Friday, March 25, 2005

Weekly History Quote -- Purim Edition

"It is true that I am a Jew, and when my ancestors were receiving their Ten Commandments from the immediate Deity, amidst the thundering and lightnings of Mt. Sinai, the ancestors of my opponent were herding swine in the forests of Great Britain."

-- Judah Benjamin, US Senator from Lousiana (1852-1861) responding on the Senate floor to charges made by Sen. Ben Wade of Ohio that Benjamin was an "Israelite in Egyptian clothing."

ps. After a strange and terrible two weeks of being offline, full Internet connectivity is expected to return Saturday. Expect regular blogging to resume then as well....


Blogger Anthony said...

Interesting. Benjamin Disraeli said almost the exact same thing in response to an anti-semitic comment. Who was cribbing off whom I wonder?

7:58 AM  
Blogger Mike Green said...

Yes, Disraeli said to Irish MP Daniel O'Connell, "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."

It turns out that Benjamin was ripping off Disraeli. The Wade-Benjamin exchange took place during the 1850s, while the Disraeli-O'Connell exchange occurred in 1835.

3:24 PM  
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