The time of Jacob’s trouble

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, is known to be in awe of his father the historian Ben- Zion. His world view is influenced by his father’s work. Ben-Zion Netanyahu who had his 100th birthday last March is recognised as the world’s foremost historian of the Spanish Inquisition.

His most important work, The Origins of the Inquisition in 15th-Century Spain, upended the scholarly consensus on the roots of that bleak chapter in Jewish history. He argued that Spanish hatred of Jews was spurred by the principle of limpieza de sangre, or the purity of blood; it was proto-Nazi thought, not mere theology that motivated the Inquisition. Ben-Zion also argued that the Inquisition corresponds to the axiom that anti-Semitic persecution is preceded, in all cases, by carefully scripted and lengthy dehumanization campaigns meant to ensure the efficient eventual elimination of Jews. To him, the lessons of Jewish history are plain and insistent.

If we accept Ben-Zion’s analysis then the lies which are being spread today by the news media will prove to be a precursor to the time of Jacob’s trouble.