Friday, October 20, 2006

Nice things said about Jews, pt 3

When the Semitic question raised such a commotion in Europe, there appeared a pamphlet on that subject which concluded with the suggestion that, in order to remove the difficulties involved, the Jews ought to be civilized.

My personal observations have led me to a different conclusion: the Jew, as a people, has reached the highest point of human development as comprehended by Mosaic law.

It seems to me that the problem now is how to civilize and Christianize thoroughly the peoples among whom the Jews live, so that the latter may, if not love them, at least respect them. Let the Jew be witness to the fruit which this civilization may bear, let hatred and contempt give way to mutual good will, and the Jew will be happy to recognize a brother in the Christian...

I wish that, instead of devoting themselves to trace the faults of Jews, Christian nations would seek to imitate them in their social qualities and religious loyalty. Now, that the Jews' first task, to spread monotheism on earth, has been accomplished, should not their presence in our midst serve the purpose of revivifying moral sentiment and familial affection, attributes that are fast disappearing among
us?...

Oh, if the Jews had only a fraction of our vices, even their name would long since have been effaced from the earth!

-- Russian princess and intellectual Nathalie Gortshakov-Uvarov, Juifs et Chr├ętiens, 1887, collected in Stars and Sand: Jewish Notes by non-Jewish Notables, 1943

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