Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People”

I just read Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People”. It could easily be in my top 20 books. It is really awesome – historically rich, beautifully written, clearly looks at the past, and has a beautiful vision for the future, even though the author is pessimistic (realistic) about the prospects. I might review it – lots of other projects are taking up time right now – but meanwhile I wanted to just put this one long quote down, because it summarizes exactly what I have long thought on the topic. Page 282:


I just read Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People”. It could easily be in my top 20 books. It is really awesome – historically rich, beautifully written, clearly looks at the past, and has a beautiful vision for the future, even though the author is pessimistic (realistic) about the prospects. I might review it – lots of other projects are taking up time right now – but meanwhile I wanted to just put this one long quote down, because it summarizes exactly what I have long thought on the topic. Page 282:

“Every large human group that thinks of itself as a people, even if it never was one and its past is entirely imaginary, has the right to national self-determination. Indeed, struggles for political independence have created more nations than nations have fought national struggles. It is well known that any attempt to deny a human group its self-determination only intensifies its demand for sovereignty and enhances its collective identity. This does not, of course, give a particular group that sees itself as a people the right to dispossess another group of its land to achieve its self-determination.”

Author: Justin Podur

Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.