May 8, 2013
"Is it Good for the Jews?" is a generations-old criterion for making sense of world events. Wars, revolutions, natural disasters, something colossal has happened, at the bottom line we want to know the only thing that matters - is it, or is it not? For the occasion of the abdication of Dutch Queen Beatrix and the inauguration of her son Willem-Alexander, I translated with the help of my friend David Nortman a 1890 article from Ha-Melitz reporting the death of King Willem III of the Netherlands. I found this article randomly while looking for materials on the Jewish migration overseas, and thought that it was worth presenting as a pure demonstration of this analytic tool in action, a hilarious combination of cosmopolitanism and provincialism. It reads as "The King is Dead, Long live the… Wait, is it Good for the Jews?".