Cite: Bartal, Israeli Historians and Jewish ‘Universalism’

Bartal, Israel. "The Other Story: Israeli Historians and Jewish ‘Universalism’," European Review of History 17,3 (2010): 541-549.


This article analyses the tension between universalism and nationalism in the writings of three generations of historians of Jewish history. Concentrating on the so-called ‘Jerusalem school’ of Zionist historiography, the article shows how central intellectual figures such as Ben Zion Dinur, Shmuel Ettinger and Jonathan Frankel were keenly aware of the tension between European universalism and Jewish nationalism and that they consciously strove to construct an interpretation of history that was simultaneously Jewish and universal at the same time. In addition to viewing these works as part of larger historiographical discourses, these intellectual oeuvres are also examined within the context of larger historical developments among the Jews of Europe from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. From many perspectives these historians reflected the dreams and visions of many other Jews who dreamed of lives, cultures and societies that were simultaneously Jewish and European, national and universal.




Keywords: Jewish; Cosmopolitanism; Zionist historiography; Jerusalem school; Ettinger; Dinur, ישראל ברטל, שמואל אטינגר, בן-ציון דינור, יונתן פרנקל

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