I. The Zionist Myths about the Jews

 

 

 

From this perspective it is important to deal with many myths and even lies that have been promoted by the Zionists in order to justify their colonialist project. In the process of the colonization of this country by the Zionists many lives were lost of Arabs and of Jews for a project that is irrational and it is not difficult to see that it has entered its decaying stage. It is still very strong militarily but it is rotting from within.

 

 

 

The Zionist Myth: Palestine belongs to “God’s chosen people”

 

 

 

A common Zionist claim is that Jews have lived in the biblical lands for three to four thousand years beginning with Abraham and that these lands belong to God’s chosen people: the Jews whose God promised them this land in the covenant with Abraham.

 

Thus the Israeli Embassy in Ghana in 2018 day of Israel independence stated:

 

“70 years shows only the number of years for the re-establishment of the State of Israel after many years of exile. It is well known that Israel is a very ancient nation and this fact has been well documented over 3 and half thousand years. Our independence goes over 3000 years ago and continued with some interruption for 1000 years. In the year 135 AD, we lost our independent completely, but even during the long diaspora, there were always Jewish communities living in the land of Israel. Moreover, the people of Israel never forgot their homeland and always prayed to return to Jerusalem.”

 

It was said that secular Zionists do not believe in God but believe that god promised them this land. Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, loved the book of Joshua of the bible. The book of Joshua has been popular, particularly among nationalist readers who found justification in its unified army, settlement project, and elimination of native inhabitants. These themes resonated all the more among nationalist settlers like the Boers and the Zionists. Because the Zionists need the bible to justify their crimes it is impossible to separate between the state and the Rabbinates.

 

In the Center for Israel Studies we find: “From the earliest days of the Bible—from the creation story itself—to the lives of most Jews today, the Land of Israel has been an important part of the Jewish story. The first verse of the Torah, “In the beginning G-d created the heavens and the land,” was understood by the rabbis as indicating G-d’s sovereignty over the world and over all its lands. According to this interpretation, the biblical text implied that the Land of Israel was given to the Jewish people.” [1]

 

This is a strange argument coming from people who claim that the intellectual roots of Zionism are anchored in the Jewish Haskalah, which from Hebrew translates as the “Enlightenment of the mind.” Fundamentally, so it was claimed, Zionism advocated adopting enlightenment values, pressing for more secular education. [2]

 

The argument that god promised the Jews this land has nothing to do with the Enlightenment. The American and French Revolutions were inspired by Enlightenment ideals. Zionism as a Jewish political nationalist and colonialist movement was born after the revolutionary period of the bourgeoisie. It was born at the time of the scramble for Africa (1881-1914) when the different imperialist states occupied the last remaining colonies and would begin the power struggle leading to WWI.

 

The Zionists slogan: “A land without people for people without a land” was influenced by the white spots doctrine of the imperialists. According to this doctrine a country that is not ruled by an imperialist state is a white spot on the map waiting to be discovered and ruled by an imperialist state that would bring progress to the native people. In 1885, two years before the first Zionist congress, European imperialist leaders met at the infamous Berlin Conference to divide Africa and arbitrarily draw up borders that exist to this day.

 

Today anyone who dares to call the Zionists colonialists and racists is going to face the accusation of being Anti-Semite. Not always it was so. The UN General Assembly passed in 1975 a resolution condemning Zionism as racism based on the UN’s own definition of racial discrimination, adopted in 1965. According to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, racial discrimination is “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.” As a definition of racism and racial discrimination, this statement is correct and characterizes Zionism. However this resolution was reversed in 1991 because of the neo-liberal atmosphere of that time that since then became even uglier with a right-wing populists atmosphere in many countries.

