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History Corner





Barbara Tuchman- Establishment of Israel


Barbara W. Tuchman, Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour (New York University Press; 1956; repr. 1984), Preface (ix)


‘The re-establishment of the state of Israel in the same land with the same people and same language after 1900 years of exile seemed to me a unique historical event.

I could not think of anything comparable.

The history of the Jews is in any case intensely peculiar in the fact of having given the Western world its concept of origins and monotheism, its ethical traditions, and the founder of its prevailing religion, yet suffering dispersion, statelessness, and ceaseless persecution, and finally in our times nearly successful genocide, dramatically followed by fulfillment of the never-relinquished dream of return to the homeland.

Viewing this strange and singular history one cannot escape the impression that it must contain some special significance for the history of mankind, that in some way, whether one believes in divine purpose or inscrutable circumstance, the Jews have been singled out to carry the tale of human fate.’