Shlomo Sand’s sickening Guardian article slams both Israel and Judaism.


Cross-posted at CiFWatch.

There are times when something is so obviously wrong that it shouldn’t even need pointing out. That the Guardian thinks there is no problem promoting someone who wants to “resign” from Judaism shows how little respect its editors have for Judaism.

Last Saturday the Guardian allowed Shlomo Sand, a Tel Aviv university professor, to write a lengthy piece in its pages about how he has had enough of being Jewish (see above).

Sand is relatively unknown in the UK. This might be a news story in Israel, but in the UK? In the UK it isn’t news, but will only incite anti-Semitism. The Guardian wouldn’t dare treat another religious minority in such a demeaning manner.

Sand writes in his article:

“I am often even ashamed of Israel, particularly when I witness evidence of its cruel military colonisation, with its weak and defenceless victims who are not part of the “chosen people”.”

How can this often repeated “chosen people” mantra be anything but anti-Semitism? I have personally been on the receiving end of it. The RMT’s Steve Hedley, disliking my questioning of his violent rhetoric at an anti-Israel event, told me in a derogatory manner that I was one of the “chosen people”. He meant Jewish.

When, in the Guardian article, Sand complains of Israel’s “ethnocentrism” he is really complaining about Israel’s Jewishness. Would the Guardian allow another country to be attacked because it is Islamic, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist?

For the Guardian it is par for the course to have articles containing unsubstantiated attacks on Israel. It has become so blase about this that the Guardian’s editors are now unable, or unwilling, to notice when their newspaper steps over the line into promoting racist diatribe that attacks Jews and Judaism.

Meanwhile, Sand’s crackpot theory is simple: He believes that today’s Jews have no connection to Israel because the Romans never evicted the Jews from the Holy Land and, therefore, the Jews have no right to return there. It was early Zionist thinkers who twisted the facts to argue that Jews be allowed to return to Israel. Sand claims that today’s Jews are merely descended from a north African tribe that converted to Judaism.

Last year at SOAS Sand described Israel, among other things, as “a shitty nation”.

Sand’s overall rhetoric is poisonous and racist and could cause a backlash against Britain’s small Jewish community with its strong affiliation to Israel and obvious adherence to Judaism.

On reading the headline to Sand’s piece in the Guardian Shlomo Sand: ‘I wish to resign from being a Jew’ I thought of those times a Jew might have wished to resign from being Jewish. As Jews were being herded by the Nazis onto trains headed for Auschwitz-Birkenau some may have liked to declare “I wish to resign from being a Jew” to try and save their own and their family’s lives.

Had Sand been around back then and submitted his resignation to the Nazi in charge of the Jew-herding he would have been mocked before being sent on his way to Auschwitz.

This may be a game to the Guardian and Sand but publishing this article was crass and on a par with writings at the extreme ends of the political spectrum.

62 responses to “Shlomo Sand’s sickening Guardian article slams both Israel and Judaism.

  1. So, like the Muslims who want Sharia law in the UK, if he can’t stand the bloody Jews in Israel, leave and go to a country which also hates Jews. What a piece of filth he is, taking a salary from Israel, then telling the world how awful it is.Can we swop him for one of the Islamic State hostages?

  2. Nothing better to expect from this moral moron and overblown academic leftie.

    • He is also historically illiterate.

      • Goes without saying! He never was a historian anyway.

      • No, the request they made to the Ministry of the Interior as not being listed as Jewish by religion. Israeli birth, marriage and death certificates list “dat” = religion and “leom” a word that is hard to translation but probably the closest is “national affiliation” because it never lists as “Israeli” but as “Jewish”, although for non-Jews who are Israeli the section is left blank, while for foreign nationals the actual nationality is given. I know because I translate certificates of this kind at least once or twice a week. The person concerned asked for religion to be left blank, while “leom” was left as “Jewish”.

      • Duly noted, thanks!

  3. I have a lot of respect for Shlomo Sand. He is a brilliant researcher and has written two important books exposing Jewish mythomania.

    • richardmillett


    • Your pseudo is Elmer Fudd!

      • Brian Goldfarb

        Elmo, just because Sand is able to ignore all the DNA evidence linking contemporary Jews with peoples of the Middle East 3000 years ago (to say nothing of Cohanim to a single male, also 3000 years ago) and is also able to ignore all the archaeological evidence of Jews in the land for those same 3000 years doesn’t make him right, just stupid.

