Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-iv

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-x

This volume emerged from a rich scholarly conversation begun in November 2012 at the workshop, “Jewish History after the Imperial Turn: French and Comparative Perspectives,” sponsored by Brown University’s Program in Judaic Studies. The editors and contributors would like to thank Tracy Miller, department manager of the Program in Judaic Studies, for her integral role in the success of the workshop. In addition, our thanks goes to all workshop participants for their thoughtful feedback and incisive interventions...

read more

1. Introduction: Engaging Colonial History and Jewish History

Ethan B. Katz, Lisa Moses Leff, and Maud S. Mandel

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-26

Where are Jews in colonial history? Where is colonialism in Jewish history? In many ways, these unasked questions haunt contemporary Jewish and often world politics. Indeed, in the twenty-first century, the relationship between Jews and colonialism has been present in debates about not only Zionism but Jewish–Muslim relations, the wider Middle East, the future of European identity, and the aims and roots of American empire. And yet, typically, the subject of Jews and colonialism is hidden in plain sight, more polemicized...

Part 1. Subjects and Agents of Empire

read more

2. The “Oriental Jews” of the Maghreb: Reinventing the North African Jewish Past in the Colonial Era

Colette Zytnicki

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 29-53

As is well known, the term “Orientalism” has multiple meanings. To start with, it refers to a discipline that studies what Europeans have long termed “the East,” and that slowly emerged in major centers of Western thought and culture during the centuries following the Middle Ages. It reached its zenith in the nineteenth century, especially in France, in the Académie des inscriptions et des belles lettres and the Société asiatique, founded in 1822. In this sense, Orientalism comprises scholarly texts, institutions, and researchers. Jewish intellectuals played a significant part in its French...

read more

3. The Rise of Imperialism and the German Jewish Engagement in Islamic Studies

Susannah Heschel

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 54-80

Lecturing to British Jews in 1958, the great scholar of medieval Judaism and Islam, Shlomo Dov Goitein (1900–1985), declared, “It was Islam which saved the Jewish people.” How did this salvation come about? Because Islam, Goitein stated, provided the conditions, both economic and intellectual, that encouraged the “creative symbiosis” that emerged between medieval Jewish and Islamic cultures.1 The religion of Islam, Goitein claimed, was a religion of “personal responsibility of man before God,” a religion of “ethical monotheism.”2 And Islam is derived from Judaism: “It would be correct to state that Islam...

read more

4. Not the Retiring Kind: Jewish Colonials in England in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

Adam Mendelsohn

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 81-100

As befits a nation birthed from a penal colony, Australia and its Jews celebrate Moses Joseph, a convict transported in 1827 for theft, as one of the founding fathers of the Jewish community of Sydney. Within a handful of years of his arrival in the antipodes, Joseph had amassed enough money to open a tobacconist shop—his wife, a free settler who followed him to Australia, was, for legal reasons, his nominal employer—and began a meteoric rise that left him a substantial landowner, pioneering industrialist, shipping tycoon, and leading gold buyer in the early 1850s. Chained migration spurred the unmanacled...

read more

5. Oriental, Feminist, Orientalist: The New Jewish Woman

Frances Malino

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 101-115

In an emotionally charged letter written from Tripoli on June 11, 1911, Maïr Lévy pleaded with the Alliance israélite universelle (AIU) to accept his daughter Tamo at one of the three Parisian boarding schools that trained Alliance institutrices (primary school teachers). What else can she do, he asked, my “Frenchspeaking, African-born, Jewish daughter?”1 In his plaintive query, Lévy could hardly capture the “braided identity” of his daughter or of the hundreds of other young women who brought France’s civilizing mission—and that of the Jews—to Jewish girls in Muslim...

read more

6. Jews in the Crosshairs of Empire: A Franco-Russian Comparison

Israel Bartal

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 116-126

In the history of empire, Jews offer a useful tool for in-depth comparison between land-based and overseas empires, entities that remain too rarely examined in concert. Moreover, among the areas where the persistent “East–West divide” of modern Jewish historiography can be broken down most profitably is in the emerging field of Jews and empire. The French and Russian empires offer a striking case in point. The Jews in Imperial Russia in the modern era experienced a series of political, social, economic, and cultural changes that they shared with fellow Jews in other European empires, particularly...

