"The rewriting of the past is usually undertaken to achieve specific political aims."
                                                     -- Bernard Lewis, Jewish author, 1986, p. 48 
    "Pseudohistory [is] the rewriting of the past for personal or political purposes... If we want to be taken seriously, we must obey the rules of reason and apply the tools of science and scholarship."
                                                  -- Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, 2000, p. 2,                                                   5, in their book about "Holocaust deniers"

    "It may be true that German romanticism furnishes the sources for much in Zionism, but to know only this is to know half of the story. The other half is what Jewish existence makes of facts, how Jewish stubbornness uses history for its own purposes."
                                       -- Monford Harris, 1965, p. 97-98]

    "To write acceptable history of Jews in America, it is necessary to
    respect their performance, to know and to love the performers. He who
    writes history performs an act of faith. The historian selects a fact here,
    a person there -- seeking to recreate a vanished scene, to capture a mood,
    to clothe a skeleton in flesh and blood. He breathes upon dead bones of
    the past -- and, lo! -- they come to life! The history of the Jews is unlike
    that of any other people. It is distilled anguish. It is crystallized grief. It is
    the dirge of a displaced people. It is the story of an exiled band of pilgrims
    seeking sanctuary." -- Anita Libman Lebeson, 1950, p. 308

    "After Christ, the history of the Jew is in large part the history of anti-Semitism."
                                                   -- A. M. Rosenthal/Arthur Gelb,
                                                       1967, p. 69     
         When digging back into written records, researchers always retrieve selected fragments of an immense historical continuum and carefully shape and edit them, intent upon lending credibility to their respective theses of the past. This is the nature of "history"-- it is always being reviewed, revised, changed, adjusted, and selectively reedited. Decades pass. Centuries. Emphases change: certain facts are accentuated, others are left out. Relevant historical information is overlooked, or discovered. Whoever has the luxury and/or determination to review and reconstruct history colors it entirely as they wish.  Christopher Columbus (his journeys funded in large part by Jewish investors and claimed by some to be himself of at least partial Jewish descent) is a good example. Revered in American folklore for two centuries, he has become, in the last decade or so, widely regarded by many as an exploitive, colonialist villain.
          Modern popular belief and convention is validated by selected evidence from the past. While the time-rooted "facts" of events can sometimes be documented, the hows and whys of history have no such absolute mooring. What was written in the past is always biased, and that considered credible today in no lesser manner reflects the biases of writers and researchers today.
          "Sometimes the past is remembered selectively," notes Alan Wald, "in accord with the needs of the ideological outlook one has at a given moment or had at some significant moment in the past." [WALD, p. 15]  "[Historical] data and interpretation of data often becomes inseparable through consensus," writes Alan Edelstein, one of the few Jewish scholars who have sought to reexamine the popular conventions of complete Jewish victimization. "This is particularly evident when many scholars share the same perspective, such as that of Jews as victims, and Christians as persecutors ...  The direction of inquiry is controlled by the questions that are posed. Because scholars are concerned with anti-Semitism, questions about Jewish-Christian relations are posed from this perspective." [EDELSTEIN, p. xviii]
         In researching Jewish history, the investigator discovers a wide variance of written material. Work by authors expressly critical of Jews (and they include a surprisingly number of Jewish commentators, mostly "apostates" of one kind or another, from the Middle Ages, through the Enlightenment era and up to World War II and the Holocaust) is invariably labeled by today's political conventions to be "anti-Semitic" in nature. There is a large body of such material extending throughout history, written by critics wherever Jews were to be found, ranging from legitimate scholarship to Nazi fantasy material. Some of the criticism is ridiculous; the accusations of Hitler are absurdly exaggerated. But other observations about Jewish life by non-Jews is startlingly consistent over two thousand years.  Consistently credible Gentile themes in attacks against Jews include Jewish elitism, their insularity and clannishness, their disdain for non-Jews, their exploitive and deceptive behavior towards those not their own, the suspicion of Jewish national loyalties and allegiance to the lands they lived in, excessive Jewish proclivity to money and economic control, and an economic "parasitism" (the concentration of Jews in lucrative 'non-productive' fields of finance -- usury, money lending, etc. -- at the expense of non-Jewish communities).
         "Anti-Semitism," remarks Oliver Cox, "is an ancient social attitude probably coeval with the rise of Jewish tribalism. It is thus an immemorial trait identified with Jewish culture ... Jewish communities, historical or current, must expect to incur such responses as ethnocentrism, nationalism, and group discrimination. Anti-Semitism has been identified with Jewish behavior in the sense that it is a reaction of other groups to the Jews' determination to assert and perpetuate their identity ... Unlike race prejudice ... anti-Semitism or intolerance is essentially an inherent social response -- a retaliation from a normal Jewish determination to resist merger of their civilization with that of a host peoples." [COX, p. 183-184]
         "The Jews," said J. O. Hertzler, "... have been a supernation rather than members of a nation. More than any other people, certainly up to the time of the emancipation, they were innocent and irresponsible toward the national traditions and aspirations of the people among whom they lived." [HERTZLER, p. 76]  "The vast majority of Jews [in Russia]," notes Michael Aronson, "... maintained a traditional way of life, tenaciously holding on to age-old Jewish practices ... Partly by choice and partly because of the circumstances created by anti-Jewish legislation, the Jews tended to keep aloof from the surrounding population." [ARONSON, p. 34]
          In 1927 Jewish commentator Maurice Hindus noted the gigantic gulf traditionally set between Jews and Gentiles: "For the old Jewish civilization, with its rigid orthodoxy and its emphasis on Jewish superiority, compelled aloofness from worldly intellectual intercourse even as it compelled social isolation ... There are thousands of Jewish immigrants in [America] who remember only too vividly how horrified their parents were when they first discovered their children in possession of Gentile books and interested in Gentile studies." [HINDUS, p. 370] Meri-Jane Rochelson notes that even secular Jewish literature in Eastern Europe rarely addressed the Jews around them: "The absence of non-Jews in [Israel Zangwill's] Children of the Ghetto may be related to what Dan Miron has shown to be an even more severe omission of Christian neighbors in East European shtetl [Jewish village] fiction of the early twentieth century. According to Miron, the impression of insularity that results is part of a larger visionary shtetl myth." [ZANGWILL, I., 1998, p. 28]  Likewise, notes Ivan Kalmar, Sholem Asch's Fiddler on the Roof story [and its later Broadway and Hollywood adaptations] "largely ignores even the Gentile environment." [KALMER, I., in PRYTULAK]
         As for non-Jewish perceptions of their Jewish neighbors, "hatred for the Jews," says Abram Leon, "does not date solely from the birth of Christianity. Seneca treated the Jews as a criminal race. Juvenal believed that the Jews only existed to cause evil for other peoples. Quintilian said that Jews were a curse for other people." [LEON, p. 71]
         In 59 BCE the Roman statesman Cicero noted Jewish "clannishness" and "influence in the assemblies." In the second century AD Celsus, one of Rome's great medical writers, wrote that Jews "pride themselves in possessing superior wisdom and disdain for the company of other men."  Philostratus, an ancient Greek author, believed that Jews "have long since risen against humanity itself. They are men who have devised a misanthropic life, who share neither food nor drink with others." Tacitus (56-120 A.D.) a Roman public official, declared that "the Jews are extremely loyal toward one another, and are always ready to show compassion, but toward other people they feel only hate and enmity." [MORAIS, p. 46]  
        A brief sampling of the critical commentary and animosity towards Jews from a variety of sources through history includes the following:
            "The Jewish nation dares to display an irreconcilable hatred toward all
             nations, and revolts against all masters; always superstitious, always
             greedy for the well-being enjoyed by others, always barbarous --
             cringing in misfortune and insolent in prosperity."
                                            -- Voltaire, (1694-1778), one of the greatest
                                                French eighteenth century writers, from Essai
                                                sur le Moeurs
              Ironically, notes Jacob Katz, "Voltaire did more than any other single man to shape the rationalist trend that moved European society toward improving the status of the Jew." [KATZ, From, p. 34]  Still historically remembered (according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1994) "as a crusader against tyranny and bigotry," Voltaire turned repeatedly and angrily against Jews who he believed to epitomize such "tyranny and bigotry."  Jews, he complained, "are ... the greatest scoundrels who have ever sullied the face of the globe ... They are, all of them, born with raging fanaticism in their hearts, just as the Bretons and Germans are born with blond hair. I would not in the least be surprised if these people would not some day become deadly to the human race ... You [Jews] have surpassed all nations in impertinent fables, in bad conduct, and in barbarism. You deserve to be punished, for this is your destiny." [GOULD, p. 91]  On another occasion Voltaire charged that "the Jew does not belong to any place except that place which he makes money; would he not just as easily betray the King on behalf of the Emperor as he would the Emperor for the King?" [KATZ, J, Fro, p. 44]
         Thirty of 118 of Voltaire's essays in his Dictionary of Philosophy address Jews, usually disparagingly. Voltaire calls Jews "our masters and our enemies ... whom we detest ... the most abominable people in the world." [PRAGER, p. 128]
         With the coming of the Enlightenment, notes David Sorkin, "Jews were roundly condemned for "their ritualistic religion, national character or economic situation which, separately or together, prevented them from being moral. Enlightenment thinkers almost without exception subscribed to this image of Jewish inferiority." [SORKIN, p. 85] "The [Jewish] ghetto, Enlighteners argued," says Steven Aschheim,

