Shlomo Sand and His Arab Admirers

The Israeli historian Shlomo Sand has attracted attention by resuscitating long-discredited theories about the supposedly non-Middle Eastern origins of the Jewish people and ostentatiously declaring that he himself has ceased to be a Jew. Much more interesting than his arguments are their sources, and the way they have been eagerly endorsed by Arab anti-Semites, as Shaul Bartal writes:

Sand’s ideas regarding race theory are borrowed from Nazi, Islamic, Arab, and Palestinian sources that claim to have scientifically proved that the Jews of today do not descend from ancient Israelite stock. One example is a book by the Islamic activist Hassan Bash, at-Tarbiya as-Sahyonia, Min Ansariyat at-Torah ila Damu’ya al-Ihtilal (“Zionist Education, from the Racism of the Torah to the Bloodletting of the Occupation”). . . . [In the Arab world,] Bash is considered a leading researcher of Zionist culture and Jewish religion and has written 32 books, most of which slander the Jewish religion, the Torah, and Christianity. . . .

The unique aspect of Sand’s book thus is not its content but rather its context. Sand’s innovation is that he, a Jewish professor of history from a leading “Zionist” university, step-by-step, in beautifully phrased Hebrew, justifies and approves all the Palestinian historical claims. It is no surprise that The Invention of the Jewish People became a major best-seller in the Arab world and is treasured by Palestinians.

Read more at Middle East Quarterly

More about: Academia, Anti-Zionism, Arab anti-Semitism, Khazars, Racism, Shlomo Sand

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy