This is in response to FC 1037 Feedback APOSTLES WERE ISRAELITES
- NOT JEWS. The following is a little more "Truth is stranger than Fiction"
grist on the Jews and the dispelling of current myths. The following extract
is from Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal's book, "What Price Israel?" and clearly
debunks the Jews as being a race, but merely a religion. It's well worth
Today, to trace anyone's descent to ancient Palestine would be a genealogical
impossibility; and to presume, axiomatically, such a descent for Jews,
alone among all human groups, is an assumption of purely fictional significance.
Most everybody in the Western world could stake out some claim of Palestinian
descent if genealogical records could be established for two-thousand years.
And there are, indeed, people who, though not by the widest stretch of
imagination Jewish, proudly make that very claim: some of the oldest of
the South's aristocratic families play a game of comparing whose lineage
goes farther back into 'Israel'. No one knows what happened to the Ten
Lost Tribes of 'Israel', but to speculate on who might be who is a favoured
Anglo-Saxon pastime, and Queen Victoria belonged to an 'Israelite' Society
that traced the ancestry of its membership back to those lost tribes.
Twelve tribes started in Canaan about thirty-five centuries ago; and
not only that ten of them disappeared - more than half of the members of
the remaining two tribes never returned from their "exile" in Babylon.
How then, can anybody claim to descend directly from that relatively small
community which inhabited the Holy Land at the time of Abraham's Covenant
The Jewish racial myth flows from the fact that the words Hebrew, 'Israelite',
Jew, Judaism, and the Jewish people have been used synonymously to suggest
a historic continuity. But this is a misuse. These words refer to different
groups of people with varying ways of life in different periods in history.
Hebrew is a term correctly applied to the period from the beginning of
Biblical history to the settling in Canaan. 'Israelite' refers correctly
to the members of the twelve tribes of 'Israel'. The name Yehudi or Jew
is used in the Old Testament to designate members of the tribe of Judah,
descendants of the fourth son of Jacob, as well as to denote citizens of
the Kingdom of Judah, particularly at the time of Jeremiah and under the
Persian occupation. Centuries later, the same word came to be applied to
anyone, no matter of what origin, whose religion was Judaism.
The descriptive name Judaism was never heard by the Hebrews or 'Israelites';
it appears only with Christianity. Flavius Josephus was one of the first
to use the name in his recital of the war with the Romans to connote a
totality of beliefs, moral commandments, religious practices and ceremonial
institutions of Galilee which he believed superior to rival Hellenism.
When the word Judaism was born, there was no longer a Hebrew-'Israelite'
state. The people who embraced the creed of Judaism were already mixed
of many races and strains; and this diversification was rapidly growing...
Perhaps the most significant mass conversion to the Judaic faith occurred
in Europe, in the 8th century A.D., and that story of the Khazars (Turko-Finnish
people) is quite pertinent to the establishment of the modern State of
'Israel'. This partly nomadic people, probably related to the Volga Bulgars,
first appeared in Trans-Caucasia in the second century. They settled in
what is now Southern Russia, between the Volga and the Don, and then spread
to the shores of the Black, Caspian and Azov seas. The Kingdom of Khazaria,
ruled by a khagan or khakan fell to Attila the Hun in 448, and to the Muslims
in 737. In between, the Khazars ruled over part of the Bulgarians, conquered
the Crimea, and stretched their kingdom over the Caucasus farther to the
northwest to include Kiev, and eastwards to Derbend. Annual tributes were
levied on the Russian Savonians of Kiev. The city of Kiev was probably
built by the Khazars. There were Jews in the city and the surrounding area
before the Russian Empire was founded by the Varangians whom the Scandinavian
warriors sometimes called the Russ or Ross (circa 855-863).
The influence of the Khazars extended into what is now Hungary and Roumania.
Today, the villages of Kozarvar and Kozard in Transylvania bear testimony
to the penetration of the Khazars who, with the Magyars, then proceeded
into present-day Hungary. The size and power of the Kingdom of Khazaria
is indicated by the act that it sent an army of 40,000 soldiers (in 626-627)
to help Heraclius of the Byzantines to conquer the Persians. The Jewish
Encyclopedia proudly refers to Khazaria as having had a "well constituted
and tolerant government, a flourishing trade and a well disciplined army."