         "had produced an essentially unacceptable culture. Jews were utter strangers to
         Europe. Social isolation had created traits in need of drastic transformation: Jews
         harbored within them hatred of the Christian nurtured by centuries of Talmudic
         and rabbinic indoctrination, they were religious fanatics, parasitic in their
         economics and dishonest in their dealings." [ASCHHEIM, S., 1982, p. 6]

        Even "enlightened" Jews disdained their Eastern European "ghetto" brethren: "The German Jews' attack upon his own and later upon the East European ghetto was made easier by the fact that the attack was in the mainstream of Enlightenment humanism. Jewish reformers agreed that integration required emphatic rejection of ghetto traits, traits which Goethe in his discussion of the traditional rabbi had summed up as 'fanatic zeal ... repulsive enthusiasm ... confused murmurings ... piercing outcries ... effeminate movements ... the queerness of an ancient nonsense." [ASCHHEIM, S., 1982, p. 6]
         "Know that wherever there is money," said Montesquieu in his Persian Letters, "there is the Jew." [KREFETZ, p. 45]
         "The Semites ... must declare all religious differences from their own
         to be bad. In this sense, intolerance is really a factor of the Semitic
         race, and a portion of the good and bad legacy it has left the world."
              -- Ernest Renan, (1823-1892) [RENAN, E., p. 63] French
              philosopher, historian and "one of the pioneers of Semitic philology"
              [LEWIS, B., 1986, p. 44]                                        
         "Jews chose voluntarily and with a profound talent for self-preservation
          the side of all those instincts that makes for decadence, not as if
          mastered by them, but as if detecting in them a power by which the
          world could be defied. The Jews are the very opposite of decadents ...
          they have put themselves at the head of all decadent movements."
                             -- Friedrich Nietzche (1844-1900)  [AGUS, p. 295]

