In the years of high imperialism at the beginning of the twentieth century what bearing did the British Empire have on the Jews, or Jews on the British Empire? The silence of scholarship might lead us to answer ‘not very much’. Concerned with the legacy of Jewish emancipation, the dynamics of social integration, the challenge of large-scale migration, and the representation of Jewish difference in political argument, historians of the Jews have barely touched on the subject. Historians of empire, for their part, have had other preoccupations too. Perhaps the identification of imperialism with Jewish finance by J. A. Hobson and other radical critics of empire in the 1890s and early 1900s, as well as the Jew-baiting rhetoric of some critics, has rendered the relationship of Jews to the Empire a difficult problem for later generations to address
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