Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Anguish of the Jews (2)

This is the second part of my review of Father Edward H. Flannery’s The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism a manifestation of Catholic grappling with the Holocaust and its implication, very much in the spirit of Vatican II. It continues from my previous post.

Medieval travails
As Christianity became more dominant in Europe, however, Jewish fortunes declined—as a direct consequence:
During the first half of the second Christian millennium, the history of antisemitism and the history of Judaism so converged as almost to coincide. It is a scandal of Christian history that, while the Church and the Christian state were at the zenith of their power and influence, the sons of Israel reached the nadir of their unending oppression (p.90)
(And, presumably, so did the daughters of Israel.)

With no common pagan enemy to combine against, the Muslim attacks on Latin Christendom fading (while Muslim Spain provided a contrast—albeit a somewhat erratic one—of Jewish economic and cultural success) plus the disturbing role of commerce in the labour-for-protection political economy of knightly manorial society, the utility to local priests and other clerics to act as “gatekeepers or righteousness” selling effortless virtue against the Jews became an increasingly powerful force. Combined with royal temptations to liquidate their debts by liquidating creditors (something which operated against other easily isolated targets, such as the Templars), this encouraged the spread of popular and economic antisemitism, counterbalanced uneasily with rulers’ interest in taxable economic activity (which operated to make Jews to become the special servants, and the especially exploited resources, of rulers) and Church hierarchy concern for the niceties of doctrine (such as thou shalt not murder). Forced baptisms, burning of Jewish books, massacres (particular during and after the First Crusade) and expulsions become recurring features of the experience of Jews in Latin Christendom. Culminating in the expulsion of the Jews from Iberia once the Muslims had been finally crushed.

Flannery sets out the forces driving the usury accusations against Jews, and records with horror the rise of the ritual murder libel:
The ritual-murder calumny stands in the judgement of history as the most monstrous instrument of anti-Jewish persecution devised in the Middle Ages. To its account must be laid many of the tortures, forced baptisms, exiles, and massacres of that and later ages. Its inception in the twelfth century, moreover, indicates the course the Jewish image was taking. Unbeliever and usurer; now ritual murderer. Gradually stripped of his human features, the Jew assumes a satanic guise (p.101).
Not that Christians were the only persecutors. The Almohades in Spain persecuted Jews as well.

The Fourth Lateran Council required distinctive dress for Jews and Saracen, as a barrier to close personal relations (particularly marriage and concubinage). Something Muslims had imposed some centuries earlier (p.103). If the Muslim concept of the dhimmi seems to be derived from Eastern Roman restrictions on Jews, Christians could also learn some Jew-repressing techniques from Muslims.
Another feature of this period is mischief for Jews from converts: it was a convert’s accusations that led to the first outbreak of Talmud burning, for example (Pp104ff). But a convert may have particular reason to emphasize, indeed demonstrate, his rejection of his past and his embrace of the (superior) new. (This phenomena is hardly unknown as a consequence of queer-hatred: not only the desire to prove that they love God so much, to be “the best little boy in the world”, so as to overcome the “taint” of their sexuality but also the desire to exorcise the hated part of themselves by cathartic action against people-like-that—the original meaning of the term ‘homophobia’ was to be fearful of one’s own, actual or possible, homosexuality.)

The same battle between doctrinal absolutism and Aristotelian reason that marked Islam (in the conflict between al Ghazali and ibn Rushd aka Averroes) and Latin Christendom (particularly the condemnations of 1210-1270) also marked rabbinical Judaism, with anti-Maimonedes rabbis denouncing his supporters to the Christian Inquisition and burning their books (p.106).

The C13th and C14th centuries saw regular massacres of Jews in Latin Christendom, with entire communities being wiped out and Jewish parents killing themselves and their children to avoid forced baptism. Germany saw up to 100,000 Jews being killed because of an alleged desecration of a host while the rumour that Jews were conspiring to poison all Christians spread—the birth of the notion of a Jewish world conspiracy centuries before the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Kings expelled Jews then let them back in for their money-lending then expelled them again (Pp106ff). The onset of the Black Death intensified the popular animus, scapegoating and massacre (Pp106ff). Popes and Emperors sought to restrain the slaughter, but were either ineffectual or sent mixed messages (such as handing over the property of slaughtered Jews to favourites).

Of course, the deicide theology was the greatest “mixed message” of them all. Theological Jew-hatred had preceded popular Jew-hatred and led to it and all the violence it entailed.