         "The case against the Jews is long and damning; it would justify ten
          thousand times as many pogroms as now go on in the world."
                             -- H. L. Mencken, 1920, [in Rogow, A., 1961, p. 315]
          "The Jews remain what they have been at all times: an elite people,
           self-confident and domineering." -- Charles DeGaulle, former President
                         of the Republic of France (1890-1970); (Facing heat,
                         DeGaulle tried later to reframe this as compliment)  [GOULD,
                         p. 494]
          In apartheid South Africa, in a study of the representation of the Jews of that society in the fiction of Black writers, "coloreds," and Indians, Jews were perceived to be "exploitive and powerful." [SHAIN, p. 153] Another study, by Melville Edelstein, suggested that that the only English-speaking group further than Jews in "social distance" from Blacks were the dominant Afrikaners and that it was common parlance in Black culture to use the term "stingy like a Jew." [SHAIN, p. 153]
          Even prominent and widely respected Jewish commentators echoed the same themes about their own people. Benjamin Disraeli, of Jewish heritage, and the most famous British prime minister of the nineteenth century wrote that
          "The native tendency of the Jewish race is against the doctrine of the
          equality of man. They have also another characteristic -- the faculty of
          acquisition ... Their bias is to religion, property, and natural
          aristocracy." [FELDMAN, p. 638]
         Another Jew, the great philosopher Baruch Spinoza, was a  bridge between Jewish medievalism and the Enlightenment. Spinoza noted that:
          "At the present time there is absolutely nothing which the Jews can
           arrogate to themselves beyond other people ... As to their continuance
           so long after dispersion, there is nothing marvelous in it, for they
           separated themselves from every nation as to draw upon themselves
           universal hate." [LEVY, p. 93]
         Similar complaints reflecting consistently reoccurring charges against Jews have been echoed continuously throughout history, in many languages and in many lands, including -- even in the ancient past -- "Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Syrians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and many others." [HERTZLER, p. 62]  But this disdain for Jews by critics (some of the most learned men of their times, including Jews and Jewish apostates, across the spectrum of humanity) is not accepted as historical evidence for anything in our own day, except for the strange tenacity of irrational "anti-Semites” and "self-hating Jews" to badmouth Jews. Because this century's Nazi hate machine incorporated anything negative at all about Jews for their own evil aims, modern Jewry defensively, and manipulatively, equates any criticism about Jews in history (and there is a ton of it) to prejudicial lies or oversimplifications that led -- and can lead -- to Nazi fascism. So what was the real situation in bygone eras? What were Jews like, in relation to Gentiles? Popular Jewish dictate has one answer: look only to the Hebrew texts, ancient rabbis, and other Jewish chroniclers. They know what Jews were like. Their texts are reliable. The rest are all lies and exaggerations.
         "How does one understand -- not even forgive, simply understand!" exhorts Harvard law professor and well-known Jewish polemicist Alan Dershowitz,
          "the virulently anti-Jewish statements of intellectuals throughout
          history? Their numbers included H. L. Mencken ('The Jews could
          be put down very plausibly as the most unpleasant race ever heard
          of'); George Bernard Shaw ('Stop being Jews and start being human
          beings'); Henry Adams ('The whole rotten carcass is rotten with Jew
          worms'); H.G. Wells ('A careful study of anti-Semitism, prejudice and
          accusations might be of great value to many Jews, who do not
          adequately realize the irritation they inflict'); Edgar Degas (characterized
          as a 'wild anti-Semite'); Denis Diderot ('Brutish people, vile and vulgar
          men'); Theodore Dreiser (New York is a 'kike’s dream of a ghetto,'
          and Jews are not 'pure Americans' and 'lack integrity'); T. S. Eliot
          (a social as well as literary anti-Semite, even after the Holocaust);
          Immanuel Kant ('The Jews still cannot claim any true genius, any
          truly great man. All their talents and skills revolve around stratagems
          and low cunning ... They are a nation of swindlers.') Other famous
          anti-Semites include Tacitus, Cicero, Aleksander Pushkin, Pierre Renoir,
          Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and, of course, Richard Wagner. This
          honor roll of anti-Jewish bigotry goes on, and included people of every
          race, religion, and geographic area, political leaning, gender, and age.
          The answer to the question why? probably lies more in the realm of
          abnormal psychology than in any rational attempts to find understandable
          cause in history, or economics. Anti-Semitism is a disease of the soul,
          and diseases are best diagnosed by examing those infected with them."
          [DERSHOWITZ, A., p. 113]
          Nicholas de Lange, a Jewish scholar, joins Dershowitz in reflecting a virtually generic Jewish response about the constant complaint about their people throughout history and culture, saying:
                 "Much of the ancient literature on the Jews ... is devoted to
                  explaining why the Jews have incurred the justifiable anger or
                  hatred of ordinary peace-loving, law-abiding people ... But no
                  critical historian would consider taking their arguments at face
                  value, and in fact they are likely to tell us more about their
                  authors than their victims." [De Lange, p. 28]
         A Jewish-Polish professor in Warsaw, Pawel Spiewak, adds this about the same theme:
         "We find the representatives of almost every ideological orientation
         [who were anti-Semites] ... Enlightenment thinkers (Voltaire), arch-
         conservatives (de Masitre, de Bonald), socialists and communists
         (Fourier, Proudhon, Marx, Sobel), and the great Romantics (Goethe).
         These writers seem to differ in everything -- their relation to religion,
         the idea of progress, authority, feudalism, and capitalism, the concept
         of knowledge and human nature -- but they are united in a spirit of
         dislike and hostility towards that strange tribe, the Jews." [SPIEWAK, P.,
         p. 51]
          While fascists on the political right like Hitler decried the Jews, polar political 18th and 19th century leftists like socialists Charles Fourier, Alphonse Tousenel, Pierre Le Roux, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Johann Gottlieb Fichte were, to today's Jewish analysis, also vehemently irrational anti-Semites. These men wrote tracts like this, by Proudhon:
         "The Jew is by temperament an anti-producer, neither a farmer nor
         an industrialist nor even a true merchant. He is an intermediary, always
         fraudulent and parasitic, who operates, in trade as in philosophy, by
         means of falsification, counterfeiting, and horse-trading." [LEWIS, B.,
         1986, p. 111]
        "I see no other means of protecting ourselves against them," wrote Fichte, "than by conquering their Promised Land and sending them all there." [LEWIS, B., 1986, p. 111-112]  Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin declared that Jews were
         "one exploiting sect, one people of leeches, one single devouring
         parasite closely and intimately bound together not only across national
         boundaries, but also across all divergences of political opinion ... [Jews
         have] that mercantile passion which constitutes one of the principle traits
         of their national character."  [LEWIS, B., 1986, p. 113]
        "For one [reason] or another," notes Daniel Pipes, "virtually every major figure in the early history of socialism -- including Friedrich Engels, Charles Fourier, Ferdinand Lasalle, Marx, and Joseph Proudhon -- showed a marked antipathy to Jews." [PIPES, D., 1997, p. 88]
         Jewish author William Korey notes the same mystifying anti-Jewish omnipresence among disparate peoples in interviews (at a Harvard archive) with 329 refugees from the Soviet Union in the early 1950s: "A detailed examination of the background information of those who registered hostile attitudes to Jews reveals that they were of various age, national, educational, and status groups, and that they left the USSR at different periods." [KOREY, W., 1973, p. 11] The top six "anti-Semitic" assertions by this diverse group of people included assertions that
         1) Jews occupy a privileged and favored position in Soviet society.
         2) Jews are business- and money-minded.
         3) Jews are clannish and help each other.
         4) Jews are aggressive and 'pushy.'
         5) Jews are sly, calculating, and manipulative, and know how to 'use a
         6) Jews are deceitful, dishonest, unprincipled, insolent, and impudent.
             [KOREY, W., 1973, p. 5]
            When investigating the history of Jewish relations with Gentiles across history, there are obviously only two possible sources for information: Jews and non-Jews. There were no unbiased Martian observers watching with telescopes, none -- in any case -- that left us records. So why, one might wonder per the aforementioned professor De Lange and millions like him, must a "critical historian" consider Jewish accounts categorically more reliable than historical accounts by non-Jews, when all varieties of critical commentators about Jews across history, class, language, and culture basically said the same thing? "However uncomfortable it is to recognize," says Albert Lindemann, "not all those whom historians have classified as anti-Semites were narrow bigots, irrational, or otherwise incapable of acts of altruism and moral courage. They represented a bewildering range of opinion and personality types." [LINDEMANN, p. 13] And why is this "uncomfortable [for Jews] to recognize?" Because, by even a child's exercise of logic and common sense, the perceptual common denominator of all such disparate people can only be the enduring truths about Jews as each observer experienced them in varying historical and cultural circumstances.
         The French Jewish intellectual (and eventual Zionist), Bernard Lazare, among many others in history, noted this obvious fact in 1894, long before the Nazi persecutions of Jews and resultant institutionalized Jewish efforts to deny, or obfuscate, crucial -- and central -- aspects of their history:
         "Wherever the Jews settled [in their Diaspora] one observes the
          development of anti-Semitism, or rather anti-Judaism ... If this hostility,
          this repugnance had been shown towards the Jews at one time or in
          one country only, it would be easy to account for the local cause of
          this sentiment. But this race has been the object of hatred with all nations
          amidst whom it settled. Inasmuch as the enemies of Jews belonged to
          diverse races, as they dwelled far apart from one another, were ruled by
          different laws and governed by opposite principles; as they had not the
          same customs and differed in spirit from one another, so that they could
          not possibly judge alike of any subject, it must needs be that the general
          causes of anti-Semitism have always resided in [the people of] Israel
          itself, and not in those who antagonized it." [LAZARE, p. 8]
          Since the institutionalized persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany, leading up to, and during, World War II, there has been a militantly enforced moratorium on critical commentary by Gentiles about Jewry. (Exceptions to this include a relatively small amount of material produced by major publishing houses that is critical in some aspect of the modern state of Israel and rare, obscure, usually self-published books with little circulation by individuals highlighting "world Jewish conspiracy" or "the Holocaust never existed" themes. Such works are automatically considered by popular culture to be part of an unreadable, fiction-oriented "lunatic fringe.")
         While most literature about Jews by non-Jews throughout history is considered to be "anti-Semitic," there is also a historical perspective about Jews that is "philo-Semitic" in nature. This term refers to a friendly, generous, or sympathetic depiction of Jewish history by non-Jewish writers. It is a pro-Jewish bias. This has often taken the form of Christian writers feeling some kind of link to Judaism, as Christianity's own origin. There are also those who benefit by allegiance to Jewish powers. With the rise of the Nazis and their vicious treatment of European Jews, a corresponding increase in philo-Semitic literature and apologetics also made the scene. The Nazi epoch, in this view, emphatically confirms as horrific fulfillment Jewish perceptions of their own prior history as perpetual victims.
             Almost all scholarship and other commentary in modern times about Jewish history, however, (and considerable amounts of non-Jewish history) is provided by Jewish academics and popularists, most of whom are, in varying degrees, entranced and enthralled by legends of their own heritage.  In fact, most of the massive amount of material being published these days about Jews is written by Jews for Jews; it is then popularized in elemental forms throughout the mass media for unquestioned digestion by the general public.
         "Jewish studies [on North American campuses]," notes Jacob Neusner, "[are not] treated in accord with academic disciplines but as an arena for Jews to explore their roots, Jews teaching (self-evidently valid) facts to other Jews." [NEUSNER, p. 9] "All modern studies on Judaism, particularly by Jews," notes Israel Shahak, ... "to this day ... bear the unmistakable marks of their origin: deception, apologetics, or hostile polemics, indifference or even active hostility to the pursuit of truth. Jewish studies in Judaism ... to this very day, are polemics against an external enemy [non-Jews] rather than an internal debate." [SHAHAK, p. 22]
         "In popular [Jewish] history," notes non-Jewish scholar Albert Lindemann,
         "a strange tendency exists to favor an emotionally laden description
         and narrative, especially of colorful, dramatic, or violent episodes
         over explanation that employs calm analysis or a searching attention
         to historical context. Pogroms, famous anti-Semitic affairs and
         descriptions of the ideas of anti-Semitic authors and agitators are
         described with a moral fervor, rhetorical flair, and considerable
         attention to the details of murder, arson, and rape. Background,
         context, and motives are often slighted or dealt with in a remarkably
         thin and tendentious fashion. In such histories the antagonists of the
         Jews emerge as stick figures ... Violent episodes against Jews burst
         forth like natural calamities or acts of God, incomprehensible
         disasters having nothing to do with Jewish action or developments
         within the Jewish world but only with the corrupt characters of the
         enemies of the Jew." [LINDEMANN, A., Esau's, p. 12]
          In 1990 Michael Aronson, a Jewish scholar, wrote an entire volume debunking the conventional Jewish view that the Russian government sponsored pogroms in a national anti-Semitic "conspiracy," organizing attacks against Jews in 1881 throughout that country. "The interested student," he wrote, "may choose at random any recent text, whether devoted to Russian Jews in particular, or modern Jewish history more broadly, or late imperial Russia in general, and it is almost certain that, if the pogroms of 1881 are mentioned, they are interpreted according to a conspiracy theory. This study rejects the conspiracy explanation ... [The] scholarly literature devoted to Russian Jewish history dates to the pre-Revolutionary period and is largely the creation of Russian Jewish historians." [ARONSON, p. 7-8] Seminal among these historians were Emmanuel B. Levin and Simon M. Dubnov. Levin's bias was explicit. "Levin's patron," says Aronson, "was Baron H.O. Guenzburg, who commissioned him to write a number of works on Russian discriminatory and restrictive Jewish legislation." [ARONSON, p. 11]
         In 1998, Elliott Horowitz wrote an unusually honest article in Jewish Social Studies about the way Jewish history is reframed by modern Jewish apologetics and polemics. His particular subject in the piece was the Persian invasion of Jerusalem in 614 and the attendant Jewish massacres of tens of thousands of local Christians (low estimate 30,000 people; high estimate 90,000). Horowitz quotes, for example, the 1840s work of Reverend George Williams who wrote that the Jews "had followed the Persians from Galilee, to gratify their vengeance by the massacre of the [Christian] believers, and the demolition of the of their most sacred churches. They were amply gutted with blood. In a few days 90,000 Christians of both sexes, and of all ages and conditions, fell victims to their indiscriminating hatred." [HOROWITZ, 1998]
         "As we shall see," notes Horowitz about the preceding quote,
           "Jewish contemporaries of Williams described the events of 614
           rather similarly. A century later, however, in the years following
           the Holocaust, memories of Jews gratifying their vengeance and
           giving vent to their 'indiscriminating hatred' began to fade, being
           displaced increasingly by the Sartrean [Jean Paul Sartre] Jew,
           'passionately hostile to violence' ... Although the Jews of Palestine
           undoubtedly participated in the wide-scale violence against Christians
           and their houses of worship in 614, their precise role has been open to
           keen debate. Difference of opinion however, have often revolved less
           around what actually happened than around how much should be told
           and how.'" [HOROWITZ, 1998]
          Crucial in historical records about the 614 massacres was an eyewitness, Antiochus Strategos, a Christian monk. Strategos claimed that over 66,000 Christians were slaughtered, and that Jews playing a major role in the killings. Many later chroniclers, including Eutychius of Alexandria and the Greek Theophanes, discussed the Jewish-inspired massacres. In the nineteenth century, Jewish historians like Salomon Munk and Heinrich Graetz wrote about the slaughters. Although formulating some apologetics for Jewish behavior in the era, Graetz, notes Horowitz, was "unwilling to sweep Jewish religious violence under the rug, or to dismiss, as would many later Jewish historians, all Christian accounts thereof as tainted by bias." [HOROWITZ, 1998]
        Twentieth century Jewish historians who were part of a "historiographical stonewalling" include Samuel Klein (whose history of the Jews in Palestine made no mention of the 614 massacre), Michael Avi-Yonah (whose original work did not mention who perpetrated the massacres and whose later work solely blamed the Persians), and Salo Baron (who does not mention the reason Jews were driven out of Antioch in the fifth century: a Jew was caught urinating on an image of the venerated Virgin Mary). Readers of both Avi-Yonah and Baron, notes Horowitz, "could come away with the impression that during the massacre of 614 not a single Jew had shed a drop of Christian blood." [HOROWITZ, p. 7]  Horowitz also notes that virtually all Jewish historians overlook the horrific details in their telling of another set of Jewish massacres of Christians in Antioch, and the murder of its patriarch, in 610. According to translations of Theophanes, for example, "the Jews of Anitoch ... disemboweled the great Patriarch Anastasisu, and forced him to eat his own intestines ... They hurled his genitals into his face." [HOROWITZ, 1998, p. 6]
          In Israel, especially since 1967, notes Horowitz, "the tendency in Israeli historiography, both academic and popular, [is] to ignore the slaughter of Jerusalem's Christians in 614." [HOROWITZ, 1998, p. 7] A former Minister of Education, Benzion Dinur, for example, never mentioned the 614 massacres in a review of the period. Nor does professor Naftali Arbel mention Jewish responsibility in his own volume that addresses the era. Likewise Teddy Kollek and Moshe Pearlman's book about Jerusalem, and the Israeli Encyclopedia Entsiklopedyah ha-ivrit. In the Hebrew University-sponsored History of the Jewish People by H. H. Ben-Sasson, "not a word was said concerning Christian casualties in the volume from which thousands of Israeli high school and university students have learned about their nation's past." [HOROWITZ, p. 8]

