Shlomo Sand attacked the Israeli national myth of Jewish identity in his first bestseller. Now, in an odd new book filled with conspiracy theories, he takes scattershot aim at Judaism itself.
When a far-left Tel Aviv University historian penned a tome dedicated to disputing the historicity of Jewish peoplehood, it — unsurprisingly — caused something of a stir in Israel. Then the book was translated and published in France, where it — also unsurprisingly — was given a prestigious prize. (This prompted the estimable Hillel Halkin, writing in the pages of the Forward, to note that “if one is talking about the ‘construction’ of national identities… it is the French and Spanish who are the parvenus, having undertaken the task only in the late Middle Ages,” whereas Jews “had a fully developed national consciousness at least 2,500 years ago.”)