Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

IDF on settler stone-throwers: You wouldn't expect us to shoot a Jew?

An IDF spokesman giving a radio interview casually admits  the army’s bias in treating settler pogromchiks and Palestinians protesters in diametrically different ways Gotta hand it to the IDF. We could never have high-lighted its apartheid policy better. Monday night, three days after the killing of Mustafa Tamimi – who was killed by a 40mm grenade to the face by a soldier sitting in an armored vehicle – several young settler hoodlums tried to forcibly cross the border to Jordan, in order to create an outpost there. Ha’Kol Hayehudi, Israel’s equivalent of Radio Rwanda, claimed their purpose was to remind us all that Jordan, too, is a part of Israel. Others said this was retaliation for Jordan’s participation in the crisis over a bridge near the Western Wall. Such an infiltration, if successful, could be considered to be a casus belli. The rioters managed to cross the security perimeter near the border, when surprised IDF troops managed to encircle them. At this point, an IDF Spokesman soldier told me last night, the brigade commander informed the rioters that “they won’t make it to Jordan tonight”, and that he was trying to convince them to go home. I asked whether this was a negotiation; The soldier preferred to term it ambiguously as “dialogue”. I asked why, come to think of it, they aren’t in cuffs already. He didn’t understand the question. I repeated it: After all, they are in a closed military zone and have attempted to penetrate the border. Why aren’t they in cuffs? We don’t do arrests, he said. That’s not our department. Speak to the police. I have seen with my own eyes people arrested and cuffed for the crime of entering a closed military zone. I have listened as a major explained patiently that the army has declared the entire village of Al Ma’asara such a zone. I have seen the detainees being hooded and forced into military vehicle. Somehow, when it comes to right wing rioters in the West Bank, that doesn’t happen. Hours later, some arrests were made – presumably the police showed up. Actually, we have some experience with IDF rules of engagement when it comes to unarmed demonstrators trying to cross a border. You just have to ask the Lebanese and Syrians, who overran the fences in the Golan Heights or attempted to get near the border with Lebanon, how the IDF treated them. A hint: The local brigade commander didn’t waste time on attempting “dialogue” with them. Another incident Monday took away most of the attention from the Jordanian border incident. A large number (some 300, we’re told) of yarmulke-wearing pogromchiks stoned Palestinian vehicles, stormed a military base, caused severe damage to equipment there, stoned a brigade commander and his XO – the stones were thrown into their command vehicle, no less – and managed to get away with it without any pogromchik being shot in the face by a gas grenade. Actually, the IDF only managed to detain one of them. When military reporter Carmela Menashe asked the IDF Spokesman, Brigadier Yoav Mordechai, this morning how the brigade commander would react of he was stoned by a Palestinian, Mordechai answered (Hebrew recording, circa 12:00) that “I assume, Carmela, that you wouldn’t expect the brigade commander to open fire on a Jew standing in front of him, I am certain you didn’t mean that.”

"A Jewish soldier supports the Jews": IDF guard post, West Bank (Photo: Yossi Gurvitz)

"A Jewish soldier supports the Jews": IDF guard post, West Bank (Photo: Yossi Gurvitz)

And there you have it. The IDF’s official spokesman defines the apartheid regime in the West Bank. There are stone-throwers who may be shot, and there are some, those of the Chosen People, who can’t be. Same offence, same region, different reaction. I wrote yesterday in my Hebrew blog that the IDF has metamorphosed into a gang of frightened gunmen, but the main problem is the cowardly officers leading them. Oh, they don’t lack for physical bravery; they’ll charge a machine gun nest without thinking twice (the fact that the IDF is familiar with only maneuver, the charge, is a problem for another post). But they have not a shred of civic courage. They know what damage the settlers can do to their careers. They know that gang of settlers can besiege their houses and intimidate their families. So they retreat, and let the enemies of Israel win; they turn the IDF into the SSA, the Settlers’ Service Army. For decades, the IDF repeatedly claimed that it is not a political entity, and that it does “choose its own missions.” Those arguments were used against conscientious objectors from the left. But, as we see, the IDF knows perfectly well how to choose its missions: Defending lands stolen by the settlers near Nabi Saleh, while shooting the demonstrators? Sure thing, it’s our pleasure. Defending Palestinians from “price tag” pogroms? Fuggetaboutit, we’re now the Czar’s police. Defending itself from Jewish rioters? “I assume, Carmela, that you wouldn’t expect the brigade commander to open fire at a Jew standing in front of him, I am certain you didn’t mean that.” We should thank the IDF Spokesman for his frankness. We should thank him for making it clear that, like the rabbis eating it from within, it reacts to events in accordance with the blood of the people involved. If someone still had a doubt whether serving in the Settlers’ Service Army might be immoral, consider it removed. And, to quote one of my readers: The IDF Spokesman should be viewed through the same lens Arafat’s speeches were viewed – that is, we should pay attention to what it says to its own public in Hebrew, not to what it says to the world in English.

