By A.N. Field from fourwinds10.com
The Jewish question is the most important question in the world to-day. Every man should understand its nature, for it is the root of many other problems.
All economic literature, for example, which ignores the Jewishness of international finance and the Jewishness of Socialism and Communism, is a mere beating of the air.
Throughout all history the presence of any large number of Jews in a European country has let to strife and friction. Britain has escaped having any very acute Jewish question as the number of Jews in the country has been small.
There is now danger that the repressive measures against Jews in Germany and Austria may lead to a great flood of Jewish immigration into Britain and the British Dominions.
In many quarters it is held that the only way to solve this difficult question is to provide the Jewish nation with a home of its own big enough t accommodate it (which Palestine is not); and that merely to shift Jews from one European country to another gets nowhere. Madagascar has been suggested as most suited for a Jewish national home.
An endeavour is made in the following pages to set out certain material facts as succinctly as possible, and give a bird’s-eye view of this great problem. The object is to help the reader to form an opinion whether Jewish immigration into British countries is desirable.
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE JEWS
By A.N. Field
Author of “The Truth About the Slump” “All These Things” &c.
Some Ancient History
Nothing is more erroneous than the common idea that Jewish dispersion was the result of Roman brutality; that friction between Jew and non-Jew had its origin in Christian bigotry; and that the Jews were driven to their trade of usury by being banned from other occupations.
The word ‘sojourner’ always applied with peculiar force to the people of Israel,” write the Rev. Drs. Foakes Jackson and Kirsopp Lake in “The Beginnings of Christianity” (Macmillan, 1920). The patriarchs were wanders: their descendants endured not one but many captivities. In the sixth century B.C. there was a voluntary migration of Jews into Egypt: Jews were numerous in the Persian Empire. The Jews followed in the trail of the conquest of Alexander the Great, which brought them into contact with the West, and spread them far and wide. The Sybilline Oracles (second century, B.C.), declare “every land and every sea is full of them.” Josephus says, “There is no people on earth that has not portion of us.”
Professor S. Angus in “The Environment of Early Christianity”(Duckworth, 1914), estimates their number in the Roman Empire as about eight millions and adds: “The hostility of the Jew was the greatest menace to the peace of the Empire…The Jew never amalgamated with other races so as to lose his religion or racial consciousness. He met the scorn and hate of the world with the pride of a superior people. Wherever the Jew emigrated he sought out his brethren and formed a community…The terrible uprisings under Vespasian, Trajan, and Hadrian bear ample testimony to their power to shake the Empire.”
The same writer point out that Jewish wealth was at this time considerable. Sometimes it took a thousand Jews to carry the annual contributions of the Jews of Rome to the treasure in the temple at Jerusalem. Jewish bank-books of the time of Xerxes (about 470 B.C.) show them as bankers to their Persian conquerors. The corn export f Egypt was largely in their hands, as was the trade of Mesopotamia.
Outbursts against the Jews occurred in almost all the countries in which they settled before the Christian era. “Many Roman writers,” states Angus. : speak disparagingly of the Jews. Horace writes in mockery of their circumcision and the Sabbaths; Seneca calls them ‘a most accursed race’; Tacitus accuses them of hatred to all men, of immorality, of worshipping an ass…Cicero , Quintilian, Juvenal and Martial pour scorn upon them. The fact that Roman writers are so much more anti-Semitic than Greek bears testimony to the increased prominence of the Jew.”
The fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 merely completed a dispersion that had begun centuries before. At the time of the decline of the Roman Empire, from the latter half of the fourth century and through the fifth century of the present era, Dean Milman’s “History of the Jews” (4th edition, 1866) tells us the Jew were then settled in Belgium, along the course of the Rhine an in such parts of Germany as were civilized, and in Gaul. Italy and Spain. Council after Council denounced their traffic in slaves in those disturbed times, and Milman says the slave traffic in Europe after the fall of Rome was almost entirely conducted by Jews.
Jewish popularity soon evaporated in Western Europe. They were expelled from country after country. But no sooner did an expulsion take place than the Jews in many cases were back negotiating for permission to return to the scene of their persecutions, and the monarchs were willing to readmit them. Hilaire Belloc in his book “The Jews” says of these happenings:
“It has been a series of cycles invariably following the same steps. The Jew comes to an alien society at first in small numbers. He thrives. His presence is not resented. He is rather treated as a friend. Whether from mere contrasts in type—what I have called ‘friction’—or from some apparent divergence between his objects and those of his hosts, or through his increasing numbers, he creates (or discovers) a growing animosity. He resents it. He opposes his hosts. They call themselves masters in their own house. The Jew resists their claim. It comes to violence. It is always the same miserable sequence.”
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