Since writer Kevin McKenna reported on a Glasgow walk against anti-Semitism, we've had several spirited responses on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Read more: A show of support to Glasgow's Jews that was an antidote to hate

This has led to our readers discussing the wider issue of who rightfully has sovereignty over the land.

Today, a reader argues for a clearer understanding of history.

Dr J Macgregor of Clackmannanshire writes:

"Norman Ogston (Letters, December 4) asserts that Britain 'gave back Palestine as the ancestral home of the Jews'. That is indeed the history as written by British historians, but Mr Ogston should consider the very different accounts written by others.

"The Israeli historian Shlomo Sand (Tel Aviv University) risked more than his reputation when in 2008 he published The Invention of the Jewish People. A re-examination of Jewish history, it exposed 'conventional lies about the past' which served to justify the traditional narrative (such as that repeated by Mr Ogston).

"Professor Sand challenged the orthodox views of 'the authorised agents of memory' who had steadfastly denied any deviation from the received version of Jewish history.

"Another Israeli historian, Adiyah Horon, insists there is no truth in the claim that an 'exile' occurred after the destruction of the Temple when the Emperors Titus and Hadrian supposedly expelled the Jews from Palestine.

"Arthur Koestler, a Hungarian-born naturalised British citizen of Jewish parentage, demonstrated another misconception in his remarkable book, The Thirteenth Tribe.

Sign up for our letter of the day email


"Ashkenazi Jews, who today comprise some 90 per cent of the world’s population of Jews, sprang not from the 'holy land', but from barbarians living in the ancient empire of Khazaria between the Caspian and Black Seas.

"In his masterpiece of world history, The Silk Roads, Peter Frankopan, director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University, explained the spread of Judaism in the ninth century when the Khazars chose to convert to that religion en masse. Many of these Khazarian Jewish converts migrated to what today is Poland and Russia, and the evidence demonstrates that they had no link to 'the holy land' or Palestine.

"Dr Eran Elhaik, an Israeli geneticist (and himself Ashkenazi) conducted genome studies at John Hopkins University tracing the geographical origins of a significant number of Ashkenazi Jews across the world.

"He clearly demonstrated that their ancestral origins were not Palestine or around the Mediterranean, but from that region now in north-east Turkey that once comprised the Khazarian empire. In other words, the science appears to confirm the history of the above-named academics.

"The great irony is that significant numbers of the Palestinians driven from their homes into the Gaza strip, and being slaughtered there today by Israel, are quite possibly descended from the original Jews of that land who, through the expediency of survival, converted to Islam following the Muslim conquest of the Levant in the first half of the 7th century.

"No matter the historical truth, the utterly disgraceful killing and maiming of innocent children in Gaza must stop now."