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • COMMENTS

    1. aristeides

      This tells us what to think of the claim that the poor, frightened IDF boys fear for their lives and are only defending themselves against the deadly force of thrown stones. When Arabs are throwing them. Apparently Jewish-thrown stones are made out of styrofoam and the troops have no need to fear them.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      @Yossi: You wouldn’t expect the army to shoot its own, would you? After all, all of these pogromchiks are IDF veterans. They are part and parcel with the IDF (or SSA, as you put it).

      Reply to Comment
    3. aristeides

      I suppose the Jordanians wouldn’t hestitate to shoot a Jew. What would have happened if these infiltrators had crossed the Jordanian border and been shot by the Jordanian border troops? (As Israel does not hesitate to shoot infiltrating Arabs.)

      .
      Would the IDF troops have opened fire on the Jordanians? Would they have started a fighting war, just because they were too queasy to stop the infiltrators from their own side of the border? How many Jews (and of course Jordanians, whose lives don’t count) would have died because they were afriad to act?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Philos

      I looks like we’re finally marching down the path to civil war. And I don’t mean an organized US civil war type thing; I mean that this country is being turned into an awful bastard child of Columbia and Lebanon

      Reply to Comment
    5. aristeides

      Syria is just ahead of you.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Danny

      @Philos: Aside from being crazy loonies, these settlers are some of the world’s biggest cowards. They do what they do because they KNOW that the IDF will always save them from themselves. Had these shits been caught by Jordanian soldiers and given a ‘proper’ treatment (which they sorely deserve), I guarantee you their fake bravado would have been nowhere to be seen. They are all bark, no bite (they only bite because they know they will not be punished). In a real war, they would be pushovers.

      Reply to Comment
    7. JD

      apartheid policy, yarmulke-wearing pogromchiks, cowardly officers. IDF has metamorphosed into a gang of frightened gunmen, etc. etc.

      Seems this whole article is peppered with such colorful descriptions. What this land needs is more reason and less emotion. I understand that there is much frustration and the need to be ever alert to abuses by the military or its citizens. This is healthy. But lets look at some of the causes of the problem. Israel maintains a very large army whose most critical mission is to stand ready to safeguard Israel from military attacks by its neighbors. Israel does not have the luxury to be able to replace soldiers in many sensitive areas with specially trained professional police forces to deal with palestinians and settlers. The roles of soldier and policeman are not interchageable. Soldiers are trained to kill not pacify or arrest yet somehow that is the role they are frequently required to perform. This is a recipe for mistakes and abuses. Armies spend a great deal of effort instilling unit cohesion in soldiers so that they will be willing to sacrafice their lives for each other. This necessary ingredient in combat soldiers becomes a real obstacle to controlling and investigating suspected abuse. I do not believe that there is any other army in the world would perform better in this difficult role than the Israeli army, and most if not all would do much worse. Misconduct and abuse can not be tolerated and must be rooted out. At the same the vast majority of soldiers carry out this difficult mission selflessly and courageously and deserve respect and should not be painted with the same brush as those who have misbehaved. The emotional and exagerated rhetoric of this article and many of the comments posted serve only to expand the cracks in Israeli society and do little to sincerely address the issues. It is more helpful to seek reason and truth than division and superiority.

