Monday, July 03, 2006

Antisemitism, Its History and Causes

A misunderstood work on Anti-Semitism.

Antisemitism, Its History and Causes, 1894

One will find Lazare's book cited at many anti-semitic websites and in in anti-semitic publications. The reason for this is that Lazare conducted a major reveiw of the history of anti-semitism and, to a very large decree, can be read as having put the blame on Jews themselves.This, however, is a misreading of his work. From the way he is cited by anti-semites it may come as something of a surprise to note that Lazare, a journalist, was famous as the first defender of Captain Dreyfus - the first Drefusyard. Moreover, he was perhaps the first French Jewish intellectual to commit fully to Zionism as a political solution. The material presented by Lazare is a valuable addition to online data about the history of Anti-semitism. Many of Lazare's explanations can be, and should, be challenged. But this is the work of a man trying to understand a phenomenon of hatred, not the work of a self-hating Jew.

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