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December 25, 2000
Amos and Ahmed

Amos Schocken, Publisher of HA'ARETZ
Refuses NileMedia's DNA challenge
By Ahmed Amr.


Memo to our readers: Famous Amos has now agreed to be identified as Amos Schocken, the Publisher of Ha'aretz, a major Israeli daily newspaper.

This is NileMedia's response to his latest correspondence which we on 12/24/2000.

Amos, First on a personal note, I would ask you to refrain from unwarranted personal insults. I challenge you to find a word I have ever written in support of any form of repression. I can understand your initial reluctance to take the DNA challenge, but don't resort to personal defamation to avoid a compelling argument. Otherwise, I will just conclude that you are unwilling to conduct a simple scientific test that would clear up some rather 'fuzzy' Israeli minds. In all honesty, I marvel at the fact that neither the Israeli government nor the Palestinian Authority have yet to suggest such a simple experiment.

Amos, there can be nothing more insulting than associating me with any kind of repressive regime. You go entirely too far when you dare to compare my views with those of Hitler, one of the cruelest characters of human history. I have as thick a skin as the next journalist, but I will insist that you muster up the intellectual integrity to reread my comments and apologize for your insensitive remarks. I was kind enough to assume in my earlier correspondence that you were a Zionist of the adult persuasion. So, I ask that you be intelligent enough to behave like an adult, even if you are a Zionist. So, apologize and lets move on to the challenge at hand, the DNA challenge.

The DNA challenge would cost less than the price of one tank. So, why do you deem it "ridiculous" and go on to make an outrageous statement like "We are not newcomers to the region like maybe the Palestinians? Remember Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews?".

It is obvious that we both have different ideas about who was native to the land, the Palestinians or the Eastern European Zionist immigrants. Only one of us is right, so let the impartial science of DNA intercede to resolve the matter. If the results of the DNA testing proves me wrong, I will eat and fully digest my shoe and wage a campaign to ask every Palestinian to welcome every Israeli as brothers to our people. If you are wrong, I only ask that you begin a campaign to advise Israelis that Zionist mythology should be abandoned and acknowledge each and every crime committed against the Palestinian people.

Why not consider it, Amos? I understand how the results might challenge the very basic foundations of Zionism. But then again, maybe Israelis should abandon Zionist ideological fables and move on to coping with their true historical legacy. You and many Israelis say you want to live in a "normal" country. Normal countries usually admit the abnormal chapters of their history. If Israel abandons Zionist ideology, the chances of a healthier relationship with the Palestinians will be greatly enhanced. Why do Israelis, especially the, "peace camp", not refrain from provoking Palestinian passions on this issue. Clinging on to this particular bit of mythology only serves the purpose of feeding Israeli national chauvinism? You write "That this is our historic homeland, there is no doubt." Maybe you don't doubt it, but I assure you the vast majority of Palestinians doubt it.

Amos, I don't just dream up theories about you being of European origin. Your own grandfather was an immigrant from Germany. Israelis go out of the way to let everyone know that they are more like Europeans than Middle Easterners. Israel has political parties that call themselves "Russian" parties. A Jew from Brooklyn has the 'right of return' while a Palestinian-American exile is denied that same right.

The Israeli government and Media continue to assert that European Jews had a right to "return to Palestine" and make it as "Jewish as England is English". Why can't you understand that this is an insult to every Palestinian. Palestine was the only land they ever knew as a home. It was also the only land their grandfathers knew as a home. I would also remind you that at the time of the first Zionist migrations, before World War I, the Eastern European Jews had the option to immigrate to America. In fact, that is where most of them went. It is well that you pointed out that Zionism predated the Holocaust. The Zionist intent to "spirit the Palestinians" out of the country was accepted early on by the leadership of the movement. These same leaders also realized early on that they would have to inflict violence against the native Palestinians to achieve their goals.

So once again, I will ask you to take the DNA challenge that I proposed. The arguments I made cannot be dismissed with a little mud slinging. The DNA challenge was not available in Hitler's time. Had it been available, we could have made a fool of the Nazis and their followers. Hitler was out to prove a theory of "racial purity" that modern DNA testing can easily debunk. I am fully aware of the bizarre medical experiments that were conducted by the Nazis to prove the "purity" of their race.

