Jews Quotes

Quotes tagged as "jews" Showing 1-30 of 302
Philip Pullman
“It comes from history. It comes from the record of the Inquisition, persecuting heretics and torturing Jews and all that sort of stuff; and it comes from the other side, too, from the Protestants burning the Catholics. It comes from the insensate pursuit of innocent and crazy old women, and from the Puritans in America burning and hanging the witches — and it comes not only from the Christian church but also from the Taliban. Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them because they don't accept him. Wherever you look in history, you find that. It’s still going on.”
Philip Pullman

Elie Wiesel
“My faceless neighbor spoke up:

“Don’t be deluded. Hitler has made it clear that he will annihilate all Jews before the clock strikes twelve.”

I exploded:

“What do you care what he said? Would you want us to consider him a prophet?
His cold eyes stared at me. At last he said, wearily:

“I have more faith in Hitler than in anyone else. He alone has kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people.”
Elie Wiesel, Night

Christopher Hitchens
“Actually—and this was where I began to feel seriously uncomfortable—some such divine claim underlay not just 'the occupation' but the whole idea of a separate state for Jews in Palestine. Take away the divine warrant for the Holy Land and where were you, and what were you? Just another land-thief like the Turks or the British, except that in this case you wanted the land without the people. And the original Zionist slogan—'a land without a people for a people without a land'—disclosed its own negation when I saw the densely populated Arab towns dwelling sullenly under Jewish tutelage. You want irony? How about Jews becoming colonizers at just the moment when other Europeans had given up on the idea?”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Eric Hoffer
“The Jews are a peculiar people: Things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews.

Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people, and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchmen. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese--and no one says a word about refugees.

But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious it must sue for peace.

Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.”
Eric Hoffer

Joel C. Rosenberg
“The question shouldn't be "Why are you, a Christian, here in a death camp, condemned for trying to save Jews?' The real question is "Why aren't all the Christians here?”
Joel C. Rosenberg, The Auschwitz Escape

Markus Zusak
“The bittersweetness of uncertainty: To win or to lose.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Tariq Ali
“If every single Jew born anywhere in the world has the right to become an Israeli citizen, then all the Palestinians who were chucked out of Palestine by the Zionist Government should have the same right, very simple.”
Tariq Ali

Christopher Hitchens
“I think I have a very good idea why it is that anti-Semitism is so tenacious and so protean and so enduring. Christianity and Islam, theistic though they may claim to be, are both based on the fetishizing of human primates: Jesus in one case and Mohammed in the other. Neither of these figures can be called exactly historical but both have one thing in common even in their quasi-mythical dimension. Both of them were first encountered by the Jews. And the Jews, ravenous as they were for any sign of the long-sought Messiah, were not taken in by either of these two pretenders, or not in large numbers or not for long.

If you meet a devout Christian or a believing Muslim, you are meeting someone who would give everything he owned for a personal, face-to-face meeting with the blessed founder or prophet. But in the visage of the Jew, such ardent believers encounter the very figure who did have such a precious moment, and who spurned the opportunity and turned shrugging aside. Do you imagine for a microsecond that such a vile, churlish transgression will ever be forgiven? I myself certainly hope that it will not. The Jews have seen through Jesus and Mohammed. In retrospect, many of them have also seen through the mythical, primitive, and cruel figures of Abraham and Moses. Nearer to our own time, in the bitter combats over the work of Marx and Freud and Einstein, Jewish participants and protagonists have not been the least noticeable. May this always be the case, whenever any human primate sets up, or is set up by others, as a Messiah.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Markus Zusak
“Summer came.
For the book thief, everything was going nicely.
For me, the sky was the color of Jews.