        Clearly, Elmo, you are applying for membership of the same club.

        The entry test should be a breeze.

      • Nothing stupid about it. Take homeopathy, it doesn’t matter that there is masses of scientific evidence (I have read at least one Ph.D. on the subject) there are still people who INSIST it is more than just a placebo.

      • Brian Goldfarb

        re Josephine 2 comments down. yes, it’s sad isn’t it, how blind (not to repeat, stupid) it is.


        Pity about the ignoring of the evidence and science. Just shows how deep the meme of the conspiracy theory has gone in what should be sane, logical societies.

  4. Why is all this scum like Ilan Pappé, Avi Shlaim and now Shlomo Sand employed, past or present, as lecturers at Israeli universities? Are the universities determined for them to poison young minds? And now British universities are welcoming them with open arms. If Shlomo Sand doesn’t want to be a Jew, I’m sure that’s fine by us Jews!

    • Isn’t the scum Pappé ’employed’ at Exeter?

      • Brian Goldfarb

        Sadly, yes. Just shows that there’s a platform for idiots anywhere, if they (the idiots) try hard enough. They’ll always find other anti-intellectual iidiots to support them, and even grant them tenure.

        Gives the academy a bad name.

  5. To Elmo: what is Jewish mythomania exactly? Can you explain yourself?

  6. Sand is a vicious antisemite and should have been banned from entering the UK. like Dieudonne.

  7. This is the complementary attitude to the fundamentalist religious attitude that the World has gone to pot for not being medievally theological and misogynistic enough, only Sands and Pappe think Israel is not deep enough into The Enlightenment.
    There are more than a few myths in all other countries’ primary school and tub thumping History “cartoon strips” inclusive of over a thousand years religious metaphors and bigotries even when being quite modern and secular for the trade or profession.
    Sands has been corseted in a lapsed practice Jewish identity by having grown up and lived in Israel. He will find if lives long enough in Diaspora the ambient Christianity will niggle him eventually as people take it for granted as part of their wallpaper and coats but he does not.
    As a History student I and my contemporaries who were for the most part modernists were niggled by having to do a certain amount of medieval in our first and second years but ever since I have had reason to be grateful as certain aspects of human behaviour turn up in all ages and certain events in the bedrock psychology of nations are laid down at the beginning even as with individuals and can be easily missed by modernists – especially if dismissed as myth – because after all metaphor alias the entire business of novels is the easy way into most people’s minds.

  8. Bruce Rosenberg

    Could one even imagine that the Comrade Guardian would ever publish an article from a Muslim saying why he/she didn’t want to be a Muslim?

  9. Thanks for this report. The Guardian would not dream “of treating another minority religion this way” as you said Richard. How do they get a way with it !!! Because few Jews get worked up enough to protest against slander like this even though it incites people to hate them!. They prefer to remain silent in the hope it will go away. Why haven’t we learnt for history ..Prof Irwin Cotler former Canadian Justice Minister (Jerusalem Post 28th September) starkly said “the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers –it began with words” . Please respond to “The Guardian” directly with a few words – less is more – as long as they know many object to this outrage incitement of hatred. Because if “we are not for ourselves who will be for us”

  10. Sand has turned anti-Zionist, but he remains rational and is not in emotional spleen.

    • Anti-Zionist means antisemitic. As that is irrational for a Jew to wish Jews to be deprived of one right, it may seem logical that someone who is antisemitic asks to be recognised as an non-Jew.
      On the other hand, Sand has a long history of irrationality. The Khazar legend has been debunked many times, genetics proved the Middle Eastern origin of the Jews in a vast majority, and linguistics alone was enough to prove that Khazar influence was minimal on the Jewish Ashkenazi community without even looking further into hard science.

      His behavior is totally rational, provided you admit his basic insanity. As are most psychos: it is not their rationality that cause the problem but the base of their insanity from which they very logically derive their behavior.
      If one thinks Jews are demons, it may seem very logical to try to kill as many as one can. The problem is accepting uncritically that demonisation, not the logic that follows.
      Sand is insane, belongs to an asylum. That said, who would prevent him from leaving the tribe? It can only be good for Jews: Arabs will perhaps cease to use him as a Jew-washing useful idiot and he will become a useless one.