Part 2. Jews in Colonial Politics

read more

7. Crémieux’s Children: Joseph Reinach, Léon Blum, and René Cassin as Jews of French Empire

Ethan B. Katz

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 129-165

In March 1958, in the midst of the Franco-Algerian War, Algerian Jewish leader Jacques Lazarus addressed a group of community notables gathered in the city of Algiers.1 Lazarus sought to reassure his co-religionists that their status as French citizens, contrary to certain recent reports, had never been in question under the current republican government; likewise, he defended the Crémieux Decree, the 1870 act that had made Algerian Jews French citizens and that now was the subject of criticism by the Algerian nationalists fighting for independence. Near the end of his speech, Lazarus claimed that the members...

read more

8. Zionism, Emigration, and East European Colonialism

Tara Zahra

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 166-192

In 1897 O. Fadeuhecht from Kolomea in Austrian Galicia wrote a letter to the Zionist newspaper Die Welt, in which he sought to publicize the “miserable situation of Russian Jews in London and their bleak future.” Tens of thousands of Jews from the Russian Empire were living in East London, he reported, where they worked long hours for pitiful wages, producing cheap clothing for export to the Levant, Egypt, and Central Africa. They were forced to work on the Sabbath and were unable to raise their children “in a Jewish spirit.” The export trade was largely “in Christian hands,” he lamented...

read more

9. Zionism and the British Labour Party

David Feldman

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 193-214

Writing in 1959, the historian of the British Empire, Archibald Thornton, asserted “the Labour Party was always a strong supporter of Zionism.”1 His remark cannot pass without qualification. To see that Thornton disregarded significant features of an uneven history, we need only bring to mind the anger with which Zionists received the Passfield White Paper—broadcast in 1930 by the Labour government’s secretary of state for the colonies—which proposed restrictions on both Jewish immigration to Palestine and land purchases, or to recall the policies pursued between 1945 and 1948 by Ernest Bevin and Clement Attlee, Labour foreign secretary and prime minister, respectively...

read more

10. Vichy in Morocco: The Residency, Mohammed V, and His Indigenous Jewish Subjects

Daniel Schroeter

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-250

In May of 1941 René Touraine, a journalist from the Agence française d’information de presse, sent a telegram to Vichy about the mounting tensions between the sultan of Morocco Mohammed Ben Youssef and the French Protectorate authorities since the implementation of the anti-Jewish measures:

We have learned from a reliable source that the relations between the Sultan of Morocco and the French authorities have been quite tense since the day the residency [the central Protectorate administration] applied the decree concerning the “measures against the Jews,” despite the formal objection...

read more

11. The Politics of Street Riots: Anti-Jewish Violence in Tunisia before Decolonization

Maud S. Mandel

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 251-272

On June 14, 1952, a riot broke out in the Hafsia neighborhood of Tunis, situated between the Jewish and Muslim quarters of the city. According to reports of events that day, a fight began when approximately one hundred Muslim youth entered the neighborhood with the goal of destroying “a stall containing a large roulette wheel at which certain Jewish and Muslim elements regularly play.”1 Both Muslim and Jewish leaders disapproved of the roulette wheel because it tempted those with few resources to gamble. During the attack some stones fell on adjoining Jewish houses; young Jews in the...

Part 3. Zionism and Colonialism

read more

12. Is Zionism a Colonial Movement?

Derek J. Penslar

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 275-300

The relationship between Zionism and colonialism, long a highly controversial subject among scholars throughout the world, has in recent years become a primary source of friction between champions and opponents of revisionism within Israeli historiography and sociology. Until the 1980s most scholars of Israel studies teaching in Israeli universities denied or qualified linkages between Zionism and late nineteenth-century imperialism. This approach is still taken by a number of younger scholars in Israel, but in the past...

read more

13. Derek Penslar’s “Algebra of Modernity”: How Should We Understand the Relation between Zionism and Colonialism?

Joshua Cole

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 301-316

Derek Penslar’s thoughtful 2006 essay “Is Zionism a Colonial Movement?” (chapter 12 of this volume) takes a highly politicized question about the history of Zionism and offers a set of historical comparisons that he hopes will provide room for a less polemical discussion. At the very least, he would like to address the question of Zionism’s relationship to colonialism in a way that does more than simply reproduce with greater urgency the irreconcilable positions between those who argue that no such relationship exists and those who argue that the former is best understood...

read more

14. Moving Zionism to Asia: Texts and Tactics of Colonial Settlement, 1917–1921

Elizabeth F. Thompson

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 317-326

As a historian of the modern Middle East, I welcome Derek Penslar’s effort to “plac[e] Zionism in Asia.”1 First, he argues that Zionism as practiced in West Asia (Palestine) was not true settlement colonialism because settlers were not citizens of the colonial power ruling the territory (Britain). Then he turns to South Asia and to cultural analysis to argue that European Zionism shared similar roots and ideological values with Indian anticolonial nationalism. On these bases, Penslar concludes that Zionists cannot be...

read more

15. What We Talk About When We Talk About Colonialism: A Response to Joshua Cole and Elizabeth Thompson

Derek J. Penslar

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 327-340

“Is Zionism a Colonial Movement?” was a child of the Second Intifada. In the spring of 2001, I was a research fellow at the newly opened Yitzhak Rabin Center in Ramat Aviv. Israel and the Occupied Territories were in turmoil. I walked past the Dolphinarium discotheque just hours before the suicide bombing on June 1 that killed twenty-five people. During that terrible time, I sought serenity in reflection and emotional detachment, like a patient who believes that understanding his illness will mitigate his pain and endow him with agency. Sitting in my spare but quiet office in the old Petroleum...

List of Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 341-346

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 347-360