David Ben-Gurion meeting with Albert Einstein at Princeton University, in 1951.
(photo credit: JERUSALEM POST ARCHIVE)
HAVING LEARNED of the young plan “to gather the Jews of the world together in Palestine, with a government of their own,” Mark Twain cautioned the Ottoman Empire to resist the scheme. The Jews have “the cunningest brains in the world,” the great novelist wrote in Harper’s magazine. It followed, therefore, that if allowed to inhabit one free country “that race will find out its strength,” and “if the horses know theirs, we should not ride anymore.”The “brains” to which Twain alluded have long been a fixture of Jewish stereotype and reality, intriguing scholars, thinkers, and ideologues, both Jewish and Gentile.