summer boutiques-francophones Learn more vpcflyout Home All-New Kindle sports Tools

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars19
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$17.75+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on April 9, 2016
People reject tough reality.. This book reveals the truth of modern Jews,
Now a lot of Jews as you see in reviews don't want to believe or don't want the truth to be revealed.. That's their problem.
I suggest also to read with this, the thirteenth tribe by Arthur Koestler.
You can dig for unedited copy of Talmud and you will even learn more, and be certain that Israel which was established upon the "declaration of sympathy " is a fake and is not Jew
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 3, 2016
Controversial book. Got me to read a bunch of other books along the same line.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 1, 2016
First, I will give my own background in the context of trying to understand such a book. I have a degree in molecular biology and am an MD. I went to Hebrew school like many Jewish children, and have been to the Middle East including Israel, and including the Paleatinian West Bank. I say this as I'm not some predfoessr or journalist or armchair expert writing a review about a place that I have never seen. I've been there for a while, and seen how people interact with each other and and often heard their views about each other and so forth. I have also read, purely out of interest on Jewish, Arab/ Muslim early history, and have taken some courses on the Classics, again not that I'm an expert but that I have at least some small foundation.

The goals of the author are laid out early, and unfortunately this is not a dispassionate piece of authorship and he divulges his biases fully a priori.

This leads to the transition of the problems with this work. I will start by saying that if something like this were to be attempted to be published in a reputable peer reviewed medical journal, it would be thrown away. In general, one needs a hypothesis and then needs to test it or have observational evidence to support/ refute it. The issue with this work is that he presents his prepositions and assumptions and then applies references to support his views in stead of having the evidence speak for itself. He's applying the scientific method in reverse. the author may have some credibility were it not that he essentially says the whole of Judaism, not just biblical events, but also its people are all invented. Jewish history and what folks have called Jewish memory sometimes have indeed inter twined - but sometimes not. He chooses to focus on only the one, not the other. A bias of omission.

As an example, the concept of Jews going into exile is turned into myth by him. However, from my own readings of multiple other sources, and again for those who want to know more than surface statements from books like this you can find this info in many other more independent books that are concerned with history not politics, about half of the Jews around the destruction of the 2nd temple 70 CE lived outside of what is now Israel. During this revolt, and crushing Roman defeat, I don't know that all the Jews left or were expelled, but the place was razed and there was really nothing for which to stay. Whether some Jews remained, info on their numbers, and exactly the sequence hereafter is ambiguous stuff. It is known that Jews were not permitted back to Jerusalem for several centuries. How well this was enforced in those times again is hard to know now. I mention this episode in particular as the diaspora had already been a major component of Jewish life and the exile was more of catastrophic event, writings fromCasious Dio and others at the time estimate 500-600 thousand Jews were killed. Again, it's difficult to substantiate or refute such claims. However, The Diaspora became the de facto actively survivng Jewish community as there was no place left in which to return - it was essentially destroyed. This leads to him assert that the diaspora was a converted group of people into Judaism. His references here are dubious, but for those interested you can look them up yourself

This is the first time I have read of Jews converting of Gentiles during this period of time. It may be well true, but again, the details are key here: were they small numbers, huge numbers, isolated events, etc. I have to say from this book it's hard to tell. He also implies that the Jews were never considered an ethnolinguistic by the Romans, ancient Greeks, etc, however this is part is absolutely not true, and anyone who has taken even anintro undergrad course on this topic will know that Jews were unequivocally perceived as such by Greek, Roman, and other ancient nations at this time. This is based on the source materials from the Romans and Greeks themselves. Again, he is trying to have the evidence fit his assumptions as opposed to the other way around.

