Issues of Jewish History as Reflected in Modern Egyptian Historiography

Rachel Maissy-noy

in The Divergence of Judaism and Islam

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037516
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042107 | DOI:
Issues of Jewish History as Reflected in Modern Egyptian Historiography

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In this study, based almost exclusively on Arabic-language material, the author interweaves strands of ancient, medieval, and modern Jewish history as interpreted by modern Egyptian historians who turned their attention to Jewish historiography only after the June 1967 War. With strong, political overtones, their writings attack the Jews' ancient and modern written sources to reshape historical narratives about Jews and Zionism. The dominant Zionist idea that Palestine is eternally Jewish because Jews descended from a God-chosen ancient nation is described by Egyptian historians as a concoction, a fabrication. An overwhelming majority of these scholars also downplays both the prolonged forced exile of the Jews and the persecutions attending their dispersion as reflected in Jewish and Zionist sources. In modern Egyptian historiography, this idea of exile is interpreted as an excuse to legitimize the Jews' return to the “land of their forefathers” and as a ploy to seize Palestine in its entirety from the Arab Muslims.

Keywords: historiography; June 1967 War; historical narrative; anti-Semitism; Zionism; Israel

Chapter.  10793 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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