Brit-Am Historical Reports (11 March, 2014, 9 Adar-2, 5774)
1. Stephen Phillips: The 'Queen of Sheba' was the Egyptian Queen of Thebes
2. Stephen Phillips:Â The Gulf of Akaba is the Red Sea Crossed by the Israelites
3. A Blood-Libel in Prussia, Germany, 1901
1. Stephen Phillips: The 'Queen of Sheba' was the Egyptian Queen of Thebes
Velikovsky claimed that Hatshepsut of Egypt was the 'Queen of Sheba' of the OT who visited Solomon, and who was referred to by Josephus as 'the queen of Egypt and Ethiopia'. [Sheba is another pronunciation of Thebes the Egyptian center]. Note that it is from the time of Queen Hatshepsut that Solomon's proverbs appear in the Egyptian records prompting the renowned French archaeologist Pierre Montet to make the following scathing comments:-
# We possess two almost contemporary works which belong to the category of moral and didactic literature - the Maxims of the scribe Ani, whose touching remark about the love each man owes his mother is often quoted, and the Moral Treatise of Amenmopet in thirty chapters, which won instant fame as soon as it was published, because it was almost unanimously recognised as having served as a model for the Proverbs of Solomon #. (Eternal Egypt p.220, Pierre Montet, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London, 1964)
# The maxims of Amenemope ..... make it possible to see how much Israel owed to her long contact with Egypt. The earliest commentators were struck by the numerous analogies between the maxims and Solomon's Proverbs, particularly in the third part. The Hebrew sage leaves out the specifically Egyptian elements which abounded in his Egyptian model, but as regards essentials he follows Egyptian teaching #. (Ibid. p.280.)
It is not without reason that Josephus called the Queen of Sheba, the queen of Egypt and Ethiopia (Antiquities viii.vi.2.). The Hebrew letter Shin can sometimes be transliterated as a 't' or a 'd' hence Josephus called Bashan in northern Israel both Batanaian (Antiquities ix.159) and Batanidi (Ibid. iv.173). The half tribe of Menashe who dwelt in the land of Gilead likewise appear in the Egyptian records as Menthu: Nomad hunters and robbers of the Eastern Desert and Southern Syria. They were famous for their beardsÂ (An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary Vol. 1, p.306). The name Shuham [son of Dan] likewise becomes Dahae when transliterated into Persian, or Daci when transliterated into Greek. I could quote a number of other examples. In fact, Yair Davidiy (in The Tribes) already noticedÂ that the "S" and "T" or "TH" were interchangeable and identified Issachar with the Tochari, who were also called Attacorae. The Hebrew name Sheba when transliterated into Egyptian becomes Theba becomes Thebes!
"And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of YAM SUPH, in the land of Edom " (1 Kings 9:26.).
This clearly identifies Yam Suph as the Gulf of Akaba. It is at the bottom of the Gulf of Akaba that remains of Egyptian chariots have been found, but no one seems to want to believe that report. To the contrary, everyone seems to be doing their utmost to discredit the findings. Note that up till the beginning of the last century, it was accepted that the land of Midian, which is where HaShem tells Moshe he is going to bring his people (Exod. 3:12), was on the EASTERN shore of the Gulf of Akaba. The Jewish Encyclopedia, the Arab writers and Josephus all place Midian in Saudi Arabia - NOT in what is today known as the Sinai Peninsula, a designation which dates from the time when Helen the wife of Emperor Constantine (4th century CE) decided to call it that. Even the Apostle Paul placed Mount Sinai in the Hagar range of mountains in Saudi Arabia. Archaeologists are searching the Sinai Peninsula in vain for evidence of the exodus. The twelve wells at Elim are still there to this day - in Saudi Arabia. The rock of Horeb, which is about 40 feet high, has a split right down the middle and evidence of water erosion at the base of the crack, is still there to this day - in Saudi Arabia. Even the bitter waters are there to this day. Mount Sinai, which is called Jebel al Lawz, is completely blackened by intense heat. At the base of the mountain, there are two altars, one particularly large one with depictions of Hathor cows etc etc. But, hey, who wants to believe the truth?
3. A Blood-Libel in Prussia, Germany, 1901
Helmut Walser Smith.The Butcher's Tale: Murder and Anti-Semitism in a German Town. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002. 270 pp. $25.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-393-05098-1.
Reviewed by Richard S. Levy (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Published on H-Antisemitism (December, 2002)
The sensational murder of a German high school student in March 1901 is the "tale" that allows Helmut Walser Smith to elucidate the ancient and modern historical forces that turned this grisly crime into an emblematic event. He clearly relishes telling the story, sparing us no detail of the dismemberment and redistribution of the victim's body parts all over the town of Konitz, West Prussia. But Smith is not interested in rehearsing an act of senseless violence. On the contrary, his purpose, admirably executed in this elegant study, is to make sense out of the affair.
