From: "David S. Maddison"
Subject: Analysis of another anti-Semitic quote Newsgroups: soc.culture.jewish Summary: User-Agent: tin/pre-1.4-19990805 ("Preacher Man") (UNIX) (FreeBSD/3.2-RELEASE (i386)) NNTP-Posting-Host: power.connexus.net.au Message-ID: <email@example.com> Date: 11 Nov 1999 14:29:26 +1100 X-Trace: 11 Nov 1999 14:29:26 +1100, power.connexus.net.au Lines: 87 Path: hub.org!hub.org!hermes.visi.com!news-out.visi.com!newsfeed.berkeley.edu!newsfeed.concentric.net!news.mel.aone.net.au!newsfeed.aone.net.au!news.mira.net.au!news.mel.ausbone.net!news.internex.net.au!not-for-mail Xref: hub.org soc.culture.jewish:421425 [NOTE: Not posted to those groups that need to see this most (in light of the recent "complaint". Also apologies to the person who thinks scj is "not interested in combatting anti-Semitism"]. QUOTE "There is no doubt that the...Jews aided the Persians with all the men they could muster, and that the help they gave was considerable. Once Jerusalem was in Persian hands a terrible massacre of Christians took place, and the Jews are accused of having taken the lead in this massacre." (A History of Palestine from 135 A.D. to Modern Times, James Parkes, p. 81; The Iron Curtain Over America, John Beaty, p. 194). RESPONSE The quote addressed is #039 from the anti-Semitic document http://abbc.com/quotes/q001-050.htm "1000 Quotes by and about Jews". It is available in similar form from many sources, but not necessarily with the same number. As with other quotes in this list, it shows evidence of selective citation or "filleting". What is under discussion is the Persian invasion of Palestine which was then under Roman administration (the Romans had invaded in 70 CE). The Jews and other minorities had been cruelly treated by the Byzantine emperors. Preceding the above quote at the top of page 81 the book states: "In any case their power (of the Jews and the Samaritans) was substantially diminished; their political autonomy, their civil rights, and even their religious freedom had all been reduced by the bullying orthodoxy of the Byzantine emperors, and in particular by Justinian, who added insult to injury by constantly empowering their chief enemies, the orthodox bishops, to assist the civil government in the enforcement of the humiliating burdens imposted upon them." "The day of a brief relief and revenge was, however, approaching. Justinian's grandoise dreams of imperial magnificence, and his passion for building - including several churches in Palestine - had heavily overstrained the empire's weak economic resources. His successors could not possibly maintain what he had so rashly conquered; and the empire fell a prey to disorder. Then occurred a repetition of the superstitious fears which had led Valerian and Diocletian to persecute the Christians, only this time the infidels who were said to be angering the Almighty were the Jews. Phocas (602-610) and his successor Heraclius (610-641) were said to have been warned that the empire was menaced by the "circumcised", and both in consequence ordered the Jews of the empire to accept baptism. What numbers submitted we have no means of knowing. In any case, their submission was probably of short duration, for in 611 the Persians swept through the eastern provinces, and in 614 they took Jerusalem after a siege lasting only twenty days. There is no doubt that the Persians received substantial help from the Jews of Galilee. One chronicler mentions a figure of 20,000 Jewish soldiers, another 26,000. While the actual figures are as unreliable as all ancient figures, there is no reason to question the fact that the Jews aided the Persians with all the men they could muster, and that the help they gave was considerable. Once Jerusalem was in Persian hands a terrible massacre of Christians took place, and the Jews are accused of having taken the lead in this massacre. It would not be surprising if the accusation were true, even though the fantastic stories told of Jewish revenge by Christian chroniclers are certainly exaggerated." >From "A History of Palestine from 135AD to Modern Times", James Parkes, London, 1949, p.81: Clearly, restoring the original context puts a different slant on this quote. The Jews, being an oppressed group, sought liberation and they thought they received it when the Persians invaded. At least, the Jews thought that they would receive better treatment from the Persians than they did from the Byzantines. The author also notes that the accounts from Christian chroniclers are "certainly exaggerated". As regards this exaggeration, it has been noted that in the Chronicon Paschale, in Migne, Patrologia, series Graeca, 92, 988 that it describes the death and destruction inflicted by the Persians, but no mention is made of the alleged Jewish complicity in the massacre. Antiochus Eustratios (Strategios), a monk, says that the some of the city's Christians were murdered because they refused to accept Judaism. Theophanes then repeats his remarks in his own words and adds an extra story of his own. Other medieval accounts copied and embellished these, such as the anonymous Syriac chronicle. It has been noted by Gil, in "A History of Palestine, 634-1099", Cambridge Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-40437-1, that those sources which are closest to the original time and place of the conquest do not mention the Jews at all. David S. Maddison (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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