The next issue which he also has no evidence either for or against is the origins of the current Jewish people, especially the Ashkenazim, those of Central and Easyern Europe. His claim is that they likely decend from Khazars, a little known Turkic speaking people whos ruling classes converted to Judaism around the 8-9th century in the area around the Caspian and Caucuses. There are indeed letters, though some have had their authenticity disputed, that support this. But to say that all Ashkenazim decend from them is a pretty bold statement. There are no widespread remaining synogogues, artifacts, or any archeological finds that have ever supported this premise to the extent that the entire majority of European Jews were such converts and that such a mass migration occurred incognito from this region into Eastern Europe. Furthermore, there are no remaining linguistic Turkic words, expressions, cultural references, types of dress, that support this premise within the Ashkenazim. I recall how Elhaik et al published the initial population genetics study on the Ashkenazim and concluding their Khazar origins, and Sand flew off his chair and said "I knew it". Unfortunately, he implicated his own aforementioned bias as the study was so poorly conducted its essentially uninterpretable. Here I can give details as this is molecular biology and content I understand well. The study evaluated huge numbers of genetic markers - but in only 8 Jewish individuals!! It's impossible to draw any conclusion with such methodology using such a tiny sample size and hundreds of metrics - something called multiple testing - if interested those that want a headache can look this up, but it has to do with analysis of huge datasets with small sample sizes. The Proceedings from the Russian Academy of Sciences for example, published a stinging analysis and review of this paper but it never came to light as it was not in English. The Elhaik paper also had no control group as there are no decendents of Khazars that can be used as reference. This sham result created so much debate, there were later at least three further population genetics on the origins of the Jews, one being the largest ever conducted with a team from several countries, that although still had methodological limitations proved the following: Jews from North Africa and Europe, two communities geographically far apart, had significantly more haplotyic similarity to each other than their host populations. Whether they were related to the Jews of ancient times is impossible to know and this was never attempted to fully answer, as there is no population of ancient Jews to reference as a control group. It was found that about 70% of these markers are commonly shared with Palestinians. At least this outcome I can understand phenotypically, i truly could not routinely distinguish Jews and Paleatinians when I lived in Israel. I don't say this last and largest study is absolute, but it at least fits with major historical events rather than an outlier explanation attempted by Shlomo Sand. He was quite defensive when these large latest studies came out and skirted some direct questions during interviews on this topic - - and at his assertion of Jewish inventedness. His rebuke, to defend this book, is that we're giving Hitler, a posthumous victory - an irony given that he asserts Jews are frauds.

In short, I understand his goal, and again he states it at the outset; the problem is he is doing the same as he accuses all nation states, and Israel in particular, of doing: choosing from history to support his model of truth as opposed to having evidence brought forward to speak for itself.

Sadly, one of the reviewers here has drank from the cool aid and now thinks that she is a Khazar because Shlomo Sand has assumed this to be true. more sad, is the reviewers on this site continue to accept such writing (imagine if it was proposed Native Americans are actually the ancient Israelites) without any critical thought. Is this the author's interpretation alone? Is it contested by other evidence? Is it well supported or is it a bold statement with a tiny reference. Even the scientific method here is backwards, the most basic and essentially in inquiry.

Ultimately, this work would be laughable were it not that the history of the Jewish people is one of endless tragedy and persecution. Even 70 years after the Nazi holocaust, it seems that's not enough.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 5, 2015
A fascinating exploration of the history of the Jewish people. The fact that it is written by a Jewish professor of history at Tel Aviv University increases its impact. Understanding the history makes the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict even more of a tragedy. Well worth a read by anyone interested in the history of that part of the world.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 31, 2015
Good book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 4, 2015
Wow. Just wow. It's hard to believe this guy ever graduated. Sure, there is always a target audience for this kind of junk, but I find Hans Christian Andersen's books more scientifically sound than anything produced by Mr Sand.
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 9, 2014
Good read. But the rulers are too stupid to understand this...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 12, 2014
First, an apologia. I am a gentile who grew up in a Canadian city in a neighbourhood with many Jewish people. My best friend was Jewish, and I grew up with him and his family who were ardent Labour Zionists. I used to go out on weekly collections! My friend ad his family went to is
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 23, 2013
This is an exceptionally well written (particularly in the Hebrew original) and bluntly presented exposition. While one may disagree with the political perspective that underlies this compilation, and its more recent companion "The Invention of the Land of Israel", the historical analysis on which it is based is beyond reproach. Incidentally, the correct translation of the respective titles is "When and How was the Jewish People/ Land of Israel Invented" which better reflects the historical perspective of these myths, which is the main focus and interest of these works. The main myth on which the concept of the "Jewish People" is based is, of course the Old Testament. One of the main points that Sand eloquently and systematically demonstrates is that, while being an amazing compilation in its own right, the Old Testament is not a historical document, as some would have us believe. Another myth that Sand attempts to shatter is the direct link of persons currently identifying themselves as belonging to the "Jewish People" to the original inhabitants of the "Land of Israel" (Itself being largely a myth). According to Sand, based on extensive historical analysis, the widespread dispersal of people of the Jewish faith is due not to exile of such people from Judea/ Palestine, an exile for which there is no historical evidence, but to mass conversions to Judaism which took place at certain periods.
Themes of a more political flavour relate to the Zionist national movement's claims for a "Jewish Nation State" in "The Land of Israel", claims which are largely based on the myths of the "Jewish Nation" and its connection to the "Land of Israel". As Sand point out, the whole concept of nationality, as a basis for the so-called "Nation State" is a rather modern one, and one that is often based on myths in an attempt to give these new inventions a historical foundation. In the case of Judaism, there is clearly no basis for such interpretation, not only on historical but on simple logical grounds - one cannot be a Jewish Christian, for instance, or an atheist, for that matter. Clearly Judaism is a religion, first and foremost, which does not exclude some common cultural and historical background for persons identifying themselves as belonging to the "Jewish People". Whether such justification is at all needed, especially in view of the Holocaust and persecution of Jews, not just as a religion but as a presumed ethnic group, is a matter for debate.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 27, 2013
This is one of the most important non-fiction books (outside of science) published in years, dealing as it does with a topic which has caused immense pain and difficulty to so many, particularly in the last century.