The persecutions and massacres continued into the C15th. With the rise of the preaching orders of Dominicans and Franciscans, the practice of compulsory sermons expanded, to be not finally abolished until 1848:
The practice gives eloquent evidence not only of the desperate desire of the Church to convert Jews to Christianity but also the medieval notion that the Faith was perfectly lucid, that mere exposure to it was all that was required for conviction (p.114).
The Franciscan reformer St John Capistrano “Scourge of the Jews” gained the office of Inquisitor to the Jews for Germany and the Slavonic countries and travelled around, ensuring realms enforced the Church council restrictions on the Jews (p.115).

Flannery then considers Spain and Italy, suggesting that it is difficult to explain the very different trajectories of Jewish life in them (p.122). It seems to me quite simple: the former became a single jurisdiction built out of quasi-religious wars in which the Jews became an unwanted breach in the apotheosis of religious unity. The latter continued to be a land of competing jurisdictions.

To be sure, there were more specific factors, as Flannery notes. (Northern) Italy stopped being feudal early, Jews were never notably richer than Gentiles, nor did they dominate particular professions (such as moneylending). He also gives the Papacy credit for promoting toleration against popular pressures (Pp124-5). I am sceptical. First, he has already noted that economic causes of any popular resentment were generally absent. Second, it was the Church that insisted on the religiously suspect category of the Jews in the first place, and bitterly opposed giving them equality before the law. True, the Papacy also firmly opposed killing Jews but, in the competition for trade and talent that marked Italian politics, the costs of intolerance were also higher. That the pressures of competitive jurisdictions might have mattered more than the Church’s policy of subordinated toleration is indicated by Flannery’s own text, where he points out that, where various Popes, issued more restrictive measures, these were generally not enforced (p.126). There is not much Catholic self-congratulation to be had, given that it was the Church that made the Jews a suspect category in the first place.

In Spain, Jews had prospered under Muslim rule in the C11th and C12th. With the rise of Almohades who offered Islam or death, Jews fled to the Christian kingdoms, particularly Castile. Christian rulers were happy to take advantage of this windfall of talented new subjects, granting them equality before the law to the extent that the Papacy complained (p.128). As Christian rule advanced, some attempts were made to implement the anti-Jewish Church rulings, but only fitfully and with limited success.

There was some importing of French and German Jew-hatred violence in Navarre (p.130). The royal favour to the Jews in Castile in particular generated resentment at their success and the obvious wealth of Jewish grandees. (Jewish wealth was always more visible than Jewish poverty.) The Jews were strong supporters of Pedro the Cruel, so when he was overthrown and killed by his brother Henry of Trastamara, their downward trajectory began (p.132). In 1391, incited by an archdeacon who had long agitated against the Jews, a wave of massacre, forced baptism and frightened conversion devastated the Jewish communities in Castile and Aragon (Pp132-3).

With the arrival of converted Jews (converso) the Church had its appetite for further conversion increased while those who “stubbornly” maintained their faith were seen as both recalcitrant and a temptation to their converted brethren. A wave of missionary effort originally spearheaded by converted Jews and St Vincent Ferrer led to another way of conversion in the 1440s (Pp133-4).

But they were despised by steadfast Jews as renegades and despised by “Old Christians” who distrusted their honesty and labelled them marranos (swine). That many retained their wealth and married into the Spanish Christian elite generated much envy that added to the malice. Jewish communities generally accepted them back if they sought this, but the Church regarded baptism as binding (Pp135ff).

Malice against the marranos erupted into violence and eventually into the limpieza de sangre “purity of the blood” laws. It is in C15th Catholic Spain that anti-Jewish racism first arises (p.136). In 1479, Catherine and Ferdinand joined Castile and Aragon: Iberia now only had three significant jurisdictions (Portugal, Castile-Aragon and Granada: Navarre was too tiny to count). The new monarchs wanted to promote unity in their conjoined kingdoms and agreed to Torquemada’s projects: the Spanish Inquisition was born and unleashed against the marranos (p.137ff).

The persecution drove marranos into closer connection with their unconverted Jewish brethren. Seeing this—in the typical way of bigotry—as a result of the infamy of the despised and not the natural consequence of persecution, Torquemada turned his attention to the open Jews. After the fall of Granada in 1492, Ferdinand and Isabella—while still in front of the conquered city—issued the decree banning all Jews from their realms upon pain of death on the grounds that they “seduced” the New Christians. The decree applied even to places such as Sardinia and Sicily where this “problem” did not apply and despite pleas from local Christians (p.139).

