A leading historian argues that historically Jews were more often
voluntary migrants than involuntary refugees For millennia, Jews
and non-Jews alike have viewed forced population movement as a core
aspect of the Jewish experience. This involuntary Jewish wandering
has been explained by pre-modern Jews and Christians as divine
punishment, by some modern non-Jews as the result of Jewish
harmfulness, by some modern Jews as fostered by Christian
anti-Jewish imagery, and by other modern Jews as caused by
misguided Jewish acceptance of minority status. In this absorbing
book, Robert Chazan explores these various perspectives and argues
that pre-modern Jewish population movement was in most cases
voluntary, the result of a sense among Jews that there were
alternatives available for making a better life elsewhere.
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