Was the French Enlightenment Anti-Semitic? Revisiting the Great Debate

Oct. 14 2020

In 1968, the New York Review of Books—now well established as a clearinghouse of anti-Israel vituperation—published a review by the eminent Oxford historian Hugh Trevor-Roper of Arthur Hertzberg’s seminal The French Enlightenment and the Jews. In that review, Trevor-Roper takes issue with the book’s argument that anti-Semitism is embedded in the framework of the French Enlightenment, and is given particular voice in the writings of Voltaire. Hertzberg contends that Voltaire’s various attacks on the Jews—about whom the great philosophe was generous enough to caveat that “it is not necessary to burn them”—were not incidental or anomalous, but part and parcel of his worldview. Revisiting this debate, Bernard Harrison writes:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Enlightenment, Voltaire

Hamas and Hizballah Won’t Give Up Their Radical Goals for Economic Benefits

June 18 2021

In his first interview after leaving office, the former head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, admitted that he had erred in believing that Israel could come to some sort of accord with Hamas. In his own words:

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Create a free account to continue reading

Welcome to Mosaic

Create a free account to continue reading and you'll get two months of unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Register

Read more at JNS

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, Mossad