        Peter Novick notes how the history of Jewish-Palestinian relations has been distorted by Jewish scholarship to accomodate Israeli propaganda purposes: to connect "Arabs in general, and Palestinians in particular, with Nazism":

         "The claims of Palestinian complicity in the murder of European Jews were to
         some extent a defensive strategy, a preemptive response to the Palestinian
         complaint that if Israel was recompense for the Holocaust, it was unjust that
         Palestinian Muslims should pick up the bill for the crimes of European Christians.
         The assertion that Palestinians were complicit in the Holocaust was mostly
          based on the case of the Mufti of Jerusalem, a pre-World War II Palestinian
          nationalist leader who, to escape imprisonment by the British, sought refuge
          during the war in Germany. The Mufti was in many ways a disreputable
          character, but postwar claims that he played any significant part in the
          Holocaust have never been sustained. This did not prevent the [Jewish]
          editors of The Encylopedia of the Holocaust from giving him a starring
          role. The article on the Mufti is more than twice as long as the articles on
          [prominent Nazi leaders] Goebbels and Goring, longer than the articles on
          Himmler and Heydrich combined, longer than the article on Eichmann --
          of all the biographical articles, it is exceeded in length, but only slightly,
          by the entry for Hitler." [NOVICK, P., 1999, p. 158]

         Another very rare Jewish commentator, Jonathan Schorsch, published an intriguing article in 2000, reviewing Jewish historians' reluctance to investigate, and honestly comment upon, Jewish involvement in the African-American slave trade. The core of the article is to note Jewish historical efforts to bend unsightly unpleasantries from the Jewish past into cautious apologetics, and to categorically scapegoat Christian society for all Jewish-inspired oppression of others. Schorsch notes the norm for Jewish scholars in the work of influential historian Salo Baron: "When forced to talk about Jews as slave traders, such as in the British West Indies, Baron feels the need to insert an apology, though that is not always the case when he discusses non-Jewish slave trading." Thus, for example, while Cortes, the famed conquistador of Central America, is condemned for heinous crimes against indigenous people, partner conquistadors of Jewish descent, like Bartolome de las Casas and Hernando Alonso, are not faced squarely, and are morally pardoned.
        Schorsch also takes influential Jewish historian (about Brazil) Jacob Rader Marcus to task for the same theme: condemning Christian involvement in the slave trade, but disguising, or muffling, Jewish guilt and culpability. "The silence [about Jews and their African slaves] of even so sensitive and progressive a historian as Marcus," declares Schorsch,
         "can be astounding. Discussing the Jews of Saint-Domingue, where he
         has just informed the reader of one wealthy Jewish clan that owned a
         plantation employed 280 slaves, Marcus cites the discovery that 'anti-
         Jewish prejudices was not absent on Saint-Domingue even among the
         Here Marcus falls upon the usual Jewish "anti-Semitic" and "innocence" model for understanding Jewish history: that African slaves who disdained their Jewish masters that oppressed them were, for this, themselves moral criminals. As Schorsch frames this issue: "[Marcus] seems to be saying, that white Christian Europeans would hate Jews, but Negroes! What reason could they possibly have for hating Jews?"
        Another Jewish scholar of the subject of Jews and their African-American slaves, Arnold Wiznitzer, "refrains from looking into the attitudes of Jews towards blacks or Indians." And, during a 1982 conference in Brazil, "featuring lectures by some of the most distinguished Jewish historians working on the Sephardic Diaspora [in Brazil] [they] nearly without exception failed to analyze black-Jewish contacts on Curacao, though one mentioned in passing some of the Jewish slave traders on the island." [SCHORSCH, J., 2000]
        Likewise, notes Jonathan Schorsch, fellow Jewish scholar Robert Cohen has "buried" the facts of Jewish slaveholding in the Caribbean in a table of statistics, and correspondingly "minimizes Jewish slaveholding" in his prose. [SCHORSCH, J., 2000] Ultimately, says Schorsch, "there is something dissatisfying about this kind of apologetic argument; indeed, something is unsettling ... That [such tactics], intentional or unconscious, recurs so consistently in twentieth-century American Jewish historiography suggests the depths of the topic's unpalatability." [SCHORSCH, J., 2000] (The "topic" Schorsch refers to here is Jewish-Black relations, but it may well be virtually anything whatsoever that strikes Jewry in an unflattering light).

         In 1999, Jewish scholar Jay Gertzner leaned back on the usual kinds of conventional Jewish excuses to explain non-Jewish hostility towards Jews, per the subject of one of his books: the Jewish creation --and dominance -- of the smut trade in New York City (and, hence, America). Here he assails those who criticized the many immigrant Jews who were busy undermining the morality of American WASP culture:

         "This irrespressible insistence, seen as characteristic of Jewish merchants in
         particular, and of ethnic middlemen minorities in general, helped confer
         pariah status on the erotic book dealers. Here, the one-hundred percent
         moralist warned, was a tightly knit group of workers single-mindedly
         driven to material success, an apparently autonomous minority that had
         chosen to pursue its own 'godless, un-American' goals with a strange
         and foreign intensity. When added to the disreputable nature of the
         business, as attested to by the denunciation of various authority
         figures, and by police action against the 'promoters,' as postal inspectors
         termed them, the identity of the erotica distributor as clannish -- employing
         their own kind' -- and aloof -- with their own, ethnic, alleigiances --
         became fixed. Here was a kind of 'parasite' with whom one would, on
         occasion, itch to deal, but would remain chary of trusting, especially
         because the dealer was so good at what he did." [GERTZMAN, J., 2000,
         p. 41]

         In other words, in Gertzman's subtext here, it is not really the Jewish pornographers who merit critical examination for failings in their morality, but those non-Jews who dared to criticize them as Jews (and Gertzman notes elsewhere indeed that the smut world was very much a Jewish in-house activity), [GERTZMAN, J., 2000, p. 28-29] per the tenets of "anti-Semitism." Gertzman even goes on to paraphase another Jewish commentator, adding that -- pornographers or not -- the smut peddlers are heros. After all, in the Jewish world view the destruction of the WASP's moral world was intrinsically noble, i.e., the non-Jewish world is, by definition, repression. Here the Jewish pornographer is a noble protaganist for righteousness:

