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

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:

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, Enlightenment, Voltaire

Thoughts on Yitzhak Rabin’s Assassination, a Quarter-Century On

On the Jewish calendar, today is the 25th anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin’s assassination at the hands of a fellow Jewish Israeli. Rabin, after a long and impressive career in the military and in politics, had not long beforehand signed the Oslo Accords, and was murdered by a zealous opponent of that decision. Reflecting on the occasion, David Horovitz writes:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli politics, Oslo Accords, Yitzhak Rabin