Thursday, April 21, 2011

Israel’s mythological backbone unmasked: ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’ Examined by Peter Edel

The existence of the state of Israel appears as self-evident to many. Still, since the earliest days of Zionism, it was not easy to provide the Jewish state with a raison d’être based on historical facts.

The Zionist ideologists found themselves confronted with a difficult task since history as presented by religion is often suspicious in a scientific context. Therefore, it isn’t easy to turn a religion into a nation. But however tricky it may have been, it was achieved. Israel got its historical backbone, although a mutilated definition of Jewry was the price to be paid.

The friction with history begins at the base with the Diaspora, the situation Jews were living under for almost 2,000 years that eventually gave way to the birth of Zionism. The mythology surrounding the origin of the Diaspora is one of the most tenacious historical misconceptions on which Zionism is based. It claims that after the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70, the Romans deported all Jews from the Kingdom of Judah, up to the last one of them. That’s how they ended up in Europe and how the Diaspora began, at least, according to Zionist ideology.

Zionism holds on to the concept that Jews were deported from a country that has remained their property up to the present day, which consequently makes it legitimate for them to move back. That explains why the Jewish exile is a basic ingredient of Zionism. Essential in this respect is that literally all Jews were deported and, even more important, that current Jewry is the rightful heir to the country they were forced to leave. It is unthinkable that Zionism will drop this principle, for without it, its narrative would collapse entirely.

Self-respecting historians will never accept this version, for it defies all logic. The myth of Zionism is based on a contemporary perception, with a parade of trains towards Auschwitz on the background of the subconscious. For even if they would have had the ambition, the Romans were not capable of transporting an entire nation over such a distance. That could have only been performed with trucks, airplanes, ships and trains. In other words, with modern means of transport, which does not correspond to the age these events are supposed to have taken place.

There can be no doubt about the fact that a number of Jews were forcefully deported from the Kingdom of Judah by the Romans, but only the religious and financially well off elite were driven away, while it is quite likely that other social groups, like the rural population, were left behind.

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