         "Moses Kligsberg asserts that the eastern European Jewish people's sense of
         how and where to fulfill takhlis [fate] was a chief motive for the immigration
         to America, and so explains the perserverance, enthusiasm, respect for
         education, community and family solidarity, and amlleability that other
         sociological analysts attribute to traits of middleman minorities. The
         prosecuted erotica dealers could only submit to fate and promise themselves
         that, even if they went to jail, their sons and daughters would recognize
         that they had been fighting puritanical taboos, not selling smut, and   
         were accepting the setbacks that presented themselves as they endeavored
         to accomplish legitimate goals." [GERTZMAN, J., 2000, p. 42]
          While such unpleasant parts of Jewish history are systematically overlooked, explained away, or, as above, championed, since the 1960s numerous wealthy Jews have been funding Jewish studies programs at colleges and universities throughout America, and well-budgeted Jewish researchers have been falling over each other in writing about everything imaginably Jewish (even including meta-histories of the lives of modern Jewish historians like Salo Baron, Raul Hilberg, Simon Dubnov, Cecil Roth, and others). "Jewish studies have become a growth industry," said Bernard Cooperman in 1990, "and the signs of prosperity are everywhere. There is at least one, and usually more than one, full-time instructor in Jewish studies at almost every university in this country. The Association for Jewish Studies, the basic professional organization in this area, counts well over 700 full members, that is, individuals who are employed in a recognized academic institution. Every major academic press in the country has an active list of Jewish Studies books ... International conferences abound, new journals appear with alarming frequency." [COOPERMAN, p. 195]
         "The growing number of scholars who are today writing the best history thus far produced for American Jewry," wrote Henry Feingold in 1996, "[are creating] an information explosion of such magnitude that merely screening the amount of data available and separating them from pseudo-data poses extraordinary difficulties ... It directly effects not only how the future history of American Jewry will be written but what will be written about." [FEINGOLD, p. 31] "Too many histories of the Jews," adds David Biale,  "unconsciously fall back on the theology of Jewish uniqueness and assume that the Jewish tradition evolves in some splendid isolation from the rest of the world." [BIALE, Conf, p. 45] And a core of Jewish Studies interest? "Jewish studies," notes Susannah Heschel, "emerged not as a politically neutral field concerned with describing the history of the Jews but as a politically charged effort to reconceive Christian history as well." [HESCHEL, 1998, p. 107]

          In 2000, the Cleveland Jewish News noted that Peter Haas [is]

