March 12th, 2008

o_aronius

On Self-Haters, Anti-Semites, and the Writing of History

Гуляющи по интернету, обнаружил, что профессор Горовиц написал статью, в которой кратко изложил содержание одной из самых интересных глав своей книги "Reckless Rites: Purim and the Legacy of Jewish Violence":

Following this definition I have “found” only one Jewish “pogrom” before the twentieth century, that perpetrated against thousands of Christians in Jerusalem (and their churches) after the Persian conquest of the Holy City in 614, an event presumably not included in the history curricula of even Brooklyn’s better yeshivas. Let me stress, however, that I did not discover the Mamilla massacre at Mamilla, well-documented in Christian chronicles (in which the numbers of casualties range from 30,000 to 90,000) since the seventh century, but rather revealed the ways in which it was downplayed and even covered up in twentieth-century Zionist historiography.

Heinrich Graetz (1817-91), the greatest Jewish historian of the nineteenth century, was willing to allow for the possibility that as many as ninety thousand Christians had been killed during the Persian conquest of Jerusalem...Simon Dubnow, the great Russian-Jewish historian who was killed by the Nazis in 1941, felt more strongly than had Graetz that the number of ninety thousand casualties was an exaggeration, but agreed with the latter that “in hostile acts toward the Christians, the Jews did not lag behind the Persians.”...

In 1935 Klein published (in Hebrew) a history of the Jewish community in Palestine from the close of the Talmud until modern Zionism, yet no mention was made in his otherwise comprehensive book of Jerusalem’s conquest by the Persians in 614, or of the anti-Christian violence that ensued...
Michael Avi-Yonah, published (also in Hebrew) his now classic study of the Jews in Palestine under Roman and Byzantine rule. Concerning anti-Christian violence during the Persian conquest of Jerusalem Avi-Yonah did not remain silent, as had Klein, but rather had the following to say: “Christian writers, including modern ones, have much to tell about the cruelty with which the Christians in Jerusalem were treated by the Jews. Such complaints have one basic source – the opinion that Jews have eo ipso less (sic) rights than Christians, and that the latter are allowed to do what is forbidden to the former.

These words, written with understandable bitterness by the Galician-born Avi-Yonah in 1946, were still left to stand some four decades later. They were presumably the justification for the omission from his narrative (in contrast to such predecessors as Graetz and Dubnow) not only the highest figures cited by medieval chroniclers for the total number of Christian victims, but also the lowest. Avi-Yonah’s grudging treatment of the events of 614 set the tone for other Israeli historians, both popular and professional”


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