When their bodies had finished scouring for gaps in the door, their souls rose up. When their fingernails had scratched at the wood and in some cases were nailed into it by the sheer force of desperation, their spirits came toward me, into my arms, and we climbed out of those shower facilities, onto the roof and up, into eternity's certain breadth. They just kept feeding me. Minute after minute. Shower after shower.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Iain Pears
“Do you know, the only people I can have a conversation with are the Jews? At least when they quote scripture at you they are not merely repeating something some priest has babbled in their ear. They have the great merit of disagreeing with nearly everything I say. In fact, they disagree with almost everything they say themselves. And most importantly, they don't think that shouting strengthens their argument.”
Iain Pears, The Dream of Scipio

Tony Horwitz
“The first thing you notice, coming to Israel from the Arab world, is that you have left the most courteous region of the globe and entered the rudest. The difference is so profound that you're left wondering when the mutation in Semitic blood occurred, as though God parted the Red Sea and said: "Okay, you rude ones, keep wandering toward the Promised Land. The rest of you can stay here and rot in the desert, saying 'welcome, most welcome' and drowning each other in tea until the end of time.”
Tony Horwitz, Baghdad Without a Map and Other Misadventures in Arabia

John  Adams
“...The Presidential election has given me less anxiety than I myself could have imagined. The next administration will be a troublesome one, to whomsoever it falls, and our John has been too much worn to contend much longer with conflicting factions. I call him our John, because, when you were at the Cul de sac at Paris, he appeared to me to be almost as much your boy as mine.

...As to the decision of your author, though I wish to see the book {Flourens’s Experiments on the functions of the nervous system in vertebrated animals}, I look upon it as a mere game at push-pin. Incision-knives will never discover the distinction between matter and spirit, or whether there is any or not. That there is an active principle of power in the universe, is apparent; but in what substance that active principle resides, is past our investigation. The faculties of our understanding are not adequate to penetrate the universe. Let us do our duty, which is to do as we would be done by; and that, one would think, could not be difficult, if we honestly aim at it.

Your university is a noble employment in your old age, and your ardor for its success does you honor; but I do not approve of your sending to Europe for tutors and professors. I do believe there are sufficient scholars in America, to fill your professorships and tutorships with more active ingenuity and independent minds than you can bring from Europe. The Europeans are all deeply tainted with prejudices, both ecclesiastical and temporal, which they can never get rid of. They are all infected with episcopal and presbyterian creeds, and confessions of faith. They all believe that great Principle which has produced this boundless universe, Newton’s universe and Herschel’s universe, came down to this little ball, to be spit upon by Jews. And until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.

I salute your fireside with best wishes and best affections for their health, wealth and prosperity.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, 22 January, 1825}”
John Adams, The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams

Rosa Luxemburg
“What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball… I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears.”
Rosa Luxemburg

Christopher Hitchens
“So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn’s conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality,' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Milton Sanford Mayer
“I wanted to tell him a story, but I didn't. It's a story about a Jew riding in a streetcar, in Germany during the Third Reich, reading Goebbels' paper, the Volkische Beobachter. A non-Jewish acquaintance sits down next to him and says, "Why do you read the Beobachter?" "Look," says the Jew, "I work in a factory all day. When I get home, my wife nags me, the children are sick, and there's no money for food. What should I do on my way home, read the Jewish newspaper? Pogrom in Romania' 'Jews Murdered in Poland.' 'New Laws against Jews.' No, sir, a half-hour a day, on the streetcar, I read the Beobachter. 'Jews the World Capitalists,' 'Jews Control Russia,' 'Jews Rule in England.' That's me they're talking about. A half-hour a day I'm somebody. Leave me alone, friend.”
Milton Sanford Mayer

Anthony Doerr
“A girl got kicked out of the swimming hole today. Inge Hachmann. They said they wouldn’t let us swim with a half-breed. Unsanitary. A half-breed, Werner. Aren’t we half-breeds too? Aren’t we half our mother, half our father?”
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Thomas Paine
“Each of those churches shows certain books, which they call revelation, or the Word of God. The Jews say that their Word of God was given by God to Moses face to face; the Christians say, that their Word of God came by divine inspiration; and the Turks say, that their Word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from heaven. Each of those churches accuses the other of unbelief; and, for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Courtney Love
“[Kurt Cobain] had a lot of German in him. Some Irish. But no Jew. I think that if he had had a little Jew he would have [expletive] stuck it out.”
Courtney Love

