Let’s remember that the Twain book was not given to the President and was not written by The Israeli PM-as the second commenter seems to say. Also, a recent article about the slogan “A land w/o a people for a people…” (which the Lede writer throws out so nochalantly) shows that the ditty was not a Jewish creation. But just as there were Muslims in Palestine in the 19th century, there were more and more Jews too-Jewish suburbs of the old city of Jerusalem were started mid century, contradicting the claims that Israel was populated by Jews only after the Holocaust! And there is interesting photography of Jerusalem and other areas from the 19th and early 20th century too…
In “Concerning the Jews,” Mark Twain mused on the hatred of Jews, on one hand, and their persistence, on the other hand: “…The Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. …Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of. …The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed, and made a vast noise, and they are gone. Other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out… The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies… All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”
But since he frequently combined fictional andnonfictional elements in his short works, Twain's writing, as hiseditors have often noted, cannot always be easily classified accordingto traditional literary categories such as the short story or essay,making it difficult at times precisely to determine his output within aspecific genre.
Oh Colin – how misguided you are! The closest thing to the original inhabitants are called Jews – read your Old and New Testaments. And if Muslims accept that Abraham is one of their prophets and ancestors, then even they must acknowledge who has first claim. And notwithstanding that, Jews were willing to share in 1947 and would do so now for peace.
In innocents Abroad he skewered Christians (particularly Catholics) almost as fiercely as he unloaded on Muslims. Twain seemed to be particularly put out by the fact that Muslims were unwelcoming and wouldn’t invite him to their homes. He used that fact to praise the Jews who invited him in and unfavorably contrast the Jewish women who he found comely with the Arab women about whom he constantly made outrageous and unpleasant comments – but he made similar statements about Europeans.
Mr. Oren also wrote that, in an essay against the anti-Semitism, which he wrote after being himself mistaken for a Jew, “Twain nearly defeated his purpose by mentioning the Jews’ alleged love of money and their reluctance to serve their country in war.” Such are the perils of embracing the criticism of your enemies by a comic happy to offend every member of his global audience.
Twain’s recollections of his post Civil War tour of the Mediterranean are an apt subject of reflection for Obama as he attempts to force Netanyahu to accept a Palestinian state. The Palestine Twain visited was a backwater of the Ottoman Empire whose inhabitants had no sense of a separate national identity. Though Palestinian nationalism is a reality that Israel must contend with today, it originated and gained traction solely as a reaction to the return of large numbers of Jews to the country.
Gelvin notes that the “forsaken state of these satellite villages created an impression on Palestine among Western visitors and Zionist settlers far removed from reality…. Little did tourists like Twain or advocates of settlement like the early Zionists comprehend that the seemingly abandoned and ramshackle villages on the plain indicated an increase in security and prosperity, not an absence of habitation.”
In Mark Twain’s essay “Concerning the Jews,” he wrote rthe following: “Dr. Herzl…wishes to gather all the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own–under the suzerainty of the Sultan, I suppose…I am not the Sultan and I am not objecting; but if that concentration of the cunningest brains in the world was going to be made in a free country (bar Scotland) I think it would be politic to stop it. It will not be well to let that race find out its strength If the horses knew theirs we should not ride any more.
I may have missed it, but Mr. Twain apparenty did not mention the presence of an abundance of Jews in their “homeland” either. So what does that prove?
44, The Mysterious Stranger (1969)
Concerning the Jews (1985)
Mark Twain’s Weapons of Satire:
~ Anti-Imperialist Writings on thePhilippine- American War (1992)
The Bible According to Mark Twain:
~ Writings on Heaven, Eden, and theFlood (1995)
Chesterton's endless tirades against Jews, which he thrust into
stories and essays upon the flimsiest pretexts, never got him into
trouble--indeed Chesterton was one of the most generally respected
figures in English literary life.
Over several essays, Rav Ashlag expounded on the reasons why there will not be peace in the world until there is unity and brotherly love throughout the world. He also explains that the more the world suffers from the adverse consequences of what researchers, Twenge and Campbell, call “the narcissism epidemic,” the more people will turn their anger against Jews. Subconsciously, people expect the Jews to pave the way for a better society, namely to be “a light unto nations.” Until the Jews carry out this task, the animosity and accusations against them will grow.