A couple of years ago his book “The Invention of the Jewish People” sparked endless debates and controversy, selling millions of copies. Shlomo Sand, an Israeli historian who teaches at Tel Aviv University, has just written, in the Guardian, an article titled “How I stopped being a Jew.” A statement of deep abjuration of Judaism and Zionism.
Sand, who now spends more time in England than in Israel, is not the first intellectual of the Israeli left who professes apostasy.
Since 2008, Ilan Pappe, former professor at the University of Haifa, lives in London. He is an icon of the “new historians” who sees the Jewish State as a mere colonization at the expense of the Arab people. Joining him in the UK are the Israeli historian Avi Shlaim and the Israeli jurist Oren Ben Dor at Southampton University.
A villa in Tuscany, on the hills of Ponte Buggione, near Pistoia, is where Amos Elon, the dean of Haaretz writers, the newspaper where he became the protégé of the austere editor Gershom Schocken, died. Even his daughter, Danae Elon, a leftist filmaker, lives in New York. It was the same Elon who had written one of the finest biographies of that journalist in the Vienna of Freud and Mahler, the fertile atmosphere, for better or for worse, of central Europe, who gave hope to the Jews: one Theodore Herzl.
The Israeli writer Sayed Kashua, a columnist for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, novelist, television personality, has just moved to Chicago after writing an article entitled “Why I leave Israel” this summer.
The former speaker of the Knesset, leftist Avraham Burg, who has since become an essayist and “a citizen of the world”, took out a French passport and now lives in Paris. Ari Shavit of Haaretz called him “the prophet of Brussels.” Burg is the author of the anti-Zionist pamphlet entitled “Defeating Hitler”. In an interview, when asked if he is “recommending that every Israeli to take a foreign passport,” Burg said, “yes, to all those who can.”
Then there is the large community of Israeli writers who have chosen Germany as their new country, like Boaz Arad, Tal Alon and Nati Ornan, who is proud that “there are now more Israeli artists in Berlin than in Israel.”
The writer David Grossman, in an interview with British TV Channel 10, said that he considered moving back into exile: “I weighed the idea of leaving Israel.” This summer, writing for The Independent, the leftist Israeli writer and journalist Mira Bar Hillel published an editorial entitled, “I’m going to burn my Israeli passport.”
The Israeli literary doyen, Amos Oz, just published a new novel titled “The Gospel According to Judas”. In an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, Oz expressed an embarrassing praise of betrayal.
In 1967, during the Six-Day War, in the newspapers and in the salons of the Israeli writers there circulated a bitter joke, saying that at the airport in Tel Aviv, a sign reads: “The last one to leave turn off the light.” Then it was a sad groan of sarcasm. Today it is what leftist Israeli intelligentsia, pampered by the anti-Semitic European élites, are doing.
This article was first published on IsraelNationalNews.com.