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
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
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
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
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
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
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.