Jews as Phoenicians and Carthaginians?

Excellent work by Ron Unz which fully supports Miles Mathis views about Phoenicia, although he never mentions him

With a final section about the Holocaust which shows that it is primarily a post WW2 Jewish construct

This long extract is towards the end of his nearly 13,000 word essay. A very long read but well worth the effort

Jews as Phoenicians and Carthaginians?

However, in reviewing this genetic evidence I saw an obvious puzzle that seemed to have passed unnoticed in all of the discussions I’d read.

Most mainstream experts seemed to quietly concede that Sand was correct in arguing that by the time of the Roman Empire the overwhelming majority of the Jews living along the shores of the Mediterranean were probably of convert stock, having little ancestry from the Israelites of Palestine. Yet the genetic evidence painted a very different picture for the major subsequent Jewish populations.

As mentioned, the Ashkenazi Jews seem to derive from Middle Eastern males who took European wives in the centuries after the Fall of Rome. Meanwhile, the Sephardic Jews of Muslim Spain are also of Middle Eastern ancestry, and they were the wealthiest and most numerous component of Jewry throughout much of the Middle Ages prior to their 1492 expulsion by Ferdinand and Isabella. So if only a small fraction of Jews had roots in Palestine, it appears quite odd that these would have become the progenitors of both the Sephardic and male Ashkenazi lines. Genetic evidence seems to conflict with strong literary and historical evidence.

I think the solution to this apparent mystery comes from considering a very simple question. If millions of pagans across the Mediterranean world probably converted to Judaism during the centuries following the conquests of Alexander the Great and the rise of Rome, we should ask ourselves which pagans were the most likely to do so.

The Greeks dominated the Hellenistic world, and the success and appeal of their culture was so overwhelming that large numbers of the Jews in Palestine became ardent Hellenizers, incorporating pagan elements into their lifestyle and eventually sparking the Maccabean revolt against such detested foreign influences. So it seems very unlikely that substantial numbers of Greeks or Greek-influenced groups would have converted to Judaism when the evidence is that the flow of quasi-converts was far stronger in the opposite direction. And the long history of bitter hostility between the very large Greek and Jewish populations of Alexandria further undercuts the notion of numerous Greek converts.

Similarly, the world-conquering Romans of the Republic ruled Palestine, and there seems no evidence that any of them converted to Judaism or found that religion attractive, with Cicero’s remarks suggesting that the Jews were merely considered a disruptive and disreputable nationality. During the early Empire, the Romans brutally crushed several Jewish revolts and although some elite Romans were attracted to the religion, the Jewish population across the Roman world had already become very large by that point, with no indication that it had been swelled by Roman converts.

So if it seems rather unlikely that substantial numbers of either Greeks or Romans had converted to Judaism prior to the birth of Christ, what was the probable source of the huge number of such apparent converts?

An intriguing possibility presents itself. The ancient Judeans were a Semitic people, closely related in language and culture to the neighboring Canaanites, primarily distinguished by their fiercely monotheistic religion. And by far the greatest and most important of these Canaanite peoples were the Phoenicians, whose coastal city-states included Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos, and who centuries earlier had founded Carthage as a North African colony on the coast of Tunisia. These Punic peoples—the Phoenicians and Carthaginians—were renowned as the greatest merchants of the ancient world, and they had successfully established a far-flung trading empire long before the rise of Classical Greece or Rome, an empire that endured for nearly a thousand years. Their business activities had also made them great innovators, and the Greeks credited them with having invented the Alphabet, which was later borrowed and adapted by all other peoples.

The Phoenician cities had eventually been subjugated by the large Semitic land empires of the Assyrians and the Babylonians, becoming tributary vassals, and this status continued under the Persian Empire, which relied upon the Phoenicians to provide most of its navy. But during Alexander the Great’s successful campaign to conquer Persia, he destroyed Tyre and any residue of Phoenician independence was permanently lost under his Hellenistic successors.

By this same era, Carthage had established a large North African empire in the Western Mediterranean, including many colonies of its own, and had probably become the largest and wealthiest city of the ancient world. But during the following century, the Punic Wars against Rome ended with Carthage’s total defeat and the loss of all of its territories, ultimately culminating in its final destruction in 146 BC.

