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By David Nirenberg

A magisterial background, starting from antiquity to the current, that unearths anti-Judaism to be a style of suggestion deeply embedded within the Western tradition.

There is a frequent tendency to treat anti-Judaism - no matter if expressed in an off-the-cuff comment or carried out via pogrom or extermination crusade - as by some means unprecedented: an unlucky indicator of non-public prejudice or the stunning consequence of an extremist ideology married to power.

But, as David Nirenberg argues during this ground-breaking research, to restrict anit-Judaism to the margins of our tradition is to be dangerously complacent. Anti-Judaism isn't really an irrational closet within the great edifice of Western concept, yet particularly one of many simple instruments with which that edifice used to be developed.

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Both he and Trumpeldor were well aware that C and D Troops consisted mainly of Alexandrian Jews and were led by Lieutenants Maclaren, Carver and I. Rollo, three very inexperienced officers. Despite his protests, Patterson was informed that C and D Troops were urgently required by ANZAC and that, since the main objective was to link up the British and ANZAC forces within a few days, his objections were overruled – with disastrous consequences. The ANZAC landings began poorly, with the initial assault wave being landed north of their planned destination, and the subsequent confusion and disruption combined with the narrow beaches and fierce Turkish resistance to create a desperate situation.

The British Jewry Book of Honour contains a nominal roll of 727 members of the Mule Corps (inclusive of replacements), but some of the names are duplicated and corrupted in the manner described by Harold Pollins. A count of Sephardi type names contained in this roll indicates that some 15 to 20 per cent of the total were of non-Russian origin, and therefore confirms the general picture in the available literature. With the exception of Patterson and Trumpeldor, neither the British nor Jewish officers had any previous military service, which had severe implications for the conduct of the unit in combat, particularly in view of the brief period of training – less than one month – that was afforded to the corps.

His forthright and abrupt dismissal of any opposition, and failure to listen to the arguments of those that opposed him, help to explain the difficulties he experienced in dealing with Allied diplomats. It is easy to appreciate from his writing how his fervour could have been – and was – interpreted as fanaticism, in fascinating contrast with the conduct and style of his friend and colleague Chaim Weizmann. -Col. Patterson is clearly discernible through the latter’s portrayal of the events and circumstances surrounding his own participation with the Zion Mule Corps and the Legion.

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