I stayed away from Israel just as I stayed away from Nazi Germany — Hugh Trevor-Roper

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Hugh Trevor-Roper
Hugh Trevor-Roper

Oxford Press has just published a new volume of 100 letters by Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914-2003), a historian and public intellectual (who slipped on the banana peel of the bogus Hitler Diaries). This is an excerpt of a letter from Trevor-Roper to Max Perutz, December 23, 1989. Perutz was a British-Austrian scientist who escaped the Nazis.

It seems to me that Israel is driven, by ‘reason of state’, to behave in the Middle East, politically, as Prussia behaved in Europe.  I was last in Israel soon after the war of 1967–when Sinai, the Gaza strip and the West Bank were secured.  I was taken to all the conquered areas and was deeply shocked by the aggressive chauvinism of the Israeli officials whom I met: they boasted, uninhibitedly, about their brutal methods of keeping the Arab population in awe.  I recalled my experiences in Nazi Germany in 1935, after which I did not revisit Germany until 1945; and I have not wanted to revisit Israel since.  I was also very struck by the defiant militarism of the national day celebrations in Jerusalem; a country the size of Wales advertising its armed strength in tanks, armoured cars, war-planes sufficient for a great power:  a great militarist power.

Note, the actual letter says 1968 for 1967, and editors Richard Davenport-Hines and Adam Sisman corrected it in a footnote. (And, thanks to an anonymous friend. We depend on anonymous friends.)

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A true moral giant, able to see evil clearly for what it is.

Phil. Your new hero seems to have been a ‘Class A’ prick. “Sisman portrays Trevor-Roper as more Whig than Tory; an anticommunist but no cold warrior, he deplored McCarthyite witch hunts and maintained friendly relations with Marxist historians. He dragged his feet on admitting women to Peterhouse College and harbored several petty bigotries, including against Scots and Catholics. Needlessly spiking his writing with anti-Catholic jabs, he antagonized the Church and its defenders like the novelist… Read more »

/ I was also very struck by the defiant militarism of the national day celebrations in Jerusalem; a country the size of Wales advertising its armed strength in tanks, armoured cars, war-planes sufficient for a great power: a great militarist power./

I say Philip oldboy.
How dare those Jews in their pitiful little country boast military might
when our once great empire lies in ruins.

Israel can try to outlaw the word Nazi, I-Firstdom can rail against comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany but the indisputable truth is zionism and nazism share a similar “mentality”.

Trevor Roper was most probably unable to face the unrelenting waves of chutzpah mixed with horseshit that would have greeted him upon his arrival in Israel