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Revenge of the Neanderthal Table of Contents


Volume XVI Number 3.....MayMay/June 2010.....www.barnesreview.org
   

 

Jewish Scholar Says:
`WE WERE INVENTED'

 

by Willis A. Carto

A Jewish scholar, Shlomo Sand, a teacher of contemporary history at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, rocked Israel with his best-selling Hebrew-language book, The Invention of the Jewish People, which is now available in English in mainstream U.S. bookstores.
Sand's book is so powerful and provocative in that it demonstrates that virtually everything we think we know about the history of the Jews may just not be true, or, at the least, certainly not what many have held as an article of faith going back generations.
Because of the intense interest that Sand's book generated, his publisher set up a special website on the Internet providing reviews of the book, commentaries relating to the controversy, and interviews with Sand. That web site can be found at inventionofthejewishpeople.com. On the site, the publishers provide an overview of Sand's remarkable book which follows:

A historical tour de force that demolishes the myths and taboos that have surrounded Jewish and Israeli history, The Invention of the Jewish People offers a new account of both that demands to be read and reckoned with.
Was there really a forced exile in the first century, at the hands of the Romans?
Should we regard the Jewish people, throughout two millennia, as both a distinct ethnic group and a putative nation -- returned at last to its Biblical homeland?
Shlomo Sand argues that most Jews actually descend from converts, whose native lands were scattered far across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The formation of a Jewish people and then a Jewish nation out of these disparate groups could only take place under the sway of a new historiography, developing in response to the rise of nationalism throughout Europe.
Beneath the biblical backfill of the nineteenth-century historians, and the twentieth-century intellectuals who replaced rabbis as the architects of Jewish identity, The Invention of the Jewish People uncovers a new narrative of Israel's formation, and proposes a bold analysis of nationalism that accounts for the old myths.
The central importance of the conflict in the Middle East ensures that Sand's arguments will reverberate well beyond the historians and politicians that he takes to task.
Without an adequate understanding of Israel's past, capable of superseding today's opposing views, diplomatic solutions are likely to remain elusive. In this iconoclastic work of history, Shlomo Sand provides the intellectual foundations for a new vision ofIsrael's future

 



WILLIS A. CARTO, is founder of The American Free Press and The Barnes Review.



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