          "the new Abba Hillel Silver professor of Jewish Studies at Case Western Reserve       University and director of the Samuel Rosenthal Center for Judaic Studies ... To
          begin, Haas said, one should be struck with the oddity of having Jewish studies
          at a modern, secular scientific university ... In 1940 there were about 10 Jewish
          studies programs in the United States. By the 1970s, there were up to 400. And
          there are even more today ... Jewish studies and religious studies in general have
          also diversified, with academicians specializing in areas such as Jewish women,
          Hebrew linguistics, Jewish musicology and antisemitism." [OSTER, M., 2/18/2000]
          Indeed, among the mountains of material Jews write about themselves is a vast subfield: modern Jewish obsession with "anti-Semitism." In one Jewish analysis of ancient Latin and Greek writers, we are informed that 18% were "substantially favorable" towards Jews, 59% were "neutral," and 23% "substantially unfavorable." [GRIFFIN, p. 58] "It is ... striking," says Jasper Griffin, in a subtle poke at Jewish narcissism, "that references to the classical authors to Jews are in the modern world collected, analyzed, and discussed so much more intensively than their references to other peoples. It would not be easy to produce comparable statistics collected by modern scholars for ancient judgments on other groups or nations." [GRIFFIN, p. 58]  Indeed, Jews -- who insist that non-Jews keeping tabs on who's Jewish is itself an act of anti-Semitism -- can somehow tell us that exactly three Jews died in the Battle of the Alamo, exactly seventeen died when the U.S.S. Maine was sunk off Cuba in 1898 to start the Spanish-American War, and that Wyatt Earp lived with a Jewish woman and was buried in a Jewish cemetery. [DAVIS, p. 29] [Note the curious controversy over an image alleged to be Earp's wife, Sarah Marcus Earp. Hollis Cook, the historical park ranger at Tombstone, Arizona, alleges that a popular photographic reproduction of Ms. Earp, is not her, but probably, for whatever reason, a New York City prostitute.] [JACOBSON, H., 1995, p. 270-273]
         "So much has been written about modern Jewish experience," notes Stephen Whitfield, "that, even if confined to its American locale, the acquisitions librarians can barely keep up with the pace. So crammed are the shelves of books about Jews -- including their American branch -- that perhaps the sin of adding ever so slightly to that literature cannot be palliated." [WHITFIELD, p. 1, American]  Over the past six decades leading up to 1988, one scholar found -- in French, German, or English -- 86 books about "Jewish humor" alone. [WHITFIELD, American, p. 66] Professor Laurence Baron, director of the Lipinsky Center for Judaic Studies at San Diego State University, passes out a list of books in English under the heading "Why Righteous Gentiles Rescued Jews During the Holocaust." The list is 46 volumes long.
           Thousands of publications appear about some aspect of Jewry every year, but with all the money flying around, however, there is more than the usual kinds of pressure in academe to "publish or perish." "The desire to present Jews and Judaism in a good light," says William Cutter, "still influences many donors [to Jewish studies] and may even be their primary motive." [CUTTER, p. 163]
         "By making Jewish Studies available at the university level," remarks Bernard Cooperman, "we have given ... young people another chance to appreciate the positive and sophisticated aspects of Jewish culture ... We have legitimized these subjects and made them attractive by neutralizing the [rest of the university] environment in which they are taught." [COOPERMAN, p. 196-197]  "In ways that are often quite expected," noted Gary Morson in 1996,  "many Jewish scholars have found themselves listening to a Jewish voice within them they have long neglected." [MORSON, p. 78]
          The necessity, then, to parrot and disseminate traditional Jewish mythology in an academic context apparently doesn't bother many Jewish scholars. "A discipline [Jewish studies] which exploded in this country in the late sixties," says David Biale, "has become, all too often, careerist and conformist. With the inflation of endowed chairs, a product of the Jewish community's desire to buy ethnic respectability in the academy, the field has become fertile ground for academic entrepreneurs." [BIALE, Conf, p. 140]
         "The [Jewish] obsession with Holocaust memorials," says Jay Berkovitz, "... is paralleled by an equally dangerous obsession, the establishment of Jewish Studies in out-of-the-way places that have neither student support nor community support. They are, in effect, monuments to power, real and imagined, of Jewish wealth. Both of these phenomena point to an unseemly sensationalism and superficiality." [BERKOVITZ, Disc, p. 29]
         Despite the ethical and intellectual poverty in many Jewish studies programs, tightening budgets in the university world at-large, and tinkling Jewish money for Jewish apologetics and cosmetics has attracted academic hustlers of all sorts "seeking," according to William Cutter, "entre into the Jewish community." [CUTTER, p. 164]
         But it's not easy for non-Jews to get in. In fact, non-Jewish perspectives on "being Jewish" are not really welcome. While Jews herald Gentile discrimination against them as virtually the very foundation of Jewish studies, the Jewish community's typical double standard reeks with hypocrisy. In 1987 Jacob Neusner wrote that:
           "Just now a non-Jewish graduate student applying for a job [in Jewish
           studies] at a state university in the Middle West, was told that he was
           by far the best-qualified candidate. In face, he was the only truly
           qualified candidate who wanted the job. But he would not even be
           interviewed. The reason? He isn't Jewish. The local Jewish federation
           was paying part of the salary, and the local Jewish federation wanted
           some teaching done under its auspices. Only a Jew could do it. So
           the state university enforced the rule that for Jewish Studies only Jews
           need apply." [NEUSNER, Judaism, p. 10]
         Neusner was indignant that Jewish Studies programs across America have developed into isolated ghettos in academe. "I cannot imagine," he complained, "a more complete surrender to contempt for the Jews than that which Jews themselves have made in their profound misunderstanding of the nature of the academy." [NEUSNER, p. 10]
         Meanwhile, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that in the same year (1987) that Neusner noted American academe's caving in to Jewish money and its institutionalized discrimination, "Jewish organizations" were successfully lobbying for national legislation that would enforce public disclosure of "large gifts" to colleges "from foreign sources," a law which explicitly targeted Arab donations and perspectives. The usual Jewish double standard was in evidence, the Chronicle noting that:
           "The [Jewish] organizations and their Congressional backers say
           the legislation would discourage colleges from accepting money
           on the condition that people of certain ethnic groups or political
           views be excluded from endowed chairs or academic programs
           created with the gifts ... Jewish organizations charge that Arab donors
           were using gifts to influence academic research improperly."
           [JASCHIK, p. A19]
          Also in 1987, two Jewish professors at Cornell University fought a philanthropic donation from a Jewish anti-Zionist, and alumnus of the college, Alfred Lilienthal, for an Islamic lecture series. David Owen, a professor of Near Eastern Studies, argued that Lilienthal's views of Israel were not 'balanced." The chairman of that department (Jewish too), Stewart Katz, also was hostile to the grant. Yet another Jewish academic, Isaac Kramnick, the Associate Dean, directed both Islamic and Jewish Studies at Cornell. "On the Cornell campus," Lilinethal told the Jewish Week, "only one religion and its political goals are really taught. More of the other side has got to be given." [JW, 5-15-87, p. 19]
          (In this chauvinist context, African-American professor Tony Martin wrote that "even now, in 1993, it is still possible to find a large African-American Studies department in a large eastern university proposing to establish a Ph.D program in Black Studies where more than half of the compulsory reading in the bedrock 'great Black books' are by Jews. The reverse situation of a Judaic studies Ph.D program taught by white Jews and based on the writings of Black experts, would be so unthinkable as to be the stuff of comedy.") [MARTIN, p. 42])
          Alfred Lilienthal's gift and Jacob Neusner's outrage is extremely unusual. The more typical Jewish perspective is that of Bernard Cooperman, who expresses outrage for an even more subtly insidious threat to Jewish mythology than that of a non-Jew teaching Jewish issues:
           "Here is the danger [in a secular university context] ... Some [Jewish
            teachers] are not even practicing Jews. I remember well a recent case
            in which Jewish money funded a new Jewish Studies chair and the
            university offered the position to a man who been, at least one time
            in his life, an apostate!" [COOPERMAN, p. 196-197]
         Jewish censorship and information control in academe takes many forms, often instilled by academics themselves. Joseph Amato notes the disturbing case of a British professor at the University of London who does not submit to the Jewish dictates of history:
           "British scholar Norman Davies -- one of Europe's foremost scholars
            of Poland -- was denied by fellow faculty a chair at Stanford University
            by a twelve to eleven vote because his book, God's Playground: A
            History of Poland, 2 vol. (N.Y.: Columbia University Press, 1984)
            was found to be unacceptably defensive of Polish relations to Jews
            [see later chapter] during the Second World War. Stanford University,
            taking the side of the majority, argued in its defense of the faculty's
            politically motivated judgment that, indeed, in the case of subjects
            like history, political persuasions could validly be scrutinized in
            assigning appointment. Leaving aside the bitter accusations that
            marked the debate, several profound historical-moral questions come
            into play regarding not only Polish collective responsibility for the fate
            of the Jews, but the right of the Poles to write a history of their own
            suffering as an immense tragedy." [AMATO, p. 204]
          The faculty members who were activists against Davies were primarily Jewish. Davies filed a $9 million lawsuit against Stanford, charging
        "a conspiracy ... because of political views plaintiff had expressed in
        his written publications with regard to Poland, the Soviet Union, and
        the teaching of Polish and Soviet history which such defendants believed,
        among other things, to be insensitive of the Jewish faith and unacceptably
        defensive of the behavior of the Polish people, particularly during the
        German occupation of Poland in World War II." [LINDSEY, R., 3-13-
        87, p. A14]
         "People are frightened to speak about this," Stanford emeritus professor of humanities Ronald Hilton told the New York Times, "Davies is not anti-Semitic; his reputation for fairness is recognized internationally." [LINDSEY, R., 3-13-87, p. A14] An appellate court eventually ruled in 1991 that Stanford was within its rights to reject Davies. "In effect," said Paul Robinson, the chairman of Stanford's history department during the time of the controversy, "the entire system of American education would be undone if [Davies'] complaint had been accepted." [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9-6-91, p. A48]
         And as one Jewish author, Jon Wiener, concluded in even the liberal Nation magazine:
         "The historians who voted against [Davies] were fulfilling their
          responsibilities as intellectuals." [WIENER, J., 1991, p. 84]
         Typically, the Jewish professor's commitment  -- atheists, agnostics, et al of whatever political persuasion, all inevitably attackers of the status quo -- to Jewish history, its religious roots and tenets, Jewish separatism, and Jewish "peoplehood" is that of the college where Steven Zipperstein teaches:
          "My department hired two feminist historians this past year, one of them
          a Marxist theoretician. Among the first things both did upon moving to
          Los Angeles was to join a synagogue; one also registered her son in a
          Conservative [Judaism] day school."  [ZIPPERSTEIN, p. 213]
          The celebratory cavalcade of "Jewish greatness" and demanding victimology smothers all before it. It's usual content reflects Hannah Arendt's perception that "out of the belief in chosenness by God grew that fantastic delusion, shared by unbelieving Jews and non-Jews alike, that Jews are by nature more intelligent, better, healthier, more fit for survival -- the motor of history and the salt of the earth.... Secularization [and] ... assimilation ... engendered a very real Jewish chauvinism ... From now on, the old religious concept of chosenness was no longer the essence of Judaism; it became instead the essence of Jewishness." [ARENDT, p. 74]
