In a New Exhibit, the Jewish Museum Avoids the Word Jew

During a recent visit to New York City’s Jewish Museum, Menachem Wecker noticed something odd about an art exhibit titled Louise Bourgeois, Freud’s Daughter:

I viewed every artwork and read each label, . . . without learning whether the artist was born, or identified as, Jewish. Given that “Jewish” appears in the museum name, I continue to find this shocking. Would the Air Force Museum remain mum on whether the subject of a massive exhibit ever flew a plane?

Known for her mammoth, arachnoid sculptures, Bourgeois (1911-2010) was also not Sigmund Freud’s daughter—despite the exhibit title. The latter, incidentally, was born Sigismund Schlomo Freud, but the Jewish Museum also neglects sharing his Jewishness with viewers.

As I navigated the show in the museum’s second floor galleries, I allowed for the possibility I missed a hint about Bourgeois’s faith. Quite a bit of sleuthing prior to the show had turned up empty, so I asked a guard if the exhibit shared anywhere whether Bourgeois was Jewish. “Oh no,” he informed me definitively. “It wouldn’t tell you that.”

Read more at Rough Sketch

More about: Art, Jewish museums, New York Jewish Museum, Sigmund Freud

Israel’s Retaliation against the Houthis Sends a Message to the U.S., and to Its Arab Allies

The drone that struck a Tel Aviv high-rise on Thursday night is believed to have traveled over 2,000 kilometers, flying from Yemen over Egypt and then above the Mediterranean before veering eastward toward the Israeli coast. Since October, the Houthis have launched over 200 drones at Israel. Nor is this the first attempt to strike Tel Aviv, only the first successful one. Noah Rothman observes that the Houthis’ persistent attacks on Israel and on international shipping are largely the result of the U.S.-led coalition’s anemic response:

Had the Biden administration taken a more proactive and vigorous approach to neutralizing the Houthis’ capabilities, Israel would not be obliged to expand to Yemen the theater of operations in the war Hamas inaugurated on October 7. The prospects of a regional war grow larger by the day, not because Israel cannot “take the win,” as President Biden reportedly told Benjamin Netanyahu following a full-scale direct Iranian attack on the Jewish state, but because hostile foreign actors are killing its citizens. Jerusalem is obliged to defend them and the sovereignty of Israel’s borders.

Biden’s hesitancy was fueled by his apprehension over the prospect of a “wider war” in the Middle East. But his hesitancy is what is going to give him the war he so cravenly sought to avoid.

In this context, the nature of the Israeli response is significant: rather than follow the American strategy of striking isolated weapons depots and the like, IDF jets struck the port city of Hodeida—the sort of major target the U.S. has shied away from. The mission was likely the furthest-ever carried out by the Israel Air Force, hitting a site 200 kilometers further from Israel than Tehran. Yoel Guzansky and Ilan Zalayat comment:

The message that Israel sent was intended to reach the moderate Arab countries, the West, and especially the United States. . . . The message to the coalition countries is that “the containment” had failed and the Houthis must be hit harder. The Hodeida port is the lifeline of the Houthi economy and continued damage to it will make it extremely difficult for this economy, which is also facing significant American sanctions.

Read more at National Review

More about: Houthis, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy