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March 30, 2016 1:03 am

Jewish 100, 2015: Simon Sebag Montefiore – Voices

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Simon Sebag Montefiore. Photo: Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Simon Sebag Montefiore. Photo: Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Simon Sebag Montefiore

Historian and author

Simon Sebag Montefiore is a British historian, television presenter and award-winning author of popular history books and novels, as well as a source of pride for the Jewish people.

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Descended from a line of Sephardi Jews who were diplomats and bankers across Europe, Montefiore in 2015 hosted a thrilling three-part series for BBC Four, embarking on a fascinating journey to unlock 2,000 years of Spain’s history.

He also has worked as a banker, a foreign affairs journalist, and a war correspondent covering the conflicts during the fall of the Soviet Union.

A prolific writer, Montefiore is the author of several books, including “Jerusalem: The Biography”; “Sashenka”; and “One Night in Winter.”

His latest work, published in 2016, is “The Romanovs, 1613–1918,” which has already received critical acclaim as “the bloody and decadent stories of the 20 tsars and tsarinas of Russia’s last imperial dynasty” and a book that “is like 20 gripping novels in one.”

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  • Linda

    Well said!

  • Jerusalem Book left out Important Historical Facts that the Kingdom of David lasted only 75 to 150 Years and for this Mr Montefiore was deliberate in distortion , I also saw him on CPAN talking about the Book when asked a Question about Ancient Israel and his Body Language gave away his concealing of the Historical Facts.
    However , the Book was in fact true that Jerusalem has belonged to all Faiths and Peoples over the centuries and that Jews are a small part of the Greater History of the ancient Capital of Cannanites.

    Israelis need to give up SCHTICK and come to terms with their Arab Neighbors and accept the Arab Peace Plan of 2002, or change your name to Masada.

    History is against you, and so is the World on the Brutal occupation.

    • Edna

      I am not Israeli, but a British and Canadian Jew, whose family lived as wealthy expat minorities in the Middle East.

      My family was among the one million Jewish refugees from Muslim Arab lands. Syria has about ten aged Jews left. Iraq has a few, Egypt has 9 or 10. Libya has none. Shall I continue Mr or Ms. William?

      I therefore find it laughable that you should tell Israeli Jews to “share” their minuscule country with Muslim tribes whose brethren expelled Jews from countries where their ancestors had lived thousands of years prior to the Arab/Muslim invasion.

      As these Muslim/Arab tribes reproduce at an incredibly fast rate, how long would it take them to expel Israeli Jews from your proposed shrunken Eretz Israel?

      I suggest that the invented Kingdom of Jordan who refuses to grant citizenship to the myriads of Palestinians residing there, change its policies, and share their very large country with the native Palestinians whose country it really is, and leave Israel alone.

      Logic and math as well as history and psychology do not seem to be William’s strong point.

    • Roy

      Wasting your breath with such vacuous and inane comments wri. Empty-headed automatons like yourself spewing forth such laughable gibberish about a non-existent “brutal occupation” is tired and old and the world is now learning to see right through yourrubbish.

    • A Zionist

      Dear William,

      The late Primo Levi wrote, “that to confuse murderers with their victims is a moral disease, or an aesthetic affectation or a sinister sign of complicity; above all it is a precious service rendered (intentionally or not), to the negators of truth.”

      There is nothing of the truth in your statement. Jews come from JUDEA and SAMARIA. I 134 CE the Emperor Hadrian wanted to punish and humiliate the Jews. He minted a coin on which was written: JUDEA CAPTUA. He then ordered that Judea and Samaria be called “Palestine” or “Syria Palestina” after the Hebrew word for Philistine.

      There is no such country as “Palestine”. It refers to the geographical regions of JUDEA and SAMARIA, the land of the Jewish People.

      The Arabs were given 98% of the Middle East in 1922 (Treaty of San Remo and League of Nations Mandate System. The Great Allied Powers created Iraq, Syria and Lebanon after WW1. They recognised the RECONSTITUTION of the Jewish National Home and that the Jews have endured 2000 years of persecution and exile. In 1922 the British Colonial Secretary, Winston S Churchill illegally took 78% of the land set asidefor the Jewish National Home to CREATE JORDAN. Jordan is a British colonial creation on land that is Jewish and occupies 80% of “Palestine.”

      There are 350 million Arabs.
      The Arabs occupy 5.4 million square miles of land.

      Israel is situated in approx 8.800 square miles. There are 6 million Jews and about 2 million Arabs living in Israel.

      In 1947 the Secretary General of the Arab League promised “a momentous massacre and a war of extermination”. Arabs have been murdering Jews since 1920 all because they refuseto accept the right of Jews to self-determination; or that Jews are equal.

      The only brutality comes from the Arabs who are either killing one another or murdering and dispossessing Jews. In 1948, the Arabs dispossessed and expelled 856,000 Jews from Arab lands where they had been living for thousands of years.

      I suggest you return to school to study the history of the Middle East. There is no “occupation” since the Arabs never had sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. Only the Jewish people have had sovereignty and according to Dr Jaques Gauthier, a French-Canadian international lawyer, it is the Jewish people who have sovereignty of Judea and Samaria.

      The Jewish people have returned home. Neither antisemitism, nor bigoted comments by those who have no knowledge of this conflict (120 years) will prevent us from defending our homeland. The Arabs have more than enough land. Thus the conflict can be simply stated:

      One side (Arab) wants the Other side (Jews) DEAD!

      The Arab and Muslim world is largely Judenrein. In Israel, there are people from over 70 different nationalities. There are people of many religions, different colours and ethnicities. Israel is the only free and democratic country in the Middle East. When asked, Israeli Arabs want to be citizens of Israel – not under any corrupt Arab leader.

      Only antisemites distort truth and reality.

    • Mike P.

      William, you are intellectually dishonest. Sure, stating the Kingdom of David lasted only one century is akin to my stating that the French Fifth Republic lasted only 71 years means that the French have no connection to France.

      The Israelites were the main sovereign between Lebanon and Sinai from 1,250 BCE through 135 CE, for 400 years longer than William the Conqueror’s people had a stake in England.

      And Jews were the only consistent group living is Israel since then, with Byzantines, Crusaders, and Arabs each having relatively brief periods of very small populations there…very small indeed.

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