          In our day, other than purely Biblical and archaeological concerns, few non-Jews have an interest in exploring the minutia of Jewish history and esoteric Jewish controversies other than those that have a Christian link in the Biblical eras; most of the non-Jewish public know nothing whatsoever of the broader Jewish story per se, and do not care to know anything about it. ("Certainly we are failing to attract Gentiles to our courses," says Cooperman, "... at Harvard even the four or five non-Jews who used to take my Hebrew or modern Jewish history courses have disappeared in recent years." [COOPERMAN p. 197] This situation, in conjunction with the emphatically enforced prohibition against non-Jewish critical commentary on the subjects of Jews, provides the opportunity in popular culture for a one-way avalanche of Jewish popular discourse about their past and present, and to recreate history, as current (pro-Israel, post-Holocaust) political winds dictate, entirely unchallenged. The overwhelming majority of passive non-Jews, however, who haven't the slightest interest in the Jewish subject, nonetheless absorb -- by public osmosis -- the most superficial explications of issues that involve Jews in our day, particularly Israel. This usually occurs through the omnipresent fairy dust and sound bites of the mass media. There are a few important exceptions, but most writing and teaching about Jews these days is mythological and self-congratulatory in scope
          "Despite the scientific Jewish historiography that began ... in the nineteenth century," says Avner Falk, an Israeli professor, " Jewish historians still treat Jewish history from the idealized viewpoint that dominated my study of it as a schoolboy." [FALK, p. 16] "Jewish scholarship," says the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Arthur Green, "[has been] the handmaiden of Jewish apologetics." [GREEN, p. 85] "There is no interest in self-criticism within the Jewish community,” notes Leon Wieseltier, "There certainly isn't ... This is the death of the mind in some way." [BERSHTEL, p. 118] The intensity of Jewish collective activism and enforcement of historical illusions (in this case, about the ever-angelic "Jewish family") is also noted by Paula Hyman: "Myth-making about the Jewish family, and particularly about the role of women in that family, has become a virtual preoccupation of contemporary Jewish community." [HYMAN, 1983, p. 18]  "Jews living in the Diaspora," adds another Jewish feminist author, Mimi Scharf, "have frequently spread much propaganda about themselves, in order to maintain a low profile, and as a consequence, have downplayed social problems of their own." [SCARF, 9783, p. 51]
          In 1989 Jacob Neusner complained in the Washington Post that rich donors to Jewish educational organizations were getting in the way of free speech. Robert O. Freedman, Dean of Graduate Studies at Baltimore Hebrew University had been running into precarious times for his outspoken criticism, and activism, against Israel. Likewise, Arthur Waskow, a teacher for seven years at the presumably liberal Reconstructionist Rabbinical College near Philadelphia was fired by superiors after pressure from college donors who vehemently objected to Waskow's published criticisms of Israel in the Los Angeles Times and The Nation. [NEUSNER, Censorship, p. C5]
         "Every community-endowed program in Jewish Studies," remarks David Biale, "has its own story about communal pressure to 'represent' the assumed interests of Jews on campus, to defend Israel against attack, and to bolster the self-image of Jewish students." [BIALE, Between, p. 176] "The temptation to use the academic setting to further commitment to Jewish life," notes S. Daniel Breslauer, "tempts some teachers into an apologetic stance. They seek to communicate the depth of Jewish religious experience, but fail to utilize critical scholarly techniques of analysis." [BRESLAUER, p. 4]
         Richard L. Rubenstein, a Jewish theologian, noted the problems he faced in finding a job after writing two volumes deemed too critical for the Jewish Establishment: "I became virtually unemployable within the Jewish community, or in any community where the Jewish community had substantial influence ... Because [Florida State University at] Tallahassee was far removed from any large center of Jewish life, it was possible for the university to hire me." [RUBENSTEIN, R., After, p. xv]
          The Yiddish novelist Isaac Bashevis Singer put American Jewish historical myth making this way:
          "The scribblers here [in the United States] try to persuade the reader
           that the shtetl  [Eastern European Jewish community] was a paradise
           full of saints. So comes along someone from the very place and says,
           'Stuff and nonsense!' They'll excommunicate you." [LINDEMANN, p.
         In 1974, Jewish sociologist Martin Sklare noted how drastically academic views of Jewish life in turn-of-the-century New York had changed:
          "It is characteristic of the critical academic that he tends to idealize
           the immigrant Jew of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
           Instead of viewing the Lower East Side of the nation as retrogressive,
           as had an earlier generation, the critical academic generally admires
           them for their embodiment of a sense of 'community' and human
           warmth, for their 'authenticity.'" [SKLARE, 1974, p. 19]
         This is, at core, the description of the reconstruction of history at the university level, the replacing of a critical view of the past with something closer to legend:  on a wide scale, a romantic Jewish American infatuation with its immigrant roots.
         "[There] is the tension," says Harold Wechsler and Paul Ritterband, "often exhibited between academy and the [Jewish] community ... Take Jewish crime. A sociologist may very well find a rich vein to explore, while the concerned community might fear that the investigation's results might provide materials for the enemies of the Jews. The sociologist may experience subtle, or not so subtle pressure to choose another topic." [WECHSLER, p. 256] Likewise, note Jewish scholars Stanley Rothman and S. Robert Lichter, "Good studies of 'Jewish personality traits' are few in number for a variety of reasons, including a tendency by scholars to avoid the subject." [ROTHMAN/LICHTER, 1982, p. 126]
         The pressure to censor the less pleasant parts of Jewish history is usually behind the scenes, but surfaces publicly from time to time. In June 1995, for example, Jewish organizations and individuals in Michigan sought to obscure the historical fact that the notorious Detroit Purple Gang of the 1920s was Jewish. An exhibition by the Michigan Historical Center in the state's capital city was "under fire" from Jewish critics because of a label posted beneath an exhibition photograph which said:
            "The huge profits made on illegal alcohol encouraged crime on a
            greater scale. Detroit's Purple Gang ran speakeasies, smuggled alcohol,
            supplied Al Capone with Canadian liquor and engaged in violent
            activities during the 1920s. Many of the Purple Gang members were
            from Detroit's Jewish community and had attended the same east-side
            high school."
          Cindy Hughey, the Executive Director of the Michigan Jewish Conference was one of those lobbying for censorship of the reference to Jews. Likewise, a Jewish state politician, David Gubow, told the Detroit News, "I'm never one to get into censorship, and I can't argue with the accuracy of the label, but other groups are not represented in the same manner." "The primary purpose for the exhibits," responded Darlene Clark Hine, a historian at nearby Michigan State University (and who was not involved in the show), "is to educate the public, and the truth is what the document reveals." [FREEDMAN, D3]
         As Israeli scholar Robert Rockaway has observed about the Purple Gang:
         "Detroit's toughest, most ruthless mob was the all-Jewish Purple
          Gang. Led by a transplanted New York hoodlum, Ray Bernstein,
          the gang dominated the city's bootlegging and narcotics traffic
          throughout the prohibition era ... Detroit police credited the Purple
          Gang with over 500 killings." [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 41, 77]
         Another scholar of crime has even called the Purple Gang "the most efficiently organized gang of killers in the United States." [ROCKAWAY, R., 1993, p. 77]
         In another case, Jewish author Joe Kraus was called by a fellow Jew a being "'worse than an anti-Semite' for an article I had written in which I discussed the underworld connections of one of his relatives; he claimed that I posed as a Jew and a friend but actually gave ammunition to contemporary skinheads, Nazis, and other Jew-haters ... [KRAUS, p. 55-56] ... Turn-of-the-century Jews actively worked against having [Jewish criminal] history told ... [p. 62] ... There are still enough people among the Jews who do not want Jewish gangster history to be told at all." [KRAUS, p. 63]
         Jewish reluctance to explore other prominent areas of their history was noted by Gerald Krefetz in 1982. He noted a long list of Jewish economists including Edward Bernstein, Arthur Burns, Otto Eckstein, Solomon Fabricant, Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, William Haber, Robert Heilbroner, Lawrence Klein, Simon Kuznets, Leon Kyserling, Robert Lekachman, Wassily Leontif, Allan Meltzer, Oscar Morgenstern, Paul Samuelson, Anna Schwartz, Robert Solomon, and Murray Weidenbaum. What do they have in common, other than being Jewish and economists?  "The economic role of Jews in America," suggests Krefetz, "is just about the only topic with which these economists have not concerned themselves." [KREFETZ, p. 4]
         Anyone who dares to pursue scholarship about the so-called "Holocaust" that does not follow Jewish demands about the subject is in serious political trouble. [This huge subject will be explored in a later chapter] As a non-Jewish teacher of the Holocaust in Great Britain, John Fox, noted in 2000,
         "There is a mystique about the term holocaust which only those who
         wish to be known as infidels dare raise their voices against. This
         unfortunately means that virtually any aspect of Nazi anti-Jewish
         policy from the date of the Nazi takeover on January 30, 1933, may
         be classified as belonging to the Holocaust 'and don't you dare argue
         with that or else.'" [FOX, J., 3-19-2000, p. 2]
         Coupled sometimes with popular Jewish efforts to deny (or avoid) historical facts, is an ignorance of them. Hillel Halkin notes typical American Jewish identity like this:
         "A smattering of Yiddish or Hebrew remembered from childhood, a
         nostalgia for a parental home where Jewish customs were kept, the
         occasional observance of an isolated Jewish ritual, the exclusion of
         some non-kosher foods from an otherwise non-kosher kitchen, a
         genuine identification with the Jewish people combined with a genuine
         ignorance of its past history and present condition." [AVISHAI, B.]
         By the 1960's many of the Jewish Studies programs being instituted in American universities were not objectively research-oriented, but functioned largely as propaganda outposts for Jewish-Israeli polemics. In such a context, says Weschsler and Ritterband
           "The research function of a Judaica post [at a university] ... serves a
            subordinate role to teaching. As long as nearly all young American
            Jews were exposed to the secular university's many attractions,
            academic Judaica posts would serve perhaps a more important
            communal function than even rabbinical offices." [WECHSLER, p.
           Take, for example, the disturbing case of prestigious Oxford University in Great Britain.  In 1999, important philanthropist Stanley Kalms withheld his normal funding to (successfully) drive Dr. Bernard Wasserstein out of the directorship of the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Oxford University. "I withdrew from funding," said Kalms, "because I believe that the principal of the organization promoting traditional Jewish beliefs must conform to the general ethos of that organization. For instance, [Wasserstein] was in favor of intermarriage." [Evening Standard (London), 3-31-99, p. 12]
        In the late 1990s, Sanford Ziff, millionaire founder of Sunglass Hut in Florida, reneged on a $2 million pledge to the University of Miami "because the university allowed the student newspaper to publish an ad that denied the veracity of the Holocaust. The conflict resulted in a compromise, with Ziff releasing his donation after the university set up a committee to revive and expand its courses and programs on Jewish and Holocaust studies." "What they did agree to do," says Ziff,
          "was to set up a special committee, and I, being on the board of the
          Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, was able to get the
          center to confer with the University of Miami ... Today, after a couple
          of years of meetings and all, the university, which at the time had three
          courses on Holocaust studies in the Judaic department, today has over
          25 courses in Jewish history, Holocaust studies, anti-Semitism, Jewish
          life and not only in the Department of Judaism but throughout the
          whole university." [BROWARD DAILY, 4-16-99, p. A6]
         In 1998, Harvard University abandoned a three-year search for someone to head a proposed Holocaust studies program ($3.2 million was provided by wealthy Jewish financier and screenwriter Kenneth Lipper) because of incessant political and academic fighting over who the new director should be. "Members of the search committee, "noted the Boston Globe, "... were seen divided by philosophical disagreements and internal politics. There were debates, for example, over how the Holocaust should be taught." [CHACON, R., 3-25-98, p. A1] Lipper was alleged to be pushing the university to hire controversial Jewish author Daniel Goldhagen for the position, which would lead to his tenure. (In total, Lipper had given nearly $8 million over the years to Harvard). "By the standards of higher education," said a non-Jewish candidate for the job, Christopher Browning, "a donor should have no role in the selection of an individual. The fact that the donor continues to play a role is a scandal." [SMITH, D., 7-19-97, p. 11]
        Elsewhere, for example, unchallenged Jewish polemic finds its way to the University of Southern California, where "for the past thirty years, Hebrew Union College has provided faculty and has essentially been the de facto Jewish Studies department for USC." Morton Schapiro, as the Dean of USC's College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, oversees the department. [WESTPHAL, S., 2000, p. B1]