300,000 Jews fled, mostly to Italy and Turkey. The Ottoman Sultan asked:
Do you call Ferdinand a wise king, who has impoverished his own kingdom to enrich mine?
The loss of talent and commercial skills was great. Wealthy and cultured Sephardic Jews tended to take on leadership roles in the new Jewish communities.

Those who fled to Portugal were allowed in for a limited time (for a fee) then enslaved and their children taken. The next monarch freed the slaves but then decided to force all Portugese Jews into the Church. The pattern of forced conversion, distrust, massacres, even more brutal Inquisition ensued with the result that marranos were discovered in Portugal as late as the C20th (Pp140-1).

Flannery summarises (Pp141ff) the nature of medieval antisemitism as continuing from the earlier age with the same themes, the same redemption by baptism, the same permitted, though degraded, existence. There was no racial element—except with Iberian marranism. And yet, as he also points out, the image of the Jew in the later medieval period was an increasingly degraded one. The gulf between Christian and Jew became ever wider, affecting their image of each other and, indeed, their behaviour, though Christians were typically entirely oblivious about how much Christian behaviour, and the incentives Christians created, drove Jewish responses.

Intellectual revolutions
While the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment swept Christian Europe, they affected the Jews little, for whom this was the age of the ghetto. Typically surrounded by a wall with a Christian gatekeeper, overcrowded, Jewish life went on in highly introverted fashion. It bred a “ghetto mentality”. Petty concerns became obsessions, Jews became physically stunted, stooped, with intense senses of common identity, common grievance, deeply suspicious of the outside world while twisting them into whatever shapes were required to deal with it (Pp145ff). Jews were both intensely intellectually active and intensely insular. They were confined to a small number of permitted professions, which they tended to dominate. If Jews were no longer they great threatening enemy of Christendom, their image continue to deteriorate into one of petty, malicious avarice.

Jews flourished in Turkey and Palestine, found Poland something of a refuge. Meanwhile, antisemitism without Jews flourished in England and France. The rise of Christian Hebrew scholars led to new advocates for the Jews in Christian circles.

Then came Martin Luther, who followed a familiar pattern of the religious reformer. At first, he expected the Jews to become his followers. When they failed to do so and, worse, some of his followers took the authority of scripture so far as to show some tendencies to “Judaize”, Luther turned on the Jews with vicious rhetoric. His last sermon called for their expulsion from Germany (Pp152-3). There were some massacres in the C17th and expulsions from Vienna in 1670. Maria Theresa ordered them out of Bohemia in 1747, but pleas from Hofjuden (court Jews) to various monarchs led to the order not being implemented. The court Jews were Jewish financiers to princes (including some princes of the Church).

The absolutist states kept up the regulation of Jewish life—they could not walk by twos, appear in public when the prince was in town, buy ahead of Christians at markets, frequent certain streets, needed passes to travel and pay a body tax in transit, clothing was prescribed and the number of guests at wedding limited. Marriages were often controlled—they might be limited to the number of deaths, or to the oldest son.

The printing press printed Jewish books (though there had been attempts to ban that) but also anti-Jewish tracts including Johann Eisenmenger Judaism Unmasked, a compendium of malice and accusation useful for antisemites ever since (p.154).

With the Counter-Reformation came a new Catholic rigour against the Jews. The first Counter-Reformation pope, Paul IV, imposed a ghetto on Rome’s Jews for the first time, allowed 60 converted Jews to be burned by the Inquisition, imposed a yellow badge, barred them from owning land, practising usury, restricted them to a small number of menial trades, restricted to one synagogue (all others being destroyed), conversionist sermons were ordered and Jewish converts were forbidden to enter religious orders (p.155). Subsequent Popes alternated being relaxing Paul’s policies or imposing their own strictures.

Medieval Poland was a haven for Jews fleeing from expulsions. Crown and nobles accepted them and found them useful. People and clergy not: the Church in particular fulminated against the granting of rights to Jews. Jewish numbers rapidly increased and the Crown granted Jews a form of self-government.

