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History & Politics

Ettinger’s Redemption Ettinger’s Redemption
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

I am not sure I would have read Shmuel Ettinger if the award-winning Israeli film Footnote, which centers on the relationship between a father and son who are both members of the Talmud department of the Hebrew University, hadn’t whetted my appetite for gossip about that august institution.
Hans Bethe and the Problem of “Jewish Genius” Hans Bethe and the Problem of “Jewish Genius”
Monday, October 15, 2012 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Few topics make Jews more uncomfortable than the question of “Jewish genius.”  While Jews happily point to the extraordinary scientific accomplishments of their co-religionists, discussion of the genetic or cultural basis of these achievements causes squirming and denials.
Strategic Investment in Israel’s New War Strategic Investment in Israel’s New War
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by Ronen Shoval | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Foreign governments, acting thoughtfully and strategically, fund dozens of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that form a flourishing anti-Israel movement within Israel itself.
At Last, Zion At Last, Zion
Friday, September 21, 2012 by Charles Krauthammer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Milan Kundera once defined a small nation as "one whose very existence may be put in question at any moment; a small nation can disappear, and it knows it."  Israel is a small country. This is not to say that extinction is its fate. Only that it can be.
The Soul of the Sabra The Soul of the Sabra
Thursday, September 6, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

For those who have been taught—by Peter Beinart or some other recent chronicler of Israel’s history—that Zionism only began to go awry after 1967, Patrick Tyler’s new book might come as a shock.  Israel’s aggressive territorial ambitions didn’t emerge after the Six-Day War, Tyler argues, but antedated that (to his mind) avoidable conflict by more than a decade. 
Moravian Morals for Montreal Moravian Morals for Montreal
Friday, August 31, 2012 by Allan Nadler | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

When Montreal police entered the home of Amir Khadir, a member of Quebec’s parliament, they found a curiously revealing objet d’art: a parody of Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, with Khadir, in the position of Lady Liberty, standing triumphantly over the corpse of Quebec premier Jean Charest.
Are Day School Vouchers the Answer? Are Day School Vouchers the Answer?
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Is Jewish education a parental or communal responsibility?  The privately funded heder, with its melamed, or tutor, emphasizes the parental aspect.  The publicly maintained talmud torah, or congregational school, emphasizes the communal obligation.
How the Sinai Peacekeeping Force Staged a Military Coup in Fiji How the Sinai Peacekeeping Force Staged a Military Coup in Fiji
Monday, August 27, 2012 by Diana Muir Appelbaum | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood black comedy. A tiny, poor, but democratic country decides to help its young men get jobs by joining international peacekeeping forces in the Middle East.
Lambs to the Slaughter Lambs to the Slaughter
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 by Ben Cohen | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Last week, the normally cautious Jewish community of Amsterdam took the unusual step of describing a member of the Dutch parliament as a "serious danger to Jews in the Netherlands and consequently Europe as a whole."
Inventing Pluralist America Inventing Pluralist America
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 by Kevin Zdiara | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With the United States of 2012 more culturally diverse than ever, it is tempting to think that the country’s social pluralism was foreordained.  After all, aren’t we a nation of immigrants?
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Editors' Picks
Warsaw: 70 Years On David Samuels, Tablet. "I was never so afraid as when I helped Jews," recalls Polish rescuer and statesman Władysław Bartoszewski.  "Despite the fear, one has to do what has to be done.  The right thing."
Before Marx Became Marxist John Gray, New York Review of Books. "The man who would write the Communist Manifesto just five years later was advocating the use of the army to suppress a communist workers' uprising!"
Education, Education, Education Maristella Botticini, Zvi Eckstein, PBS. "The literacy of the Jewish people, coupled with a set of contract-enforcement institutions, gave the Jews a comparative advantage in occupations such as crafts, trade, and moneylending."
Living in Anne Frank's Shadow Neil Tweedie, Telegraph. "Otto would talk continuously about Anne, and I got to know her," recalls Eva Schloss, Anne Frank's stepsister.  "It was his obsession, the reason for existence."
Memories of Maggie Jonathan Sacks, BBC. "In public, her leadership style was more like Moses than Aaron—more conviction and confrontation than compromise and conciliation.  But we need them both." (Audio)
Still Blaming the Jews Richard Wolin, Chronicle of Higher Education. German Egyptologist Jan Assmann claims that Judaism disrupted the ancient Middle East by inventing "religious exclusivity"—and calls his theory "a historical analysis of anti-Semitism."
Does Vichy Live On? Robert O. Paxton, New York Review of Books. France's wartime Vichy regime, which collaborated with the Nazis, is often viewed as a historical aberration.  But a new book argues that Vichy shaped modern France.
With the Zionists in Gallipoli Natan Slifkin, Rationalist Judaism. Having commanded both the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion during World War I, Colonel John Patterson spent the rest of his life fighting the British establishment for a Jewish homeland.
Thatcher's Other Special Relationship Shimon Cohen, Jewish Chronicle. A confidant and adviser throughout her time in office, Margaret Thatcher said of Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits: "He was my friend—I relied on him and miss him so."
Helga's Diary Adam Kirsch, New Republic. A child in Prague in the 1930s, Helga Weiss kept a diary of life under Nazi rule and her subsequent experiences in Terezin and Auschwitz.  Now, 70 years later, she has published it.