We know that the Israelites had certainly had regular contact with their nearby Phoenician cousins. According to the Bible, King Solomon relied upon the skilled artisans of Tyre for his building projects, and a later king of Israel married into the ruling dynasty of that same city. Although these particular historical incidents seem quite plausible, I think a much more realistic perspective is that the wealthy, sophisticated merchants of Phoenicia regarded the Israelites as their rustic country cousins, probably poor and ignorant and fanatically religious with their monotheistic creed.

However, once Phoenicia had permanently fallen under the alien rule of the Hellenistic heirs of Alexander and the surviving Carthaginians had been incorporated into the empire created by their bitter Roman enemies, it is easy to imagine that many members of both those Punic populations might have gradually become drawn towards a messianic religion such as Judaism espoused by a closely-related Semitic people. According to modern estimates, Carthage’s North African empire probably included 3-4 million inhabitants at its peak, easily explaining the source of so many of the apparent Jewish converts who later appeared in that same part of the world.

Alexandria was the largest and most sophisticated city in the Eastern portion of Rome’s empire and one-third of its million residents were Jews, often locked in communal strife with the one-third who were Greek. It seems far more likely that these urbanized Jews were the descendants of Phoenician converts rather than Judean peasant farmers who had somehow been transformed into city-dwellers in such huge numbers. The very large Jewish community in Cyprus off the coast of Lebanon also seems likely to have had similar roots. Indeed, Michael Grant noted that as early as 6 AD a leading Jewish rabble-rouser involved in anti-Greek agitation in Palestine bore the distinctly Punic name of Hannibal.

The Palestinian Jews had no sea-faring tradition nor any history of colonization and were never known as merchants, with their most notable characteristic being their religious fanaticism and the violent rebellions it regularly inspired. But by the time of the early Roman Empire, we find enormous Jewish populations in coastal trading cities and islands, with Josephus making the (probably exaggerated) claim that 500,000 Jews lived in Cyrenaica on the Libyan coast, not far from destroyed Carthage. How plausible is it that Judean peasants could have migrated to all those distant locations in such large numbers, or had suddenly become the successful merchants and traders that many of these Jews seemed to be?

Outside the vicinity of the Middle East, those regions that later became centers of large Jewish populations were Spain and portions of the North African coast, both of which had been Carthaginian territory, a very suggestive pattern. And even as the Jewish population of the Roman Empire grew larger and became an increasing topic of discussion in the histories of that era, any mention of the residual Phoenicians or Carthaginians became less and less frequent, with those two historical trends possibly being connected.

Furthermore, conversion to Judaism required adult circumcision, a very painful and sometimes dangerous process that functioned as a major deterrent to potential adherents, and by foregoing that requirement, Christianity was able to greatly swell its ranks of Gentile converts. But Herodotus and some other ancient sources claimed that the Phoenicians already practiced circumcision, which would have made it much easier for them to become Jews.

The cities of the Phoenicians were located in present-day Lebanon and much of that country’s population are their direct descendants. For centuries, the Lebanese, whether living at home or in their far-flung diaspora, have been widely regarded as some of the world’s shrewdest businessmen and traders, surely reflecting that Phoenician heritage and its enduring traditions. But although the Jews of Judea never had any such reputation, the Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews certainly did, further suggesting that their true origins lay with a different Semitic people.


Sand spent a few pages discussing the possibility of Jewish converts from among Phoenicians and Carthaginians, but he failed to give the idea the importance it deserved, instead devoting many times more space to the far less plausible Khazar ancestry of the European Jews. Indeed, his discussion was so meager that the issue was never mentioned in the long Wikipedia page devoted to his book nor in any of the reviews that I read. And although Sand cited a French work from 1962 that had briefly asserted the possibility, I have never seen the hypothesis mentioned anywhere among modern writers. For example, Paul Johnson’s widely praised 1987 bestseller A History of the Jews runs over 650 pages, but neither “Phoenician” nor “Carthaginian” appear anywhere in its index.

