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An Israeli Stalinist Professor’s War Against Israel – by Steven Plaut
Posted By Steven Plaut On January 8, 2010 @ 12:09 am In FrontPage | 46 Comments
Islamist fascism has a problem. It is that traditional Islam, and the Koran in particular, explicitly acknowledge that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people. The war of Islamofascism against Israel and its population thus directly contradicts the teachings about Jews and Israel found in the Koran itself. The Islamofascists, however, have found a solution to this dilemma. And they are being provided with this “solution” by a notorious Jewish anti-Semite.
Let me explain.
The Koran itself is extraordinarily clear about the status of the Land of Israel in Islam. While in general criticizing Jews for their supposed sinfulness, something the Jewish Bible does quite a lot of also, the Koran relates in Sura 5:21, that Moses (a revered teacher in Islam) tells the Jews to “enter into the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you.” Moses adds to his people, according the Koran:
“O my people! Remember the bounty of God upon you when He bestowed prophets upon you , and made you kings and gave you that which had not been given to anyone before you amongst the nations. O my people! Enter the Holy Land which God has written for you, and do not turn tail, otherwise you will be losers.”
Elsewhere (Sura 17, 104) the Koran proclaims: “And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd.’” The founder of modern Zionism, Theodore Herzl, could not have said it better.
The legitimacy of Jewish claims to the Land of Israel is repeated in Sura 10:93-94:
“We settled the Children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling-place (Israel)…If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee.”
The Koran also explicitly documents the existence of the Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Sura 17:7 records the destruction of the First Jewish Temple by Babylon and the Second Temple by Rome, and Mohammed never contests the Bible’s claim that the Temples were in Jerusalem. Indeed, the return of the Jews to their homeland after centuries of exile can be seen as the fulfillment of Islamic prophecy. Sura 17:104 of the Koran says: “And we said to the Children of Israel afterwards, ‘Go live into this land (Israel). When the final prophecy comes to pass, we will summon you all in one group.’”
As noted by Prof. Khaleel Mohammed, from the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University, the medieval exegetes of the Koran – roughly analogous to the Talmud for Judaism – recognize Israel as belonging to the Jews, as their birthright given to them by God. Two of Islam’s most famous exegetes explained thus: ‘Ibn Kathir said: “That which God has written for you, i.e. that which God has promised to you by the words of your father Israel that it is the inheritance of those among you who believe.” Muhammad al-Shawkani interprets Kataba to mean “that which God has allotted and predestined for you in His primordial knowledge, deeming it as a place of residence for you.”’
From the above, one would think that Islamofascism faces a theological quandary in its attempts at conscripting Islam for a genocidal jihad against Israel and the Jews. But Islamofacsists have invented a solution. They can jihad all they want against Israel and the Jews, Islamic theology notwithstanding, because they claim that the Jews … are not the Jews. If modern Jews are really not Jews at all, then Israel is not a country of Jews, and so Israelis have no rights to sovereignty in their own homeland as promised in the Koran.
So just why are modern Jews not Jews, in the pseudo-theology of the jihadis? Because the Islamofascists are recycling the old mythology about European Jews or “Ashkenazim” being nothing more than converted Khazars. And the new guru of the “Jews-Not-Being-Jews” hoax is none other than Tel Aviv University history professor Shlomo Sand.
To explain this mind-numbing development, let’s take a few steps back. Yes, there was indeed a Kingdom of Turkic peoples living north of the Black Sea in the Dark Ages called the Khazars, and – yes – its ruling family and part of its population did convert to Judaism. The Khazar kingdom was largely destroyed by the expanding Russian kingdom in the tenth century, and anything remaining was destroyed in the Mongol invasions. What actually became of the Jewish Khazars is unknown. Some may have integrated themselves into other Jewish communities in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe.
Later a myth was created about the Khazars being an important component of European Jewry. This myth was to a large extent the invention of the 1976 book, The Thirteenth Tribe by Arthur Koestler, a writer better known for his lifelong battles against totalitarianism in all its forms. Koestler wrote his book largely in order to create interest and sympathy for Jews and Israel, believing the Khazar story would serve as a basis for respect and fascination with Jewish history. In reality, there is very little evidence of any type, from genetic markers to family and place names, that there is any significant Khazar “blood” among Western or Ashkenazi Jews.
