Conversion to Islam, forced and otherwise, has long been common in the Mid East. In Israel many Arabs and Bedouin have surnames commonly known as Jewish surnames. In Jordan there is even a large family clan called Cohen. With the Arab/Islamic conquest of 7th century Israel, many of the Jews in the cities were ethnically cleansed, expelled. But many remained, in the hills of Judea, Samaria and elsewhere and converted to Islam (mass forced conversions to Islam are recorded in Israel's history). Many converted so as not to be second class citizens under Muslim rule, and so they would not lose their land - which they apparently loved more than their faith. Many Muslims in Israel are aware of their Jewish roots (over 50%, some say). Some admit this knowledge while most are too scared to. What we have here seems more and more a tragic case of mistaken identity - not cousin against cousin, but brother against brother. This video details it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AenISgolLe0
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from the article: Is Ahmadinejad trying to hide his Jewish roots by bashing Israel?