      Reply to Comment
    8. directrob

      @JD,
      “… the vast majority of soldiers carry out this difficult mission selflessly and courageously and deserve respect …”
      .
      Not so, you cannot ignore that the mission is occupation. “…the occupation is intrinsically oppressive and humiliating, no matter how nice you are as a person …” Read Vicky’s response to Philos.
      .
      http://972mag.com/on-small-humiliations-israeli-soldier-shoves-elderly-palestinian-woman/28829/

      Reply to Comment
    9. JD

      I believe all human life deserves respect, even ones enemies. To say that an Israeli soldier who engages in abuse and those who do not are fundamentally the same is a grave mistake. There were German and Japanese soldiers who engaged in attroicities and deserved to be punished. There were many who served their country when called like soldiers everywhere and did not engage in attrocities. I respect those soldiers many of whom were brave though misguided. If you had been born in one of those countries can you be sure you would not have served like them? Respect is irrelevant with those you agree with, it is with ones opponents and enemies that it is most transformative. If it is change you desire you may find that approaching an opponent with respect is more likely to provide the results you would like than approaching them with hostillity and derision. Blaming the soldiers for doing what their country asked them to do is myopic. Once one is free to determine who is worthy and who is unworthy of respect…..well that’s a slippery slope, do you eat meat? Smoke? Have a carbon footprint, have more money/possesions than you really need, etc. etc. Do you drink bottled water procurred from a third world country whose people are dying of thirst? Do you really know how your life may be killing someone somewhere? Believe me, a case could be made against each and every one of us and our species as a whole. Perhaps if we begin with respect we will learn to find solutions that won’t exclude anyone.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Darlene

      Why is anyone surprised that the settlers are moving into Jordan when Israeli textbooks have always shown Jordan as part of the Zionist homeland? Zionism encourages this chauvinism and Jewish supremacy, and the “Greater Israel” has always been the plan. When will serious coverage be given to the Zionist propaganda machine that feeds Christian Zionism in the US? Why is David Brog of Christians United for Israel off limits? How hilarious that a Jew is the executive director of a “Christian” organization that funds the settlers?

      Reply to Comment
    11. Ben Israel

      I have posted this before, but just to remind you of what the police and IDF think about settlers, watch what they did at Amona. They would never deal with your friends at the Silwan or Sheikh Jarrah demonstrations like this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMtltu16pGk&feature=related

      Reply to Comment
    12. Ben Israel

      Darlene-
      Of course the territory that is now Jordan was part of the Jewish kingdoms in the past. Just like the Palestinians now claim Tel Aviv and many are talking about taking Andalusia (Spain) back.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Darlene

      Ben Israel, “Jewish kingdoms”? Where is the archaeology? The entire conflict is based on chauvinistic myth that makes Zionism the laughing stock of the informed world.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Ben Israel

      Darlene-Sebastia (Shomron), Megiddo, Gezer, Hatzor and other places have been extensivelly excavated by non-Jewish archeologists and major finds from the time of the Jewish Kingdoms were found.
      Are you denying that Jews lived and had kingdoms in Biblical times in the country?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Darlene

      Ben Israel, I personally believe that people should learn how to live TOGETHER in peace. You know, progressing instead of going backward into tribal warfare which Zionism embraces.

      Reply to Comment
    16. JD, do you have a better term than apartheid for a system which tries people living in the same region in two different court systems? Which has now admitted it uses different categories of force, according to blood? Which gives some people the full protection of the law and full civil rights, and denies the most basic of those rights to others – on the basis of blood? You argue whether Israel proper is an apartheid state (I’d say it is, but that it’s at the regulation level, not the law level), but the West Bank? Nothing to argue about.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Ben Israel

      Darlene-
      Zionism is tribalistic? What about the wave of Islamic parties sweeping the elections in the new “democratic” Arab Middle East?
      Anyway, what’s wrong with being “tribalistic”? Almost everyone in the world is tribalistic to a lesser or greater extent? Why do you think Belgium is breaking up? Why do you think the UK underwent devolution? Why did Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and the USSR break up?
      You will see also the EU and its chronic crisis will reignite nationalism in Western Europe as well as the Greeks will resent the Germans telling them what to do and the Germans will resent having to bail out the “stupid, lazy” (as they see it) Greeks.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Danny

