Israel is at the centre of Western and Middle-Eastern politics. One of my “followers” (fellow heirs?) asked me whether there is a genetic basis to Jewishness. I wrote about this issue here.
Addendum (3 November 2011): Since the writing of this piece, one Israeli soldier held in captivity for five years by Hamas was exchanged for a thousand Palestinian prisoners, and more, who were held in Israeli prisons. Having added this, I won’t be writing a piece called ”The detention of Gilad Shalit: a thousand ”Palestinians” make one Jew.”
I’d like to examine a little more the question, What is a Jew?”. In his book “When and How the Jewish People Was Invented?”, the Tel Aviv University historian, Prof. Shlomo Sand, argues that the Jews living outside of Israel as well as most of the Jews living in Israel have not descended from the Judeans of the First and Second Temple period. The Jews of Europe (the Ashkenazis), of North Africa (the Sephardis) and the Jewish Yemenites are all descendants of non-Jews who converted in earlier centuries. Of special interest to me is, of…
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