 

The founders of the Zionist movement did not try to hide that they were colonialists. Herzl called the financial trust he founded the "Jewish Colonial Trust. “At the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in August 1897, the idea of a central fund to support the development of a Jewish home in Palestine was raised by Max Bodenheimer, a lawyer from Cologne, Germany. In May 1898, an initial committee, consisting of Bodenheimer, David Wolffsohn of Lithuania and Dr. Rudolph Schauer of Germany, was organized to lay the foundation for the new enterprise. The committee established that the new bank’s purpose would be the economic development and strengthening of Jewish colonies in Palestine, the purchase of land for new settlements on a legally recognized basis, the development of trade and industry in the colonies, the loaning of money for the purposes of colonization, and the establishment of savings-banks in the colonies.” [3]

 

It is well known that Herzl wrote: “If His Majesty the Sultan were to give us Palestine, we could in return undertake to regulate the whole finances of Turkey. We should there form a portion of a rampart of Europe against Asia, an outpost of civilization as opposed to barbarism.[4]

 

Herzl saw himself and his movement as part of the European plans for dismantling the Ottoman Empire.

 

Rodinson was the first to point out the political nature of Zionism as settler colonialists acting within the imperialists’ framework:

 

The [Zionist] perspective was inevitably placed within the framework of the European assault on the Ottoman Empire, this “sick man” whose complete dismemberment was postponed by the rivalries of the great powers but who, in the meantime, was subjected to all kinds of interference, pressures, and threats. An imperialist setting if there ever was one.” [5]

 

The Zionist movement was not only ready to serve European imperialism, it was born as a racist and Anti-Semite. Max Nordau, one of founders of the Zionist movement at the First Zionist Congress stated in his opening address, “The majority of Jews are a race of accursed beggars.[6] At the 1898 Second Zionist Congress, Nordau said: “We must think once again of creating a Jewry of muscles”. He envisioned a Jewish race that was physically strong, able to defend itself against anti-Semitism and be able to make the Zionist goal of a Jewish state become reality. [7]

 

As Herzl asserted Israel is a strategic asset to the other imperialists. This has been confirmed by many imperialist leaders. José María Aznar, the former Prime Minister of Spain, for example stated:

 

Israel is not only part of the Western world, in spite of being located in the Middle East. It is an indispensable and vital part of our civilization. Put aside our historical common roots; put aside the moral obligations to give and support a State for the Jewish people; put aside the thousands of years that link the Jewish people with the land where they live today. Just consider the many benefits we, the rest of the West and the world, enjoy thanks to Israel. [8]

 

The main Zionist justification for the creation of Israel is the need to provide the Jews a shelter against Anti-Semitic persecution, and yet Israel has become a close friend of many extreme right anti-Semitic parties and regimes in Europe and other places who identify with the Zionist repression of the Palestinians. They love Israel and hate the Jews. Israel has become the symbol of reaction everywhere. This moral bankruptcy has been a feature of Zionism from the very beginning. Herzl wrote on the Anti-Semites that they are the best friends of the Zionists: The Zionist founder Theodor Herzl wrote: “It is essential that the suffering of Jews….becomes worse….this will assist in (the) realization of our plans….I have an excellent idea….I shall induce anti-Semites to liquidate Jewish wealth….The anti-Semites will assist us thereby in that they will strengthen the persecution and oppression of Jews. The anti-Semites shall be our best friends.” [9]

 

To appeal to the Jews to join the colonialist project the Zionist have claimed that the Jews are a world nation and adopted religious symbols. For example the Zionist blue and white flag is based on the Jewish Tallit (Praying Shawl). We find in the Jewish Virtual Library the following definition for the Jewish nation: “Judaism can be thought of as being simultaneously a religion, a nationality and a culture. Throughout the Middle Ages and into the 20th century, most of the European world agreed that Jews constituted a distinct nation. This concept of nation does not require that a nation have neither a territory nor a government, but rather, it identifies, as a nation any distinct group of people with a common language and culture. Only in the 19th century did it become common to assume that each nation should have its own distinct government; this is the political philosophy of nationalism. In fact, Jews had a remarkable degree of self-government until the 19th century. So long as Jews lived in their ghettos, they were allowed to collect their own taxes, run their own courts, and otherwise behave as citizens of a landless and distinctly second-class Jewish nation.” [10]

 

This definition is confusing Judaism, which is religion, with Israel that was a kingdom and a nation, Judea that was a kingdom and a nation, and the ancient Hebrews who believed in many gods.

 

According to this definition all the English speaking Christians are one nation. All the Muslims who speak Arabic are one nation. What they ignore is the fact that Jews around the world do not speak the same language nor do they have the same culture. Not only this, but many Jews are not religious. Thus, this is a fake definition of nations. As a matter of fact this was the definition of nations by the Vatican in the Middle Age.

