From the bestselling author of World War IV , a brilliant investigation of a central question in American politics and culture.
During his career as a neoconservative thinker, Norman Podhoretz has been asked no question more often than “Why are so many Jews liberals?” In this provocative book he sets out to solve this puzzle. He first offers a fascinating account of anti-Semitism in the West to show the historical roots of Jewish mistrust of the right. But, Podhoretz argues, since the Six Day War of 1967 Jewish allegiance to the left no longer makes sense, and yet most Jews continue supporting the Democratic Party and the liberal agenda. Reviewing the history of Jewish political attitudes and examining the available evidence, Podhoretz argues against the conventional explanations for Jewish liberalism—finally proposing his own.
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|Title of Fantasy eBook: Why Are Jews Liberals?|
|Release Date: 09-08-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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Why Are Jews Liberals?
THE "WITNESS" DOCTRINE
The reason the story of how the Jews became liberals is so long is that it begins very far back--all the way back to the birth of Christianity out of the womb of Judaism about two thousand years ago. The earliest Christians (not yet known by that name) were a dissident sect within Judaism. They did not, to begin with, see themselves as belonging to a new religion: they were, rather, Jews who continued observing the laws of Judaism but who differed from most of their fellow Jews in their belief that the Messiah (or the "Christ") had come in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. It was only with the conversion of Saint Paul some thirty-five years after the crucifixion of Jesus that the break with Judaism was initiated.
Paul (ne Saul) was himself a Jew ("I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin"), and he sometimes denied that God had now rejected the people He had formerly chosen ("They are beloved for the sake of their forefathers"). But he interpreted the coming of Jesus as signifying, and indeed requiring, the abrogation of The old Law given by God at Mount Sinai to His chosen people, the Jews, and under which they had always lived ("But now," he tells his fellow Jews, "we are delivered from the law").
In the years following Paul's death, a great debate broke out over the relationship between Christianity and Judaism, with the radical theologian Marcion (ca. 85-160) holding that the Hebrew Bible, the Bible of the Jews, the "Old Testament," was not the word of God but the work of the Devil and must therefore be entirely shunned and repudiated. But this idea was declared heretical, and it was Paul's view--namely, that the "Old Testament" had...