On 13 November 2009, Simon Schama, in the Financial Times, reviewed The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand.
Among the points made by Schama:
1. Sand’s book is directed against those who assume "that all Jews are descended lineally from the single racial stock of ancient Hebrews – a position no one who has thought for a minute about the history of the Jews would dream of taking."
2. Sand refers to the Khazars, the central Asian kingdom which, around the 10th century, converted to Judaism.
3. Sand relates that, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Jewish historians wrote about a forced dispersion of the Jews from Israel.
Sand explains that there was no mass forced 'exile' so there can be no 'return'.
Schama writes that "it is a long time since any serious historian argued that following the destruction of the Second Temple, the Romans emptied Judea."
"Sand asserts, correctly, that an unknowable number of Jews remained in what the Romans called Palestina. The multitudes of Jews in Rome had already gone there, not as a response to disaster but because they wanted to and were busy proselytising.
"All this is true..."
4. Schama agrees that "the post-David kingdom of the 10th century BC may have been a pastoral warrior citadel..."
5. As well as Khazar Jews there are Ethiopian Jews and Indian Jews and others.
6. Sand suggests that a home for the Jews could have been in somewhere other than Palestine.
In haaretz.com/, 27 April 2008, Tom Segev wrote An invention called 'the Jewish people'
Segev tells us about historian Shlomo Zand (Sand) of Tel Aviv University.
Zand (Sand) has written "When and How Was the Jewish People Invented?" - published by Resling in Hebrew.
According to Zand (Sand):
1. There never was a Jewish people, only a Jewish religion.
2. The exile of the Jews never happened.
The Romans did not generally exile whole nations; most of the Jews were permitted to remain in the country; the number of those who left the country was at most tens of thousands.
3. Most of the Old Testament Bible stories about the Jewish people, including the exodus from Egypt and the conquest under Joshua, are fiction and myth.
4. When the Arabs conquered this area, many of the Jews converted to Islam.
The Palestinian Arabs probably have Jewish origins.
David Ben-Gurion, and others, believed this.
5. There are millions of Jews in the world.
In 1914, in Israel-Palestine, there were 731,000 Arabs but only 60,000 Jews. The Jews were only 7% of the population.
Why, in 1914, were most Jews living in places like Europe and America?
Zand says Jews emigrated from Israel of their own free will.
And many people, outside Israel-Palestine, converted to the Jewish religion.
According to Zand, the Jews in Spain were originally Arabs and Christians who converted to the Jewish religion.
People from the Khazar Kingdom in the Caucasus converted to the Jewish religion and became the first Jews of Ashkenaz (Germany).
6. Zand believes that Israel should be a "state of all its citizens" - Jews, Arabs and others.