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

Forty Years after Israel Ceded the Sinai, the Territory Remains a Source of Trouble for Egypt

Last month, Egypt celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which it had lost in the Six-Day War. Since then Cairo has not used the territory to launch attacks against the Jewish state, but it has once again become a bastion of terror—most of which has been associated with Islamic State and aimed at the Egyptian government. Jonny Essa and Ofir Winter examine the situation in the Sinai, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s recent speech on the subject, and the implications for Israel:

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Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Egypt, General Sisi, Islamic State, Sinai Peninsula