Steve Kramer

Jews – the Eternal People?

Beha’alotecha, a recent parsha (Torah selection), prominently mentions the Menorah, with its seven gold branches on a large lamp stand. The Menorah is the most prominent symbol of Judaism and Israel; it is featured on Israel’s emblem. The original Menorah in the Second Temple in Jerusalem was carried off by the Roman general Titus after the sack of Jerusalem in 70 CE. This was during the major wars between the Israelites and Rome: the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), the Bar Kokhba revolt (132–136 CE), and the (351-354 CE) Gallus Revolt.


Note: Common Era (CE) and Before the Common Era (BCE) are alternatives to the original Anno Domini and Before Christ notations, and are their equivalents.

You can see the Roman triumphal march carrying off the Menorah and Jewish slaves, embossed on the Arch of Titus near the ruins of the Forum in Rome. Ironically, today there are no original Romans left in Rome. Its most ancient inhabitants are probably Israelites from Judea who were sent by the Maccabee (Hasmonean) kings in the 2nd century BCE as ambassadors. (I was gratified to read this acknowledgement in a brochure furnished to us at a hotel in Rome.) The ambassadors’ mission was to forge an alliance with the Roman Republic to defend against the Syrian king, Antiochus. Israel today is a prominent country in the Eastern Mediterranean with 3,500 years of history there. But Rome is not the capital of a powerful empire, or even a leading power in Europe, with a history that has little connection to its citizens.

What makes the Jews “eternal?” First of all, genetics: “A team led by geneticist Harry Ostrer of the New York University School of Medicine concludes today that all three Jewish groups—Middle Eastern, Sephardic, and Ashkenazi—share genome-wide genetic markers that distinguish them from other worldwide populations.” In other words, modern Jews are descended from ancient Jews. (

Professor David Reich has written: “The people in any one region almost always have very little ancestry from those who lived in the same region thousands of years before.” An exception is Israel, where its Jewish inhabitants share Jewish ancestry, no matter from which land they came. (

History proves that Jews are the indigenous people of the Land of Israel. Any peoples that predated the Israelites, such as the Phoenicians or Philistines, died out or assimilated in ancient times. In 721 BCE the Assyrians expelled the Jews of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which emerged after the death of King Solomon. The “Israelis” were dispersed eastward – aka “the lost 10 tribes” – and another population of non-Israeli origin replaced them. This was the usual practice of the conquerors of the ancient Middle East. The next winners were the Babylonians, who defeated the Assyrians and conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judea in 586 BCE, while transferring most of the Israelites to Babylon. The Babylonians actually began the exile of the higher class Judeans to Babylon before that date. But in 538 BCE, the next, short-lived conquerors were the Persian Kings Cyrus, and then Darius, who allowed Judeans (and other subject peoples) to return home. However, the majority of Jews, assimilated by their prosperous lives in Babylon, remained, while some even migrated as far as China.

Although Jews inhabited what the Romans renamed “Palestine” in 70 CE, in an attempt to erase Jewish history there, foreign monarchs ruled in the Land of Israel. These were Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arab and Persian Muslims, (non-Arab) Mamluks and Ottoman Turks, and lastly the British in 1917. Jews finally created the modern, sovereign State of Israel in 1948. It has been under constant attack by many Muslim nations – but not all – ever since.

With the fall of the modern Imperial State of Iran in 1979, radical Muslim jihadists took over Iran and began its war against the entire West, but primarily Israel and the United States. That war has now reached fever pitch, with Israel attacked in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria by Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi, and Yemeni jihadi terrorists, all proxies or allies of Iran. The Grand Ayatollah in Iran and the Iranian [Islamic] Revolutionary Guard use the aforementioned countries’ soldiers as proxies to create the hoped-for Iranian Caliphate – which the mullahs expect to include the Land of Israel. If successful (God forbid) the Iranians, who are non-Arabs, will control a huge swath of the Arab Levant and Eastern Asia, from Lebanon and “Palestine” through Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Israel.

This struggle between Israel, Iran, and its proxies fiercely threatens Israel and the Jews, even Jews outside of the Middle East. It’s a maxim in Israel that, “Jews have no other country.” Therefore Israel cannot allow itself to lose this war, or any existential war.

Will Jews continue as the Eternal people? It’s up to us, but we believe that divine help is needed! What you readers may want to do is to pray that the State of Israel, the state of the eternal Jews, defeats its (and your) enemies. Besides prayers, there are numerous ways to help support Israelis and the IDF monetarily and otherwise The braver ones among you may make a solidarity trip to Israel to show your support. Many thousands have done so already. In any event, do your part, because the truth is that if Israel is defeated, Jews around the world will face an uncertain future. Not only the Jews – after the “Saturday people” are defeated, the jihadis will come after the “Sunday people.”

Check these sites out: ( Friends of the IDF;

The current war against the jihadists has proven nearly all my preconceptions of Israel’s prowess to be false. These included, “Israel knows everything that goes on in Gaza” (Netanyahu); Israel can defeat all of its enemies singly or together (hubris); Hamas wants to stop warfare and to improve the lives of the Gazans (Israeli intelligence agencies). This article hopefully provides some historical background to our horrendous battle against the Iranian jihadis and their proxies/allies, whose aim is to convert the world to Islam with, of course, Iran at its head.

About the Author
Steve Kramer grew up in Atlantic City, graduated from Johns Hopkins in 1967, adopted the hippie lifestyle until 1973, then joined the family business for 15 years. Steve moved to Israel from Margate, NJ in 1991 with his family. He has written more than 1100 articles about Israel and Jews since making Aliyah. Steve and his wife Michal live in Kfar Saba.
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