By Élisabeth Roudinesco
Author note: Translated by way of Andrew Brown
Publish 12 months note: First released December sixteenth 2013
What does it suggest to be Jewish? what's an anti-Semite? Why does the enigmatic identification of the boys who based the 1st monotheistic faith arouse such passions?
We have to go back to the Jewish query. we'd like, first, to differentiate among the anti-Judaism of medieval occasions, which persecuted the Jews, and the anti-Judaism of the Enlightenment, which emancipated them whereas being severe in their faith. it's a mistake to confuse the 2 and spot each person from Voltaire to Hitler as anti-Semitic within the related method. Then we have to specialise in the advance of anti-Semitism in Europe, specifically Vienna and Paris, the place the Zionist suggestion used to be born. ultimately, we have to examine the reception of Zionism either within the Arab nations and in the Diaspora.
Re-examining the Jewish query within the gentle of those differences and investigations, Roudinesco indicates that there's a everlasting rigidity among the figures of the 'universal Jew' and the 'territorial Jew'. Freud and Jung break up in part over this factor, which received additional depth after the construction of the nation of Israel in 1948 and the Eichmann trial in 1961. ultimately, Roudinesco turns to the Holocaust deniers, who began to recommend that the Jews had invented the genocide that came about their humans, and to the expanding variety of highbrow and literary figures who've been accused of anti-Semitism.
This thorough re-evaluation of the Jewish query may be of curiosity to scholars and students of contemporary heritage and modern suggestion and to a large readership attracted to anti-Semitism and the historical past of the Jews.
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Extra resources for Revisiting the Jewish Question
Seen this way, the Muslims were of course scorned, insofar as they belonged to the Semitic camp, but the Jews were scorned even more, as they had given birth to Islam. The thesis of the ‘first parent’ was here immortalized while being both secularized and then ‘racialized’. There was thus a shift from anti-Judaism to anti-Semitism and then to racism: the Jews were viewed no longer as followers of a religion but as Semites – and, of all Semites, as the worst – in other words, as part of a race that was historically inferior to all others.
A Prussian patriot, an admirer of Voltaire and d’Holbach, he had not found it difficult to renounce his Jewishness since he considered his conversion as a step towards civilization and a liberation from all Jewish prejudice. As for the son, who was a complete atheist, his dream was to rid mankind of all religion, that ‘opium of the people’. Our First Parents 21 Some writers, such as Pierre-André Taguieff, have unhesitatingly drawn on the private correspondence of the founder of communism to make him seem even more criminal and to misread the true meaning of his hostility to Judaism.
Now Hugo, as everyone knows, was the true symbol of both those Frances. He was so in his life, since he had been a monarchist in his youth, liberal during his maturity, and republican as he entered old age; and he was so in his work, since he had never stopped narrating France’s heroic metamorphoses while suffering from his inability to solve the ancestral struggle between Judaism and Christianity. By exposing the hatred that the Jews aroused, Hugo had really been stating that he ‘could not quietly let men be Jews, in other words, persecuted’.
Revisiting the Jewish Question by Élisabeth Roudinesco