    • Since his entire illiterate ‘thesis’ is based on emotional hatred, your statement makes nil sense.

  11. There is also the problem that The Grauniad and others similar, will not print letters against its line except as an excuse to print one and a column full of anti – Zionist nonsense.

    • Anti-Zionist … hmmm … is that how you spell antisemitic?

      • One can be antisemitic without being anti-Zionist. The reverse isn’t true.

      • Just be very careful about conflating anti-Zionist and Antisemitic as though frequently there is not a cigarette paper between them in the minds of the Brezhnevs and David Dukes of the World, sometimes there is a decided difference. As Crossman who did become most pro-Zionist noted: a distaste for Antisemitism [in the name of Enlightenment equalities etc] is not necessarily philosemitism; and I have heard a very similar explanation from John Mann MP.

      • These are Sand’s Publications from the Wikipedia site of his name. He is obviously an authority on the authoritarian ideologies of the 20th century and so tends to see much through the filter of the questionable doctrine of social Darwinism justifying on shallow “evidence” authoritarianism in which the who are ins and outs is decided on fairly feeble and arbitrary differences. The problem is he – like Dawkins -has not gone too deeply into what makes religion tick in people’s minds and illustrates the modern problem of being too narrow in one’s academic field without having done some broad background reading. It is the old joke about the difference between a corporal and colonel: A corporal learns more and more about less and less till he knows everything about nothing; and a colonel learns less and less about more and more till he knows nothing about everything.

        L’Illusion du politique: Georges Sorel et le débat intellectuel 1900, Paris, La Découverte, 1984
        Georges Sorel en son temps, with Jacques Julliard (eds), Paris, Seuil, 1985
        Intellectuals, Truth and Power: From the Dreyfus Affair to the Gulf War, Tel Aviv, Am Oved, 2000 (in Hebrew)
        Le XXe siècle à l’ écran, Paris, Seuil, 2004 — also as Film as History – Imagining and Screening the Twentieth Century, Tel Aviv, Am Oved & Open University Press, 2002 (in Hebrew)
        Cinema and Memory – A Dangerous Relationship?, with Haim Bresheeth & Moshe Zimmerman (eds), Jerusalem, The Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2004 (in Hebrew)
        Historians, Time and Imagination, From the “Annales” School to the Postzionist Assassin, Tel Aviv, Am Oved, 2004 (in Hebrew)
        Les Mots et la terre – Les intellectuels en Israël, Paris, Fayard, 2006—Also as The Words and the Land: Israeli Intellectuals and the Nationalist Myth, trans. Ames Hodge, Cambridge, Semiotext(e)/Active Agents, 2011.
        The Invention of the Jewish People, Tel Aviv, Resling, 2008 (in Hebrew) — also as Comment le peuple juif fut inventé – De la Bible au sionisme, Paris, Fayard, 2008, and The Invention of the Jewish People, New York, Verso 2009.
        The Invention of the Land of Israel, Tel Aviv, Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir, 2012 (in Hebrew). Published in English translation by Verso (2012).
        How I Ceased to Be a Jew, Tel Aviv, Kinneret Zamora Pavilion, 2013 (in Hebrew)

      • I am sickened to see how many publishers rush to publish Sand’s rubbish, when books written sane people are rejected. Of course Verso welcomed him with open arms, it is owned by Tariq Ali, who is rich beyond the dreams of avarice through his Pakistani parents and has written and published extensively all sorts of anti-semitic rubbish.

      • Even before the latest two works taken up by that feudal Whig pomposity TA Sand’s other work is esoteric and unknown outside the left analysis cinematic niche and studies of the the French Right (Sorel). Verso of course like Galloway Chomsky and RT and several others will of course jump on any bandwagon about difficulties in Western developed states and promote conspiracy theories; but the publisher is almost a hechsher and so a warning about the contents for readers to find corroboration.

      • “Just be very careful about conflating anti-Zionist and Antisemitic” – you can’t ‘conflate’ 2 things that are the same. ‘Anti-Zionists’ want to deny the Jewish nation and the Jewish nation only an independent country, making them antisemites.
        I suppose, as Jose says, there may be a few antisemites who do want the Jews to bugger off and have their own country in ‘Palestine’, but since theor heyday in the 1930s their numbers have shrunk to almost nothing.

