Shlomo Sand

Shlomo Sand studied history at the University of Tel Aviv and at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, in Paris. He currently teaches contemporary history at the University of Tel Aviv. His books include The Invention of the Jewish People, On the Nation and the Jewish People, L’Illusion du politique: Georges Sorel et le débat intellectuel 1900, Georges Sorel en son temps, Le XXe siècle à l'écran and Les Mots et la terre: les intellectuels en Israël.


  • How I Learned to Fall in Love With Sanctions

    For years, Shlomo Sand opposed boycotts and sanctions. Now, he announces his support for the BDS movement amid intensification of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once more. He presents his change in position in an article originally published in Haaretz, in which he argues that sanctions applied to Israel are increasingly legitimate.

    Sand's statement comes as the British government announces plans to ban boycotts of Israeli goods by public bodies. Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, condemned this move as “a gross attack on our democratic freedoms and the independence of public bodies from Government interference”. “As if it is not enough that the UK Government has failed to act when the Israeli government has bombed and killed thousands of Palestinian civilians and stolen their homes and land, the Government is now trying to impose its inaction on all other public bodies,” he said to the Independent.

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  • Race and Ethnicity Undergraduate Reading List

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  • Shlomo Sand: 'I am not Charlie'

    The historian and author of How I stopped being a Jew, The Invention of the Land of Israel, and The Invention of the Jewish People comments on Michel Houellebecq's book Soumission and the global dynamics of contemporary dialogue over "Islam and the West".

    "Reading the Koran is a disgusting experience. Ever since Islam’s birth it has been distinguished by its desire to make the world submit to itself. Submission is its very nature."- Michel Houellebecq, 31 August 2001, speaking to Sébastien Le Fol and Anthony Palou

    Nothing can justify a murder, still less a mass murder committed in cold blood. That’s what happened in Paris at the beginning of January: an absolutely inexcusable crime. There’s nothing original about saying that: millions of people already think and feel the same, and rightly so. But seeing this terrible tragedy, one of the first things that came to my mind was this: does the deep disgust we feel when faced with a murder necessarily oblige us to identify with the victims’ actions? If – as President Holland declared – the victims are the supreme incarnation of freedom of expression, then do I have to be Charlie, too? Am I Charlie, not only because I am a secular atheist, but also on account of my fundamental antipathy toward the oppressive bases of the three great Western monotheist religions?

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