 

 

 

The Patriarch Abraham

 

 

 

The Zionists argue that their right to Palestine is rooted in the fact they have lived in Palestine for the last 3500- 4000 years from the days of the Patriarch Abraham. This claim raises some questions: Was such a person alive? If he lived what is the origin of his name? Why would he leave his country and settle in Palestine? Was he a Jew?

 

The bible tells us that originally Abraham was named Abram. Such a name indicates that he was a descendant of Ram. The native province of Ab Ram was called Aram, which means “land of Ram” and was inhabited by the Aramaeans. The bible says: ”A wandering Aramean was my father” (Deuteronomy 5). The name Hebrews related to Eber, a synonym for the earliest Hebrews (Genesis 10:21): ”Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.” It related to the wider group of Hebrew peoples including Abraham. Eber was an ancient city in Mesopotamia.

 

If Abraham was a real person according to the biblical story he lived around 2000 B.C. (Genesis Chapters 11 through 25.) He lived in Ur. Ur was a city-state in Sumer, a part of the Fertile Crescent located from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq to the Nile in Egypt. According to Genesis 11:31 the patriarch's father, Terah, took his son (who was then called Abram) and his family out of a city called Ur of the Chaldeans.

 

There is a problem with this account. Archaeologists discovered that the Chaldeans were a tribe that didn't exist until somewhere around the sixth and fifth centuries B.C., nearly 1,500 years after Abraham is believed to have lived.

 

It is possible that those priests who wrote the Bible were confused and Abraham came from the Ur of Haran, which was some 500 miles north of the Sumerian Ur. At that time the Amorite tribes ruled Haran. From his name and his father's name, Terah, and his brothers' names, Nahor and Haran, scholars have concluded that Abraham's family may have been Amorites, a Semitic tribe that began to migrate out of Mesopotamia around 2100 B.C. The Amorites' migration destabilized Ur, which scholars estimate collapsed around 1900 B.C. [11] Thus if Abraham was a real person he was not a Jew nor Aramaean but an Amorite. This probably indicates that the Hebrews were Amorites who invaded Canaan 4000 years ago. The Amorites were a Semitic people who seem to have emerged from western Mesopotamia (modern day Syria). In Sumerian they were known as the Martu or the Tidnum (in the Ur III Period), in Akkadian by the name of Amurru, and in Egypt as Amar, all of which mean 'Westerners'. They had a pantheon of gods with a chief deity named Amurru (also known as Belu Sadi - 'Lord of the Mountains’ whose wife, Belit-Seri was 'Lady of the Desert’. [12]

 

The historian Kriwaczek wrote: "Terah’s family was not Sumerian. They have long been identified with the very people, the Amurru or Amorites, whom Mesopotamian tradition blamed for Ur’s downfall. William Hallo, Professor of Assyriology at Yale University, confirms that `growing linguistic evidence based chiefly on the recorded personal names of persons identified as Amorites…shows that the new group spoke a variety of Semitic ancestral to later Hebrew, Aramaic and Phoenician.[13]

 

According to Finkelstein and Silberman, the first Israelites dwelt in the country as early as around 1200 BC. At the beginning of the Iron Age they were new settlers in the hill country who had abandoned their former nomadic lifestyle, relinquished most of the animals, and moved to permanent agriculture. But where did these new settlers come from? According to Finkelstein and Silberman, they were Canaanites who lived in the area and were previously nomads. [14]

 

Finkelstein and Silberman could be right but there is a real possibility that the ancient Israelites were part of the Amorites invasion of Canaan. William Dever, Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona, has investigated the archeology of the ancient Near East for more than 30 years and wrote many books on the subject. In an interview he stated: "One of the first efforts of biblical archeology in the last century was to prove the historicity of the patriarchs, to locate them in a particular period in the archeological history. Today I think most archeologists would argue that there is no direct archeological proof that Abraham, for instance, ever lived. We do know a lot about pastoral nomads, we know about the Amorites' migrations from Mesopotamia to Canaan, and it's possible to see in that an Abraham-like figure somewhere around 1800 B.C.E. But there's no direct connection." [15]

 

