Monday, September 18, 2006

Jewish pirates

They're Jewish, and they're pirates! Many of the old-time pirates of history were Jews, often motivated by the wish for vengeance for the horrors committed against their fellow Jews by the Spanish Inquisition.

For example, Jean Lafitte, also known as "The Corsair", was a pirate who commanded an army of 1000 men during the War of 1812. After leaving New Orleans, he established a base in Texas, and spent much of the Mexican war of independence raiding Spanish ships. He was also a Sephardic Jew and a refugee from Spain, and his maternal grandfather was put to death by the Spanish Inquisition for "Judaizing". Yet when Hollywood came to tell his story, in the 1958 movie starring Yul Brynner, his Jewish heritage was completely ignored.

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