HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Jewish Group (Group) » (Jewish Group) Millennium...

Mon Dec 18, 2017, 06:48 AM

(Jewish Group) Millenniums of Tribulation


Simon Schama’s “Belonging: 1492-1900,” the second volume of his panoramic study of Jewish life, “The Story of the Jews,” is in fact an account of serial exile. Jews never belong enough anywhere to avoid vilification as parasites, vultures, usurers and traitors. “They have clung to us like leeches,” wrote the French polemicist Georges-Marie Mathieu-Dairnvaell in the 1840s, and were no more than “vampires, scavengers of nature.”

This is the standard lexicon of Jew hatred during the period Schama covers in “Belonging.” Loathing flares — from Mantua to Prague, from London to Lisbon, from the Vatican to Berlin — with scant variation. Degradation amounts to the Jews’ “perpetual punishment for the sin of the Crucifixion,” Schama writes. They are the Christ killers, fit principally for the ghetto, unfit for citizenship.

The book begins around the time of the Spanish Inquisition and ends with the Dreyfus case, a 400-year round trip back to the same Jewish question. Theodor Herzl finally answers that question with his Zionist vision of a “home that is destined to be a safe haven for the Jewish people.” The homeland, for Herzl, whose pamphlet “The Jewish State” was published in 1896, was needed because it had proved “useless” for Jews to be “loyal patriots.” Only in their own state would they not be potential pariahs.
Continue reading the main story

It is difficult to read the 800 pages of “Belonging” and not reach the same conclusion. No Jewish patriot, rich or poor, was secure. The fate of Alfred Dreyfus, a loyal French officer falsely convicted of treason, was always possible. To think otherwise was indeed useless, an exercise in delusion. Expulsion, imprisonment or worse lurked — a constant threat.


The first one was really good. There is also a 5 part mini-series based on these books.

0 replies, 658 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Reply to this thread