The Frankfurt School at War


A collection of reports on wartime Germany sheds light on the Marxist Jewish refugees hired by the U.S. government to explain Hitler and the Nazis.

Read more at Foreign Affairs

More about: Adolf Hitler, Frankfurt School, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Germany, Marxism, Nazism, United States, USSR


The President’s Revealing Comments on Iran’s Anti-Semitism


In a lengthy interview last week with the columnist Jeffrey Goldberg, Barack Obama spoke about the Iran deal—and the Iranian regime’s official anti-Semitism. The president’s comments, Armin Rosen notes, reveal a fundamental defect in his thinking about the motives of the Islamic Republic’s motives:

A nuclear deal [would] be signed with an Iranian regime that promotes an intensely anti-Western and, as President Obama readily admits, anti-Semitic state ideology. Goldberg wondered how the president could believe that anti-Semitism was inherently irrational, while also believing that the Tehran regime was itself rational.

President Obama’s answer offered unintentional insight into how he views his Iranian counterparts. “Well, the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival,” he said. . . .

This may be true enough, but it discounts how anti-Semitism could inform the regime’s strategic and economic considerations. After all, in spreading anti-Semitism and supporting terrorism against Jewish and Israeli targets, the regime invited sanctions and a general isolation that’s all but locked the country out of valuable consumer markets. . . .

[Nevertheless, the president] believes that the Iranian government’s anti-Semitism is subject to the same rational cost-benefit calculus as any other aspects of a nation’s behavior, even if anti-Semitism is itself irrational.

Whether this is true gets to the heart of the U.S.’s nuclear diplomacy. . . . Barack Obama’s years of Iran nuclear diplomacy will be a waste . . . if Iran’s top leadership can’t leave ideology aside [in favor of] a rational and unselfish decision about what the country’s future should look like.

Read more at Business Insider

Palestinianism, Islamicization, and the Jews


In a column written shortly before his death last week, the renowned scholar Robert Wistrich explained the roots of 21st-century hatred of Jews:

[T]oday’s anti-Semitism is a product of a new civic religion that could be termed “Palestinianism.” The official Palestinian narrative seeks to supplant Israel with a judenrein Palestine from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. In the case of Hamas, this intent is absolutely explicit. With Fatah, it is partly veiled for tactical reasons.

But when it comes to the Palestinian ideology and the millions around the world who support it, virtually all actions of self-defense by Israel are instantly classified as “genocide,” demonized, and treated as part of a sinister Jewish-imperialist conspiracy. Not surprisingly, then, pro-Palestine demonstrations, beginning in the summer of 2014, were often accompanied by ugly chants of “Death to the Jews” and anti-Semitic incidents. . . .

Since the turn of the 21st century, anti-Semitism has undergone a process of growing “Islamicization,” linked to the terrorist holy war against Jews and other non-Muslims with its truly lethal consequences. . . . The Islamists are the spearhead of current anti-Semitism, aided and abetted by the moral relativism of all-too-many naïve Western liberals.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

Is Al Jazeera America Coming Undone?


The American branch of the Qatar-sponsored news network has experienced a series of setbacks, including a spate of firings, a lawsuit by a disgruntled former employee, and allegations of endemic workplace sexism and (unsurprisingly) anti-Semitism. Oren Kessler and David A. Weinberg write about the network’s larger problem:

Al Jazeera Arabic—the flagship of the Al Jazeera conglomerate—has long served as a mouthpiece for Qatar’s Islamist-driven regional agenda. During last summer’s Gaza war, the channel’s coverage seemed taken from Hamas’s own playbook (an unsurprising fact given Qatari support for the terrorist group), describing all Palestinian casualties, whether civilians or militants, as “martyrs.” Similarly, an article from February about last year’s slaughter of worshippers with a gun and a meat cleaver in a Jerusalem synagogue described the killers as “martyrs.”

Al Jazeera is by far the most-watched channel in the Arab world, and Al Jazeera English (the network’s English-language channel for everywhere but America) is available in 140 countries, including every European market.

But the network has never quite found a market in America. It ranked a dismal 104 out of 106 among ad-supported cable channels and, in the first quarter of 2015, averaged only 35,000 viewers. . . . Americans, it seems, simply aren’t buying what Al Jazeera is selling.

Read more at New York Post


How Farming Can Help Us Understand the Torah


Sarah Marx, like most American Jews, grew up with little exposure either to agriculture or to the Jewish tradition. To her surprise, a summer on a farm after her first year of college led her to discover Judaism:

Maimonides . . . writes: “When a person contemplates [God’s] wondrous and great deeds and creations and appreciates His infinite wisdom that surpasses all comparison, he will immediately love, praise, and glorify Him, yearning with tremendous desire to know His great name.” For Maimonides, himself a doctor and astronomer, exposure to nature was an imperative for Jews. . . .

Strangely enough, the first reading of my sophomore year—the first assignment after my farm summer—was Genesis. The coming weeks introduced me to the other four books of Moses, and then David’s mesmerizing rise to kingship, and then the Psalms and many of the prophetic accounts. . . .

The stories were laden with slices of agrarian life: Isaac waiting for Rebecca in his field in the early afternoon, Jacob tricking Laban by means of a flock of sheep, Ruth scooping up bunches of golden grain in the afternoon breeze. They provided me with language to talk about the divinity that I’d found imbued in the natural world—a language that evokes God through physicality and relationships, through fruit trees bearing fruit and fathers and kings and whirlwinds in the desert, that trains us to recognize the order of creation in our own fields and backyards. Most powerfully, they presented a theology tied inextricably to land, not only an abstract spiritual realm but a particular land with a particular history, botany, and collective memory. The land in Torah isn’t passive; it has its own connection to God and to us, despises the blood it soaks up when human beings kill one another, [and] requires a Shabbat of its own every seventh year.

Read more at Tablet

Goebbels: The Man Who Loved Hitler


Paul Josef Goebbels spent his early adulthood searching for religious truth; he found the salvation he sought when he met Hitler. Algis Valiunas reviews Peter Longerich’s biography of the Nazi Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda and compares its subject to another leading figure in Hitler’s regime:

Goebbels adored Hitler and loved his work. . . . Hannah Arendt never said so directly, but her account of Adolf Eichmann conveyed a man who supposedly took no pleasure in the killing of Jews or in seeing them dead. . . . That is what Arendt called banal, as though such indifference deserved a place in hell less hot than that reserved for the maniacal true believers. Goebbels was a consummate bureaucrat, but he was also one of the maniacs. The Führer occupied the god-shaped hole in what passed for the proud underling’s soul, and Goebbels never again felt a pang for his youthful infatuation with the peaceable Galilean. He revered the beast in man, wished that human beings could summon more of it, and delighted in the thought of the predator perfected for killing.

Read more at Commentary