A worthy sequel of the invention of the Jewish people The central question is was the territory known today as the land of Israel or Palestine was it really during the centuries a focal point of hopes of jewish political independence Of pilgrimage And if it wasn t when was it invented as such, by whom and for what purposes Geh Rt Israel Den Juden Was Bedeutet Berhaupt Israel Wer Hat Dort Gelebt, Wer Erhebt Anspr Che Auf Das Land, Wie Kam Es Zur Staatsgr Ndung Israels Shlomo Sand, Einer Der Sch Rfsten Kritiker Der Israelischen Politik Gegen Ber Den Pal Stinensern, Stellt Den Gr Ndungsmythos Seines Landes Radikal In Frage Berzeugend Weist Er Nach, Dass Entgegen Der Israelischen Unabh Ngigkeitserkl Rung Und Heutiger Regierungspropaganda Die Juden Nie Danach Gestrebt Haben, In Ihr Angestammtes Land Zur Ckzukehren, Und Dass Auch Heute Ihre Mehrheit Nicht In Israel Lebt Oder Leben Will Es Gibt Kein Historisches Anrecht Der Juden Auf Das Land Israel, So Sand Diese Idee Sei Ein Erbe Des Unseligen Nationalismus Des Jahrhunderts, Begierig Aufgegriffen Von Den Zionisten Jener Zeit In Kolonialistischer Manier H Tten Sie Die Juden Zur Landnahme In Pal Stina Und Zur Vertreibung Der Pal Stinensischen Bev Lkerung Aufgerufen, Die Dann Nach Der Staatsgr Ndung Konsequent Umgesetzt Wurde Nachdr Cklich Fordert Sand Die Israelische Gesellschaft Auf, Sich Von Den Mythen Des Zionismus Zu Verabschieden Und Die Historischen Tatsachen Anzuerkennen I sympathize with what appears to be Professor Sands s main goal to counter the simplistic justifications offered by right wing Zionists for the occupation and annexation of the West Bank But Sands goes too far I can appreciate his claim that ancient Jews failed to recognize the modern sanctified term Eretz Israel as a political entity it turns out that Land of Israel in the title are carefully chosen words , but he cannot erase the importance of places like Hebron in our history And we all know that religious anti Zionists bitterly resented the appropriation of a Messianic goal by the Zionists and their way of consciously elevating it to an immediate, secular goal so Sands adds nothing by his history on that score I argue that the Russian pogromists and the Nazis created facts on the ground that the Jewish people and yes, I also fail to be swayed by Sands s claim that there is no Jewish people had to react to In short, I don t think we have to argue with Jewish religious fanatics on their own terms in order to criticize the unjust and dangerous political results of fanaticism.
The best book I have read this year A stunning work of history and memory, combining intellectual rigour with great moral courage The Invention of the Land of Israel meticulously deconstructs the founding mythology of the exclusive claim of the Jewish people to the land in Israel, as well as the supposed yearning of the Jewish people to return to their homeland, and asks to us to consider whether Israel is the answer to the Diaspora, or a part of it Not for a moment endorsing any solution that would damage or threaten Israel or its people, Shlomo Sand is asking for a genuinely honest and open debate on the history of the conception and foundation of the State of Israel Can Israel ever hope for peace with its neighbours and its Palestinian and Arab citizens while it continues to deny or ignore the terrible suffering inflicted on those people and their forefathers Can a binational state emerge, including the West Bank and Gaza, where all citizens, whether Jewish or Arab or Druze or Christian, enjoy full equal civil and political rights Above all this is a call for the people of Israel to save themselves from the ethnocentric narrative that has been woven into the very fabric of Israeli civil, political and cultural society, a narrative that is a threat to their democracy and even, Professor Sand posits, their future as a state.
Professor Shlomo Sand fulfilled his mission with this book writing the sloppiest piece of historiography ever published about Israel and Zionism Instead of sustaining a clear anti Zionist agenda as Nathan Weinstock did decades ago with the classic book Zionism against Israel , Mr Sand tries to build his case on the argument that Jewish nationalism is an invention or a mytho history ,as he conceptualizes on his work According to the author, Zionism has distorted biblical texts and teachings to give Zionism described here as racist, colonial and imperialist a proper historical meaning Although the author is able to make good points here and there, the result is messy, convoluted and is closer to vulgar propaganda than to real academic inquiry As the author tries to show that Jewish identity wasn t a national identity, he forgets that nationalism has no true essence it s the desire of a group to live together, to acquiesce to a common identity by actually living in the same space or by historical imagination and the willingness to have a common future There is a particularly embarrassing definition of the Zionist left as not really leftist as it didn t participate in the fight against imperialism and capitalism Mr Sand, as it seems, is the jury, judge and executioner of the political compass His self aggrandizing job of destroying national myths is done in a inquisitorial way, much to impress the reader but does little in terms of proper scholarship The book could have focused on the strategies and intellectual networks that Zionist scholars created to re read the holy texts as a canonical narrative, but insists on using disconnected quotes from the Bible and Israeli politicians and an array of useless personal remarks that further contribute to bog down an already mediocre book Skip all chapters and read the epilogue about the Palestinian village that existed where the Tel Aviv University currently is The rest is pure junk.
How could a man or a people seize a vast territory and keep out the rest of the human race except by a criminal usurpation since the action would rob the rest of mankind of the shelter and food that nature has given them all in common A happy homeland of milk and honey, promised to the chosen is a fairy tale lie The idea of homeland, the bond between soil and blood has become almost an indoctrinated philosophy Treat humans as you will, but never question ones loyalty for their country, death for land, the only honorable death When in reality, it is unbearably sad, to think that soil has worth than a soul The cost and bloodshed, in creating these lies, inventing nationalistic pride at the cost of killing, ethnic cleansing a race of people carries such a deep offense to the earth The earth, soil, land, was never meant to have blood spilled on it, especially when it has such abundance for all.
I applaud Prof Sand s general effort here The arguments concepts presented are not simply compelling but convincing As one who tries to encourage others to read up on the subject though, it is very difficult to see how I can persuade others, who are not scholars, to finish it The presentation reads like a lecture rather than a narrative I am also conscious that one aspect of the author s presentation of ideas is to refute arguments by another eminent historian whose name I won t mention because he has enough books of his own does not need endorsements who disagrees with him I would have preferred a simpler approach left off the controversies as footnotes endnotes These are ideas that need to come out in the open just, well, just not in this manner of writing.
The Invention of the Land of Israel by Shlomo Sand The Invention of the Land of Israel is the follow up to the fascinating and controversial The Invention of the Jewish People This excellent book serves as a complementary addition to the aforementioned book and fills gaps left behind Historian and outspoken professor, Shlomo Sand does it again with this enlightening and educational book that reveals the history behind the Land of Israel This 304 page book is composed of the following five chapters 1 Making Homelands Biological Imperative or National Property , 2 Mytherritory In the Beginning, God Promised the Land, 3 Toward a Christian Zionism and Balfour Promised the Land, 4 Zionism Versus Judaism The Conquest of Ethnic Space, and 5 Conclusion The Sad Tale of the Frog and the Scorpion.
Positives 1 A well researched and well cited book that takes you into the always fascinating world of Jewish history.
2 As candid and forthright a book as you will find Professor Sand provides solid and well cited evidence in support of his arguments.
3 Enlightening and thought provoking book to say the least.
4 An excellent complement to his best selling book The Invention of the Jewish People.
5 The myth that was the forced uprooting of the Jewish people 6 The book does a wonderful job of explaining how the dissemination of a formative historical mythos occurred Never did I accept the idea of the Jews historical rights to the Promised Land as self evident 7 Clarifies some of the misunderstood points made in his previous book.
8 Professor Sand takes pride in his historical scholarship and it shows The quest for primary sources The author does a good job of letting the readers know what he does have a good handle on and what he doesn t.
9 Explains what really precipitated the establishment of the State of Israel.
10 The book achieves its goal of tracing the ways in which the Land of Israel was invented.
11 The book achieves the main goal of disparaging the official historiography of the Zionist Israeli establishment.
12 The notion of homeland in perspective It is important to remember that homelands did not produce nationalism, but rather the opposite homelands emerged from nationalism The concept of territorial entity.
13 Was the Land of Israel the ancestral land of the descendants of the children of Israel A biblical perspective14 The great minds behind the Jewish connection with the Land of Israel Fascinating history.
15 The history of the three main revolts Their causes and results.
16 The factors that revitalized interest over the Holy Land for all three Abrahamic religions.
17 The evolution of Zionism including the Christian variety The colonization of the Middle East The main players and factors involved The Balfour Declaration.
18 An interesting look at the Arab inhabitants of Palestine The increasing use of the moral superweapon historical right 19 A condensed history of the Diaspora Zionism versus Judaism.
20 The redemption of the land to Judaization of the country The 1947 resolution regarding the partition of Palestine The acquisition of land The three most significant moments in the long history of the occupations and the settlements in the occupied territories that most likely were decisive in shaping the future of Israel and its neighbors.
21 An excellent final chapter that summarizes the main points of this interesting book.
22 Excellent citations.
Negatives 1 Lack of visual aids to assist the reader As an example, maps would have added much value.
2 The book at times is repetitive.
3 No formal bibliography.
4 A cast of characters, timelines, even glossaries would have immensely assisted an American audience that may not be familiar with this fascinating history.
5 The book lacks panache English is not the author s main language This book is about substance over style.
In summary, this is a fascinating and enlightening book I really enjoyed it and I must thank the author for the education Professor Sand succeeds in educating the reader on the history of the Land of Israel It s a great complement to his previous best selling book I highly recommend it
A must to also read with this book is his earlier work, The Invention of the Jewish People.