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Walid Shoebat Claims Jewish Ancestry “On Both Sides”

A particularly strange exchange between self-described “ex-terrorist” Walid Shoebat and Christian Zionist radio host Sid Roth:

Sid:… you also told me that on both sides of your family there’s Jewish ancestry and you went a bit further; most of the Palestinians you tell me have Jewish ancestry. Why do you say that?

Walid: Well, because I researched the archives of my family heritage, the Shoebat clan comes from Harris Ben Cobb [see below], a Jew who converted to Islam. Before him he knew Harris Ben Cobb comes from a Ashomel Ben Adaya, no Muslim has the name Shomoel in fact if you look at Wikipedia Shomoel Ben Adaya was a Jew who created [sic] to Islam in Yemen.

This makes little sense. First, Samaw’al ibn ‘Adiya was a pre-Islamic Arab poet in Yemen who was either a convert to Judaism or of Jewish descent, not a Jewish convert to Islam (as “Shmu’el Ben Adaya”, he has a street named after him in Jerusalem). Second, “Cobb” is an English surname, and “Harris” is an English first name. Perhaps there’s a Jewish “Ben Cobb” surname of which I am unaware, but either way, it seems unlikely that a person with such a name would be the origin of the Palestinian Shuaybat clan, or that the family of such a person could be traced back to a sixth-century Yemeni poet.

It’s also not clear how he would have Jewish ancestry on his American side. According to his own account in Why We Left Islam (blogged here), he states that (pp. 19-20):

My maternal grandfather, F.W. Georgeson… was a great friend of Winston Churchill.

Frederick W. Georgeson was the mayor of Eureka, California; according to a 1915 biography here, he was born in Scotland, and his wife was from Iowa and named Thompson. However, elsewhere he names Georgeson as his “Great Grandfather”, and from the birth date (F.W. was born in 1858) it seems likely that there is at least one intermediate generation (Incidentally, Georgeson’s supposed association with Churchill appears to have eluded the attention of historians and biographers).

Shoebat’s more general point of a genetic link between Jews and Palestinians has some scientific validity, although it’s a strange line for him to make, and in his case his argument is based on a supposed special access to knowledge:

…in all Palestinian homes you will find the Star of David in front of every home. The Star of David you will find Palestinians who still observe many things Jewish. Eating the lamb standing up comes from Exodus.

That “in all Palestinian homes you will find the Star of David” is a new one to me.

UPDATE: Shoebat now explains:

First off, you stated “”Cobb” is an English surname, and “Harris” is an English first name.”
end quote.

You misspelled the name, it is “Al-Harith Ben Ka’ab” and he has no links to any English names.

And indeed, no one in the world can deny his CONNECTION to Samuel Ben Adaya who according to Al-Ma’rifa is of Bani Dayan.

Actually, I didn’t misspell the name, although I’ll plead guilty to assuming that Roth and Shoebat had managed to produce a competent transcript between them.

Shoebat further explains that both Al-Harith Ben Ka’ab and Ben Adaya were members of the “Bani Dayan”, although I have not been able to trace further references to this particular group. Who exactly Shoebat means by “Al-Harith Ben Ka’ab” remains unclear, too; there was a sixth-century Christian martyr in Yemen named Al-Harith ibn Ka’ab (var. Harith ibn Kaleb, or St Arethas), who was executed by Dhu Nuwas, but also a more general  Banu Harith b. Ka’b group, which adopted Judaism in the pre-Islamic period. Of course, the existence of Jewish tribes in Arabia at this time is well-known and uncontroversial. Shoebat concedes that describing Ben Adaya as a Jewish convert to Islam was “a slip”. For some reason, Shoebat did not make clear to Sid Roth that the figures he presents as having special significance for his family history lived 1,500 years ago.

Shoebat also wishes it to be known that a 1929 newspaper report mentioned F.W. Georgeson meeting Winston Churchill in 1929, when Churchill was touring the west coast of the USA, and that a 1982 newspaper report recalling the incident described Georgeson as Churchill’s “old friend”. However, I have yet to find any references to the two men’s friendship in biographies of Churchill.