        In 1995, the University of Massachusets at Amherst even set up a pro-Jewish propaganda department, hiring

          "a full-time staff person to promote acceptance of Jews and help advance
          Jewish learning and culture. The 'Office of Jewish Affairs' has two purposes:
          to combat anti-Semitism on campus and to build a positive Jewish
          experience among students who are not Jewish." [SCOTT, F., 5-25-95, p. 1]

         (The same day the announcement for the new Jewish promotional department was run in the campus newspaper, a former professor, Helen Cullen, had a letter (of protest) to the editor. She declared that "traditional Judaism and Jewish identity are offensive to most human beings and will always cause trouble between the Jews and the rest of the human race." [SCOTT, F., 5-25-95, p. 1]
         British Jewish visitor Howard Jacobson notes the first time he visited the University of Judaism in (a wealthy area of) Los Angeles:
         "I go in through the main entrance and find myself immediately in
         a gift-shop. I don't know enough about universities in America to
         be certain, but I have a hunch that it is not normal for a gift shop
         to the first thing you encounter on campus, before reception,
         before notice-boards, before directions, even, were it not for
         the succah pioneers, before students." [JACOBSON, H., 1995,
         p. 191]
           Martin Sklare, influential sociologist of the Jewish community at Brandeis University, hoped to see the growth of a Jewish "survivalist" academe in America, "risen from" Zionist and nationalist "concerns," and addressing the "identity problem and by extension ... the welfare of the Jewish community." [WECHSLER, p. 276]  "Forthrightly extolling particularism," say Wechsler and Ritterband, "over and against universalistic social scientific norms, [Sklare] insists that [universalism] in reality dampened efforts at the systematic study of contemporary Jewry." [WECHSLER, p. 276]
            A key subfield to Jewish studies (but, in reality, its backbone) is the study of anti-Semitism. And researchers and writers who choose to investigate such a subject (rooted in relations between Jews and non-Jews throughout history) have strong expectations about what they might find. They have, then, a tentative thesis. There are many possible roads to follow and no one enters historical research blindly. The Jewish theses usually reflect a communal arrogance of historical accomplishment, some aspect of a deeply felt bitterness towards all non-Jews (but particularly Christians), a belief that Jews have struggled and suffered through history like no other people, and that it is important now to itemize their sufferings and assess appropriate blame for their perceived misfortunes.
          Jewish victimization is, of course, the predominant thesis in Jewish studies. "Study of the suffering of Jews," notes Albert Lindemann, "is now advocated mostly as a way of preventing suffering in the future, largely by exposing the sinful or corrupt nature of Gentile society and its responsibilities for Jewish suffering and almost never as a means by which Jews could become aware of their own sins." [LINDEMANN, A., p. 21]  This Jewish propensity to dump communal responsibility off in some hinterland has an ancient religio-psychological history. "As is well known," wrote Jewish psychoanalyst Otto Fenichel, "the Jews used to load all their sins on a goat and drive it out into the desert to purify themselves." [FENICHEL, p. 14]
         Stated or unstated, modern Jewish writers and researchers generally seek (at least) moral redress and even wider latitude to codify victimological myths of Jewishness as part of popular American (and even world) culture, unhindered.  A few even openly express thoughts of revenge, originally a religious theme of traditional Judaism. (Michael Cuddihy, for example, devotes an entire book to argue that Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, and Claude Levi-Strauss were vengefully fueled by a desire to assault the dominant non-Jewish culture around them and to deconstruct its illusory civility).
         In the most overt and extreme fashion, there is the case of the right wing ideologue (and others like him), Meir Kahane. "Kahane's hostility to Gentiles," says Ehud Sprinzak, "is certainly the strongest emotional and psychological theme of his political theology. There is not a single essay or book in which this enmity and thirst for revenge does not surface ... The very definition of Jewish freedom implies [for Kahane] the ability to humiliate the Gentile." [SPRINZAK, p. 218, 220] In any case, with the birth of the modern Jewish state of Israel in 1948 in the wake of Nazi terrors against the Jews during World War II, Jewish research has often taken on a sense of communal urgency in fortifying a range of Jewish historical, polemical and political arguments, myths, accentuations and justifications.
        Expressions of Jewish victimhood takes many forms. From left wing political circles, for instance, Michael Lerner even argues that Jewish affluence  -- current and historical -- is a "uniquely" Jewish form of victimhood, a "vulnerability" where Jews are blameless pawns in the designs of evil non-Jews. Jews are recurrently vulnerable to class hatred, says Lerner, "because Jews are placed in positions where they can serve as focus for anger that otherwise might be directed at ruling elites." [LERNER, SOCIALIST, p. 64: added emphasis]   [See later chapter for a few dozen Jewish "ruling elites"]
         There are some dissenting Jewish voices -- a very small number  -- that challenge the traditional Jewish "chronic victim" scenario (what Salo Baron calls the "lachymorose theory" of Jewish history).  Such critics don't endear the notion of the Jewish past represented as a kind of will-less, spineless, perpetual bouncing to others' initiations in the historical pinball machine.  There isn't really much room for communal pride -- when you honestly get right down to it -- in being pushed around all the time. And perpetual whining, even to a few Jewish ears, can begin to wear painfully thin.
          So a few (very few) Jewish historical revisionists seek to drastically reconsider, reinvent, and reconstruct the Jewish past. In this view, Jews did have initiative in their Diaspora throughout history. Jews were empowered in their own lives. Jews did act decisively, not like drifting fluff in the historical winds, but like men. (And women.) One example of modern Jewish insistence upon complete victimization is the assertion that their ancestors were forbidden from owning land in most of Europe throughout the Middle Ages. This is an important argument, for it conveniently sets blame for the usurious and exploitive course of Jewish history into Gentile hands. The fact that Jewish tradition has deplored agricultural work since time immemorial (like the modern Bedouin to which Jews have, historically, cultural links) is completely overlooked as a relevant factor to the question of landlessness).  Likewise, there are those who argue that even the "forcing" of Jews into their last Diaspora (dispersion) is largely myth. As Jewish author Abram Leon points out, when Jerusalem last fell in antiquity, 70 CE, three-quarters of the Jewish people already lived in other countries by choice, gravitating towards the most lucrative possibilities: merchantry. [LEON, p. 68]
         "The depiction of all Jewish history," writes Michael Goldberg, "as one long episode of victimization is false. Although Jews certainly have suffered many savage episodes of persecution -- for a people over three and one-half millennia old, it would be truly astonishing not to find such episodes." [GOLDBERG, p. 123]  "The Jews were not merely passive objects," insists David Biale, "at times protected by powerful rulers and at others slaughtered by mobs. In widely scattered times and places, they took up arms in self-defense and to pursue political objectives." [BIALE, POWER, p. 72]
         "Recent writers ...," observed Charles Liebman and Steven Cohen, "have challenged the assumption of earlier Jewish historians that the condition of Polish Jewry from the 16th century to the 18th was one of continual oppression, poverty, and humiliation, and have demonstrated that in fact Polish Jews enjoyed relative security and prosperity." [LIEBMAN/COHEN, p. 37]  Even excess sympathy for the "wandering Jew" folklore needs contextualization. "The Jews were not always the victims of events that created wanderers and refugees," notes J. Bruce Nichols, "Occasionally they were perpetrators. Abraham sent the sons he had fathered by concubines 'unto the east country' so that they could not challenge the power of his son Isaac [traditionally understood to have furthered today's Jewish racial line]." [NICHOLS, p. 159]
          The most notoriously disturbing image of Jewish victims, of course, is that of "Jews led like sheep" to slaughter in Nazi Germany. These Jews, formerly "victims," are now reconsidered by Jewish institutions to be "martyrs" for the cause of Jewishness. Whereas once their lives were thought to be piteously and inhumanely wasted, they are -- in the new view (attached to both Jewish martyr tradition and the state of Israel) -- nobly sacrificed towards the renewal of their surviving brethren. Vad Yashem, modern Israel's memorial park and museum of the Holocaust in Jerusalem, is formulated along this martyrdom thesis. [More about this in the Holocaust chapter]
         Such a changing historical perspective, however, that Jews were not always victims, but, like any people, exerted their own wills sometimes too, has serious political risks. For if one asserts that Jews throughout history were not always victims and were free -- in European feudal society, for instance, freer than most non-Jews -- to act upon their own ideas about themselves, it becomes harder to defend the traditional argument that Jews were always "forced into" their historical exploitive roles in the Diaspora. In particular, if we accept the premise of Jewish empowerment, we must also reconsider, and ultimately underscore, Jewish economic roles in history. This role is, in itself, a far cry from claims of victimization. And, at least in the powerful economic sphere and the ruthlessly competitive and self-aggrandizing nature of that enterprise, Jews victimized others too -- on a massive scale. Especially, for example, during the many wars and famines in European history, Jews played integral and important roles in legislating, manipulating, and causing other peoples' catastrophic suffering.
           This kind of statement, however, in the late twentieth century, with the worldwide Jewish community still fomenting continuously fresh outrage about Hitler's atrocities against Jews, represents a taboo subject. Given the profound gravity of the Nazi savagery against Jews, five decades later Jewry is still completely disinclined to take the slightest historical responsibility for anything negative in their long history. To suggest responsibility anywhere for anything is considered, and punished as, a heinous act of anti-Semitism.
          Even the seed of dissenting Jewish scholarship doesn't go so far as to suggest a re-examination of the social and economic causes of historical hostility against Jews. Few dare to touch the notion that Jews might take at least some responsibility for history in those times when it tumbled down upon them. Not yet. And probably not for a long time, if ever. In fact, it's hard enough to break widespread fossilized Jewish myths and conventions that have completely frozen in a defensive circle around the modern state of Israel. As even Norman Cantor recently (1994) noted:
               "The proliferation of recent publication on Jewish history from
                American campuses may already be running up against a
                glass wall of informal censorship [where] ... challenges to the
                overall received victimization/celebratory model of Jewish
                history ... [are not welcome]." [CANTOR, p. xviii]