In an article in Haaretz we find: “In the Marriage of Martu, a Sumerian creation legend that took place in the distant past even in biblical times, in which the blushing bride weds an Amorite ("martu" in Sumerian), the stereotype is personified: “The Amorite he is dressed in sheep skins: he lives in tents in wind and rain; He doesn’t offer sacrifices. Armed vagabond in the steppes, he digs up truffles and is restless. He eats raw meat. Lives without a home; And when he dies, he is not buried according to proper rituals.” Over 4,000 years ago, mysterious herders who would become steeped in lore brought their flocks down from the mountains of Iran and western Syria into southern Mesopotamia. Sweeping on eastward into the Levant, they transformed the social landscape as they spread, destroying old power structures and building new dynasties. It is little surprise that the ancients would view incoming waves of Amorite shepherds as barbaric, inhuman raiders who eat "raw meat”. Whatever they ate, these Amorites spreading and simply taking whatever lands they needed to herd their flocks would have been among the forefathers of the Babylonians and Assyrians in the east, and the Canaanites in the west. And hence the Jews, probably." [16]

 

If there was such an Amorite person could he be a Jew who believed in one god and the Jewish Torah? The belief in gods is a projection of the existence socio-political order on earth. Monotheism could not exist before a strong empire. The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of the world. It has been estimated that the deities in Sumerian pantheon numbered in the hundreds or even in the thousands. Nevertheless, some gods and goddesses feature more significantly in the religion of Sumer, and thus may be considered to be the main deities of the Sumerian pantheon. These were Anu, the god of the sky; Enlil, the god of the storms and Enki, the god who created the human being. [17]

 

The first evidence of monotheism emerges from Egypt in the 14th century BC (1353-1336 BC) during the reign of Akhenaten. The king was known to have worshiped Aten, the sun disk god. [18]

 

Thus even if such a person as Abraham existed it is impossible that he believed in one god. Furthermore according to the bible the Jewish Torah was given to the Israelites in the time of Moses who lived according to the Bible hundreds of years after Abraham.

 

In any case according to the bible when Abraham arrived to Canaan it was inhabited by Canaanite clans not an empty land waiting for Abraham and his family to settle in. We find in the bible that when Abraham arrived to Canaan it was inhabited by “the sons of Ham were Kush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan. Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon, in the direction of Gerar, as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha” (Gen. 10:6, 15-19). Later on we are told by the bible that god told Abraham that although his descendants will inherit the land, this will have to wait four generations because (Gen. 15:16): “The sin of the Amorite is not yet complete”. Thus most probably the first known people of Canaan according to the Jewish bible were the Amorites and not Jews.

 

 

 

The Myth about Moses

 

 

 

A supporter of Zionism may say that may be Abraham was a Hebrew and an Amorite and not a Jew but Moses was a Jew and thus our history in this country is of 3500 years.

 

The ‘small’ problem with this argument is that the story of the Exodus and of the occupation of Canaan which included according to the bible the killing of the Canaanite is a myth.

 

It is likely a myth taken from the Babylonians myth Enuma Elish of the struggle of the warrior god Marduk with the sea Dragon Tiamat. [19] This myth is related also to the Jewish myth of the creation. The Epic of Creation of the Babylon begins after the killing of the Dragon Marduk divides her body into two halves. Out of one he makes a dome-shaped covering for the heavens and from the other half for Tiamat. The Hebrew story of the Creation opens with existing dark, turbulent, watery abyss named tehom (Gen. 1:2), a Hebrew word corresponding to the Babylonian Tiamat. He then divides it into two portions, making of the one the upper, and of the other the lower ocean. To keep the upper waters in their place, he creates a domelike support, rakia. [20]

 

As to the story of the occupation of Canaan by Joshua, first of all we should ask when these events took place according to the bible. We find in the bible Kings 1 6:1 "And it came to pass in the 480th year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the 4th year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which [is] the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD." Solomon's 4th Year was 966 B.C. Go back 480 Years and this is 1445 B.C.

