Tom Stoppard’s Conservative Reckoning with His Jewish Past

March 20 2020

In his recent play Leopoldstadt, Tom Stoppard tells the story of two upper-middle-class Viennese Jewish families during the first half of the 20th century. Stoppard—who was born Tomáš Straussler in the Czech city of Zlin in 1937, but did not learn until the 1990s that he had not one Jewish grandparent but four, and numerous relatives killed in the Holocaust—based the play loosely on his own family’s story. In his review, Wynn Wheldon stresses that the play puts on display Stoppard’s small-c conservatism (a term Stoppard himself has embraced), which has long been an aspect of his work. But it also tackles something entirely new for this celebrated dramatist: the irreducibility of Jewishness, the persistence of anti-Semitism, and his personal family heritage:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Austrian Jewry, Conservatism, Holocaust, Jewish history, Theater, Zionism

Fearing Abandonment by the U.S., the Saudis Look to Russia and China

Sept. 15 2021

Saudi Arabia has been in the news this week because of the recent release of a 2016 FBI report on the role of its subjects in the September 11 terrorist attacks. But there is other, more timely news from the country that the press has largely ignored: a military cooperation agreement concluded last month between Riyadh, a traditional U.S ally, and Moscow, a supporter of the anti-American Iran-Syria axis. Ilan Berman comments:

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Read more at Newsweek

More about: Abraham Accords, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy