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Editorial Article

Tel Aviv University - Shlomo Sand – the Professor of Pseudo-History

Tel Aviv University history professor Shlomo Sand has written a “book,” titled “The Invention of the Jewish People,” which claims the existence of the Jewish people was “invented.” There is no Jewish people, insists Sand. The bulk of the Jews who created Israel were in fact not the descendents of the real Jews of the Bible, although Palestinian Arabs are their true descendents, the “indigenous” people who were converted to Islam after the 7th century when the Muslims took over. … Shlomo Sand is in fact a pseudo-scholar whose "research" is largely a rehashing of the anti-Semitic tracts of another Jewish-born anti-Semite named Benjamin Freedman, who from 1946 through the 1950’s tried to sell the idea of Khazarians-as-the-real-Jews in America to alienate Christian support from Israel. Freedman also claimed that Yiddish developed as the result of the Khazars except there are no Turkic words in it. We think Tel Aviv University should investigate just how much is 'borrowed' from other anti-Jewish writers in Sand's book. … What a shame that the Israeli taxpayer should subsidize a salary for such a tenured pseudo-scholar.

just how much is 'borrowed' from other anti-Jewish writers

 

Tel Aviv University: Professor of Pseudo-History Shlomo Sand: There is no Jewish people, but Palestinians go back to the Canaanites

By Lee Kaplan
5/10/2009

Tel Aviv University history professor Shlomo Sand has written a “book,” titled “The Invention of the Jewish People,” which claims the existence of the Jewish people was “invented.” There is no Jewish people, insists Sand. The bulk of the Jews who created Israel were in fact not the descendents of the real Jews of the Bible, although Palestinian Arabs are their true descendents, the “indigenous” people who were converted to Islam after the 7th century when the Muslims took over.

And today’s Jews of Israel? Well, they are the descendents of the Khazars, says Sand, repeating a lie that has been made popular by Neo-Nazis, Holocaust Deniers, and Iran. Sand may be the most notorious pseudo-historian in all of Israel.

The Khazars were actually a people with their own kingdom, north of the Black Sea (one theory is Khazar was the source for the word “Hussar”, a military term for a cavalryman for centuries). Khazaria, today in what was once the Soviet Republic of Georgia and Azerbaijan, was a kingdom trapped between expanding Islam and Christianity in approximately 1200 A.D. The pagan King of Khazaria, being under pressure from both groups to convert his country, asked religious leaders what religion was closest to their own. The King imported rabbis and converted much of Khazaria to Judaism.

Sand postulates that Ashkenazic, or European Jews were all the later offshoots of Khazarian Jews who moved westward toward Poland, Germany and Northern Europe. And Ashkenazi Zionists built Israel. By his logic, the “Jews” of Israel are not “real Jews” from the land of Israel and are undeserving of a return to a national homeland. They are a fabricated people created to justify stealing the land from the “Palestinian” Arabs who are the “indigenous” people, possibly even the real Hebrews converted later to Islam.

Sand’s history is not only a complete fabrication, but a cheap attempt at copying anti-Semitic and Neo-Nazi revisionist history about Israel and the Jews in order to push a political agenda of denying the Jewish state’s right to exist. First of all, there is no serious evidence that Ashkenazim came from Khazaria. There are no Khazar names used by Ashkenazim and no Cohens of Levis could have come from them. While the Zionist leadership did spring from Europe before and after the Holocaust, the majority of Jews that make up Israel’s population are not even from Europe, but from the Middle East and North Africa, the Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews. Some historian!

Shlomo Sand is in fact a pseudo-scholar whose "research" is largely a rehashing of the anti-Semitic tracts of another Jewish-born anti-Semite named Benjamin Freedman, who from 1946 through the 1950’s tried to sell the idea of Khazarians-as-the-real-Jews in America to alienate Christian support from Israel. Freedman also claimed that Yiddish developed as the result of the Khazars except there are no Turkic words in it.

We think Tel Aviv University should investigate just how much is 'borrowed' from other anti-Jewish writers in Sand's book.

Sand also claims that Palestinian Arabs who can trace their lineage back a thousand years. Almost all those who can will discover that they come from other countries and from families that migrated into Palestine after 1850.

Sand was born in 1946 in Europe. His Polish parents (does he call them Khazarians?) were ardent communists and “anti- refugees" in 1948. Sand joined the Israeli communist youth and later the communist-inspired anti-Zionist Maoist splinter Matzpen (many of Israel’s anti-Israel academics are members of assorted communist and radical socialist groups).

Although he dropped out of high school at age 16, he later did a diploma while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. The Israeli communist party, renamed Maki, offered him a scholarship to study cinema in Poland. After declining the offer, Sand graduated Tel Aviv University with a BA in History. Winning a scholarship, he went to Paris where he majored in French history and received a PhD based on Georges Sorel, a Marxist who advocated violence. At the age of 36, Sand was hired by Tel Aviv University as a history professor and has taught at UC Berkeley and the Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in France (both foreign schools heavy with leftist ideology).

Sand partially admits his scholarship is questionable: "It is true that I am an historian of France and Europe, and not of the ancient period”, and that "I’ve been criticized in Israel for writing about Jewish history when European history is my specialty. But a book like this needed a historian who is familiar with the standard concepts of historical inquiry used by academia in the rest of the world." We wish we could find one such at Tel Aviv University!

Verso publishing, (its former name was New Left Books), published the "book" for Sand, and publishes all manner of communist and Marxist diatribes against Israel and the West. It recently brought out a book promoting Osama Bin Laden. Sand’s book is less a serious work of scholarship than another tract by a communist-anarchist-pro-jihadi publishing house.

Sand in his book writes that the progenitors of the Palestinian Arabs were Jews, according to one source.

More from Sand: “At a certain stage in the 19th century intellectuals of Jewish origin in Germany, influenced by the folk character of German nationalism, took upon themselves the task of inventing a people "retrospectively," out of a thirst to create a modern Jewish people. From historian Heinrich Graetz on, Jewish historians began to draw the history of Judaism as the history of a nation that had been a kingdom, became a wandering people and ultimately turned around and went back to its birthplace.”

Tom Segev, another anti-Israel Israeli, praised Sands book thanks for its implications that Israel has no right to exist. Hillel Hakin best summed up Sand’s book with a comment that “no book is too foolish to go un-admired by someone.”

What a shame that the Israeli taxpayer should subsidize a salary for such a tenured pseudo-scholar.

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