Shlomo Sand

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Shlomo Sand (born 10 September 1946) is professor of history at Tel Aviv University and author of the 2009 controversial book The Invention of the Jewish People, which argued that many Jewish groups came about primarily through the religious conversion of local people.

In Israel, marriage is regulated by religious laws. Jews may marry other Jews, but intermarriage with Muslims or Christians is legally unacknowledged. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has recently started to demand genetic tests in uncertain cases in order to allow marriages between Jews. That it is thus possible to test for membership of Jews as a genetic race may be problematic for Sand's theory, at least if used as a race denialist argument.

Sand "worries that if DNA testing is normalized by the Rabbinate, it could be used to confirm citizenship in the future. “Israeli society is becoming more of a closed, ethno-centric society,” he said. “I am worried that people will start to use this genetic testing to build this political national identity.” For Sand, there is a particularly dark irony that this type of genetic discrimination is being weaponized by Jews against other Jews. “I am the descendant of Holocaust survivors, people who suffered because of biological and essentialist attitudes to human groups,” he told me. “When I hear stories of people using DNA to prove that you are a Jew, or French, or Greek, or Finnish, I feel like the Nazis lost the war, but they won the victory of an ideology of essentialist identity through the blood.”"[1]

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