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Algora Publishing - Was remedy for atrocity against Jews unfounded?
                                               For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Tuesday,
Was remedy for atrocity against Jews unfounded?
It would be far harder to suspend that morality, if all realised, there was no exile and that those pesky Palestinians are the remains of the original Jewish inhabitants. Such a realisation could spur momentum for a just resolution.
The Financial Times

Was remedy for atrocity against Jews unfounded?

Published: November 21 2009 02:00 | Last updated: November 21 2009 02:00

From Mr Paul Justison.

Sir, Having just read The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand, I was disappointed by Simon Schama’s review (November 14/15). He belittles the book’s observation that there never was a Jewish exile and that most European Jewry were converts with roots in central Asia and Europe.

Mr Schama posits that this may be taught to schoolchildren, but professional historians know better. But, as Shlomo Sand shows, the myth of exile is enshrined in Israeli icons and has had profound implications. While the author does not ask it, a reasonable question is: “Had the United Nations in 1948 been aware that European Jewry were not rooted in Palestine, would it have given them more than half of that now tragic land?” Simon Schama believes that "Israel's case is the remedy for atrocity ... ”

Certainly there was atrocity, but was the remedy gravely unfounded? Mr Sand makes the case with a variety of evidence that the present-day Palestinians are probably the descendants of the Jews who never left. They converted to Christianity and to Islam, but remained tied to the land. Mr Schama ignores this point.

It is all too common for Jews and Gentiles to suspend their morality when they see Israeli actions towards the Palestinians.

It would be far harder to suspend that morality, if all realised, there was no exile and that those pesky Palestinians are the remains of the original Jewish inhabitants. Such a realisation could spur momentum for a just resolution.

Paul Justison,
Oakland, CA, US

Was remedy for atrocity against Jews unfounded?