British politician and later Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli quarreled often with Irish MP Daniel O’Connell. The pair were to fight a duel, but the police stepped in beforehand. In a heated debate in parliament, O’Connell referred to Disraeli’s Jewish ancestry in disparaging terms. What was Disraeli’s response?

Answer: ‘Yes, I am a Jew and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.’

Source: The Lion and Unicorn – Gladstone and Disraeli by Richard Aldous; General Historical Texts

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