Whose Promised Land? The Wrong Question-and then the Right One

Jaffa, Palestine 1900
Jaffa, Palestine 1900

Would you like to jump into a swirling sea of violence and race hatred? Of course not, you are a sensible person.

And I, apparently am not. It just started out with a simple question: “Why do so many people dislike the Jews?”

Well first, you have to define “Jew.” Are Jews a race? That suggestion will get you labeled “anti-Semite” quicker than a cheetah on amphetamines. OK, OK, does Jew refer to followers of a religion? There is a religion called Judaism, but if a person is an atheist, and doesn’t believe one jot or tittle of it-are they still a Jew? Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism was an atheist, so it gets kind of confusing.

So is Jew an ethnic group? With common language, culture, food, etc? Jews lived all over the world and spoke all kinds of languages. Surely, if they practiced Judaism, they had some things in common whether they came from Spain or Russia, but if not?

And since a group of people claim to be creating a Jewish state in what used to be called Palestine, and further claim that they have a right to do so because God gave them this land thousands of years ago, well, whose promised land is it?

When Jews make this claim and Christians nod in agreement, they seem to have in mind something like a bloodline. Land was given at some point to descendants of a certain man, Abraham, and it is supposed to pass down to his children. We Americans are big on property rights, we get that. So who are the children of Abraham?

Well, the New Testament says believers in God are the children of Abraham, “and heirs according to the promise.” So that means I am one, but you can give my chunk of land to a Palestinian, whose family has lived there for centuries.

But no! Christian Zionists say, forget that part of the Bible and look at the other part that says, you know-the Israelites, the twelve tribes.

OK. Ten tribes went missing long ago, really missing, absorbed into surrounding peoples. That leaves two tribes. Members from these tribes traveled all over the world, settling, for example, in Alexandria and Rome. By New Testament times they were all over, making converts and setting up synagogues.

Zionist mythology says the Jews were “kicked out” of Palestine by the Romans in 70 AD, but that was never a Roman tactic; they just killed uruly insurgents. Romans also left the soil-tillers-to till the soil and pay tribute. So poor Jews no doubt stayed on in Palestine, and I rather suspect many are what have come to be called “Palestinians.” So-Whose promised land?

Does this all seem a bit too iffy to risk World War III over?
Wait-Does DNA have anything to tell us about the children of Abraham? Yes, it does and it’s an excellent example of politics screwing with science.

What the DNA says is that, like almost all of us, Jews are mongrels. Apparently Jewish men took Gentile wives. Don’t judge, “love goes where it is sent,” as my grandma used to say. Furthermore, the black Jews from Ethiopia are also the children of Abraham.

Even more furthermore, so are the Palestinians. In fact, some Palestinians are more the children of Abraham than some European Zionists now claiming ancient rights to the land! Whose promised land?

And how about we forget that unanswerable question entirely and ask this one: Now that Arabs are a majority in Israel and the occupied territories:

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO right now, today to establish a just and fair society?

Let’s keep asking that question and not get distracted by nonsense:

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO right now, today to establish a just and fair society?

As for that “Land without a people” fairytale-here are photos of people living in Palestine pre-Israel:

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