Raphael Patai — The Jewish Zionist intellectual source of provocative anti-Islam film
Whether deliberate or not, both Raimondo and Hersh fail to provide their readers with some crucial background information on this influential “cultural anthropologist.”Born Ervin György Patai in Budapest, Hungary in 1910, Raphael Patai grew up in a prominent Jewish Zionist family. His father authored numerous Zionist writings, including a biography of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. József Patai also founded a Zionist organization in Hungary that supported the settlement of Jews in the British Mandate of Palestine, where Raphael and his parents moved in the 1930s. In 1936, the younger Patai received the first doctorate awarded by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Unlike many of his fellow colonists, Patai was not a secular Jew: in the late 1930s he had been ordained at the Budapest Rabbinical Seminary. Later, he served as the secretary of the Haifa Technion, Israel’s oldest university, which, as itswebsite notes, “played a key role in laying the country’s infrastructure and establishing its crucial defense and high-tech industries.” Yet in 1947, a year before the creation of Israel, the successful young Zionist moved to New York, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1952. However, by going on to produce and promote such works as “The Arab Mind” in his new home — the world’s leading military power — Patai perhaps served the interests of the expansionist Jewish state far better than if he had remained in Palestine.
For anyone who wants to know who might be “deliberately setting a fire in the Middle East,” Raphael Patai’s ideological background provides some very strong clues.Update: Raphael Patai was Professor of Anthropology at Dropsie College of Hebrew and Cognate Learning, Philadelphia from 1948-57. He was not the only prominent Zionist on Dropsie College’s staff. Benzion Netanyahu, the late father of the current Israeli Prime Minister, earned his doctorate from Dropsie College during the 1940s while serving as secretary to Vladimir Jabotinsky, who was seeking to build American support for militant Zionism. During the 1950s and ’60s, Netanyahu lived alternately in Israel and in the United States, including a return to Dropsie, first as professor of Hebrew language and literature, and chairman of the department, (1957–1966), then professor of medieval Jewish history and Hebrew literature, (1966–1968)
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