Although there seems no indication that this origin theory had ever circulated within the Jewish community, strong sympathy for those other Semitic peoples has been quite common. For two thousand years, Jews have regarded the Romans as their most hated enemy, the foreign nation that conquered and oppressed them, brutally subdued their repeated revolts, and demolished their Second Temple, the central shrine of their religion. But more than a century before it seized Jerusalem, Rome itself had nearly been destroyed by Carthage during the Second Punic War, so throughout history many Jews have greatly admired that kindred Semitic empire. During that war, the Carthaginians had been led by Hannibal, widely regarded as one of history’s most brilliant military commanders, who repeatedly destroyed far superior Roman armies before the weight of their greater resources finally overwhelmed him. Hannibal later fled overseas, offering his services to all enemies of Rome, and many years afterward when he was about to fall into Roman hands, he chose suicide by poison rather than captivity, thus explaining the name of the Israeli government’s controversial “Hannibal Directive.” For related reasons, Sigmund Freud explained that as a Jew he had always regarded Hannibal as one of his personal heroes.

So unless modern DNA testing has become sufficiently precise to distinguish the genetics of the ancient Judeans from that of their close Phoenician cousins, I think the latter group should be treated as a leading candidate for the true origin of the modern Jews, including both the Sephardics of Spain and the male line of the Ashkenazis of Eastern Europe.

I wish I could take personal credit for this bold, seemingly persuasive hypothesis that solves many different puzzles, but I can’t. Nearly fifty years ago I happened to read The Outline of History, the sweeping 1920 history of the world by British polymath H.G. Wells, whose narrative stretches from the origins of life to the end of the world war, and he devoted a couple of paragraphs in its 1,200 pages to presenting this exact theory of Jewish origins, which he regarded as so plausible as to almost be self-evidently true. I found his hypothesis quite convincing at the time and have always been surprised that no one else seems to have ever taken it up in the hundred years since it was first proposed.

John Beaty and the Secrets of American Military Intelligence

In his day Wells had ranked as one of the world’s leading public intellectuals and in a book he published more than a century ago, he briefly sketched out a Jewish origins theory that seems far superior to anything subsequently proposed by other researchers, a theory that should be revived. Sometimes old books contain pearls of wisdom missing in more recent publications.

Admittedly, whether present-day Jews trace their ancestry to the ancient Judeans or instead to a different, closely-related Semitic people who lived a few dozen miles north and converted to Judaism two thousand years ago hardly seems of monumental importance. But the content of other old and forgotten books may contain material much more relevant to current controversies.

For example, the work of Prof. John Beaty that had produced this article deserves very serious consideration, especially once we recognize that the main criticism of his 1951 text—his espousal of the Khazar Hypothesis many decades before DNA studies had debunked it—was completely tendentious and unfair. Beaty’s extremely strong academic and national security credentials lend considerable weight to all of his analysis of the political events that he himself had witnessed.

Although much of Beaty’s book was quite controversial, the fierce recent attacks upon his credibility that prompted my investigation of Jewish origins had been triggered when I cited a glancing mention he had made about an important historical event:

Beaty also sharply denounced American support for the new state of Israel, which was potentially costing us the goodwill of so many millions of Muslims and Arabs. And as a very minor aside, he also criticized the Israelis for continuing to claim that Hitler had killed six million Jews, a highly implausible accusation that had no apparent basis in reality and seemed to be just a fraud concocted by Jews and Communists, aimed at poisoning our relations with postwar Germany and extracting money for the Jewish State from the long-suffering German people.

Furthermore, he was scathing toward the Nuremberg Trials, which he described as a “major indelible blot” upon America and “a travesty of justice.” According to him, the proceedings were dominated by vengeful German Jews, many of whom engaged in falsification of testimony or even had criminal backgrounds. As a result, this “foul fiasco” merely taught Germans that “our government had no sense of justice.” Sen. Robert Taft, the Republican leader of the immediate postwar era took a very similar position, which later won him the praise of John F. Kennedy in Profiles in Courage. The fact that the chief Soviet prosecutor at Nuremberg had played the same role during the notorious Stalinist show trials of the late 1930s, during which numerous Old Bolsheviks confessed to all sorts of absurd and ridiculous things, hardly enhanced the credibility of the proceedings to many outside observers.

So we find that just a few years after the end of World War II, an established academic whose wartime role had given him the best possible knowledge of American intelligence information casually ridiculed the Holocaust as dishonest wartime propaganda, a fraud already abandoned by almost everyone in the world except for Israel’s government broadcasters. Moreover, although his 1951 conservative bestseller provoked a wave of ferocious attacks and denunciations by the ADL and numerous other opponents, none of those critics ever challenged his very explicit Holocaust Denial. Indeed, as far as I can tell, Beaty’s disregard or dismissal of the alleged Holocaust seems to have been almost universal among mainstream Western journalists, academics, and public figures throughout the late 1940s and 1950s.

