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By JOHN CHUCKMAN
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On the Pointless Argument of Who Was First in the Holy Land

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COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY FATHI NEMER IN MONDOWEISS

 

Pretty good piece.

But there is a major flaw in starting from the question, “So, in the end, who was there first?”

You are playing Israel’s own crooked game by even trying to answer.

The fact is that that is a totally irrelevant question for any territory or country you care to name.

Should Turkey be Greek owing to the Trojan War three thousand years ago?

Should Israel be Lebanese owing to the ancient Phoenicians who were there before Hebrews?

If you want to get ridiculous, you could say Europe belongs to descendants with Neanderthal genes (and there are such).

What possibly could be more ridiculous than basing anything in modern affairs on words from old manuscripts which speak of turning a woman into salt and a big fish swallowing a man?

It’s not only intellectually obtuse, it is guaranteed formula for conflict.

The fact is that the people running and populating most of today’s Israel are of European descent, the Ashkenazi.

Their native language, Yiddish, is related to German, and their food and physical culture point to central and eastern Europe – Latkes, schmaltz, bagels, etc. None of it is Middle Eastern.

DNA testing indicates two origins. One, a group arising near Italy about a thousand years ago which migrated north into Germany. Other tests support the old Khazars hypothesis, a people from around Ukraine about a thousand years ago.

At some point, it seems clear that the Hebrews became evangelical, seeing the immense success of Christianity which started as an obscure Hebrew cult. The two groups above both were converts.

Ashkenazi DNA shows some admixture of Semite people, but that is to be expected with movements in and out of various Jewish groups over the centuries.

The Hebrew language, except among some scholars and religious students, died. It was artificially revived by modern Israel.

The bottom line is that the Ashkenazi of Israel are not descendants of the Hebrews.

Indeed, the great irony is that the Palestinians have the best claim to that title. The Romans who were excellent record keepers recorded no expulsion of Jews in the conquest of the Holy Land. Indeed, it was not their habit to expel local populations in their various conquests.

The whole story of the wandering Jews of the last two thousand years is a myth, as complete a myth as Jonah being swallowed by a big fish or Noah and the Ark.

The Hebrews in Palestine themselves suffered conquests, conversions, and migrations, but that body of people is as close as we have to the ancient Hebrews.



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