Yuval Harari explained how large groups of people arise, connected by a common idea. According to his theory (A Brief History of Humanity), it is enough that people who are unfamiliar with each other recognize the same principles, for example, believe in the same god, in the existence of common ancestors, or in the existence of a corporation in which they work, and this a corporation, nation, or denomination will become a reality. As Marxists said, «the idea is materializing.»
People have the ability to believe in abstract ideas, not necessarily «correct.» It is enough that many people believe in the same idea, and this idea will hold the group together.
The very possibility of the existence of states, parties, tribes, corporations, armies, and other large and small organized groups of people is based on this psychological feature of Homo Sapiens.
The Neanderthals were defeated because they did not have the ability to unite on the basis of a common idea.
I agree with the approach of Harari, and applied it to the Jewish nation. Nationalism is an idea, along with other ideologies. Since there is nationalism, there is also a community of people based on this idea, that is, a nation.
I am not saying that everything that Harari wrote is ultimately true. All I say is that this idea that collectives of all kinds are based on unifying ideas is correct. I believe that the collective formed around the idea is quite material, until the idea and the collective (for example, the USSR) fail.
Are Jews a nation, and if so, since when? I believe that the nation of Israel arose at the moment when some ancient tribes (in the Egyptian sources they were designated as «Yakov-El», that is people following God), reorganized around a new idea (Isra-El, that is, God Will Reign). According to Torah, their ideologist was Moses, and the executor of his plan was Yehoshua bin Nun. Possibly, just Yehoshua bin Nun re-named people of Yacov-El into Isra-El.
According to the ancient legends of the TANAKH, during the period of Moses, the Jews followed God, who was placed in the Ark of the Covenant (Yakov-El). After Moses died, Yehoshua bin Nun called on his people to establish God’s rule over Canaan (Isra-El). This is the meaning of the legend about Jacob’s struggle with God. According to this legend, after fighting with God, Jacob changed his name. He became Israel.
Both Moses and Yehoshua entered into a solemn union of the Jews with God (Brith). Why did Yehoshua make a new alliance with God in Shechem? And why did he have to circumcise the new members of the union? Probably because new people joined Israel in Canaan.
Since Israel became a stable group of people united by the slogan «God will Reign», this was the birth of the nation of Israel. If this is true, then we, the descendants of the ancient Israelites, have been a nation since 1200 BC. And don’t say that we are not their descendants. Physically, 80% of our male genes are those of ancient Israel.
Genetic studies have found that 80% of the male genes of the Jews are common among themselves, and they are very close to the genes of the Lebanese, descendants of the ancient Canaanites. As for the Palestinians, genetically they are much closer to the Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula. They are cousins to us, not siblings.
This scientifically established fact is denied by anti-Semites because it interferes with the de-legitimation of the Jewish nation. If they succeed in undermining our faith in the Jewish community, they will successfully destroy our nation. Until we spiritually renounce Jewishness, the nation of Jews will continue to exist.
Around 1200 BC an ancient Egyptian source recorded the name Israel. Since then exists a nation of Jews, it is the nation of Israel. So, the Jews are the oldest of the nations.
The religion of the Jews was and remains nationalist from its very beginning. In order to become a universal (international) religion, Judaism converted to Christianity and Islam. But the Jews who converted to Christianity gradually ceased to be Jews, according to the principle of «neither Greek nor Jew.» Jews who converted to Islam ceased to be Jews, too.
Since Herzl’s time, secular Jewish nationalism (Zionism) has held the Jewish nation together just as well as ancient Judaism. Religion can be replaced by atheism, but as long as nationalism exists, the nation is alive. We were buried as a nation many times, but we live and even kick when we are beaten.