For example, in the 1970s Prof. Robert Faurisson became one of France’s leading Holocaust Deniers, and some years ago he made an extremely interesting point:

Three of the best known works on the Second World War are General Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe (New York: Doubleday [Country Life Press], 1948), Winston Churchill’s The Second World War (London: Cassell, 6 vols., 1948-1954), and the Mémoires de guerre of General de Gaulle (Paris: Plon, 3 vols., 1954-1959). In these three works not the least mention of Nazi gas chambers is to be found.

Eisenhower’s Crusade in Europe is a book of 559 pages; the six volumes of Churchill’s Second World War total 4,448 pages; and de Gaulle’s three-volume Mémoires de guerre is 2,054 pages. In this mass of writing, which altogether totals 7,061 pages (not including the introductory parts), published from 1948 to 1959, one will find no mention either of Nazi “gas chambers,” a “genocide” of the Jews, or of “six million” Jewish victims of the war.

recently analyzed this striking silence:

As Faurisson emphasized, during the years 1948-1959, Eisenhower, Churchill, and de Gaulle published their memoirs and histories, which totaled more than 7,000 pages. These individuals were the greatest victorious heroes of World War II and the massive works they had published were intended to permanently establish their places in history, not merely for the next few years, but for many decades and even centuries to come.

Mainstream Holocaust scholars have reasonably argued that the event they study was probably the greatest crime ever committed in the history of the world, the rapid extermination of six million innocent victims by one of the world’s most highly-educated countries using diabolically advanced scientific means.

Those three leaders had led the global campaign to defeat the country responsible for the Holocaust, which had only occurred about a decade earlier.

Yet no one reading those 7,000 pages of text would have ever suspected that any Holocaust had even occurred. How can that possibly be explained under the standard historical narrative?

My own contrary explanation is a very simple one. All three of those top leaders knew perfectly well that the Holocaust was merely a hoax, a ridiculous concoction of wartime propaganda. They were sure that within another five or ten years, twenty at the most, the Holocaust hoax would have been completely debunked and universally recognized as absurd, just as had happened with the atrocity-hoaxes of the First World War. So they believed that if they mentioned it in their books, they would be endlessly ridiculed by future generations, and they wanted to avoid that embarrassing fate.

The voluminous, posthumously published diaries of Gen. George Patton and James Forrestal, our first Secretary of Defense, also contain no indication that any Jewish Holocaust had occurred.


In the decades that followed, other knowledgeable figures became far more explicit and emphatic in their dismissal of the Holocaust.

Consider the case of Prof. Revilo Oliver, a very right-wing but erudite classicist who had been one of Beaty’s wartime colleagues. Oliver had directed a secret research group at the War Department, leading a staff that eventually grew to 175, and he was afterwards cited for his outstanding government service. His concerns about the domestic threat to American society mirrored those of Beaty, and he was friendly with Yale professor Wilmoore Kendall, a leading conservative figure who encouraged William F. Buckley, Jr. and L. Brent Bozell, two of his young proteges, to found National Review in 1955, with Oliver becoming one of its leading early contributors. A few years later, Oliver also became a founding member of the right-wing John Birch Society, and editor of its monthly magazine, American Opinion.

Given this combination of wartime intelligence work and postwar political activism, Oliver’s 1981 memoirs provided a wealth of important material. He was a man of harsh words, and much like Beaty, he denounced the Nuremberg Tribunals, which he believed had brought everlasting shame upon his own country:

I was, of course, profoundly shocked by the foul murders at Nuremberg that brought on the American people an indelible shame. Savages and Oriental barbarians normally kill, with or without torture, the enemies whom they have overcome, but even they do not sink so low in the scale of humanity as to perform the obscene farce of holding quasi-judicial trials before they kill, and had the Americans — for, given their absolute power, the responsibility must fall on them, and their guilt cannot be shifted to their supposed allies — had the Americans, I say, merely slaughtered the German generals, they could claim to be morally no worse than Apaches, Balubas, and other primitives. Civilized peoples spare the lives of the vanquished, showing to their leaders a respectful consideration, and the deepest instincts of our race demand a chivalrous courtesy to brave opponents whom the fortunes of war have put in our power.

