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A World With Enemies

July 23, 2014

It has been a great ambition of modern political thought to bring about a world without enemies. But Hamas’s ruthless quest to slaughter Israeli civilians and to reap the public-relations boon of Palestinian deaths is a reminder that both the civilized world, and Israel more specifically, still has enemies. Two years ago, after Operation Pillar […]

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As part of the advanced institute on “Liberalism, Conservatism, and the Jews,” Tikvah hosted the legendary editor of Commentary, Norman Podhoretz. Podhoretz has been a partisan of the left, the right, and, most of all, the Jews. In an interview with Tikvah’s executive director Eric Cohen, Podhoretz discussed his life’s work and his ideological transformation.

Watch here.

At our Advanced Institute on “War and Human Nature,” we hosted Yale University diplomat in residence and career foreign minister Charles Hill. Mr. Hill’s session began from the insight that the distinctively human quality – the essence of human nature – is the capacity for reasoned speech. In light of this recognition, Mr. Hill focused on the rhetoric of war and peace that has typified past cultures and our own, analyzing different strategies that have been employed to govern and focus man’s inescapable penchant toward war, and inviting us to wonder how we, who have developed a rhetoric of war’s eradication, can understand the continued threats of bloodshed and battle. Watch Mr. Hill’s session on “War and Human Consciousness” here:

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Since 1945, American power has been the principal guarantor of world order. Nearly 70 years on, what is America’s place in today’s global order, and do we stand at the dawn of a new and more chaotic age? How do the arrangements and understandings through which war is generally avoided, commerce generally protected, and the cause of civilization generally advanced, cease to function? Do natural and political events that seem unconnected actually relate, and together, portend a coming global disorder?

Watch as Bret Stephens, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, deputy editorial page editor at the Wall Street Journal and author of its “Global View” column, analyzes the key threats to the global order today in conversation with Tikvah Executive Director Eric Cohen.

Watch the video here.

What did the architects of American’s democracy agenda get right, and what did they get wrong? What do more recent developments teach us about hopes for democracy in the Arab world and their place in American foreign policy?

Earlier this month, Tikvah’s Jonathan Silver hosted former deputy national security advisor and Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Elliott Abrams for an in-depth reconsideration of America’s democracy agenda. 

Watch the event here.

Reviled as a fascist demagogue by his great rival David Ben-Gurion, venerated by Israel’s underclass, the first Israeli to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a proud Jew but not a conventionally religious one, Menachem Begin was both complex and controversial. Begin’s Herut party led the opposition to the Labor governments of Ben-Gurion and his successors until the surprising parliamentary victory of 1977 made him Israel’s Prime Minister.

Watch as Daniel Gordis, author of Menachem Begin: The Battle for Israel’s Soul, discusses Begin’s life, political vision, and his abiding legacy in Zionist thought, Israeli politics, and the Middle East today.

Watch the event here.

The United States has been a strong supporter of Israel. Is that likely to continue? How do changes over the last few years in the Middle East affect the US-Israel relationship? To what extent are different parts of the American public, the American Jewish community, and the American foreign policy establishment still inspired to stand with Israel? Indeed, what does it mean to “stand with Israel?”

Watch William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, in conversation with Tikvah’s Director of Academic Programs Jonathan Silver, analyze Israel and the future of American foreign policy. The event was recorded before a live audience on January 27, 2014 at The Tikvah Center in New York City. For information on other upcoming Tikvah events, please check our Events page.

Watch the event here.

Last week, Brookings Institution senior fellow Michael Doran taught in our ongoing Advanced Institute entitled “Moments of Decision, Great Debates.” His subject was the 1948 Israeli war of independence and the fierce debate that surrounds it. While he was at the Tikvah Center, he sat down with Tikvah’s Executive Director Eric Cohen for an exclusive interview. The discussion ranged from parallels between the Eisenhower and Obama administrations’ approach to the Middle East, to the principles of American foreign policy under President Bush and President Obama to Dr. Doran’s analysis of contemporary crises in Syria and Iran.

“We have ceded to Iran an enormous amount of leverage. Iran has given up no leverage over us whatsoever. With respect to their nuclear program, they are at first and goal. What they have agreed to with this agreement is to stay at first and goal… the leverage that they have over us is constant.”

But, he adds,  it’s not the end of the world… Listen in to see why.

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One winter after an unusually heavy run of funerals, the rabbi of our Montreal synagogue reminded the congregation that in traditional Judaism, dying was only a minhag (custom); it was not a mitzva. I would like to extend this excellent observation to political catastrophe, which is likewise not a Jewish obligation. Like many other Jews […]

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The novelist Saul Bellow is fond of recalling a political incident from his youth. Saul, then an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, was, like so many of us in the 1930s, powerfully attracted to the ideologies of socialism, Marxism, Leninism and Trotskyism, as well as to the idea of “the Revolution.” He and a […]

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