      • Mostly, the non anti-Zionists antisemites are not Zionists but are very glad to see Jews go elsewhere, wherever that may be. Mostly old fashion ones, that are not yet ready to genocide them again. Those were chanting “Jews, Go To Palestine” in the 1930s. Today anti-Zionists chant “Jews, Out Of Palestine” or more simply “Death To Jews!”.
        But their goal is exactly the same as the 1930s’ ones: wish Jews what can be worse for them at any given time. In the 1930s, they thought Palestine was the worse for Jews because they did not believe Jews were going to succeed there. Now that they saw all the prowesses of Israel, all they want is have it dismantled or genocided.

      • There is some problem of evidence about several of the Biblical characters especially that Assyrians and Egyptians do not mention and so corroborate us that much. However that in several ways proves that Israel is a power politics sideshow then as now which explains why holed up in the hill country between the Desert, Dead Sea and off the main coast road we could have some peace to be ourselves – a point made forcibly by Moshe Dayan of all people that in the heart of the hill country of Judea and Samaria we did our best work – the Bible and much else.

        For the other point in quibble: to what extent anti-Zionism is the same as Antisemitism – the principal argument is that anti-Zionism is Antisemitic by denying Jews [nation] state rights in a way that would be decried if applied to RC Irish, Poles (Wilson’s 14 points) Hungarians or even the French and Spanish, all of whom cast their identities and independence in the name of their Catholicism even as the Russians and Greeks and other Balkan Greek Orthodox nations refused to be part of the Turkish Moslem supremacy. For that matter the English used their Protestantism to effectively by deed make their independence from RC Europe. Similarly Pakistan whose descendants are very anti – Israel insisted on breaking from a single successor to the Raj in the name of a local Moslem majority refusing to be subject to an overall Hindu majority; and Chinese Singapore left he overwhelmingly Moslem Federation of Malaya for similar reasons.

        Now the other side of the coin: there is a powerful anti – clerical tradition in “The Left” since Voltaire and The Enlightenment which is the prime anti – Zionist motivation in Left thinking outside the Jewish Community and even in the Bundist variant and European Socialist experience within it. The hypothesis being that if everybody, including Jews, can be an equal nationalist citizens without benefit of clergy, then we get rid of any justification for Antisemitism. Extending the argument Communist style: if we are all reduced to economics fodder – as globalisation does with great resentments in a variety of pockets – then we do not need nationalist wars and religious discrimination to upset social harmony and the production and fair distribution of goods and services. From this Left and Liberal point of view any cleric is a clever dangerous opponent to be contested with no holds barred for justifying hereditary and arbitrary King and God authoritarianism. We in the Jewish community easily do not see or forget the flak the Left has thrown at organised Churches and all religion which raises why they are pro Moslem in Europe and Levantine politics.

        This arises from the bulk of the European and American Moslems being of recent immigration are in the socio-economic bracket that supports socialist and other left politics to in practice and precedent transfer one or two percent of GDP from the top 1% to the bottom 10% to ease social discords and advance turn-over. For the Arab – Israel dispute there is a fair argument since the Balfour Declaration itself that Palestine Arabs have rights and ambitions. The fact that the Arabs have made a pig’s ear of the delivery of a silk purse promise is a separate problem briefly and brutally reviewed in the concluding chapter of Christopher Sykes, “Crossroads to Israel.” They have also jumped on the wrong side of the Cold War out of a zero sum attitude to international politics and their own introspective practical errors premised on Moslem assumptions about the non-Moslem World.

      • Frank, the point is that the Jews are an ethnicity and a nation based on that ethnicity.

    • Actually, it is not true that the Guardian does not print letters against its line. I wrote to them telling that the reason their circulation was down the toilet is because they are so hostile to Israel and Jews constitute a large proportion of the newspaper-buying public. They printed my letter.

      • When the majority of articles and letters to the editor slam Israel, a handful of contrarian letters don’t make any difference.

  12. shlomo should start by uncircumcising himself.