To punish warriors who, against overwhelming odds, fought for their country with a courage and determination that excited the wonder of the world, and deliberately to kill them because they were not cowards and traitors, because they did not betray their nation — that was an act of vileness of which we long believed our race incapable. And to augment the infamy of our act, we stigmatized them as “War Criminals” which they most certainly were not, for if that phrase has meaning, it applies to traitors who knowingly involve their nations in a war contrived to inflict loss, suffering, and death on their own people, who are thus made to fight for their own effective defeat — traitors such as Churchill, Roosevelt, and their white accomplices. And to add an ultimate obscenity to the sadistic crime, “trials” were held to convict the vanquished according to “laws” invented for the purpose, and on the basis of perjured testimony extorted from prisoners of war by torture.

Oliver similarly ridiculed the alleged Holocaust as an absurd, transparent hoax:

The Americans…were howling with indignation over the supposed extermination by the Germans of some millions of Jews, many of whom had taken the opportunity to crawl into the United States, and…one could have supposed in 1945 that when the hoax, devised to pep up the cattle that were being stampeded into Europe, was exposed, even Americans would feel some indignation at having been so completely bamboozled.

The prompt exposure of the bloody swindle seemed inevitable, particularly since the agents of the O.S.S., commonly known in military circles as the Office of Soviet Stooges, who had been dispatched to conquered Germany to set up gas chambers to lend some verisimilitude to the hoax, had been so lazy and feckless that they merely sent back pictures of shower baths, which were so absurd that they had to be suppressed to avoid ridicule. No one could have believed in 1945 that the lie would be used to extort thirty billion dollars from the helpless Germans and would be rammed into the minds of German children by uncouth American “educators” — or that civilized men would have to wait until 1950 for Paul Rassinier, who had been himself a prisoner in a German concentration camp, to challenge the infamous lie, or until 1976 for Professor Arthur Butz’s detailed and exhaustive refutation of the venomous imposture on Aryan credulity.

Oliver and Beaty were hardly alone in their views on these important historical events. Prof. Joseph Bendersky was an editor at the Journal of Holocaust Studies, and in 2000 he drew upon his many years of archival research to publish a lengthy book on the anti-Semitic sentiments of our entire Military Intelligence staff during the twentieth century, including World War II. I read it several years ago and described some of my conclusions in a long 2019 article:

Oliver’s peremptory dismissal of the standard Holocaust narrative led me to take a closer look at the treatment of the same topic in Bendersky’s book, and I noticed something quite odd. As discussed above, his exhaustive research in official files and personal archives conclusively established that during World War II a very considerable fraction of all our Military Intelligence officers and top generals were vehemently hostile to Jewish organizations and also held beliefs that today would be regarded as utterly delusional. The author’s academic specialty is Holocaust studies, so it is hardly surprising that his longest chapter focused on that particular subject, bearing the title “Officers and the Holocaust, 1940-1945.” But a close examination of the contents raises some troubling questions.

Across more than sixty pages, Bendersky provides hundreds of direct quotes, mostly from the same officers who are the subject of the rest of his book. But after carefully reading the chapter twice, I was unable to find a single one of those statements referring to the massive slaughter of Jews that constitutes what we commonly call the Holocaust, nor to any of its central elements, such as the existence of death camps or gas chambers.

The forty page chapter that follows focuses on the plight of the Jewish “survivors” in post-war Europe, and the same utter silence applies. Bendersky is disgusted by the cruel sentiments expressed by these American military men towards the Jewish former camp inmates, and he frequently quotes them characterizing the latter as thieves, liars, and criminals; but the officers seem strangely unaware that those unfortunate souls had only just barely escaped an organized mass extermination campaign that had so recently claimed the lives of the vast majority of their fellows. Numerous statements and quotes regarding Jewish extermination are provided, but all of these come from various Jewish activists and organizations, while there is nothing but silence from all of the military officers themselves.

