Zvi Barel is also and aged and venerable power, although not slumbering at all. - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • christoph
    • 14.08.13 | 19:51 (IDT)

    Actually, for me, too, this "one single rumble" was astonishing enough. Three or fours months ago, I sat in a little library listening to a professor from the local university talking about the late Eric Hobsbawm. I had to think of Hobsbawm's "Nations and Nationalism" whose introduction ends like this: "Finally, I cannot but add that no serious historian of nations and nationalism can be a committed political nationalist, except in the sense in which believers in the litteral truth of the Scriptures, while unable to make contributions to evolutionary theory, are not precluded from making contributions to archaeology and Semitic philology. Nationalism requires too much belief in what is patently not so. As Renan said: 'Getting its history wrong is part of being a nation.' To be Irish and proudly attached to Ireland - even to be proudly Catholic-Irish or Ulster-Protestant Irish - is not in itself incompatible with the serious study of Irish history. To be a Fenian or an Orangeman, I would judge, is not so compatible, any more than being a Zionist is compatible with writing a genuinely serious history of the Jews; unless the historian leaves his or her convictions behind when entering the library or the study." So, bitchy as I can be, I raised my hand and said to the professor: "Scientists are looking for recognition for their work, you are hoping to find an auditory and Hobsbawm was. He was working in Europe, writing mainly for a European public. I had the impression that his way of considering European nationalisms was even rather lenient in comparison to his look on zionism. Do you not think that especially before the background of contemporary European history he is a bit too soft with European nationalisms and quite hard on the Jews?" He didn't really comment on my "Jewish question", but the professor agreed that maybe the late Hobsbawm was a bit blue-eyed as far as Europe is concerned, his continent of enlightenment. Others call it the "accursed continent" and I also think there are good reasons to stay awake and not to be blue-eyed about Europe.

    from the article: If it talks like a boycott and walks like a boycott
    First published 04:16 14.08.13 | Last updated 15:40 13.08.13
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