A 1648-9 revolt by (Orthodox) Ukrainian Cossacks saw Polish Catholic nobles, their Jewish middlemen and fellow Jews massacred in great numbers. The Swedish invasion of 1655-8 saw fresh massacres by Cossacks, Russians and Swedes and then, when the invaders departed, by Poles for them allegedly aiding the invaders. Estimates of the total death toll from the decade of massacre range from 100-500,000 with 700 Jewish communities destroyed. European Jewry did what it could do to help, including taking in refugees but Polish Jewry never recovered its previous status. Anti-Jewish riots, particularly by students, became regular events. Ritual murder and host-desecration charges multiplied to the extent that Polish Jews appealed to the Pope for help, who appointed a Cardinal (future Pope Clement XIV) to investigate and, from his report, ordered the Church to protect the Jews.

These turmoils led to the rise of the Hasidic movement within Judaism. Flannery points out that the age of the ghetto also saw the development of insinuations of Jewish bodily and mental inferiorities which meant that Christian theological antisemitism was no longer the only line of animus (Pp155ff).

The age of emancipation
With the beginnings of the rise of modern industrial capitalism, the situation of Jews improved. Prosperity was more general, Jews spread into new fields (particularly shopkeepers and craftsmen), the notion that citizenship was a general right, not a Christian privilege, began to spread. More Christians began to think that the treatment of Jews as legal and moral inferiors was not compatible with love thy neighbour. The ghetto barriers crumbled even before they were abolished.

This was the period of Jewish emancipation. It was also, as the other side of this, one of Jewish assimilation: a different sort of threat to Jewish identity. Moses Mendelssohn epitomised the possibilities of the age: reaching the heights of German intellectual and literary life he was also opposed to the Talmudic traditionalists who saw assimilation as a profound threat to Jewishness. In 1782, Joseph II issued his Patent of Toleration, abolishing a range of Jewish legal restrictions and disabilities. The American colonies were already leading the way on this, though the last Jewish disabilities were not abolished in all US states until the mid C19th. In 1791, Jews were granted complete civic freedom in all of France.

French Revolutionary and Napoleonic armies carried Jewish emancipation with their conquests. Napoleon himself summoned the first Sanhedrin in over 1,500 years and then issued highly restrictive regulations of Jewish life that ruined some French Jews and offended all of them (Pp164-5).

The tying of Jewish emancipation to French imperialism meant that the rising German nationalism saw Jews as an enemy, with such luminaries as Friedrich Schleiermacher, Johann Fichte and Goethe pushing the cause. Fichte in particular posed Jews as ethnic enemies of Germany.

Napoleon’s downfall reversed most of the gains Jews had made, but the experience of political lobbying, of new possibilities and connections with liberal groups meant that a struggle for Jewish emancipation was underway over the next half century that was, in the end, generally a complete (legal) success. French Jews (re)won civic freedom in the 1830 Revolution, German Jews as a result of the 1848 Revolution. All Italian Jews won their civic freedom with the downfall of the Papal States in 1870. The widening opportunities of expanding capitalist economies eased the process along (Pp165ff).

The process of Jewish international cooperation in self defence was particularly encouraged by notable anti-Jewish controversies in 1840 in Damascus and the Mortara affair in 1858 in Bologna. The latter discredited the Papacy further in the eyes of many and led to the founding in 1860 of the Alliance Israelite Universelle, a formal (and for many years the dominant) international Jewish advocacy organisation.

After the downfall of the Papal States, the great holdout against Jewish emancipation was Czarist Russia, where a half or more of the world’s Jews now lived, a result of Imperial Russia’s annexation of more than half of Poland.

The previous Czarist policy had been, from the time of Ivan the Terrible (when a Judaizing sect was apparently discovered) to the acquisition of Poland, one of exclusion. Peter the Great had let Jews into some provinces, but his successor Empresses reverted. When suggested that there were commercial reasons to admit Jews, Empress Elizabeth responded with:
From the enemies of Christ I accept no profit (p.171).
Then Imperial Russia acquired most of Poland and suddenly, the Czarist regime had a very large “Jewish problem”. Jews were restricted to the newly acquired provinces—now the “Pale of Settlement”. Catherine the Great permitted foreigners into central Russia “except Jews”: a phrase that became standard in much legislation(Pp170ff).

A Czarist regime which conceived itself as ruling a unified ethnically Russian and Orthodox state took Jews to be both an ethnic and religious threat to unity. One People, One Faith, One Czar was the desired aim. Either elimination through death or expulsion or total assimilation (Russification) were the only policies compatible with this aim. Deliberate massacre was not acceptable state policy, the Jews were too numerous to expel and, being particularly traditionalist, resisted assimilation even if that was seriously offered (which it generally was not and, when it was, largely foundered on Jewish clinging to their traditions leading to official frustration and reversion). So official policy writhed around in the unsatisfactory middle ground of now more, now less, repression. Anti-Jewish pamphleteering flourished, including the notion of a Jewish world-conspiracy, while blood-libel trials occurred in 1857 and 1878.

