Are the Jews indigenous to Palestine?
All in all, seven of the fourteen Zionist Prime Ministers, so far, came directly from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, or Belarus. The other seven were children of parents from Europe or America.
There is a rising tide of claims from apologists for the crimes of Zionism that they have been misunderstood. Palestinians might be indigenous to Palestine, but the Jews definitely are. What is called the ‘Israel-Palestine’ conflict, they say, is competition over the same small piece of land by two rival groups of indigenous people. But are the Jews indigenous to the Levant? And what are the consequences of the argument?
In fact, most of the power structure of the Zionist state is dominated by Ashkenazi Jews who have no ancestral link to Palestine. Overall despite very significant financial and infrastructural contributions from Western European countries (especially the US, UK and France, for example via the Rothschild family), Eastern European Ashkenazim have been at the centre of the Zionist power structure since the early years of the 20th Century.
Ukraine and the origins of Zionism
For example most members of the Jewish National Council in Palestine prior to the founding of the Zionist state in 1948 were Ukrainian. As is well known key leaders of the Zionist movement hailed from Ukraine. Many, but not all, Ukrainian Zionists were close to the Ukrainian nationalist movement.
For example, the far right Revisionist Zionist Vladimir Yevgenyevich Jabotinsky (later renamed Ze’ev Jabotinsky) was himself a direct descendant of Ukrainian Jewish settlers in Odessa. He famously consorted with the leader of the Ukrainian nationalists, Symon Petliura, a proto-Nazi responsible for pogroms against the Jews and others. As the Polish political scientist and Zionist, Shlomo Avineri has written, “throughout his life”, Jabotinsky “harbored an affinity for Ukrainian nationalism despite its shades of anti-Semitism”.
Arguably Zionism and Ukrainian nationalism share certain commonalities, which perhaps helps to contextualise the Zionist regime’s ongoing support for Zelensky today. As early as January 2022, "Israel" began planning to transfer Ukrainian Jews to become colonists in the land of the Palestinians. "Israel’s" Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption proclaimed: "We call on the Jews of Ukraine to immigrate to Israel - your home." But of course, it is not their home.
Another Zionist colonist from Ukraine, was Golda Mabovitch (later known as Golda Meir), who was Prime Minister of the Zionist entity from 1969-1974. She once claimed ‘I’m a Palestinian’ but also denied that the Palestinian people ever existed.
Eastern European origins of the Zionist leaders
All in all, seven of the fourteen Zionist Prime Ministers, so far, came directly from Russia, Poland, Ukraine or Belarus. The other seven were children of parents from modern Ukraine and/or Belarus (Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Yitzhak Rabin), Lithuania (Ehud Barak), Poland (Benjamin Netanyahu) Hungary/Romania (Yair Lapid) or Poland, and America (Naftali Bennet). All presidents of the Zionist entity, bar three, came directly or indirectly from Poland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, or in one case Austria.
The obsession with proving that the Jews, all the Jews, are indigenous to Palestine flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence of the settler colonial nature of Zionism and the fact that most of those in charge originate in Eastern Europe.
Even the Zionist paper Haaretz has published an article claiming that the argument that Jews are indigenous to Palestine ‘swims in fascist waters’.
The fantasy of the ‘decolonised Judean’
The term ‘decolonized Judean’ is used by Zionists, often white European settlers, to describe themselves. But is there any remnant of the original ‘Jewish people’ which inhabited the Levant two millennia ago amongst the two major groups of Jews in the world today?
The dominant group, massively over-represented at all levels of the power structure in what is called ‘Israel’ today are Ashkenazi Jews. They are conventionally said to be the “Jews of France, Germany, and Eastern Europe and their descendants.” The adjective "Ashkenazic" is said to be “derived from the Hebrew word ‘Ashkenaz,’ which is used to refer to Germany.”
Recent research in linguistics and genetics shows that the ‘Rhineland hypothesis’ which suggests that Ashkenazim come originally from the Levant and that Yiddish originates in Germany is unable to explain the genetic, linguistic and cultural data now available. It suggests instead an Iranian-Turkish-Slavic origin for Ashkenazi Jews and a Slavic origin for Yiddish.
A killer detail in the argument is the existence along the ancient Silk Road trade route, in northeastern Turkey, of four primeval villages whose names resemble “Ashkenaz:” such as İşkenaz. Ashkenazi Jews, then, appear to have no historical connection to the original Jews of Palestine.
The Arab Jews
The Sephardi Jews, are the second main group of Jews in the world. The standard vision is that they are the Jews of ‘Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East and their descendants’. The adjective "Sephardic" is said to be derived from the Hebrew word "Sepharad," which refers to Spain. So-called ‘Sephardim’ are increasingly populous and according to some accounts now make up a majority of Jews in occupied Palestine. But they also face a well known pattern of discrimination by the white European Ashkenazi Jews.
When they arrived in occupied Palestine - mostly after 1948 – these Sephardic Jews often spoke a kind of Arabic and were sometimes referred to as ‘Arab Jews’. This was a threat to Zionism which made sure to discourage their use of Arabic and assiduously worked to “de-racialise” them. As Lital Levy notes: “These were indigenous communities…whose unique syncretic cultures have since been completely expunged as a result of emigration… to Israel, where they were subjected to a systematic program of deracination and resocialisation”.
Some left Zionist or anti Zionist groups try to present the Sephardim as a benighted ethnic minority. But, if the aim is to wean Sephardim away from ultra-Zionism, this is a strategy doomed to failure. Once they became settler colonists and their connections with the Arabs were severed, their primary loyalty came to be with the Zionist project. But, this cannot erase the fact that the “Sephardim” are Arab Jews as is widely accepted in the humanities and social science research literature. Even more pointedly linguistic and genetic research shows that contrary to the idea that they are so-called indigenous Jews of the Levant, in fact they are predominantly descended primarily from North African Berbers and Arabs.
The truth is that Ashkenazi Jews come mostly from Eastern Europe, with origins in the Caucasus, Turkey and Iran. Sephardim, are mostly of Arab and Berber origins. They are ‘Arab Jews’ with perhaps as little connection to Palestine as the Ashkenazim. There is, in other words, no unitary ‘Jewish people’ with any historically continuous claim to the land of Palestine.