The Denial of Jewishness

The CST does a thorough job of addressing some of the serious issues of a new anti-Israel book, (written by a Tel Aviv professor, of course):

There are many ways, often subtle, in which anti-Israel or anti-Zionist debate can have an anti-Jewish impact. However, a new anti-Zionist book by Tel Aviv Professor of History, Shlomo Sand, remoulds the paradigm: with notions of Jewish peoplehood now under attack in the service of anti-Zionism.

The sense of common lineage, kinship, and peoplehood that Jews around the world share and hold is a fundamental part of their identity (as perversely demonstrated by the splenetic accusations of “self-hater” that are hurled by some Jews at others who do not toe the majority line). To deny this aspect of Jewish identity - perhaps more accurately to demand that for political reasons it be rejected - is surely to deny or reject something that is essential to our perception of Jewishness itself.

There is of course nothing wrong with genuine historical inquiry about Jews or any other facet of history. But that is neither the core purpose, nor the core impact of Sand’s book. It can be summed up very simply as:

No Real Jews = No Need For a Really Jewish State.

Sand’s original Hebrew book has now been published in English, entitled The Invention of the Jewish People. A more fitting title would be “Undercutting Zionism by denying Jewish historical memory, self-identity, tradition, ethnicity and peoplehood.”
Read the whole thing here.

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