 

According to the bible the Hebrews, led by Moses and his general Joshua, were the enemy of the Canaanites and were ordered to destroy all the Canaanites. “One of the difficult problems posed by events recorded in the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament concerns the destruction of the Canaanites. When the children of Israel entered the Promised Land they destroyed the Canaanites as ordered by the Lord. The Bible tells what happened when the Israelites conquered Jericho: And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword (Joshua 6:21).[21]

 

Luckily enough for the Canaanites the story of the exodus and the occupation of Canaan by Joshua is another myth. In 1445 BC, the alleged time of the occupation of Canaan by Joshua, Canaan was an Egyptian colony with a strong army and the bible does not mention any battle with the Egyptian army in Canaan. In 1456 BCE, Pharaoh Thutmoses III won a decisive battle against a coalition of Canaanite rulers at Megiddo. The great Pharaoh recorded his triumph in Egypt: “Inasmuch as every prince of every northern land is shut up within it, the capture of Megiddo is the capture of a thousand towns!” [22] For three centuries, Egyptians ruled the land of Canaan. The Egyptians built fortresses, mansions, and agricultural estates from Gaza to Galilee, taking Canaan’s finest products—copper from Dead Sea mines, cedar from Lebanon, olive oil and wine from the Mediterranean coast, along with untold numbers of slaves and concubines and sending them overland and across the Mediterranean and Red Seas to Egypt to please the ruling class. [23]

 

There is no archaeological or historical evidence in support for the biblical story of slaves leaving Egypt, and certainly no extra-biblical evidence, in Egyptian inscriptions. Yet the Egyptian did mention the name Moses. The Egyptians told the story of Moses, but in their version, he wasn’t a miracle-working hero with God-given powers. In the version passed down by the Egyptian historian Manetho, Moses is a brutal and violent monster and he isn’t even Jewish. Moses, according to Manetho, was an Egyptian priest named Osarsiph who tried to take over Egypt. The pharaoh had quarantined everyone with leprosy into a city called Avaris, and Osarsiph used them to stage a revolt. He made himself the ruler of the lepers, changed his name to Moses, and turned them against the pharaoh. Moses and his army of lepers created the Jewish laws purely out of spite for the Egyptians. They deliberately made their laws the exact of opposite of everything the Egyptians believed. They sacrificed bulls, for example, purely because the Egyptians worshiped one.

 

Moses and his leper colony formed an alliance with the people living in Jerusalem. He built up an army of 200,000 people, and then invaded Egypt. They conquered Ethiopia first, where they reigned as brutal despots. According to the Egyptians, Moses and his people “abstained from no sort of wickedness or barbarity.” Eventually – after about 13 years – Amenophis known also as Amenhotep II (1427-1392 B.C.) managed to get a big enough army together to chase Moses out of Egypt. He chased him into Syria, where Moses and his people settled in Jerusalem. [24]

 

The Roman Historian Tacitus had another version like Manetho, his story begins with Egypt being plagued by leprosy, which he says was spread through pork. Moses and the other lepers were expelled from the country altogether and sent out into the wilderness. In the wilderness, Moses ordered his people to turn against god and man, telling them that “both had deserted them”. Once they made it to Canaan, Moses introduced a new religion – not because he believed in it, according to Tacitus, but because he believed it would “secure the allegiance of his people”. [25]

 

He introduced the kosher diet because eating pork had given them leprosy. He introduced fasting as a way to commemorate their journey through the wilderness. He had them keep the seventh day holy to commemorate their journey through the desert – which, in this version, didn’t take forty years. It took seven days. [26]

 

 

 

King David

 

 

 

At this point the Zionist may say: “well even if the story of Moses is a myth King David existed and therefore the history of the Jewish nation in this country goes back 3000 years”.

 

The ancient nations appeared in history at a stage when federations of tribes unify and create a political center usually in the form of a king. Thus the Hebrew Canaanites clans became nations with the construction of the kingdoms Judea and Israel. This happened around 1000 BC. This we can learn from the Jewish bible that tells us that each tribe was allotted an individual territory to settle. During this period of settlement, and the period of the Judges, there was no predetermined pattern of leadership among the tribes though various crises forced the tribes into joint defense against enemies.

