Tzvi Misinai, a secular Israeli researcher, historian and computer scientist born in Yerushalayim in 1946, has long concluded that 90% of Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank are descended from Jews who lived in Eretz Yisroel and that half of them know it. He even based a new Middle East solution upon this theory.
According to Misinai, most of the Palestinians were forcibly converted during the Fatimid era under Caliph al-Hakim between 996 to 1021 and only 27% returned to Judaism when the edict was repealed in 1044.
In a book on the topic, Brother Shall Not Lift Sword Against Brother, he collects testimonies from Arabs of their Jewish ancestry. He also cites earlier anthropological studies and claims that three genetic studies lend credence to his theory, one indicating that modern Jews and Arabs are descended from an ancient core population in the area, another which finds that the two groups’ immune systems are extremely similar, and a third which found that only Ashkenazi Jews and Palestinians are genetically susceptible to an inherited deafness syndrome.
Due to his theory, Misinai suggests a third solution for the Israel/Palestinian conflict in contrast to the “two state” and “one state for two peoples” solutions. His idea is to set up one state for one people by reintroducing Palestinians to their lost Jewish heritage; not to Jewish observance, but to mere acknowledgement of the common Hebrew origin.
Misinai’s notion has supporters among some Palestinians and Bedouins, and even among some Orthodox Jewish residents of the West Bank. At least one member of the latter group insists that the Palestinians would need to embrace Jewish observance to become part of the Jewish people.
David Steger – Matzav.com Israel News Bureau