  13. I was domestically interrupted about Sand’s rationality and spleen. Do be careful as he is not insane enough to be confined; if insane at all and it is not the Arabs who use him so much as the residual anti-Jewish sentiments of Christian Europe and those of the Enlightenment who can not stand odd ball groups beyond their nation state majority. He was originally a modern period historian though I do not know his specialism and got into trouble reading up medieval and ancient periods without caution. The problem is that anybody can easily read up what we know about a subject and the latest suggested theories, but an expert knows what we do NOT know about a subject / period and how to navigate round the holes and how check bright proposed solutions to anomalies against basic principles and axioms etc – all the not so obvious.
    So far though uncomfortable in his own skin Sands has not gone pathological like some of the nasties of the late century and history; and Uri Davis punctured his own hot air balloon by going Moslem and marrying an Arab. Better to summarise the errors for handy discharge at ignorant questioners in audiences and lay off playing the man instead of the ball. They are not worth the hassle.

  14. henry Schachter

    Unfortunately for him and the rest of us being born a Jew he will ALWAYS be a Jew. The only way out that I can see is for him to top himself then he would achieve his goal and be doing EVERY body a favor.

    • This halachic law is totally idiotic. Since Sand isn’t religious, he is not concerned by it. He only requires administrative change, in the Israeli files.
      I remember a precedent of someone making such a request and being granted.

      • The Halacha that, “Israel remains Israel even if he has sinned,” is not idiotic because it dates from the persecutory Middle Ages when one could not be sure about the sincerity or undue pressure on somebody to convert. What is idiotic is the failure of the modern rabbinate to adapt.

      • “What is idiotic is the failure of the modern rabbinate to adapt.” Since when did Israel’s rabbinate, which is still living in the Middle Ages, adapt to anything? Women in halachic Jewish law have fewer rights than they do under Sharia law! They are not considered fit to give evidence in a rabbinic court, for instance, because they do not perform the mitzvot! And anyone who is disabled or mentally retarded is not fit to be given an aliya leTorah!

      • I attended a talk last night given by Martin Amis to discuss his latest book. Someone in the audience asked him if Nazism could rise again. He pointed out that Nazis was a clarion call to every sadist and ultra-violent human being to rule the roost and the same was true of the modern jihadists. That is why they are so popular among certain sections of the population and not necessarily Muslims.

      • I know the REASON for the halachic law, but since it is evident that Sand was not forced to resign his nationhood (leom), the law shouldn’t apply for that precise reason. As many of the antisemitic Jews do not consider themselves as Jews and no one forced them either, they shouldn’t be considered as such. Some non-Israeli Jews have been barred from entering Israel or making aliyah for that motive and I just don’t consider these people Jewish. I consider them only as antisemites.

  15. Exeter University is notorious for employing a raft of antisemites in their Arabic and Middle East Studies department, led by Ghada Karmon who, each time terrorists murdered people in Israel with bombs during the Second Intifada, claimed that the Israelis were bombing themselves so as to blame the Arabs! She welcomes people with poisoned, sick minds like hers into the university, Judith Butler for instance. But I am happy to report that recently, Exeter University set up an Israel Society, which also includes non-Jewish members whom I have met.

    • Figleaf?
      They also have some Catholic idiot in the history (?) dept. who claims that there is no evidence for the existence of King David – they gave her houseroom on the BBC (what else?) as a serious ‘historian’.

  16. It’s entertaining to see the relentless stream of irrational ill-informed bigotry on here. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. It is clear from the comments that inside every Zionist there is a Nazi screaming to get out.

    • Inside of every idiot comparing Zionists/israel to Nazis, there is an antisemite screaming to get out. OOOPS! NO: he is already out.

    • You sound like the perfect contestant for the Miss Hitler competition being held in Russia, you ought to win first prize.

      • Our local Elmer Fudd isn’t a newbie. Obviously comes here to troll and has some experience. I guess he is one of the evergreen trolls coming again under any stupid invented name. IP check is warranted, for past and future use.

    • elma, It is clear from your comments that inside every Socialist there is a National Socialist screaming to get out.

    • “It’s entertaining to see the relentless stream of irrational ill-informed bigotry on here” – 99.99% of it emanating from you, Adolf.

  17. Does that also apply to the nationalists of every other country?

  18. “The Guardian wouldn’t dare treat another religious minority in such a demeaning manner.”

    I’m no fan of Sand or The Guardian but they have run many articles about people who have walked away from Islam.