The case immediately assumed the form of a ritual murder accusation against several Jews, foremost among them one of the town's kosher butchers. The "blood libel" that first emerged in the twelfth century maintained that Jews killed Christian children in order to use their blood for religiously prescribed purposes. Despite the rejection of the charges by secular and high Church authorities, the Christian masses responded repeatedly to the myth, often with murderous attacks on Jews. Though born in the Middle Ages, the charge of ritual murder was never long absent in one part of the world or another; modern versions of the fantasy, often invested with a sexual subtext, were common fare for antisemitic newspaper readers. Even the more fastidious could consult learned books by theologians, earnestly discussing the evidence for and against Jews as ritual murderers. Some of the cases actually went to trial, and some led to murder convictions (although not of the "ritual" variety).
In the book's longest chapter, Smith lays out this context in extended historical perspective. But his analysis of the immediate milieu for what proved to be the most extreme episode of antisemitic violence in the imperial era is what makes this work important, convincing, and impressive. He points out that the ingredients--antisemitism, nationalism, racism, private malice--existed in many other locales without resulting in pogroms. The convergence of these forces in and around Konitz, however, produced three waves of violence, with no loss of life, but with extensive property damage and an unusual degree of lawlessness. Whether ritualized ceremonies of humiliation and exclusion, rather than murder, would have satisfied the mob is difficult to know for certain. Smith tends to see the violence as essentially exclusionary. I think it more likely that only the presence of Prussian troops prevented the terrorization of Jews from developing into something potentially far more deadly.
How did the crime lead to this rare occurrence of mob violence in the Kaiserreich? Surely, the persistence of the blood libel and a cluster of other anti-Jewish stereotypes provides an explanation for why suspicion fell rather too easily upon the Jews of Konitz. Smith's meticulous research shows how feelings of mistrust continually escalated, until they achieved a broadly based certainty of Jewish guilt and then issued in violence. Local relationships proved crucial here. Many of those who gave steadily more detailed testimony against Jews worked for or in Jewish households. Personal malevolence, class conflict, and professional competition can account for some of this, but not all. A more modern sort of organized political antisemitism also played a significant role. Smith establishes a connection between antisemitic journalists, who arrived from Berlin once the case began to unfold, and the stirring up of popular passions. The press kept the pot boiling by fabricating evidence, breathlessly reporting every new revelation, validating the most dubious witnesses, and contributing all the while to the darkest fears of the population.
Smith is careful not to dismiss the sincerity of the mob. True, there were several participants in the affair who had ulterior motives of one kind or another, and whose testimonies were clearly and consciously deceitful, but a great many others utterly believed their own lies. "By this time, the consensus against the Jews--based on superstitions, rumors, false testimony, and biased reporting--had become an article of faith, and accusations an act of allegiance to a community that no longer included Jews. Denunciations were then not only safe but even dutiful..." (p. 156). Smith calls upon "distorted memory," "reality of illusory memories," "retroactive hallucination," and "source misattribution" to explain the wide-scale belief and participation in the denunciations. The cumulative effects of this dynamic proved difficult to contain for sober German officials, who for the most part behaved responsibly. The mayor, judicial officers, regional administrator, Prussian soldiers, and police investigators from Berlin never lost their heads, and ultimately they prevailed in the restoration of order and the meting out of justice to rioters.
But there is very little to feel good about in this story. Even the victory of the forces of order may have had unforeseen negative consequences. German Jews were certainly disturbed to see a revival of "medieval madness" at the dawn of the twentieth century, but they could reassure themselves, on the strength of the events in Konitz, that the state would protect their lives, rights, and property, never dreaming that a future German state would administrate the destruction of all three. Konitz also revived the failing antisemitic political movement or at least set it on a more dangerous path of development. Their parliamentary fortunes in decline, the antisemites learned valuable lessons about the uses of violence, the ways it could be engendered, and then exploited. A new spirit of radicalism is evident in their Konitz agitation. Perhaps carried away by the passions of the mob, which they took as an exhilarating affirmation of their own Jew-hatred, they began to advocate measures far more radical than they had ever dared before. The objectivity of the judiciary, the competence of the police, the honesty of elected officials--all these were openly sneered at. If the Jews escaped punishment for this atrocious murder, perhaps, it was because they had used their riches to suborn German public servants. If the laws could not protect German children, then the "system" itself was at fault. Until this time, mainstream antisemites had contented themselves with calls for conventional legislative remedies, designed to reduce or eliminate Jewish influence on public life. After Konitz, talk of violent self-defense, the extra-legal expropriation of "ritual murderers," and the need for a "revolution of German values" began to invade the antisemitic press and pamphlet literature. The process of delegitimizing German institutions that became the hallmark of the Weimar era was already discernible in the decade before the First World War.
Smith tells this story and examines its meaning with great sensitivity. Jews, guiltless of the murder, had their lives ruined and hopes dashed. They experienced firsthand the "fragility of individual human bonds," finding that neighbors had become strangers. But Konitz itself was also changed for the worse by the "Butcher's Tale." The breakdown in communal solidarity was never repaired. Its complete collapse awaited the Third Reich.