One of the more prevalent and pernicious allegations against the legitimacy of Zionism and the existence of a sovereign Jewish state in the Land of Israel is that, it is argued, they are rooted in European colonialism, making the existence of a Jewish state anywhere in the Middle Eastillegitimate.
(I addressed the falsehood behind this allegation at length in an earlier post.)
It seems that this viewpoint is shared by many of Israel’s Arab citizens, and so long as this myth is not dispelled a just solution to the conflict is unlikely to be found.
A recent article in the Jerusalem Post highlighted this trend amongst Israel’s Arab population.
The article goes on to say that:
Over 62 percent of the Arab citizens of Israel believe Jews are a foreign imprint on the Middle East and are destined to be replaced by Palestinians, and a similar proportion believe that Israel has no right to exist as a Jewish state, according to a nationwide survey scheduled for release on Sunday.
The 2010 Arab Jewish Relations Survey, compiled by Prof. Sami Smoocha in collaboration with the Jewish-Arab Center at the University of Haifa, presents what its authors describe as a worrying decline in relations between Jews and Arabs in Israel over the past decade.
So, who are Palestine’s indigenous people? Are Zionists truly a foreign implant in the Middle East, in general, and the Land of Israel, in particular?
Below is an in-depth news report investigating the likelihood that a high percentage of the Arab population living in the Land of Israel today is genetically Hebrew in origin.
For more background about Tzvi M’Sinai’s “The Engagement” project and the ideas which serve as its foundation, see here.
A recent study entitled Abraham’s Children in the Genome Era carried out by geneticists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine was published in the The American Journal of Human Genetics. (A few of the many articles about this study can be found here, here andhere.)
The study looked at the genetic material of people whose origins lay in seven different Jewish communities: Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek and Ashkenazi Jewries. Researchers compared these groups’ genetic markers to those of other Jewish groups and to those of the local non-Jewish populations.
Among the most significant findings of the study can be summed up as:
Jewish populations… have retained their genetic coherence just as they have retained their cultural and religious traditions, despite migrations from the Middle East into Europe, North Africa, and beyond over the centuries, says geneticist Harry Ostrer of NYU Langone Medical Center, who led the study. Each Diaspora group has distinctive genetic features “representative of each group’s genetic history,” he says, but each also “shares a set of common genetic threads” dating back to their common origin in the Middle East.
The Jewish people are a distinct Middle Eastern people, as has been proven both historically and now scientifically.
Any solution to the conflict that is not based upon ensuring the rights of the Middle Eastern peoples of the region – the Jewish people included – is unjust and will not bring about a lasting peace.