'Zionist myth' book on prize shortlist

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A controversial book which argues that the idea of a Jewish people descended from the ancient Israelites is a Zionist myth, has been shortlisted for British Jewry's main literary award.

The Invention of the Jewish People by Tel Aviv University Professor Shlomo Sand is one of four books up for the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize.

But the choice has already come under fire. Mark Gardner, the communications director for the Community Security Trust, who has previously attacked the book, said this week: "The accuracy and originality of this book have been challenged by serious critics, including Anita Shapiro of the Journal of Israeli History, whose review was entitled The Jewish-people deniers. This properly summarises the book's attack upon our notions of Jewish heritage, history and peoplehood.

"Sand's logic is directed against modern Israel, but it subverts Jews everywhere, reducing them to little more than a random assortment who happen to share a religion."...

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