benjaminista (benjaminista) wrote in roma_antiqua,

The Great Semitic Revolts

From State of Exile:

Historically, the worst mistake the Jews ever made was revolting against the Roman empire. It's a comparison no one wants to make, but the Jews were the Muslims of the ancient world order: the only ones, by virtue of religious zealotry, not to accept Pax Romana. Nowadays the Muslims refuse to accept Pax Americana, and for the same kind of reasons as the Jews refused to accept Roman rule: fear of cultural assimilation (Hellenism, American popular culture), anger at corrupt client kings (Herod, the Saudi royal family) and offended religious sensibilities (Roman soldiers in Jerusalem, American soldiers in Arabia). The difference of course is that the Romans so crushed the fighting spirit of the Jews that they became virtual pacifists for the next millennia. Only in the twentieth century did the Jews regain enough martial spirit to take back Palestine (the name the Romans gave Judea after dispersing the Jews). Yet now the rules have changed and martial spirit doesn't prove national legitimacy, but detracts from it. The Jews, with precision timing, decided to embrace master morality precisely when slave morality began sweeping the globe.

If the Jews hadn't revolted against Rome there would have been no exile, no Palestine and quite possibly no Christianity, since the calamitous fall of Jerusalem bolstered Christian claims to be the true Israel and destroyed the base of the Jewish Christians who might have kept the breakaway cult within the fold. Yet Jewish nationalists still grovel before Masada, the symbolic representation of the biggest error the Jews ever made from a nationalist perspective. Paganism was great for the Jews. We weren't viewed as Christ-killers or infidels; just as one bizarre sect among many. What's wrong with a little Hellenistic influence? At least Pax Romana introduced its subject peoples to philosophy and the value of exercise. Pax Americana has introduced its subject peoples to reality television and the value of a double cheeseburger. The Muslim revolt is just as futile and bloody as Masada, but since America can't steamroll Mecca and put up a shopping mall like the Romans would have, it will go on for much longer. What is it about Semites that makes suicide seem like such a great form of resistance anyway?
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