The Divergence of Judaism and Islam. Interdependence, Modernity, and Political Turmoil

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Issues of Jewish History as Reflected in Modern Egyptian Historiography · 235

for instance, tries to prove from biblical verses that genealogically the
Jews are part of the Canaanites:

We may say that the Bible verses prove that the Jewish nation who
lived for a certain period in Palestine is a fusion of various races—
Amorites, Hittites, Moabites, Edomites, and Arabs who intermin-
gled to such an extent that there was no longer a Jewish race... so
that the Canaanites and not the Hebrews became most of the people
who worshipped God Jehovah.^13

Yet as we can see, according to this definition, the Jews are as much the
original inhabitants of the Land as the Canaanites. Thus, in fact, inadver-
tently, Zubayda ̔Aṭa supports the right of the Jews to the Land, as be-
ing part of its original inhabitants. This point is furthermore enforced by
Ḥasan Khalifa, who claims that the Hebrews were in fact of Arab origin:

The name Hebrew was given to a group which emigrated or ar-
rived together with the ancient Arab emigration waves from the
heart of the Arabian peninsula to the northern parts of the ancient
Near East. It settled in the area of Palestine, together with other
groups who had arrived earlier and were known as the Canaan-
ites and the Phoenicians in the western part of Syria and Palestine.
Based on this, it is most probable that the early Hebrews are of
ancient Arab origin. And perhaps the best proof for the Arab origin
of the Hebrews is the linguistic similarity of the words Arab and
Hebrew [in Hebrew: ערבי/עברי, just a change of letters].^14

In addition to the rupture of the genealogical bond among these four
groups, there was an obvious effort to disrupt the historical and ideologi-
cal continuity between the immigration of Abraham to Canaan and the
immigration of the Children of Israel from Egypt. Thus, whereas Abra-
ham’s departure for Canaan is presented as a religious mission, the entry
of the Musawiyun to the Land of Israel was presented either as an infiltra-
tion of small and unimportant groups to the outposts of Canaan or as a
brutal invasion of land that did not belong to them.^15

The Question of Historical Continuity

The prevalent view in the research literature regarding Jewish historical
continuity is that since the crush of the Bar Kochba revolt, Jewish history

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