 

Shiloh served as a center for all the tribes under the priestly family of Eli. Under the impact of military pressures, the Israelites felt compelled to turn to Samuel with the request that he will establish a monarchy, and Saul was crowned to rule over all the tribes of Israel. Thus the nation of Israel began according to this account with King Saul (1021–1000 B.C). However we have no evidence that King Saul existed. According to the bible he was killed by the Philistines in Gilboa and his body was hanged on the walls of Beth Shan. The only problem with this story is that Beth Shan was never a Philistine city.

 

“Unfortunately, due in part to later Roman and Byzantine construction at the base of the mound, excavators have not yet revealed any portion of the Beth Shean city wall from the 11th century B.C.E., when the Biblical story about King Saul’s death most likely occurred. And although the city was certainly occupied at this time, there is no evidence of a Philistine presence at the site then.[27]

 

Thus indeed there is evidence that there was a city state rule by King David. It was found in 1993 in Tel Dan. The broken and fragmentary inscription commemorates the victory of an Aramean king over his two southern neighbors: the “king of Israel” and the “king of the House of David.” In the carefully incised text written in neat Aramaic characters, the Aramean king boasts that he, under the divine guidance of the god Hadad, vanquished several thousand Israelite and Judahite horsemen and charioteers before personally dispatching both of his royal opponents. The inscription does not mention the names of the specific kings involved in this encounter, but most scholars believe the stela recounts a campaign of Hazael of Damascus in which he defeated both Jehoram of Israel and Ahaziah of Judah. [28]

 

Thus there were two Hebrew nations in Canaan but were they Jewish? The answer is no. “Jehoram was King of Israel (852-842 B.C.); son of Ahab and Jezebel; brother and successor of Ahaziah. Like his predecessors, Jehoram worshiped Baal.[29]

 

The kingdom of David could not be very large as the Philistines occupied the coastal strip between the Mediterranean and the land of Canaan. Their land was known as Philistia, a reference to the land of the Five Lords of the Philistines in the south-western Levant. Today, these areas occupy Israel, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. The Philistines settled on the southern coast of Palestine in the 12th century BC, about the alleged time of the arrival of Joshua who replaced Moses to Canaan. According to biblical tradition (Deuteronomy 2:23; Jeremiah 47:4), the Philistines came from Caphtor (possibly Crete). The first records of the Philistines are inscriptions and reliefs in the mortuary temple of Ramses III at Madinat Habu, where they appear under the name prst. According to the Hebrew Bible, the Philistines were in a continuous struggle with the Israelites, Canaanites and Egyptians surrounding them. Egyptian records from the 12th-13th centuries B.C. mention the Philistines in connection with the Sea Peoples. Due to their similar maritime history, their association with each other was strong. The Sea Peoples were a confederacy of naval raiders who were assumed to have moved in the eastern Mediterranean areas during the Bronze Age. It has been theorized that the Sea Peoples were originally Etruscan, Italian, Mycenaen or Minoan. As a group, they primarily focused their efforts on attacking Egypt during 1200-900 BCE. Known for their innovative use of iron, the Philistines used this superior material to bronze, which was used by the Israelites for weaponry and more. This allowed the Philistines to be invincible on the battlefield. In the 8th-7th century B.C., starting with Tilgath-Pileser III, the Assyrians rule in Philistia. In 604 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Philistine cities. Following the occupation of Judea, the Romans replaced the name of the country that in the past was called Canaan and called her Palestine after the Philistines who ruled at least part of the country until the Assyrian occupation. The intention of the Romans was to erase the name of Judea from history.

 

The Philistines were partly defeated by King David (10th century) but they regained their independence and often engaged in border battles with Judea and Israel. We know very little of the Philistine religion; the Philistine gods mentioned in biblical and other sources such as Dagan, Ashteroth, Astarte, and Beelzebub have Semitic names and were probably borrowed from the conquered Canaanites. This probably indicates that they were intermingled with the Canaanite. The God El was a name the ancient Hebrews used for god and was the father of Dagon. During the Assyrian occupation of Canaan the Philistines lost their kingdom and were absorbed into the other Canaanite clans.

 

The Bible book of Judges Chapter 10 says:”Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines. And because the Israelites forsook the Lord and no longer served him, he became angry with them. He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites of Ashdod, Akron and Ashkelon.[30]

 

According to the bible and other sources like Assyrian there were two Hebrew kingdoms, Israel and Judea. They were a class society, the priests, were the upper class, the political ruler was the king and his court while the rest of the people were peasants, artisans, and slaves. Slaves of the establishment institutions of temple and palace were prisoners of war (Num 31:25-47; Josh 9:23), and they were used to build projects (1 Kings 9:21).

