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The Star and the StripesA History of the Foreign Policies of American Jews$
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Michael N. Barnett

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691165974

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691165974.001.0001

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The Making of a Prophetic People

The Making of a Prophetic People

(p.51) Chapter Two The Making of a Prophetic People
The Star and the Stripes

Michael N. Barnett

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the turn of the century, when American Jews were absorbed by the task of acculturation. As American Jews grew more settled, accepted, and confident, they began asking the US government to use its growing power to stop the persecution of Jews abroad. In the long run, American Jews placed their faith in the same sort of liberalism and rule of law that had been so good to them. Because illiberal states that were tormenting Jews were unlikely to become converts to liberalism, the Jews of France, Britain, and the United States hoped that their governments would impose these reforms. Additionally, they were antinationalists and anti-Zionists. In their view, the answer to the Jewish Problem was not a Jewish homeland in some godforsaken backwater in the Middle East where they were not wanted. Zionism was unrealistic and could potentially lead to questions American Jews would prefer were never asked.

Keywords:   American Jews, acculturation, persecution, liberalism, rule of law, Jewish Problem

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