      @Ben Israel: I recommend to you to pick up Shlomo Zand’s book about the Jewish people and the myths that are the basis of the Zionist ideology. I’ll sum it up for you: What are known as the “Jewish people” are no more than progeny of converted peoples (Khazars in Europe, Berbers in Africa) who migrated from one region to another over several hundred years, before landing in Palestine (now Israel). These people are not true descendants of the ancient Israelites, but rather spiritual guardians of elements of their faith. Zand contends (and I tend to agree with his argument) that the true descendants of the Israelites are in fact the Palestinians, who were converted to Islam when the Arabs invaded the country (Salah a Din). So, in a cruel irony, it is them (and not really us) to whom the land belongs. Speaking as a Jew of European ancestry, I recognize Israel as a mythological place that has always been central to the Jewish faith, but in practical terms, my real ancestors are buried in the cold earth of Russia and Poland (and I suspects that that is the case for yours as well).

      Reply to Comment
    19. Mitchell Cohen

      The “Khazar Theory” was disgraced ages ago. I can’t believe you aren’t even embarrassed to make an argument based on it.

      Reply to Comment
    20. directrob

      @JD, There is a difference but nonetheless ( and yes I know it is myopic, because the driver is following government orders ) I can never ever respect someone for driving or protecting the skunk car through Nabi Saleh. I could respect him or her for a lot of things but not for taking on the difficult mission of selflessly and courageously spraying skunk.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Danny

      Zand is a respected, internationally-recognized historian. The only ones who have continually been disgraced over the years are the Zionists and their false ideology.

      Reply to Comment
    22. For JD who posted on Dec. 14
      and who wrote: “I believe all human life deserves respect”
      I agree with you, JD, and thank you for your thoughtful words. I also believe that we must treat all of us the same or there won’t be anyone left to treat. I don’t care what name you use for God, because it is all the same in any language, any religion. What is it going to take to wake us up?

      Reply to Comment
    23. Danny

      Just as an example of the pathetic nature of Zionist propaganda, consider the recent U.N. speech by Netanyahu in which he gave as an example of his people’s supposed ties to the land his own name (Netanyahu) and how there is a seemingly biblical link between himself and the seal that rests in his office that bears his ‘name’. What this pathetic liar failed to mention is that Netanyahu is not his real name (it is in fact Mileikowsky), and that he is no more a Netanyahu than you and I.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Mitchell Cohen

      Zand’s book has been taken down like a house of cards. DNA/Genetic studies have proven quite the opposite of what Zand claims.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Danny

      Zand addresses the DNA/genetic “studies” in his book and shows that they are politically-motivated and their results are false. I’m no genetic expert, but if you ask me, pale-skinned people who are prone to skin cancer in hot/sunny climates are not exactly native to said climates. Wouldn’t you agree?

      Reply to Comment
    26. JD

      I think it is sad to read so many posts that focus on whether one group or the other has legitmacy. Israel is a fact, whether you believe they came from the moon or whatever they exist now and have been recognized by the world as a nation. Whether the Palestinians are a legitmate people with an ancient history or not is equally irrelevant, they also exist now and have been recognized by the world. All this contentious bickering and positioning only distract from these realities and offer no promise of peacful coexistence between these two peoples, neither of which is going away. Until both sides are willing to put away these silly arguments and accept reality no progress can be made. Those who engage in disrespecting and ridiculing the other side are the problem not the solution.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Jon

      Bravo, JD!
      I would love to have discussions here on +972 which would *filter out* all of the posts which question the other side’s right to exist. They add nothing to the discussion.

      (Topic for a *separate thread*: what use is it for people to always make the claims? Merely to intimidate the other side? ha!)

      Reply to Comment
    28. Danny

      JD, I couldn’t agree more. The reason I bring up this topic is because the theory of “the Palestinians are not a real people, and hence they do not deserve an inch of the land” is gaining in popularity (one Newt Gingrich has recently brought it to the fore). I am trying to show how ridiculous and divorced from reality this line of reasoning is. I fully agree that both peoples are here to stay. I only hope the next U.S. president thinks so as well.