 

There was a kind of semi-slavery where a group of people owed a certain amount of labor, but otherwise lived as free people. This seems to have been what happened to the Gibeonites (Josh 9:23). Debt was the main factor in transforming a peasant farmer or artisan into a slave (Ex 22:2; 2 Kings 4:1) - though poverty that did not involve debt to the new master might also cause people to sell themselves as slaves (Lev 25:39).

 

In theory such slaves in Israel returned to free status at jubilee, however they could choose to remain in the household of the master (Ex 21:5-6; Dt 15:16-17). In practice as Jer 34:8 clearly shows this by no means always happened. Though the king and people agreed to release their slaves nevertheless they reneged on their promise.

 

According to the Bible, there was an almost constant state of war between the two kingdoms, with no clear outcome (1 Kings 14:30; 15:6,16). The biblical account does not correlate with the archaeological record, which shows that Israel had a far larger population than early Judah. It is infeasible that Judah could have held the Israelites in subjugation or that they could fight a protracted civil war against the northern kingdom. Israel was, for a short period, a minor regional power, while Judah was a more impoverished rural community.

 

The Kingdom of Israel, especially under King Ahab (869-850 B.C.), joined some Syrian states to stop temporarily the advance of the Assyrians, who had consolidated their kingdom to the northeast. But the power of Israel declined after Ahab and by the end of the ninth century the kingdom of Israel was forced to pay tribute to powerful Assyria. By 722 BC the Israeli kingdom was destroyed by the Assyrians and the population deported and disappeared as a nation. These people merged with neighboring peoples and gradually lost their identity. Thus Israel existed as a nation around 350 years, Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians in 598-582 BC and the upper class was taken to Babylon. Judea existed as a nation for around 500 years.

 

While these were two nations the question is whether the population of these kingdoms was Jews in the sense of worship of only Jehovah, the Canaanite god of metal that became the Jewish God. Israel’s religion evolved first through animism. After animism came polytheism, the belief in many gods. Polytheism was then followed by Totemism, “the belief that the members of a clan or tribe are related to some group of plants or animals” as descendants. Ancestor worship followed Totemism, and developed into belief in a local tribal deity…which finally evolved into monotheism. The Hebrew Bible provides ample evidence that many Israelites believed in the existence of multiple deities. This is the case for polytheistic Israelites whom biblical prophets criticize for worshipping other gods; but even some biblical texts are evidence of polytheistic. The Hebrew Bible refers to many heavenly creatures, calling them “gods” (Gen 6:2; Ps 29:1, Ps 82:6, Ps 86:8, Ps 89:7; Job 1:6).

 

 

 

The People of the Second Temple

 

 

 

The Zionist may say that even if these kingdoms were not Jewish, the people of the second temple beginning with Ezra and Nehemiah were Jews and thus the history of the Jewish nation in this country is of 2500 years.

 

In the book of Ezra we find: ”After these things had been done, the leaders came to me and said, “The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighboring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. 2 They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.” (Ezra 9)

 

As to the language, “The vast majority of the Hebrew Bible (Tanach) is written in Hebrew”. (Some of the last books of the Bible, Daniel and Ezra, contain significant chunks of Aramaic, the lingua franca of the Jewish people during their Babylonian exile.) [31]

 

But since then the people of Judea were Jews will say the Zionist. The bible tells us that king Josiah (seventh century B.C.) “removed the Asherah pole from the Lord’s Temple. He took the Asherah pole outside the city to the Kidron Valley and burned it there. Then he beat the burned pieces into dust and scattered the dust over the graves of the common people. Then King Josiah broke down the houses of the male prostitutes who were in the Lord’s Temple. Women also used these houses and made little tent covers to honor the false goddess Asherah. At that time the priests did not bring the sacrifices to Jerusalem and offer them on the Lord’s altar in the Temple. The priests lived in cities all over Judah. They burned incense and offered sacrifices at the high places in those cities” (2 Kings 23:6-9)

 

Thus will say the Zionist there was a Jewish nation at least from the seventh century B.C.

