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Nobody in the world is of Jewish, Christian, or Muslim descent

An interactive editorial 

By Hassan El-Najjar and Michael Bokarelli*

July 12, 2003


Michael Bokarelli

Why does your website, which claims to be telling the other side of the story continue to show blatantly anti-Jewish cartoons? 
In reference to your earlier editorial entitled "55 Years of Israeli Oppression"  By yourself and Rich Maurice.  You said that "Nobody in the world is of Jewish descent".  This is in fact incorrect.  For the average Jewish person, I agree that any person can convert and become Jewish.  But Judaism has priests, call Kohanim.  These Jews are of a very special lineage.  They may only marry other Kohanim, they may not marry converts, and no converted person may ever become a Kohen.  This group of Jewish people have a direct line of descent from the Kohanim (priests) from the time of the First and Second Jewish Temple.  This group of people are direct descendants of Jews from the time of the Jewish temple, as well as from the time of Moses, and the Exodus from Egypt, as well as from Abraham himself.  Kohanim have a direct blood connection to one another and also to Abraham. 
      But this fact in and of itself has no weight when it comes to the Arab/Israeli conflict.  Looking back into Biblical history will not solve any problems, because neither side can prove to the other that they are more deserving of the land because of our descendants.  I will never prove my direct lineage to you and you will never prove your lineage to me.  Therefore this issue needs to be resolved by looking at the past 100 years of history, a period of time whose facts can still be proven by evidence.


Hassan El-Najjar: 

You still consider Jews and Israelis as one and the same. This is wrong. First, there are non-Jewish Israelis. Second, you may be an Australian or Norwegian Jew, living far away from the Middle East, and you are not an Israeli. Third, there are Israelis who do not support the Israeli occupation and want to live in peace with the Palestinian people. These are respected and appreciated by Palestinians and people everywhere. If you do not support the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories, Arabs, Muslims, and peace-loving people all over the world have no problem with you. This means that any criticism of the Israeli occupation does not mean a criticism of Jews or Judaism. 

These cartoons are published in the Arab newspapers that aljazeerah.info reprints. All of them apply to Israelis who support the occupation. They do not apply to Jews per se. It is the Zionist aggression that people all over the world are against, not Judaism.

Judaism is a religion, not a genealogy. I believe that some Jews are descendants of Abraham, just like some Christians, and some Muslims are. Descent is a physical heredity, not a belief. Beliefs are taught and adopted but genes are not. They are inherited That is why you can correctly say that some Jews, Christians, and Muslims descend from Abraham. But it is incorrect to say that anybody has a Jewish descent. I disagree that the former US Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, for example, is a pure descendant of Abraham because he has a Cohen last name. A blond with green or blue eyes should be a descendant of intermarriages for thousands of years. This is just to reply to your note about the idea of Kohanim. "Pure" descendants of Abraham are more likely to look like Middle Easterners, particularly Iraqis and Palestinians of today, not like Eastern Europeans. But this should not mean that Middle Easterners are better than people from other parts of the world.

Finally, I agree with you that the last hundred years are crucial in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Actually, the Palestinian property until 1948 is carefully documented and can be used to prove that the vast majority of lands and property in historical Palestine belong to Palestinians, not to Israelis.

* Hassan El-Najjar is the Editor of aljazeerah.info and Michael Bokarelli is a reader.


Earth, a planet hungry for peace


The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).
The Israeli apartheid (security) wall around Palestinian population centers in the West Bank (Ran Cohen, pmc, 5/24/03).



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