their ancestors, and they also like to talk about freedom of religion in Israel. But there’s an obvious contradiction there. It’s also a little strange to explain to someone why the Israeli government actively embraces openly avowed atheists of Jewish ancestry, but excludes anyone of Jewish ancestry who accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. That’s something that might be hard to sell to Americans. I once heard the local head of Stand With Us talking about how his organization’s position is that Jews are not a religion, but “an ethnic group”. Is there any other ethnic group that a person can be said to have left if they convert to some religion?

            JeffB: My (a) and (b) were points I’ve heard from both Jews and Christians from different perspectives who were talking to different Jewish or Christian audiences about the history of that period that they’d studied. Your conclusion here sounds dubious:

            As for continuity remember that Palestine gets devastated in 3 wars, one in each generation starting with 69 CE. There is no continuity of population.

        • JeffB says:

          @Peter –

          Replying up a level. Originally (in this message) you had said it wasn’t disputed.

          As far as the lack of continuity of population I don’t know a single ancient writer who doesn’t agree that Titus cleared the population out. The descriptions before and after the first Roman-Jewish war of Judea are entirely different, and the archeology supports a complete collapse of the infrastructure needed to support a large population in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.

          Why would you doubt a genocide occurred?

    • eljay says:

      >> Israeli nationality, like Palestinian nationality, and all nationalities are new historical phenomena.

      I’m still waiting for the Jewish nationality that Zio-supremacists keep yammering about to materialize. Y’know, the one that belongs to every citizen of, refugee from and immigrant to “Jewish State”.

  26. “The Palestinians are an invention of the last 100 years”. Complete rubbish.

    • piotr says:

      It is necessary to remember that while one can debate how, when and if a new nation can be formed, it is largely irrelevant to the rights of individuals. One can dispute if Belorussians form a separate nation. Before Soviet era, only minority of Belorussian aspired to be defined as a separate nation. However, no one suggests that it would be reasonable to expel them from the places where they live if we conclude that they are not. Or to strip them of political rights, or restrict in any way.

      As far as the issue of being a nation, the topic is left to Belorussians to decide, and they kind of keep it vague.

      • Peter in SF says:

        This reminds me of the distinction in biology between “typological thinking” and “population thinking”.
        link to 3quarksdaily.com
        People have had a tendency to use typological thinking — the idea that an organism is a member of a class of idealized forms — and it took Darwin to show the problems with this and to introduce the idea of population thinking. And here is Goldberg talking about the classically Semitic form.

        Most Americans these days who live in the areas where Jews are concentrated are quite familiar with dealing with other people as individuals, rather than as members of particular racial/ethnic groups, and are certainly brought up to believe in this as the liberal ideal. BUT if we’re thinking about the other side of the world, where we don’t know any individuals, I suppose it’s easier to fall back into typological thinking. When Jeff Halper asks, “How come I’m allowed to live in my house, but my neighbor, Selim, is not?” the simple answer, “because you’re Jewish”, wouldn’t be taken seriously in America, but he lives in a place that’s far enough away that different intuitions apply when we think about it.

        • ToivoS says:

          peter in sf: People have had a tendency to use typological thinking … and it took Darwin to show the problems with this and to introduce the idea of population thinking.

          Darwin had many earth shattering insights into biology but population thinking was not one of them — that was introduced in the 1920s. It changed the theory of evolution sufficiently that it was renamed neoDarwinism from Darwinism.

      • MHughes976 says:

        I absolutely agree that individual rights are the important thing and cannot, without being effectively abolished, depend in any way on whether one does or does not belong to a nation or race etc..

    • mcohen says:

      James
      Make up your mind,the the herd mentality at mondo pro hasbi requires precision old chap, precision
      yasser arafat himself admitted to calling arabs in israel palestinians for the sake of the cause.plo
      Produce a photo of a palestinian flag from 100 years ago,or a coin,who was prime minister
      ghostbusters could help

      • @MCohen – - In the mid-19th century, a citizen of southern Italy would have been called a “Neopolitan”, even if that citizen obviously was “Italian” in the sense of living in Italy.

        • piotr says:

          Wouldn’t they be subjects of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, hence, Sicilians?

          • MCohen – - Good technical point, that the Kingdom of Naples and the Kingdom of Sicily, were joined in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, prior to conquest by King of Sardinia. But the English during the 19th century upt to creation of Kingdom of Italy, tended to call slouthern Italy “Kingdom of Naples” even if that was no longer correct. So, a citizen of southern Italy would not have called himself a “Sicilian”, most likely. (Unless he lived on the island of Sicily)

      • mcohen – - Were there no Poles, when Poland did not exist (as independent country)?

        You may recall the purpose of the Mandate for Palestine was to prepare the Palestinians for self-rule.

      • talknic says:

        mcohen “Produce a photo of a palestinian flag from 100 years ago,or a coin,who was prime minister”

        A) Why? It’s irrelevant to the legal status of Israel’s sovereign extent and Israel’s illegal activities in territories under Israeli Occupation outside the state of Israel.

        BTW who was PM of Israel 100 years ago? Currency? Flag?

        Did you have a point?

        Meanwhile

        B) in 1922 – link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      • Talkback says:

        mcohen: yasser arafat himself admitted to calling arabs in israel palestinians for the sake of the cause.plo

        I guess that neither “mcohen” nor his ancestors has a Palestinian ID card from before 1948, like this Jew for example: link to britishempire.co.uk

        Produce a photo of a palestinian flag from 100 years ago,

        Palestine was a state under mandate which independence was prevented on behalf of a foreign world organisation. Therefore:
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        or a coin,

        link to drberlin.com

        who was prime minister

        Again, Palestine was a state under mandate which independence was prevented on behalf of a foreign world organisation. The first High Commissioner of Palestine was a Jewish Zionist called Herbert Samuel. The first General Attorney of Palestine was a Jewish Zionist called Norman Bentwich.

        ghostbusters could help

        No, google and common sense. Both not available in the Kahane continuum.

      • RoHa says:

        Mcohen. Look up. You will see that MHughes976 says:
        (December 18, 2013 at 6:51 am)

        I absolutely agree that individual rights are the important thing and cannot, without being effectively abolished, depend in any way on whether one does or does not belong to a nation or race etc.

        Try to understand that.

  27. Citizen says:

    Anderson Cooper was just on CNN tv; he wants to know if Frosty The Snowman is white, and asks Kelly to tell him if he is white, and is The Little Drummer Boy white?

  28. mcohen says:

    Interesting thread
    a question could be asked
    was jesus a zionist?

  29. lysias says:

    Here is how Jesus’s appearance is described in the Hadith narrations of Muhammad:

    * A well-built man of medium/moderate/average height and stature with a broad chest.

    * Straight, lank, slightly curly, long hair that fell between his shoulders.

    * A moderate, fair complexion of red or finest brown.

    * Of all the men, he had the nearest resemblance with ‘Urwa ibn Mas’ud al-Thaqafi.

  30. Talkback says:

    Palestinians are an invention of the last 100 years.

    The invention of a “Jewish nation” is younger. And contrary to the Palestinian nationality a Jewish nationatlity doesn’t exist at all.

    And if you have a look at the list of the founding dates of states you realize how irrelevant his comment is:
    link to en.wikipedia.org

    And Jesus was black until they changed his appearance on Christian paintings.

  31. eljay says:

    >> As a matter of faith, Christians should picture Jesus any way they want …

    The correct way to picture Christ is exactly as he appears to us on burnt toast, in water stains and on tree stumps. To picture him any other way is to be anti-Christ.

    :-)