Zionism And History: Reading the wrong lessons from the persecution of the European Jews
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How can we explain the persecution of Jews throughout European history, culminating in the horror of the Nazi holocaust?
The founders of the Zionist movement argued that the cause of the persecutions was an inherent and incurable anti-Jewish prejudice on the part of the people amongst whom Jews lived. The only remedy was the creation of a Jewish State.
Mike Levine questions this thesis. He argues that antisemitic prejudice, although long-standing and widespread, doesn’t fully explain when and where past massacres and expulsions happened. His detailed historical account shows that each wave of persecution has to be understood within the context of wider conflicts in European history.
Levine concludes that the existence of Israel will not in itself safeguard the future for Jews. Nevertheless, a start would be the achievement of a just peace agreement between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.
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