The six million Jews who were so mercilessly slaughtered in the Holocaust were victims of a regime that believed in a racial underclass. In fact, both the Jews and the Germans were of the same race as Hitler and his henchmen. Modern DNA clearly proves that both the victims of the Holocaust and their executioners were of one and the same race. Indeed, recent DNA studies prove that almost all Europeans have a genetic makeup that indicates descent from two great migrations out of the Middle East at the end of the last Ice Age.

In my previous correspondence I challenged you to do some DNA testing to verify the historical record. It is my contention that this whole Zionist mantra about "Jews returning to their ancient lands" is an absurd claim in the face of the historical record and science. DNA can and should be used to prove that Palestinians are the native people of Palestine. Forget about Israelis taking the test; ask the Palestinians to take the test. They were not simply squatting on the land for 2000 years while the Jews were in Exile. They are the descendants of all the people who have been historically associated with Palestine. That would include the ancient Hebrew tribes, Canninites, Philistines, Assyrians, Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Arabs and Turks.

DNA testing will prove who has patrimony rights over historic Palestine. If the DNA of a large group of Palestinians matches the DNA from human remains in archeological sites, it should at least clear up some confusion about who the natives of this land were. Why would you not want to assist in clearing up this confusion?

I must once again urge you to take the "DNA challenge" and urge you to reread my earlier comments on this subject. There is no dodging this challenge, Amos. Israelis have always prided themselves on their scientific achievements. Well, I am offering you a chance to reflect on how you can use science to assist you and other Israelis in coping with the historical record that clearly refutes the repugnant argument that dislodging the Palestinians from their native lands was justified because they needed to make room for "Jews returning from exile." So I repeat the challenge and the argument. If you have lost my earlier correspondence, here are the exact words I wrote:

Amos, I ask you a second time, let us put some of these mystical Zionist mantras to a scientific test. This could well be another case for those who specialize in DNA testing. Think about it for a moment. Given that science can inquire into King Tut's precise lineage or prove the historical accuracy of Jefferson's love of an African woman; Then let us, now, as men of the modern world, put DNA to work in resolving the heart of the dispute between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Let us take large statistical samples of DNA from both groups and check them against the DNA of human fossils that have been uncovered in the ancient burial grounds of what was Mandate Palestine. Imagine if the most problematic of Israeli historical fantasies can be answered by some white-clad lab technician. What a great step for mankind that would be.

I will wager this, there is more authentic ancient Israeli blood in the veins of an average Palestinian than in the veins of an average Israeli Jew. Go on, Famous Amos, take the DNA challenge. Do it on yourself and the employees of your newspaper and compare it to an equal number of randomly chosen Palestinians from Nablus or Nazareth or the Galilee. If you have an aversion to giving blood, a sample of hair will do.


Now, recall that Darwin reached his broad conclusions on the evolution of man by mere power of observation. Tell, me, Amos, when you look in the mirror, do you see a European or a Middle Eastern face? Now, take a look at an Iraqi Jew whose people lived in Baghdad for 2500 years. Does he have an olive complexion like me or one like yours? We are all sons of the same African mother, or don't they teach evolution in Israeli schools? Europeans, Middle Easterners and Ethiopians are all brothers, with minor variations in DNA. But there is enough measurable variation to account for certain facial features, pigmentation, hair etc. Even these minor variations take longer than the 2000 years of exile to develop.

So, once and for all, lets do the DNA testing and clear up this 'ancient people returning' business? I will grant that those who 'returned' were people of the Jewish faith. But were they the descendants of the ancient Hebrews? You are a big newspaper man, do this intriguing bit of research on your own shekel. You will find that most of the Ashkenazi were converts to Judaism.

Once we get the lab results, you will need to answer some other challenging questions, Amos. Here is a sample. Did Europeans converts to Judaism have the right to displace descendants of the ancient Hebrews who had converted to other faiths? Is it not true that the 'practice of faith' was and remains a crucial Zionist test of who gets to live in the 'Jewish' state? Is it not true that even agnostic and atheist 'Jews' need to confirm which faith they have doubts about?