Meanwhile, Koestler’s public relations ploy backfired. In recent years, the Khazar myth has been hijacked by Neo-Nazis and Islamofascists to invent a racialist argument against Jews being entitled to self-determination, independence, or a homeland in the Land of Israel. If Jews are nothing more than converted Khazars, or so goes the argument of the anti-Semitic racialists, then they are foreign interlopers in the Levant and have no right to statehood there.
Now, as a matter of fact, even if the Khazar myth were true, and Ashkenazi Jews were descendent from converted Khazars (and – we repeat – the myth is NOT true!), it still would not make the slightest difference. Jews never defined themselves in genetic or racial terms. They always saw themselves as an ethnic group marked off by religion, tradition, and language. Converts are just as Jewish as are those born to a Jewish mother and just as entitled to participate in Jewish self-determination. And, to top it all off, most Israeli Jews are not even Ashkenazi Jews.
Meanwhile, the popularity of the Khazar myth among anti-Semites represents a return of modern anti-Jewish bigotry to the racialism of the 1930′s and earlier.
Nearly every anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi website denounces Zionists and Israelis as “Khazars.” Web chat lists in which Jews defending Israel are dismissed as “Khazar usurpers” are too numerous to count.
The racialism once again in vogue holds that Jews would only have legitimate claims to the right of self-determination in their homeland if they were appropriately Semitic from a racial point of view. Palestine is part of the Semitic racial lebensraum and those who do not possess the correct pure racial markings have no business being there. Racial purity is suddenly the new basis for national rights.
If we take the racialist argument to its illogical conclusions, Palestinian Arabs have the right to exercise all claims to sovereignty in Israel due to their being true racial Jews, while Zionists are non-Jewish Khazars – racial imposters and usurpers. But to make things even sillier, Arabs themselves are, of course, a mix of racial strains, with a particularly large Caucasian component thanks to Arab intermixing with Spanish and Italian Europeans, Caucasian Berbers, Vandals, Goths, and even some Vikings.
Lest the world dismiss “Khazar Zionist” nonsense as something as pathetic as the conspiracist “911-Truth” form of mental illness, along comes an anti-Semitic pseudo-academic from Tel Aviv University itself to lead the racialist charge against the Israeli “Khazars” and against Jewish self-determination. Professor Shlomo Sand is a hard-core Stalinist and Jewish anti-Semite. He was active for a while in the 1960s and 1970s in a tiny Israeli Maoist splinter named Matzpen. From its ranks emerged an espionage ring of Israeli Jewish and Arab communists, who trained as terrorists in Syria and were jailed by Israel in the 1970s. Writing mainly in French, Sand has built much of his “academic” career on churning out Marxist boilerplate diatribes. He is a fanatic anti-Zionist and makes no attempt to hide his desire to see his own country obliterated.
Sand last year recruited himself to the aid of the Islamists seeking to annihilate Israel. So the Koran says the Land of Israel belongs to the Jews? In that case, Sand himself, a professor at Tel Aviv University, will recycle Neo-Nazi mythology about Israeli Jews being converted Khazar interlopers. The result was Sand’s book, The Invention of the Jewish People, a pseudo-history published in English by Verso Books, a publishing house set up by “New Left Review,” specializing in communist and Bash-Israel “books.”
Sand’s book about Jews being a fraudulent “invention” is amazingly un-original. If submitted as a student paper I suspect it would be rejected as plagiarism of the contents of anti-Jewish web sites. Sand’s book has been hailed as ground-breaking scholarship by Neo-Nazis, jihadists, terrorist web sites, anti-Semites and communists of all stripes. Serious historians have dismissed it as pseudo-academic poppycock, as fraud, and as little more than a comic book recycling of Neo-Nazi myths about Jews being Khazars. Sand’s conclusions from the imaginary “evidence” about the Khazar roots of Israelis resemble those of his jihadi groupies, namely, that Israel has no right to exist and that Jews are not Jews at all, certainly not any sort of a people. Tel Aviv University has won for itself the dubious honor of serving as home base for arguably the world’s worst “academic” anti-Semite, and has raised questions all over the globe about the academic standards it has obviously abandoned.
Meanwhile, we have grown accustomed in our 21st century to the bizarre collaboration between Islamist fundamentalists and far-leftists. Even so, one cannot help marvelling at the spectacle of an Israeli Stalinist professor devoting himself so passionately to prolierating the myths required by Islamofascist fundamentalists, and by so doing grant them the means for ignoring the Koran itself.
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