The only European rival for repression of the Jews was Romania, where about 200,000 Jews lived in thoroughly medieval repression, blood libel trials and all, repression of the Jews having followed immediately on from the achievement of independence from Turkey (Pp173-4).

Flannery points out (Pp174-5) that emancipation, while definitely an advance, had a dark side for Jews. As traditional Christian perspectives waned, and nationalism rose, anti-Jewish animosities acquired new, secular, rationalist and ethnic bases. If being Jewish was a religious category, the “evil” of Jewishness could be escaped from by conversion. If it was an ethnic category, it was innate and there was no escaping from it.

Rationalist scepticism against the pretensions of priests was hardly likely to accept the pretensions of rabbis. Just as Marx was later to be an anti-capitalist antisemite, so Baruch Spinoza was a rationalist critique of the Jewish identity. Various luminaries of the Enlightenment turned their scorn on these most pious of peoples, still wrapped in the religious traditionalism that had so long been their refuge from Christian oppression, who were the root source of the priestly Christianity the sceptics abominated—Voltaire, Frederick II, Diderot, d’Holbach. (Flannery notes that the Voltaire-Frederick correspondence was one of Hitler’s intellectual sources.) Similarly in Germany—Fichte, Hegel and Shleiermacher were all rationalist critics of Jews and Jewishness (Pp176-7).

Alphonse Toussenel published in 1840 The Jews, Kings of the Epoch which pioneered the modern economic critique of Jews as “the people of Hell” and purveyors of “Jewish capitalism” upon whom economic penalties should be imposed. Various socialist writes, led by such luminaries as Pierre Proudhon, Karl Marx, Bruno Bauer, inveigled against Jewish “unproductiveness”, “parasitism” and so on. This socialist antisemitism died away after anti-Semitism was condemned at the Socialist International Congress of 1891 (p.177).

If the alteration in the situation of the Jews was a striking feature of an age of vast changes, then it also became focus for all those in revolt against, or who felt threatened by, those changes. (A pattern, by the way, that queer-hatred and anti-queer activism displays in our own time.) If left antisemitism faded, right antisemitism drew increasing strength.

A new weapon for cultural and ethnic opposition to Jewishness arose. As Flannery writes:
Racial antisemitism broke out in Germany in the 1870s, spread to Austria-Hungary and France, reverberated in Russia, then subsided before its bloody climax in Nazi Germany (p.179).
The term ‘anti-Semitism’ was coined in William Marr’s The Victory of Judaism Over Germanism published in 1879, which warned of Jewish “domination” of Germany life:
The theory of racial inferiority can be traced to Hegel’s apotheosis of the German state and spirit and to Christian Lassen’s (1800-1876) of the linguistic distinction between Aryan and Semitic to racial characteristics. In France, Ernst Rehan, biblical critic and devotee of science, (1823-92) followed Lassen in his relegation of the Jews to an inferior racial status. … In the closing years of the century, a host of philosophers, pseudo-scientists, demagogues, and pamphleteers richly varied and orchestrated this them (p.179).
In other words, the message was ubiquitous.

Partly because, as Kertzer points out, the Catholic Church continued to put considerable resources in supporting anti-Semitism. But also because this was the period when European domination of the globe was reaching its peak, a domination that cried out for explanation. Racial theory provided explanation in a very congenial form (to those thereby designated to be members of the “superior” race). The impact of Darwin (the Origin of Species was published in 1859) was very much part of the mix so that racial theory looked like it was using the “latest science”. Darwinism also spun off eugenics (with its looming catastrophe of “racial collapse) and generated (particularly from some of Darwin’s own rhetoric) an image of life as a continuous and bitter struggle for existence while undermining the old scriptural verities, particularly scriptural notions of time and religious notions of a humanity both fallen (so always flawed) and metaphysically distinct (who partook of both nature and of spirit).

