Part of Jerusalem's Old City, Israel, June 1 2021. Picture: REUTERS/ILAN ROSENBERG
Part of Jerusalem's Old City, Israel, June 1 2021. Picture: REUTERS/ILAN ROSENBERG

There are historians, revisionist historians and pretenders to the study of history. I wonder where Terry Crawford-Browne finds himself (“No evidence to support myths around Israel”, June 1).

He seems to have missed reading renowned historians such as the late Sir Martin Gilbert, dean of the chair of history at Oxford University, Paul Johnson, or even Flavius Josephus. Even the most bizarre revisionist historian would double up at Crawford-Browne’s current theories. 

Some may remember Crawford-Browne as the self-appointed and self-important “secretary” of that very august and failed kangaroo court called the Russel Tribunal on Palestine held in Cape Town around 2013, which was described by a leading SA jurist as “a charade of bias dressed up as impartiality”. Over the years he has fantasised on any number of theories about Israel and the Jews, and contradicted these notions time and again.

The latest claim he makes is that there is no evidence of Jewish presence in the Holy Land and goes on to tell us that “Palestinian” Jews converted to Christianity then converted again to Islam, therefore debunking the claim of Jewish presence in that region. Indeed, it is highly probable that there were the odd conversions as he described, but he can’t substantiate any cogent numbers or statistics and therefore it’s his — and only his — wild theory, unsubstantiated statistical, historic or biblical study.

But even the erudite Crawford-Browne must know that it was the Romans who christened that territory Palestine — prior to that time it was known as Judea. Even he would know that there was no Palestinian nation, no Palestinian language, no borders or recognised leaders, kings or chieftains, no national songs, poetry or literature. But, more importantly, given his claim of being such an activist in the World Council of Churches he would know that Jesus was a Jewish rabbi.

Anybody who has followed Crawford-Browne over the years, reading his continuous vilification of the Jews, will ignore his theories and at best just mark him absent from intelligent argument. 

Allan Wolman
Tel Aviv

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