Your assertion that "your people" were there before the Palestinians is bad history and bad science. It is the usual Zionist historical fantasy that does not acknowledge that the Palestinians are by blood and historical heritage the only people who can claim descent from the ancient peoples of Israel/Palestine. Having said that, I can understand that the desperate need to give shelter to the millions of Europeans Jews who survived the Holocaust. That real estate should have been taken out of Europe, not out of Palestine.

Amos, I am not asking you to go anywhere. It is no fault of yours that you were born in a land recently expropriated from native Palestinians. I just want you to be aware that your "shelter" country was built on the ashes of a country that had provided shelter to Palestinians since before the time of Jesus. You and other Israelis cannot keep telling the Palestinians that they "had it coming". They did not. Had they been left alone, they would not have created another Switzerland. But these most industrious of Middle Easterners would certainly have created a nice little country on the east shore of the Mediterranean.

Moving on, I would also advise you to take the time to reread my previous columns and explain how you find it far-fetched that Sharon can be compared to Haider or Pinochet or Waldheim? Hailer promotes xenophobic immigration laws that would make Austria more Austrian. That is a policy that is largely targeted against Turks, Arabs and Kurds. As far as I am aware, he has yet to be connected to a single act of violence. Waldheim lied about his service in the Nazi Occupation forces in Greece. Correct me if I am wrong, but I have never seen proof of his personal involvement in any of the many atrocities that were committed against the Greek resistance. It has long been known that Pinochet was obviously involved in the disappearance of hundreds, if not thousands of Allende supporters.

Amos, you know about Sharon's role in the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla. You must also know of his role in the infamous attack on the village of Qibya in 1953, where Israeli troops set Palestinian homes on fire while women and children cowered inside. This is just part of his record. Such a record would disqualify most politicians from serving in any democratic country worthy of the label. Now, recall the pressure put on Austria because Haider had ben included in a coalition government. And then explain why my comparisons are "reckless". You know that every Palestinian considers Sharon to be a war criminal and a man who has shown callous disregard for Palestinian lives and property. You seem proud that Sharon rose to power through a democratic process, as did Haider, as did Hiltler. It makes the people who voted for him all the more responsible.

Finally, on this Christmas morning, Merry Christmas. I urge you to visit the Christian Palestinians who live in Nazareth and ask them who they think converted them to Christianity. Surly you will agree that the Palestinian were the first Christian converts. The historical record clearly shows that these first converts to the new faith were Palestinian who had previously worshipped God according to the ancient customs of the Jews. You must also have heard of the many Palestinian Christian families who share the same clan name as Palestinian Muslim families.

Across the ages, Palestinians have worshipped idols, Greek and Phoenician gods, and they have settled on monotheism. Some became Jews and remained Jews. Some converted to Christianity and remained Christians and the majority became Muslims. Some remained Samaritan and others became Druze. But they were all Palestinians. And they were distinctly Middle Eastern.

Your children need to know more about the native Palestinians. Amos I recommend that you read the works of Simha Flapan (The Birth of Israel, Myths and Reality). And also acquaint yourselves with the work of Israel Shahak. Finally, keep reading NileMedia. We are sincerely interested in having Israelis reconsider their real history.

There is one last matter. You seem unaware that Pro-Israeli journalists have been actively propagating "outrageous bigotry that Palestinian mothers would sell their children for a handful of coins"? Do you really not know that this canard was propagated by journalists working for the New York Times Publishing Company? Now, you must know where these 'journalists' get that information, I suggest you review IDF press releases. For further information, refer to Jacoby's editorial of 11/20/2000 in the Boston Globe.



Amos Schocken (aka Famous Amos)
Publisher of Ha'aretz Responds to NileMedia
DNA is irrelevant and ridiculous


Amos Schocken,Publisher of HA'ARETZ Refuses NileMedia's DNA challenge
NileMedia to Famous Amos
Take the DNA challenge

NileMedia and Israel's Famous Amos

January 6, 2001