A great many non-fiction books today are little more than essays or magazine articles padded into the size of books. Many are true disappointments to read, let alone failing to be genuine contributions to thought.

Here, though, is a book in which every chapter says something challenging and interesting.

And do not skip the introduction - something of which I am often guilty, being anxious to get to the heart of the matter - for in this case the introduction is fascinating, and Mr. Sand could not have provided a subtler or better way to introduce the nature and complexity of his topic.

The book was written in Hebrew - I know it caused quite a sensation in Israel a couple of years ago - and only now has been translated into English. Just one of the things which surprised me was the clarity and flow of the language, something for which social scientists are not noted, Mr. Sand being a historian. I don't know whether Mr. Sand is that unusual thing, a social scientist who is a truly excellent writer or whether he has found a gifted translator. Perhaps it is both.

Mr. Sand has not done original research into the topic, but he has done a massive and perceptive review of the literature, the kind of effort which in medicine often proves extremely valuable in bringing together the results of scores of scattered original studies, and, as the reader will discover, the author is an impressive scholar.

I knew just one of the topics which caused such upset in Israel was the idea that today's Palestinians are at least in part the actual descendents of the children of Israel, it being a well-known fact that Rome in her conquests never disturbed the original people of a place unless they refused to acknowledge Rome's authority. While Roman Palestine did have a couple of revolts, they were by zealots and not the population as a whole, and there is absolutely no historical record of the resident Hebrews having been expelled.

But the author covers much more of interest than that one topic and weaves a cohesive story of the history of the Jewish people which is both challenging and fascinating. He covers the Khazars, the people of a ninth and tenth Jewish kingdom in what is today the Crimea and part of Ukraine. There is no evidence of their having any ancient Hebrew ancestry, and, on the contrary, there is good evidence that the kingdom was the product of Jewish evangelism.

Jewish evangelism sounds mighty odd to a modern ear, but the evidence is there. After all, Christianity started as merely a sect of Judaism and has evangelized much of its history. Christianity's first great evangelist was Paul, a converted Jew. And we know there were even different early sects of Christians, such as the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls, documents which show considerable differences with the content of the accepted Gospels.

There is also the fascinating possibility that Khazar migrants settling in Poland and Germany and other places in Europe are the actual source for the European Jews we call the Ashkenazi. The author cites many clues which suggest this, including clues in the Yiddish language, and in the dress and customs of Eastern European Jews. And it is an idea of which some determined Zionists were aware but chose to ignore or excuse away.

The book is dotted with interesting anecdotes such as quotes from early documents which show Jewish warriors fighting for the Moors in Spain, being perhaps part of the substantial Jewish population from North Africa - again a people with no ancestry to ancient Israel - as well as providing the foundation of what would come to be the Sephardic Jews, later deported from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella.

This is a book which will stimulate discussion and additional research for a long time, and what is a more important criterion for a truly important book?

Mr Sand has a few pretty hair-raising quotes from some Zionists which in almost no material way differ in attitude and outlook to the early gutter literature of the Nazis - stuff about blood and destiny. It is one of the author's major themes that a combination of Zionists and modern Israeli history professors, conspiring to justify the foundations and practices of modern Israel, have worked assiduously to promote the old idea - he calls it a myth - that the Jews were thrown out of their ancient land and have wandered for centuries without a home.

Small wonder the book stirred a controversy in Israel. I can only say that were Mr. Sand any less a scholar and writer, he would have been crushed, but here his research and ideas spring to life for readers everywhere to consider.

The book is highly recommended to all those with an interest in the affairs of the Middle East, the history of Europe, the history of religion, the history of ideas, the nature of political movements, the eccentricities of human nature, human psychology, or those who just enjoy a stimulating read.
0Comment|7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse