Topics: Main Topic: Other, Antisemitism, Islamophobia, Jewish - Muslim Relations, Representation, Comparisons with other communities
Abstract: In this contribution, I examine the Catholic political practice of “intercessions” (shtadlanut) as a means to control and manage relations between state power and Jewish communities by means of a privileged elite. While governmental techniques or mechanisms of minority management are only part of a broader question of majority–minority power relations, the theological-political roots of such “management” strategies are often overlooked because the problem is assumed to be secular. In my analysis of shtadlanut, I show how Jewish communities were internally divided between “good” and “bad”, “managed” by the ruling powers, and homogenized. It is precisely this type of enforced collaboration with power, in combination with reduced agency and de-politicization, that I claim goes beyond the “Jewish Question”. Rather, we must turn our gaze on Europe and consider how, and why, it continues to make 'others' into problems. By doing so, we can challenge the frame of the contemporary "Muslim Question".