      Reply to Comment
    29. Piotr Berman

      From my amateur history knowledge, Yemenite Jews are definitely descendants of converted Arabs and Khazars are “accounted for”: there exists a small group of Karaites who have a form of Jewish religion and a Turkic dialect, while relating Ashkenazi to Khazars and Goths does not make sense. I never read about Sephardim and Berber. In any case, JD properly noted that it is not particularly relevant. Perhaps in a thread on Gingrich’s newest discovery.

      Given full benefit on the doubt to Jews, what kind of historical roots justify impunity when they attack Palestinians and IDF soldiers? Wotan? Zeus (many heroes descend from dalliances of the immortals)?

      More to the point, who arrested Jonathan Pollack? I though that IDF did it.

      Reply to Comment
    30. JD

      Jon-Danny-Piotr, you are all lights in a dark and empty void. Geneticists tell us that we are all the decendants of a single mother in Africa. Thats all I need to know. This reality unites us all, yet we remain divided by artificial perceptions. Technology is begining to tear down borders and bring us all closer together. This will lead to both progress and pain but we are evolving, the way forward is to be found in mutual respect and unity.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Volodinjev

      Danny,

      How is your racism in any way conducive to peace in the Middle East?

      Reply to Comment
    32. Ben Israel

      A person who converts to Judaism, is a full Jew period and becomes a “spiritual decendent” Of Avraham Avinu and the Jewish kingdoms. It is odd that “progressives” like Sand suddenly base their theories on things like “racial purity”.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Jan

      I am waiting for the day when the Israeli settler criminals are treated in the same way as Israel treats the Palestinians. Bulldoze their homes and put them away for years without trial.
      But, hey, the settlers are part of the “chosen people” and there must be a different standard for these people. The “chosen people” can do whatever they want and there is no penalty to pay. But some day there will.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Piotr Berman

      “Anyway, what’s wrong with being “tribalistic”? Almost everyone in the world is tribalistic to a lesser or greater extent? Why do you think Belgium is breaking up? Why do you think the UK underwent devolution? Why did Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and the USSR break up?”

      Indeed, most states are “tribalistic”, the question is to what extend? On practical level, to what extend the ruling tribe may screw up the minorities, and to what extend it should not?

      In Europe the idea is to balance local tribal impulses with a continental framework of human rights. There is definitely a tension here, and superposition of “tribal”, national and European rules may lead to strange effects, like Scottish students paying no tuition in their universities while English have to pay there, but other EU citizens — not. However, English born in Scotland have the same rights as other inhabitants of Scotland, they are not even required to learn Scot.

      Poles in Lithuania have to learn Lithuanian and, a separate grievance, are not allowed to spell their names in Polish, a particular acrimony concerns letter W that Poles cherish and Lithuanians hate. I think that nowadays Netanyahu would be spelled Milevicius.

      But setting property rights according to ethnic or whatever background would raise three-brigade alarm.

      Imagine rulers of Iran developing plans how to expel Beluchis from their settlements and “Shiatize” the eastern reaches of Sistan e Beluchistan province. “Mullahs” who rule in Iran are not THAT crazy.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Ben Israel

      Danny-
      Your knowledge of history is extremely flawed, and so is your acceptance of Sand’s discredited theory. You say that the Jews of Eretz Israel converted in the wake of the Arabic conquest of the country and then you added in parenthesis “Salah ad-Din”.
      First of all Salah ad-Din was not an Arab, he was a Kurd. Secondly, he lived over FIVE HUNDRED YEARS after the Arab conquest. Eretz Israel was conquered by Omar ib-Kattab (sp?) who was one of the “rightly guided Caliphs”.
      I suggest you start studying real history.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Piotr Berman

      While I would disagree with Danny on Khazar question, I would be soft of Salah-ed-Din. He was no more a Kurdish ruler than Henry VIII was a Welch ruler. Definitely large proportion of the population of Palestine at the time of initial Arab conquest was Jewish, or more precisely, Jewish and Samaritans. Samaritans were less peripatetic than Jews (sons of Judah) and almost all of them converted to Islam with different groups converting at different times, some as late as 19th century. And surely Jews were not immune to the lures of conversion either. I am not positive, but Muslim system of encouraging conversions was based on taxes and the transfer of property to a converted family member, and these measures were much more effective in the case of farmers than town dwellers.

