In response to TAU Historian Shlomo Sand's new post-Zionist book "The Words and the Land: Israeli Intellectuals and the Nationalist Myth"
A mere sixty odd years after six million Jews were savagely slaughtered in Europe and almost one million other Jews were mistreated, robbed of all their possessions, and expelled from Moslem countries, only because they were Jews, the State of Israel has absorbed and integrated their survivors and has become a shining example of democracy, with an outstandingly successful economy, and a world leader in the production of modern inventions, particularly, but by no means exclusively, in the fields of cybernetics and medicine all for the benefit of humanity.
Yet at this very time, when the State of Israel, having already fought six full scale-wars to maintain its very existence, with the loss of some thousands of its finest sons in war,it is still today in a very precarious situation, surrounded by enemies all around who are threatening to "wipe it off the map" . Yet at this very time, I repeat, a Jew, who was born in Israel and educated at the Israeli taxpayer's expense, who has written and has had published several books for sale in countries abroad,denying the very right of this nation even to exist at all, is allowed to teach "contemporary history" at Tel-Aviv University and spread his obnoxious and treacherous ideas to the students in his care, and to the general public and politicians in the world at large, and moreover have his salary paid by the Israeli taxpayer, whom he has the impertinence to describe as being "of mythical background in history and of belonging to a nation that has never existed".
Quite frankly it is beyond my understanding how this situation is allowed to continue without "let or hindrance".
(Michael Sherbourne has been a leading campaigner for Soviet Jewry)
On 24 October 2010 13:17, IAM e-mail <email@example.com>
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The Words and the Land
Israeli Intellectuals and the Nationalist Myth
By Shlomo Sand
Translated by Ames Hodges
The idea of the Jewish nation was conceived before the organization of the
Zionist movement in the nineteenth century and continued long after the
creation of the state of Israel. In The Words and the Land, post-Zionist
Israeli historian Shlomo Sand examines how both Jewish and Israeli
intellectuals contributed to this process. One by one, he identifies and
calls into question the foundation myths of the Israeli state, beginning
with the myth of a people forcibly uprooted, a people-race that began to
wander the world in search of a land of asylum. This was a people that
would define itself on a biological and “mythological-religious” basis,
embodied in words that today feed Israeli political, literary, and
historical writing: “exile,” “return,” and “ascent” (Alyah) to
the land of its origins.
Since 1948, most intellectuals in Israel have continued to accept this
ethno-national image and embrace an exclusive state identity to which only
Jewish people can belong. The first challenges to this dominant idea
didn’t appear in Israel until the 1980s, in the innovative work of the
“post-Zionist” historians, who were bent on dismantling the nationalist
historical myth and arguing for a state that would belong equally to all
its citizens. Analyzing how Israeli intellectuals positioned themselves
during the Gulf War and in the new era of communication technologies, Sand
extends his analysis globally, looking at the status of intellectuals in
About the Author
Shlomo Sand teaches contemporary history at Tel-Aviv University. He is the
author of The Invention of the Jewish People, On the Nation and the Jewish
People, and other books.