Back in the Day
Is It Good for the Jews?
Taking exception to Israel's homeland status.
One can take it on board that every nation and ethnicity has a mythology of creation. Israeli historian Shlomo Sand, in his bestselling (outside the U.S.) and award-winning (in France) The Invention of the Jewish People (Verso), examines the myths and correspondent taboos about Jewish/Israeli history, beginning with questioning whether there was a forced exile in the first century at the hands of the Romans. Essentially, Sands argues most Jews actually descend from converts widely dispersed across the Middle East and Eastern Europe--a stance that casts historic geographic claims in a harsh new light. Which also shines on the millenia-old claim of Jewish distinct ethnicity.
Historian Tony Judt (Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945), not a favorite of the Israel lobby, gushes: "...a remarkable book. In cool, scholarly prose he has, quite simply, normalized Jewish history... Anyone interested in understanding the contemporary Middle East should read this book."
Debunking of age-old myths aside, that's why you should know about this book.