 

Is this true? We find in Psalm 95: “For y-h-v-h is a great god and a greater king than all (other) gods…. He is our god.” This psalm lists things that y-h-v-h did for the Israelites. Psalm 96: “Y-h-v-h is great and very praiseworthy. He is more awesome than other gods. For (while) the gods of the nations are gods, y-h-v-h made the heaven.” Psalm 97: “All gods bow to him…. You are exalted above all gods.” This surely a proof that the Jews believed in the existence of many gods.

 

Psalm songs were written by different people and probably the last ones were written in the first century BC. Psalm 22 says: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so v far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest”. It seems that this is reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

 

The Zionist may say but from the first century when the Jews were exiled they were Jews. Possibly but in the first century the Jews ceased being an ancient nation and became religious communities.

 



[1] The Center for Israel Education: The Place of Israel in Jewish Tradition for Israel Education, https://www.theicenter.org/aleph-bet/place-israel-jewish-tradition

[2] Nadia Marques de Carvalho: The Haskalah and the Emergence of Zionism, University of Oxford https://www.academia.edu/6342169/The_Haskalah_and_the_Emergence_of_Zionism

[3] Center for Israel Education: Jewish Colonial Trust Is Incorporated in London, https://israeled.org/jewish-colonial-trust/

[4] Theodor Herzl: The Jewish State, http://zionism-israel.com/js/Jewish_State_7.html

[5] With his 1967 article ‘Israël, fait colonial’ (Israel, a colonial fact), Rodinson is commonly credited as the first contemporary ‘Western’ scholar to have re-placed Zionism/Israel within its colonial, and more specifically settler colonial, context. The original French article first appeared in a special issue on the ‘Israeli-Arab conflict’ of Les Temps Modernes in June 1967. In 1973, it was published in English in book form under the title Israel: A Colonial-Settler State? All citations are from the 1973 English edition.

[6] Max Simon Nordau and Bentzion Netanyahu. “Address at the Second Congress,” Max Nordau to His People: A Summons and a Challenge. New York: Published for Nordau Zionist society by Scopus publishing company, inc., 1941. 73.

[7] Joshua Umland Max Nordau and the Making of Racial Zionism By History and Jewish Studies Departmental Undergraduate Honors Thesis University of Colorado at Boulder April 5, 2013

[8] José María Aznar, Former Prime Minister of Spain (1996-2004). Israel: A Vital Asset Of The West

[10] https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/are-jews-a-nation-or-a-religion

[11] Cynthia Astle Archaeological Evidence About the Biblical Story of Abraham 2018

[12] Joshua J. Mark: Amorites Ancient History Encyclopedia 28 April 2011, https://www.ancient.eu/amorite/

[13] Kriwaczek, P. Babylon. St. Martin's Griffin,163-164 2012

[14] Finkelstein Israel and Neil Asher Silberman, The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, 2001

[16] Philippe Bohstrom: Peoples of the Bible: The Legend of the Amorites, Haaretz Feb 06, 2017 https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-legend-of-the-amorites-1.5493696

[17] The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon March, 2017, https://www.Ancient-Origins.Net/Human-Origins-Religions/Sumerian-Seven-Top-Ranking-Gods-Sumerian-Pantheon-007787

[18] Daily History Org.: How did Monotheism Develop? https://dailyhistory.org/How_did_Monotheism_Develop%3F

[19] Robert Luyster: Myth And History In The Book Of Exodus

[20] Rev. A. E. Whatham: The Yahweh-Tehom Myth, The Biblical World, Vol. 36, No. 5 (Nov., 1910), pp. 290 and 329-333

[21] Don Stewart: Why Did God Order the Destruction of the Canaanites? https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_1382.cfm

[22] Annals of Thutmoses III

[23] Roger Atwood: The Fiery End Of The Last Egyptian Colony

[25] Ibid

[26] Ibid

[29] Emil G. Hirsch, Bernhard Pick, Ira Maurice Price; Jehoram (Joram): http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8564-jehoram-joram

[30] N.S. Gill: Understanding the Philistines: An Overview and Definition, https://www.thoughtco.com/the-philistines-117390