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History & Politics

Israel and the Antipodes Israel and the Antipodes
Monday, August 15, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

During the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, a boulder smashed into a car, killing 23-year-old Israeli Ofer Mizrahi.  The death toll from that earthquake was 181, including two Israelis besides Mizrahi.
The Challenge of Eilat The Challenge of Eilat
Friday, August 12, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a country where the sky is mostly blue, the southernmost city of Eilat has nonetheless laid claim—with justification—to being Israel's sun capital. Reliably good weather does not, however, solve all problems.
The Palestinian Mandela? The Palestinian Mandela?
Tuesday, August 9, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

To his Israeli backers, Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti is the "Palestinian [Nelson] Mandela."  That image—of a principled, graying freedom fighter with the courage to move his people toward reconciliation—is promoted by political and cultural figures on the Israeli Left.
Radio Israel Radio Israel
Monday, August 1, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Radio in Israel is as ubiquitous as hummus, falafel, and politics. During their morning and evening commutes, motorists as well as bus passengers (captive to the listening tastes of their drivers) are likely to be hearing either one of seven Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) affiliated stations or one of two Army Radio outlets.
No Room in Zion? No Room in Zion?
Thursday, July 28, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Tent camps are appearing across Israel in protest over the high cost of housing. The high cost of everything in Israel (recall the cottage cheese boycott earlier this year) has led to widespread economic and social dissatisfaction, with otherwise serious commentators making overheated analogies to Tahrir Square and the Arab Spring.
Minorities in the IDF Minorities in the IDF
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Recently, while driving by the Israeli settlement of Nokdim (where Avigdor Lieberman lives), I picked up a hitchhiking soldier. We started chatting, and I asked the soldier his name. "Mustafa," he said. "You're a Muslim?" I asked. "Yes," he answered, "from Haifa."
The Loyalties of the Sephardim The Loyalties of the Sephardim
Friday, July 22, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a recent Haaretz column, Gideon Levy, the radical leftist polemicist, sounded the warning that Israel's religious Zionists—"the knitted skullcaps"—have joined hands with the ultra-Orthodox and the Sephardim to form "a united tribe of zealots."
Fueling Israel’s Future Fueling Israel’s Future
Thursday, July 21, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Are abundant natural resources a blessing, or a curse? Israel, thus far burdened with a crippling dependency on imported oil and gas, has had astonishing success in developing its human resources—so much so that it has flourished economically even in the current global recession.
The Good Fence The Good Fence
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Just about anything that makes Israel more secure is opposed by someone: either by its enemies and their enablers, or by its fair-weather friends in the international arena, or by dissident elements within the Jewish community—and sometimes by all three. A case in point is Israel's West Bank security barrier.
David Mamet’s Homecoming David Mamet’s Homecoming
Monday, July 18, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A new book by the playwright, director, and author David Mamet is by definition a significant literary event—but to judge from its critical reception, The Secret Knowledge is not only a bad book but possibly an evil one. Why such heat?
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Editors' Picks
The Merchants of Manchester Derek Taylor, Jewish Chronicle. Barred from the guilds, Jews in Victorian Britain entered new industries, looked for gaps in the market—and built some of the country's most recognizable brands.
Obedient Belgium Cnaan Lipshiz, JTA. While Madeleine Cornet, sister of collaborator Leon Degrelle, sheltered Jews, Belgian officials willingly complied with the Nazis.  But it has taken 70 years for the country to admit it.
No End to Elections , BBC. Hours after polls closed in Israel, Jordan is holding its first parliamentary elections under a reformed electoral system—in the hope of preventing another Islamist revolution. 
Josephus the Jew Benjamin Balint, Wall Street Journal. Yigael Yadin called Josephus “a great historian and a bad Jew.”  But a new book argues that if Josephus was a traitor, “it was to a reckless nationalism he never favored, not to Judaism.”
Mao's Jewish Lieutenant Jonathan Margolis, Financial Times. Revered in China as a communist founder, Sidney Rittenberg rose to be a Red Guard leader in the Cultural Revolution, in which millions died.  Now he is a successful businessman in Arizona.
The Wrong Sort of Austrian Austin Petersen, Commentator. Ron Paul's accolytes idealize liberty, and treat Jewish economists, like Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, as figureheads.  So, what attracts neo-Nazis to his cause?
Brothers in Arms Michele Alperin, JNS. Shut out of prestigious colleges in north-east America, Jewish academics fleeing wartime Europe found refuge in black colleges—as a forthcoming exhibit in Philadelphia reveals.
Architect of Lies Gilbert King, Smithsonian. Claiming to know nothing of Jewish slave labor in the factories he controlled, Albert Speer escaped Nuremberg with a 20-year jail sentence.  But his papers show how well he deceived the court.
The Children Britain Didn't Save Fred Barschak, Jewish Chronicle. The Kindertransport saved 10,000 from Nazi territory in the late 1930s.  But when it came to rescuing 1,800 Jewish children from Vichy France in 1942, Britain turned its back.
Gangs of Detroit Naomi Sandweiss, Tablet. What gangster Mickey Cohen was to Los Angeles, the Purple Gang was to Detroit—"a Jewish gang feared by even Al Capone’s Chicago mob."