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Jews are indigenous to Israel and a rabbi should know it, scholar says

July 20, 2020

Statements denying Jewish roots to Israel are a phenomenon directly related to undermining the legitimacy of Israel as the Jewish homeland, according to Ilan Troen, emeritus professor of Modern History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and of Israel Studies at Brandeis University in Waltham/Boston, Massachusetts. “The issue is both historical and political,” Troen said. “For a long time there was very little doubt on whether the Jews were indigenous here. The concept started to be questioned by the Arab anti-Zionist community.” Indeed, in the past few decades, several efforts have been made to disconnect the Jews of the past from those of the present - all for the purpose of delegitimizing the existence of Israel.

 

Last week, a junior rabbi at the leading Reform congregation Temple Emanu-El in New York sparked a storm on social media after stating that Jews are not indigenous to the land of Israel.“Let me say this as plainly as possible: Jews are not an indigenous people,” Rabbi Andy Khan wrote on Twitter. “It is appropriative to make use of this word when referring to our relationship to the land of Israel, and it undermines the difficult work being done to fix the ongoing oppression of indigenous peoples.” Read more...

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