Early pioneers of the Land of Israel planting at Mount of Gilboa in northern Israel. (KKL-JNF Photo Archive) (KKL-JNF Photo Archive)
Early pioneers

Ignoring a millennia-old Jewish connection to the land predating Islamic conquest, Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper claims that Jews “settled Arab lands” to build the State of Israel.

By: Beth Stern, United with Israel

A popular German weekly has been reprimanded by an Israeli embassy spokeswoman for a rather obvious error in their lead article last week, the Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.

Adi Farjon took to Twitter on Thursday after seeing the cover story, called, “Israel at 70: Why is There No Quiet in This Country?” What triggered her criticism was the part of the article’s subheading, however, which stated, “Once upon a time, Jews from all over the world settled in Arab lands. They simply created facts from which the state of Israel grew.”

Farjon’s reaction? “@zeitonline friendly reminder: Jews have been living in this land since the time of King David, King Solomon and Jesus.”

Considering Twitter’s limits on numbers of characters in a message, this was a necessarily very short history lesson. Another could have gone even further back, reminding the paper that the Bible clearly states that God gave the land of Israel to the first Jew, Abraham, and that Joshua conquered it with the tribes of Israel in the 13th century BCE.

Certainly, the only time this area of the Middle East could possibly have been called “Arab lands” was when the Muslims conquered the Holy Land from the Byzantine Empire in the 7th century, a period that lasted only some 450 years.

Another body that was angered by the important omissions in the article was the Anne Frank Educational Center, which is located in the city of Frankfurt am Main in Germany, where the famous diarist was born. According to the report, the center also posted a message to Twitter, castigating Die Zeit that “historical background of the founding of Israel is not mentioned [nor] centuries-old antisemitism & the Shoah.”

Die Zeit claims a readership of 2 million people, with 500,000 subscribers. It was established soon after World War II, in 1946, and is considered to be a centrist paper, politically speaking.