Traditional knowledge holds that there was once a distinct nation of people who all practiced the Jewish religion, a Hebrew people with a common geographic origin and, in all likelihood, relatively uniform physical appearance.
But there are those, like Tel Aviv University professor Shlomo Sand, who question both the relevance and validity of this notion in modern discourse.
Sand is the author of a book called “The Invention of the Jewish People”, and a proponent of the belief that today’s Jews are the descendants of different global populations who converted to Judaism over the ages, rather than the offspring of an exiled Hebrew nation.
Sand rejects the traditional narrative of a Roman-instigated diaspora and views the notion of Jewish ethnicity as a racist one used to perpetuate a Zionist myth of ownership of the land of Israel.
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