Bendersky’s ten years of archival research brought to light personal letters and memoirs of military officers written decades after the end of the war, and in both those chapters he freely quotes from these invaluable materials, sometimes including private remarks from the late 1970s, long after the Holocaust had become a major topic in American public life. Yet not a single statement of sadness, regret, or horror is provided. Thus, a prominent Holocaust historian spends a decade researching a book about the private views of our military officers towards Jews and Jewish topics, but the one hundred pages he devotes to the Holocaust and its immediate aftermath contains not a single directly-relevant quote from those individuals, which is simply astonishing. A yawning chasm seems to exist at the center of his lengthy historical volume, or put another way, a particular barking dog is quite deafening in its silence.

I am not an archival researcher and have no interest in reviewing the many tens of thousands of pages of source material located at dozens of repositories across the country that Bendersky so diligently examined while producing his important book. Perhaps during their entire wartime activity and also the decades of their later lives, not a single one of the hundred-odd important military officers who were the focus of his investigation ever once broached the subject of the Holocaust or the slaughter of Jews during World War II. But I think there is another distinct possibility.

As mentioned earlier, Beaty spent his war years carefully reviewing the sum-total of all incoming intelligence information each day and then producing an official digest for distribution to the White House and our other top leaders. And in his 1951 book, published just a few years after the end of fighting, he dismissed the supposed Holocaust as a ridiculous wartime concoction by dishonest Jewish and Communist propagandists that had no basis in reality. Soon afterward, Beaty’s book was fully endorsed and promoted by many of our leading World War II generals, including those who were subjects of Bendersky’s archival research. And although the ADL and various other Jewish organizations fiercely denounced Beaty, there is no sign that they ever challenged his absolutely explicit “Holocaust denial.”

I suspect that Bendersky gradually discovered that such “Holocaust denial” was remarkably common in the private papers of many of his Military Intelligence officers and top generals, which presented him with a serious dilemma. If only one or two of those individuals had expressed such sentiments, their shocking statements could be cited as further evidence of their delusional anti-Semitism. But what if a substantial majority of those officers—who certainly had possessed the best knowledge of the reality of World War II—held private beliefs that were very similar to those publicly expressed by their former colleagues Beaty and Oliver? In such a situation, Bendersky may have decided that certain closed doors should remain in that state, and entirely skirted the topic.

Thus, rather than being outliers, the views of Beaty and Oliver seem to have been quite representative of most of our Military Intelligence professionals both during and after World War II. And once we recognize that those individuals with the best knowledge of wartime events regarded the Nuremberg Trials as an absolute travesty of justice and the Holocaust as a ridiculous wartime propaganda-hoax, there are enormous potential implications for our present-day world.”



4 Responses to “Jews as Phoenicians and Carthaginians?”

  1. Welsh Briton says:

    ‘Why does the UK give Israel unqualified backing?’

    It seems that at least 80% of the Conservative party and likely close to half the Labour party have been captured by the Israeli lobby and Friends of Israel.

    “The UK government has shown extraordinary levels of backing for Israeli military operations in Gaza…OpenDemocracy previously revealed that CFI is the biggest donor of free overseas trips to MPs of any organisation.

    CFI often takes MPs on paid-for trips to Israel early in their careers, to cultivate the British political establishment into a pro-Israel position. It paid, for example, £4,000 to take James Cleverly and Suella Braverman – until recently the foreign and home secretaries – to Israel in August 2015.”

    • pete fairhurst 2 says:

      Maybe because the City of London really calls the shots in UK, MP’s are just minor players in comparison. They surely all know which side that their bread is buttered

      And also that the Rothschild family are very big players in the City, probably the biggest of the lot. Rothschilds own large chunks of Israel too don’t they. They call the shots there too

      I’ll scratch my back and you scratch my back too. Or else

      • Welsh Briton says:

        True, they own around 80% of the land there allegedly. I believe historian Simon Schama has written about it and the Balfour declaration quite plainly suggests that the land is simply given to them. I’ve seen it claimed that they use proxy directors on the City of London board as well so that it’s hard to track the real people behind the corporation

        • pete fairhurst 2 says:

          I wouldn’t trust Schama as far as I could throw him, he’s clearly a made man insider. But I’ve seen 80%+ somewhere too

          “they use proxy directors on the City of London board so that it’s hard to track the real people behind the corporation” That makes sense Welsh Briton, that’s how these things roll, real ownership and/or decision makers are kept well away from public view