      So while I would not put a large moral value on antique heritage, it is not clear to me why Samaritan heritage pertains to Jews. While Samaritan and Jewish religions are similar, a lot of passages in Jewish Bible is specifically disparaging the religion of (kingdom of) Israel, and Israel of course did not recognize any special role of the Temple in Jerusalem.

      Sure, archaeological discoveries in Sebastia are very interesting, they seem to confirm that the religion of Israel was as syncretic as the authors of Jewish bible accused them to be. In what way is it Jewish heritage?

      Reply to Comment
    37. Ben Israel

      If you are right, Piotr, then the Muslims managed, through threats and coercion to force Jews in Eretz Israel to convert to Islam, just like they did to millions of Hindus in India and to others in other places. The Christians (who are asserted by everyone to be less “tolerant” than Muslims) did NOT convert large numbers of Jews to Christianity during their 3 centuries of rule before Islamic imperialism conquered the area. Thus, Jews who insist on staying loyal to their ancient faith are viewed as being “narrow” or “Parochial” and thus lose their historical rights in Eretz Israel. Spain is rightly criticized for its forced conversion of Jews in 1492, how come its okay for Islam to have pretty much done the same in its time through its ruinous dhimmi regulations and onerous jizya tax?

      Reply to Comment
    38. Elisabeth

      Perhaps it is less of a step to convert from Judaism to Islam than from Judaism to Christianity. Islam has many things in agreement with Judaism (circumcision, food laws, cleansing rituals) and lacks some dogmas that must be ridiculous or abhorrent to Jews (a man being God, resurrection of a dead body). With the long history of dogmatic hostility between Christians and Jews, conversion to Islam may have felt as less of a betrayal?

      Reply to Comment
    39. Mitchell Cohen

      @Danny, even Arthur Koestler, one of the main proponents of the Khazar Theory admitted he endorsed it to shield fellow Jews from anti-semitism. If anything, the “Thirteenth Tribe” theory was politically motivated. Interestingly enough, I find it humorous that when it suits our adversaries interests, we are the “real Jews” (killed Christ, stole Jewelry from the Egyptians, wrote the “vile and racist” Talmud), but when it suits their interests, we are the “fake Jews” (no connection to Palestine, blah blah blah)….

      Reply to Comment
    40. Elisabeth

      There is more than Shlomo Sand’s book.

      http://www.bol.com/nl/p/engelse-boeken/the-origin-of-ashkenazi-jewry/1001004011163291/index.html

      Van Straten agees with him on some points, not on others (according to him the contribution of the Khazars is heavily overestimated). He draws heavily on DNA research especially the work of Avshalom Zoossmann Diskin. His conclusion is that Jews are usually genetically related to the people of the region in which they live. Intermarriage and especially conversion were much more common than people nowadays think.

      Reply to Comment
    41. Mitchell Cohen

      “His conclusion is that Jews are usually genetically related to the people of the region in which they live.” [End of Elisabeth] The above is refuted by the following:

      http://www.springerlink.com/content/357176p177623m41/

      Reply to Comment
    42. aristeides

      It’s far more likely that the majority of the inhabitants of Judea converted to Christianity under the Byzantines, then to Islam.

      Reply to Comment
    43. Elisabeth

      Aristeides, you are probably right.

      Reply to Comment
    44. Mitchell

      Mitchell, maybe you really should read Van Straten. He quotes a paper by Diskin, which points out that the Cohen Modal Haplotype is one of the most common among Iraki Kurds, Italians from the mid and south of Italy, as well as Hungarians. It is in no way unique to Kohaniem or even Jews. Things are just not that simple.
      Zoossmann-Diskin, A. 2000 “Are today’s Jewish priests descended from the old ones?” HOMO 51 156-162

      (And by the way HOMO refers to ‘homo sapiens’in case you were wondering…)

      Reply to Comment
    45. Elisabeth

      Oops, the above comment is mine, but adressed to Mitchell.

