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Ben Gurion Demands Abolition of 300-year Ban on Spinoza

The abolition of the excommunication declared by the Amsterdam Jewish community about 300 years ago on the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, and the publication of all his works, is demanded by David Ben Gurion, retired Israel Premier, in his first article written in Sdeh Boker, his residence in the Negev. The article is published in Davar, a pro-government Laborite daily newspaper.

Mr. Ben Gurion suggests that the Hebrew University should sponsor the publication of the works of Spinoza. He points out that just as the excommunication declared by Athens on Socrates could not prevent the Greek philosopher from being recognized as first thinker of Hellenic times, so the excommunication of Spinoza by the Jews of Amsterdam can not evade the fact that Spinoza was Jewish.

Mr. Ben Gurion urged that the publication of Spinoza’s works should be timed for the 300th anniversary of his excommunication, in 1956.

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