The German Jew Who Became an Ottoman Pasha

Born to a Jewish family in the Prussian city of Oppeln in 1840, Isaak Eduard Schnitzer was baptized into the Lutheran church by his mother at age five. As an adult, he attended medical school, learned Turkish and Albanian, and lived in Germany, the Balkans, and Istanbul before setting off for Sudan, then a nominal part of the Ottoman empire under Anglo-Egyptian control. Gil Troy writes:

Arriving in Khartoum in December 1875, [Schnitzer took the name] “Mehmet Emin,” and returned to practicing medicine. He also participated in the 19th-century European traveler’s zoology and ornithology mania, sending specimens to museums [in] the capitals of Europe. The governor of Equatoria—a territory covering modern-day northern Uganda and southern Sudan—invited Emin to become chief medical officer. In 1878, Emin was appointed governor [or] bey.

In this largely symbolic post, Emin championed a noble, quixotic cause: the fight against slavery. Two decades after America’s Civil War, Gaetano Casati, an Italian explorer who befriended Emin, noted that “the Arabs, despising a people who had no religion, and trampling on every right of humanity, hunted the natives as if they had been wild beasts. Egypt and Zanzibar became the great emporiums of human flesh.”

Sudan was [soon] roiling with the messianic Arab-African Mahdi Revolt of 1881, causing chaos. In 1885, Emin’s popular dispatches to European newspapers described his adventures. The next year the Ottoman empire made Emin a pasha [a title roughly equivalent to a knighthood], confirming his prominence in North Africa and Western Europe.

Read more at Daily Beast

More about: Africa, German Jewry, History & Ideas, Ottoman Empire, Slavery, Sudan

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University