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Jews, Judeans, and Jerusalem: Masquerading Academics - Blog #10

Today I saw a story about an Israeli journalist, who studies in the US, and has a Russian passport. That in itself was intriguing. The Russian passport is what got her to Iraq, where she was doing research. About the time we left for Israel in March, she was kidnapped by a Hizbollah-related group. I’m in.

So I decided to do a search on the internet and found that she was somehow connected with a group -- “The Forum for Regional Thinking.” I felt like a freelance detective, discovering clues on a case I would never otherwise care much about. The website featured an article that intrigued me, but made me feel a little uneasy. So like a detective, I kept going. The article is entitled: “The People Who Claim Eternal Ownership of Jerusalem.” “Claim”? This is its attention-grabbing, highlighted-in-larger-type, opening:

“Many people believe that Jews today are linked to the ancient Judeans, even though no evidence supports this assertion. City of David is an organization that was founded to act on that belief: not only to create a narrative about continued Jewish presence in Jerusalem’s ancient past and today, but also to claim ownership of the area and dispossess the Palestinians who have been living there for generations. Impressions from a tour of the place.” (23/08/2022)

My unease was confirmed by those buzz words: “no evidence,” “claim ownership,” and “dispossess Palestinians.” The writer is Raz Segal, whose credentials appear at the end. Again, this is the featured article. I don’t know whether the author is a he or she, and whether Jewish or not, though I suspect Jewish from the name and some details in the story. At the end come the credentials: Associate Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Endowed Professor in the Study of Modern Genocide, Stockton University. You can just hear the self-promotion.

The overwhelming quantity of the story goes on to relate a story of Jewish racism, obviously intended to give “the true picture of Jews,” at least Jews in Israel. The villains were 8th graders. Given what I know about Israel and what the author has revealed, I am highly skeptical; it would not surprise me if the story was fabricated. It would not be the first time that a writer invented a story for their personal gain or to promote a cause. If it is true, it shouldn’t happen, but it is not representative of Jews, nor Israelis.

But let’s get back to that opening: “Many people believe that Jews today are linked to the ancient Judeans, even though no evidence supports this assertion.” What there is no evidence of is this preposterous and fundamental lie. It reflects the anti-semitic drivel that passes for credible contributions in our universities. No wonder generations of young Jews and non-Jews are virulently anti-Israel.

Jews lived in the land, were exiled, and many returned. No serious challenge has ever been mounted to refute that basic historical narrative. Archaeological discoveries show ancient Hebrew writing, not the same as ours for many centuries, but there is a link between the two. Our language -- Hebrew in the TaNaCH, Hebrew in the 2nd Temple / Rabbinic period, Hebrew in the Medieval period, Hebrew in the Modern period, written, studied,and commented upon is fundamentally the same -- words, grammar, syntax -- with the occasional linguistic changes that happen to all languages over time. No other people have ever claimed Hebrew or used it. If there was no other evidence, the language itself is hard evidence of linkage.

But of course, there is more. The belief in one God and the rejection of polytheism, unlike any other nation, is an ongoing link to the Judeans. There were Jewish polytheists, but they were denounced in Hebrew, by the prophets, as idolators. And although worship with the Temple (which came after David) is very different than without it, there are several key linkages in terminology and concept. Jewish practice such as Shabbat and holydays -- Pesach, Shav’uot, Sukkot, Rosh ha-Shanah (although that has significantly developed), and Yom ha-Kippurim continued, although admittedly with additions, subtractions, and changes. Then there is kashrut and purity, etc. Israel throughout the ages has linked as well to a Torah, text-based study and ethics.

The preposterous claim that “no evidence supports” that “Jews today are linked to the ancient Judeans,” should be enough for this fool to have his/her credentials revoked. No academic has any claim if his/her assertions are false. It is anti-Jewish hate. Giving him/her a forum and a university position is an abuse. The problem is that too many believe these propagandists. I hope the kidnapped journalist is redeemed, but that she is part of a forum that espouses garbage, meaning I have no sympathy for her, and wonder what she is really up to.


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