Jews who had been banished from Constantinople by the Byzantine ruler,
Leo III, found a home amongst these heretofore pagan Khazars and, in competition
with Mohammedan and Christian missionaries, won them over to the Judaic
faith. Bulan, the ruler of Khazaria, became converted to Judaism around
740 A.D. His nobles and, somewhat later, his people followed suit. Some
details of these events are contained in letters exchanged between Khagan
Joseph of Khazaria and R. Hasdai Ibn Shaprut of Cordova, doctor and quasi
foreign minister to Sultan Abd al-Rahman, the Caliph of Spain. This correspondence
(around 936-950) was first published in 1577 to prove that the Jews still
had a country of their own - namely, the Kingdom of Khazaria. Judah Halevi
knew of the letters even in 1140. Their authenticity has since been established
According to these Hasdai-Joseph letters, Khagan Bulan decided one day:
"Paganism is useless. It is shameful for us to be pagans. Let us adopt
one of the heavenly religions, Christianity, Judaism or Islam." And Bulan
summoned three priests representing the three religions and had them dispute
their creeds before him. But, no priest could convince the others, or the
sovereign, that his religion was the best. So the ruler spoke to each of
them separately. He asked the Christian priest: "If you were not a Christian
or had to give up Christianity, which would you prefer - Islam or Judaism?"The
priest said: "If I were to give up Christianity, I would become a Jew."Bulan
then asked the follower of Islam the same question, and the Moslem also
chose Judaism. This is how Bulan came to choose Judaism for himself and
the people of Khazaria in the seventh century A.D., and thereafter the
Khazars (sometimes spelled Chazars and Khozars) lived according to Judaic
Under the rule of Obadiah, Judaism gained further strength in Khazaria.
Synagogues and schools were built to give instruction in the Bible and
the Talmud. As Professor Graetz notes in his History of the Jews, "A successor
of Bulan who bore the Hebrew name of Obadiah was the first to make serious
efforts to further the Jewish religion. He invited Jewish sages to settle
in his dominions, rewarded them royally... and introduced a divine service
modeled on the ancient communities. After Obadiah came a long series of
Jewish Chagans (Khagans), for according to a fundamental law of the state
only Jewish rulers were permitted to ascend the throne." Khazar traders
brought not only silks and carpets of Persia and the Near East but also
their Judaic faith to the banks of the Vistula and the Volga. But the Kingdom
of Khazaria was invaded by the Russians, and Itil, its great capital, fell
to Sweatoslav of Kiev in 969. The Byzantines had become afraid and envious
of the Khazars and, in a joint expedition with the Russians, conquered
the Crimean portion of Khazaria in 1016. (Crimea was known as "Chazaria"
until the 13th century). The Khazarian Jews were scattered throughout what
is now Russia and Eastern Europe. Some were taken North where they joined
the established Jewish community of Kiev.
Others returned to the Caucasus. Many Khazars remarried in the Crimea
and in Hungary. The Cagh Chafut, or "mountain Jews," in the Caucasus and
the Hebraile Jews of Georgia are their descendants. These "Ashkenazim Jews"
(as Jews of Eastern Europe are called), whose numbers were swelled by Jews
who fled from Germany at the time of the Crusades and during the Black
Death, have little or no trace of Semitic blood.
That the Khazars are the lineal ancestors of Eastern European Jewry
is a historical fact. Jewish historians and religious text books acknowledge
the fact, though the propagandists of Jewish nationalism belittle it as
pro-Arab propaganda. Somewhat ironically, Volume IV of the Jewish Encyclopedia
- because this publication spells Khazars with a "C" instead of a "K" -
is titled "Chazars to Dreyfus": and it was the Dreyfus trial, as interpreted
by Theodor Herzl, that made the modern Jewish Khazars of Russia forget
their descent from converts to Judaism and accept anti-Semitism as proof
of their Palestinian origin.
For all that anthropologists know, Hitler's ancestry might go back to
one of the ten Lost Tribes of 'Israel'; while Weizmann may be a descendant
of the Khazars, the converts to Judaism who were in no anthropological
respect related to Palestine. The home to which Weizmann, Silver and so
many other Ashkenazim Zionists have yearned to return has most likely never
been theirs. "Here's a paradox, a paradox, a most ingenious paradox": in
anthropological fact, many Christians may have much more Hebrew-'Israelite'
blood in their veins than most of their Jewish neighbors.