Joseph Sobran
“An anti-Semite used to mean a man who hated Jews. Now it means a man who is hated by Jews.”
Joseph Sobran

Amy Harmon
“Our immortality comes through our children and their children. Through our roots and branches. The family is immortality. And Hitler has destroyed not just branches and roots, but entire family trees, forests. All of them, gone.”
Amy Harmon, From Sand and Ash

Art Spiegelman
“I'm not talking about YOUR book now, but look at how many books have already been written about the Holocaust. What's the point? People haven't changed... Maybe they need a newer, bigger Holocaust.”
Art Spiegelman

Sam Harris
“Could there be any doubt that the Jews would seek to harm the Son of God again, knowing that his body was now readily accessible in the form of defenseless crackers?”
Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

Amy Harmon
“How can you compromise with people who don't want you to exist? They want us to disappear. I can't adapt to death.”
Amy Harmon, From Sand and Ash

Christopher Hitchens
“Should I, too, prefer the title of 'non-Jewish Jew'? For some time, I would have identified myself strongly with the attitude expressed by Rosa Luxemburg, writing from prison in 1917 to her anguished friend Mathilde Wurm:

What do you want with these special Jewish pains? I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putamayo and the blacks of Africa with whose bodies the Europeans play ball… I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto: I am at home in the entire world, where there are clouds and birds and human tears.

An inordinate proportion of the Marxists I have known would probably have formulated their own views in much the same way. It was almost a point of honor not to engage in 'thinking with the blood,' to borrow a notable phrase from D.H. Lawrence, and to immerse Jewishness in other and wider struggles. Indeed, the old canard about 'rootless cosmopolitanism' finds a perverse sort of endorsement in Jewish internationalism: the more emphatically somebody stresses that sort of rhetoric about the suffering of others, the more likely I would be to assume that the speaker was a Jew. Does this mean that I think there are Jewish 'characteristics'? Yes, I think it must mean that.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Leo Strauss
“The Jewish people and their fate are the living witness for the absence of redemption. This, one could say, is the meaning of the chosen people; the Jews are chosen to prove the absence of redemption.”
Leo Strauss

Iain Pears
“The point of civilization is to be civilized; the purpose of action is to perpetuate society, for only in society can philosophy truly take place.”
Iain Pears, The Dream of Scipio

Lynn Vincent
“Once, [Rabbi Chanoch] Teller was traveling with 16 of his [18] offspring ... while changing planes in Frankfurt, Teller noticed a German woman gaping.
'Are all of these your children?' the woman asked. 'From one wife?'
'Yes, God has blessed me with all these children,' the rabbi replied.
'Haven't you heard about the population problem?'the woman sniffed. 'How many more children do you want to have?'
Rabbi Teller paused and looked the woman in the eye: 'About 6 million,' he said.”
Lynn Vincent

Sylvia Plath
“I think I may well be a Jew.”
Sylvia Plath
tags: jews

Christopher Hitchens
“One notorious apikoros named Hiwa al-Balkhi, writing in ninth-century Persia, offered two hundred awkward questions to the faithful. He drew upon himself the usual thunderous curses—'may his name be forgotten, may his bones be worn to nothing'—along with detailed refutations and denunciations by Abraham ibn Ezra and others. These exciting anathemas, of course, ensured that his worrying 'questions' would remain current for as long as the Orthodox commentaries would be read. In this way, rather as when Maimonides says that the Messiah will come but that 'he may tarry,' Jewishness contrives irony at its own expense. If there is one characteristic of Jews that I admire, it is that irony is seldom if ever wasted on them.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Martin Luther
“If God had not permitted the people of Jerusalem to be torn asunder and driven them from the land, but had let them keep it after before, no one could convince them that they are not God`s chosen people.”
Martin Luther, The Jews and Their Lies

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