      Reply to Comment
    46. Cortez

      “It’s far more likely that the majority of the inhabitants of Judea converted to Christianity under the Byzantines, then to Islam.”
      .
      This is has also been proven genetically as well, corroborating the more factual (and less ideological) accounts of South Levant’s history: http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6769.full#FN152

      Reply to Comment
    47. directrob

      The problem with anything touching the history of Israel and the Jews is that it is almost impossible to find unbiased reliable resources. Your source, Cortez, also looks a bit suspect to me.
      .
      “Jewish religion and culture can be traced back to Semitic tribes that lived in the Middle East approximately 4,000 years ago …”
      .
      This text (and what follows) does not belong in a scientific article. It makes me think that the scientist wanted to prove something. It could have influenced them (unknowingly) to ignore part of the evidence or not to double check things. I would trust the Zoossman-Diskin article more ( http://www.biology-direct.com/content/5/1/57 ).
      .
      That being said, apart from scientific curiosity, why on earth should it be important. We live in the now and we better live together in peace.

      Reply to Comment
    48. Cortez

      “This text (and what follows) does not belong in a scientific article. It makes me think that the scientist wanted to prove something. It could have influenced them (unknowingly) to ignore part of the evidence or not to double check things. I would trust the Zoossman-Diskin article more ( http://www.biology-direct.com/content/5/1/57
      .
      And that is different from this “Where did these Jews come from? It seems that they came to Germany and France from Italy [5-8]. It is also possible that some Jews migrated northward from the Italian colonies on the northern shore of the Black Sea [9]. All these Jews are likely the descendants of proselytes. Conversion to Judaism was common in Rome in the first centuries BC and AD. Judaism gained many followers among all ranks of Roman Society [10-13].”?
      .
      Interestingly enough….I think both articles are fine as is. Just as carbon dating and archaeology show that King David didn’t exist, genetics can also show that people are more connected or more diverse than they really think they are.
      .
      “Jewish religion and culture can be traced back to Semitic tribes that lived in the Middle East approximately 4,000 years ago …”
      .
      what is problematic about that if its true?
      .
      She’s trying to connect history to genetics…and along the way she finds out that Palestinians are also “Jews” too.
      .
      I think history can help illuminate certain things. I don’t think its necessarily important but can help inform and guide. I think it would be a big deal in Israel if people also admitted their shared genetical, cultural and ethnic origins too.

      Reply to Comment
    49. directrob

      It simply not scientific to write it in an article about genetics that Jewish religion and culture goes back 4000 years. How can one believe the rest that is written given the complexity of the interpretation of results?
      .
      See for example this (mostly about europeans): http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2009/08/refinement-of-ancestry-informative.html

      Reply to Comment
    50. Cortez

      “It simply not scientific to write it in an article about genetics that Jewish religion and culture goes back 4000 years. How can one believe the rest that is written given the complexity of the interpretation of results?”
      .
      How so? If a scientific article is trying to corroborate genetics to historical culture or location, it will of course have to make assertions related to that. Or in the reverse a historical assertion might be supported by genetic evidence to place individuals, people, or ethnicity in an area.
      .
      What makes the results doubtful if the evidence shows a linkage?
      .
      The study you show corroborates similar historical evidence as well but by looking to different DNA markers. In fact, I think the studies can be put together to a reveal a more complex…but truthful future.
      .
      …Part of an old ethnoreligious group…migrates around europe, the middle east and north africa among other areas…in certain part its mixes with the local population to varying extents…in other parts it adds many converts…along the way it also loses many people through conversion or assimilation to other ethnoreligious groups…but the core genetics along with religion and culture in a mutated form are still present in the modern day. This is horribly simplistic but I think thats what both studies reflect.

      Reply to Comment
    51. Click here to load previous comments

    LEAVE A COMMENT

    Name (Required)
    Mail (Required)
    Website
    Free text

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel