Monday, June 19, 2006

So as I had mentioned before, I got this book from the CCF Beirut, entitled Histoire des juifs de France. The book is very elaborate, a lot of details and done in a style of an encyclopedia. Lots and lots of names of individuals families and regions, lots of dates too. In that sense the book is not very seductive. In addition to that at the back cover of the book there is certainly a certain introduction to the book, and some good feeds, with some interesting names such as Le monde diplomatique, but then the other two were L'information juive and La revue encyclopédique juive, in addition to a certain Jacques Dequesne (not sure who that dude is but I am not the best in French literature so...).

Anyway, I am not really the kind that judges a book just from the information on its back or especially not on the base of its boring details. And to say the truth I found that book very interesting, in general, as an Arab, we don't have much access to this quality of information. Usually we are left with the picture of the Evil jew most of the time. I was particularly pleased with Shlemazl's entry last week (I had saved it on my Flash memory and took it home with me, along with Leilouta's entry too), it's really a corner we rarely have the chance to see. And this book fills the same role. It's the way a jewish person sees things.

According to the Author, the perpetual persecution of Jews is mainly the result of two purposes. The first being the Minority/Majority Dynamic. And I honestly agree with him on that point and he actually he actually had a spirit objective enough to mention repeatedly that the Jewish were not the ONLY victim, that the Jewish communities had the same problems among each other, that it was mainly a Human Issue and not necessarily a religious one. And the second factor was the Jealousy of christians and there constant need to escape the duty of paying there dept to the jews. And I personally agree on that point too.

But Here's the funny part:

While justifying why the Jews were such a financial success (they were remarkably successful if you take in consideration the horrid persecusion they suffered from). His answer was simply that Jews were smart and perseverant. Not that I am questioning the jewish intellect, but isn't it simplistic to see things from that angle? I mean, I suppose that the laws of nature and the survival of the fittest imposed that only the best talents of the Jewish population would survive the centuries of persecution, but honestly being a Maronite Lebanese (who tend to see there survival in a Muslim Hostile environment from the same angle as the Author of this book) I am inclined to disagree, I don't know, but my idiotic mind isn't convinced.

But overall, the Book's really interesting, I'm reading it fanatically. And I can't help but to see a shocking resemblance with the Maronite perspective. I had always notice a certain convergence, but not to THIS degree.


Herlock Sholmes said...

All in all, a good week :)

shlemazl said...

Firstly, there are lots of poor Jews.

Secondly, average IQ of an Ashkenazi Jew is higher that of other ethnic groups. Ashkenazi have paid a heavy price for this genetic benefit which appears to be a result of natural selection. They are still paying the price: prevalance of certain genetic deseases that other groups don't have.

Thirdly, values, which have been instilled in a Jewish family over the generations emphasized hard work and education. There are other similar ethnic groups.


Jews are not unique; we are just people.

Yet Jews believed themselves to be unique for so long and so stubbornly that they have become unique in the eyes of many, including Clio :-) This is why attitude to Jews is a great litmus test for civilizations and countries.

Pazuzu said...

Sholmes, yes what can I say my Karma's always helping me haha

Shlemazl, I don't usually like to believe that any group (ethnic, religious or anything esle) is simply smarter. I would find it understandable that Jews would have a higher IQ, since I am aware of its limitation, and Jewsih people had been a victim of very long persecution, natural selection would result in an exceptionnal adaptivity, especially about the point you mentionned about education, Armenians are the same in Lebanon.

shlemazl said...

You are right. Further information on the scientific background to this can be found here/.