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Palestinians are the descendants of the area's original Jews.
"Most of the early Zionist leaders, including David Ben Gurion believed that the Palestinians were the descendants of the area's original Jews. They believed the Jews had later converted to Islam."
Jonathan Cook in an Electronic Intifada article addresses the phenomena of a book 19 weeks on Israel's bestseller list that challenges Israel's biggest taboo. The book: When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? written by Shlomo Sand, an"expert on European history at Tel Aviv University" controversially argues that: the Jews were never exiled from the Holy Land, that most of today's Jews have no historical connection to the land called Israel and that the only political solution to the country's conflict with the Palestinians is to abolish the Jewish state ....
... Sand's main argument is that until little more than a century ago, Jews thought of themselves as Jews only because they shared a common religion. At the turn of the 20th century, he said, Zionist Jews challenged this idea and started creating a national history by inventing the idea that Jews existed as a people separate from their religion.Equally, the modern Zionist idea of Jews being obligated to return from exile to the Promised Land was entirely alien to Judaism, he added... "It is not taught in Israeli schools but most of the early Zionist leaders, including David Ben Gurion [Israel's first prime minister], believed that the Palestinians were the descendants of the area's original Jews. They believed the Jews had later converted to Islam" ... Israelis had been, if not exactly supportive, at least curious about his argument. Tom Segev, one of the country's leading journalists, has called the book "fascinating and challenging."