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In this classic 1897 essay by Ahad Ha’am—pen name of Asher Ginsberg—the early Zionist thinker provides an analysis of the material and moral conditions of Eastern and Western Jews and calls for a renaissance of the Jewish spirit and Jewish culture. The strongest reason for Zionism is not economic but moral. Ahad Ha’am stresses the […]

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Is Israel’s Jewish identity in tension with its democratic character? Critics of Israel claim that the Jewish state sacrifices its democratic aspirations in order to preserve its distinctive Jewish mission. In this article from 2010, Israeli law scholar and former Knesset member Amnon Rubinstein concedes that Israel’s liberal democracy would be enhanced by strengthening its […]

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Israeli society is threatened by an ideological, cultural, and political division that separates the religious and secular communities. Deeply held and diverging beliefs about God and the state are expressed through policy disagreements concerning Judea and Samaria, the allocation of welfare services, the power of religious courts, and much else. Despite these political differences, and […]

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Press play below to listen to the podcast, download it in the iTunes Store, or stream it via Stitcher.  In this podcast, Eric Cohen speaks with Bret Stephens, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal, about three of his essays that assess political life in Israel and America and that analyze the challenges of the Middle […]

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The State of Israel

July 11, 2016 | By: Leo Strauss

While today Israel enjoys wide support on both sides of the American political aisle, this was not always the case. Late in 1956 the eminent political theorist Leo Strauss took the unusual step of commenting on contemporary political affairs to come to Israel’s defense. Strauss was moved to write by attacks against the nascent Jewish state […]

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How does today’s anti-Zionist sentiment compare to historical anti-Semitism? In this 2013 article from Commentary, Robert Wistrich compared the similarities and differences between the two. In both today’s vilification of Israel and traditional anti-Semitism, the Jews are seen as a menace to peace and order. Throughout time, the ideological hatred of the Jewish people has […]

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Over the last decade, as the United States has reconsidered its role in the world and its place in the Middle East, academics and ideologues alike have turned their attention to America’s relationship with Israel and the power of an “Israel lobby.” Many American Christians and Jews are eager for a closer alliance between the […]

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Press play below to listen to the podcast, download it in the iTunes Store, or stream it via Stitcher.  In this podcast, Eric Cohen sits down with the legendary editor of Commentary, Norman Podhoretz, to discuss his 2007 essay, “Jerusalem: The Scandal of Particularity.” The ancient capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem, has been the essential center of […]

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As recently as the Cold War, the center-right and the center-left overcame their differences on other issues to oppose the enemies of the open society. In a lecture to alumni and guests of the Tikvah Fund, Standpoint editor Daniel Johnson argues that the center is failing to hold and that illiberalism’s many forms are on […]

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Biblical history is the fount of the Jewish people’s collective memory, and the editors and redactors of the Hebrew Bible strategically deployed this history for a distinctly political purpose. In the pages of Azure, biblical scholar Jacob Wright argued that, in addition to celebrating the glory of military victory, the editors of the Hebrew Bible […]

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