Resentment of the role of (some) Jews in high finance, the rise of a fierce and exclusory German nationalism and the continuing identification by both Protestant and Catholic clerics of Jews as enemies, along with secularists and anti-clericals, of the Christian order kept the notion of a “Jewish problem” going (p.180). Marr’s book entered a Germany in the grip of the Kulturkampf, where Father August Rohling had published:
… his scathing assault on Judaism in The Talmud Jew—little more than a recasting of Eisenmenger’s view—which went into edition after edition even after its thoroughgoing refutation by competent scholars (p.180
in the grip of a financial crisis after a financial crash in which some Jews were involved. A war of competing pamphlets ensued.
The furor might have spent itself had not Bismarck—having made peace with the Church and turned against the National Liberal Party—given the nod to antisemites to strike at the Jews as a means of rallying the disparate political factions against the liberal, democratic cause. The antisemitic movement was off to a false start (p.180).
Anti-Semitism was completely mainstream. The government’s chief whip and court chaplain founded the antisemitic Christian Social Worker’s Union to fight “Jewish Socialism” and the “domination of German life” by Jews. A petition with 300,000 signatures called for restrictions on Jews: it was countered by a philosemitic signature with 26 prominent signatories. Treitschke made the much quoted remark that “The Jews are our misfortune”. There were two ritual murder trials and a synagogue was burned.

Antisemitic ideologies multiplied—Christian-social, economic, ethnological and national, metaphysical and anti-Christian—with intellectual supporters of varying degree of prominence. The last could deal directly with Christianity having Jewish roots: other racial antisemites were reduced to such embarrassing expedients as claiming Christ was of no specific race, or that He and His apostles were Nordic (Pp181-2).

By the 1890s, these divisions were undermining the anti-Semitic movement as were the involvement of prominent anti-Semites in various scandals. A defensive organisation against anti-Semitism was formed in 1891, in 1893 Jews organised against anti-Jewish libels and, in 1894, the Catholic journal Germania disavowed anti-Semitism.

In Hungary, Jews got caught in liberal versus conservative struggles and were often seen as “tools” of the Habsburg monarchy. Father Rohling, a professor at the University of Prague, waged a war against the “Talmudic Jew”. But the spectacular collapse of a ritual murder trial brought down the surge in anti-Semitism (Pp182-3).

In the Austrian half of the Danubian Monarchy, anti-Semitism proved sturdier, with Georg Schoenerer organising anti-Semitic socialist parties. Various ritual murder charges were laid and Karl Lueger, of the Christian Social party, became Mayor of Vienna until his death in 1910, after which anti-Semitism died away (p.183).

France had few Jews but again Jews became caught in a wider conflict, this time between Republicans and anti-Republicans (monarchists, Catholics hostile to the Republics anti-clerical secularism and the officer class of the army). Edouard Drumont published his La France Juive in 1886 whose racist (but ostensibly Christian, if somewhat anticlerical) message proved very popular. He wrote several anti-Semitic pamphlets, edited a daily anti-Semitic newspaper (from 1892) and founded an anti-Semitic league (1889). That some Jews were involved in the Panama Canal scandal was grist to his mill, though Catholic scholar Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu in his 1893 Les Juifs et l’antisemitisme argued that the laicisation or secularisation of Jews was a result, not a cause, of the “de-Christianisation” of society.

This all set the scene for the Dreyfus affair, which bitterly divided French society from 1894-1906:
To the partisans, Dreyfus the Jew represented all the liberal, alien and de-Christianizing pressures on the traditional Christian order of France. The case was not only a fine example of scapegoat theory but still more of the projective or symbolic nature of anti-Semitism and its paranoid character. The Jew here is no longer a human being—an Alfred Dreyfus—but an archetype (p187)
The Dreyfus affair, profoundly influenced Jewish journalist Theodor Herzl, who took away the message that assimilation would not solve the problem of anti-Semitism and what Jews needed was a state of their own, thereby kicking off Zionism (p.187).

The “almost fanatical” support of the large majority Catholic opinion for the army against Dreyfus resulted in a major decline in the standing and position of the Church. It was disestablished, anticlericalism became the firm policy of the Republic and the Church was increasingly identified with reaction and anti-Republicanism. The silence of the hierarchy (which, after all, could have been read as tacit support of the bulk of Catholic opinion), and the prominent role of individual Catholics in defending Dreyfus, had little effect (Pp187-8). Flannery also notes that:
Undeniably, Jews were commonly found in the anti-clerical, anti-Christian, and revolutionary camps. Yet it is myopic for Christians to wonder at this. Secularist liberals had shown themselves the Jews’ emancipators and friends, while conservative Christian parties remained closed to them. The emancipated Jew was left with little choice (p.188)
A point which applies equally well to gays, lesbians and transgenders.

This review will concluded in my next post.

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