Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quote: Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

In 1835, the Irish Roman Catholic leader Daniel O'Connell attacked Benjamin Disraeli during a by election (which Disraeli lost, he not entering Parliament until 1837). O’Connell referred to Disraeli as the “'worst possible type of Jew” and stated that:
He has just the qualities of that impertinent thief on the cross, and I verily believe, if Mr. Disraeli's family herald were to be examined and his genealogy traced, that same personage would be discovered to be the heir at law of the exalted individual to whom I allude.

Disraeli, in a letter to the Times, replied:
Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honourable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.

(Commonly it is stated that Disraeli made the above response in the House of Commons but that is incorrect. It should also be noted that Disraeli was a practising Christian, despite his Jewish background, and that Jews were not allowed to enter Parliament until 1858).

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