Haaretz has recently published an archeology-focused article written by Ariel David, claiming that Saudi Arabia was a Jewish Kingdom prior to Islam. But how true is this claim?
"When Saudi Arabia was a Jewish kingdom"— اٮن على #ሐበሠተ (@ibnalieth) February 9, 2021
Basically they are not satisfied with the occupation of Jerusalem, so they want Madinah under their rule... https://t.co/jHrIEG8gRc
The article traces the history of Arabic rock inscriptions found in 2014 near the southern city of Najran, ones that refer to Christian and Jewish existence in the area, citing Thawban son of Malik and the Jewish Himyarite Kingdom, which ruled over some parts of today's Yemen and south of Saudi Arabia.
According to David, the Himyarite rulers "may have seen in Judaism a potential unifying force for their new, culturally diverse empire, and an identity to rally resistance against creeping encroachment by the Byzantine and Ethiopian Christians, as well as the Zoroastrian empire of Persia".
The article later goes on to describe whether or not the Himyarite kingdom actually represented Judaism or followed its rules such as the Sabbath or the rules of kashrut.
It’s not completely false, but it’s very misleading. There was a Jewish kingdom in Yemen that includes the southern part of modern Saudi Arabia. They converted. Also, the western wall was built by an Arab Jew - Herod the Great. pic.twitter.com/76E0nYdJDN— philip phillipe (@PhillipePhilip) February 9, 2021
They just LOVE to steal things..steal land, steal culture “search for Israeli food on google and see how many middle eastern dishes they claim they’re from their culture” and now they want to steal history.— Tibo 🦦 (@freedoughnut) February 11, 2021
Responding to the highly controversial title of the article, many social media users shared the article with questions over the premise suggested by David's report, questioning whether or not the well-known presence of an ancient Himyarite kingdom and its Jewish connection point at the claim of "Saudi Arabia being once a Jewish Kingdom."
The headline is factually wrong (it's more of Jewish-controlled kingdom today!). Jahiliya tribes populated Arabia before Islam. All said and done, crooks can be tamed like before (remember Ibn Al Akhtab?), even in Haifa and Tel Aviv https://t.co/uCrLuLuCps— Shakir Husain (@Shakir_BW) February 10, 2021
Some commentators wondered if the report aims to support future claims of Jewish rights in Saudi Arabia, similar to the Zionist discourse that justifies the establishment of modern-day Israel in Palestinian land on the basis of historical and religious connections to the land. Others are still wondering when will Saudi sign a normalization accord with Israel under the current continuous American influence.
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