Jewish Exile in Modern Thought: Predicament and Paradigm
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The idea of the Jew as paradigmatic migrant constitutes one of the foundations of the relationship between the German blood-and-soil ideology and the National Socialist murder of the Jews. The condition of exile was also, since biblical times, an element of Jewish self-understanding. After the Second World War and the destruction of the Jewish-European world, but also in face of the foundation of a Jewish nation-state, the role of the Jew as »eternal wanderer« had to be reconceived. Many Jewish and non-Jewish thinkers seek, on one hand, to reverse the hostile view of the rootless Jewish people and, on the other, to invoke the Jew to propagate a universally valid alternative, and even counterforce, to territorial ideologies and ultimately to all nationalist identity politics. The article addresses fundamental questions raised by the simultaneity of these concerns.