Jews and the Jazz Age

After troubled relationships with two successive managers, Louis Armstrong convinced Joseph Glaser, a Jewish nightclub owner, to do the job. Their partnership, according to Larry Tye, was a happy one that made both men rich. Something similar can be said of Duke Ellington and his own Jewish manager, Irving Mills. Tye goes on to consider Jews’ role in jazz:

It was no surprise that Mills, Glaser, and so many other managers of Black jazzmen were not just white but also Jewish. Jews always played a big role in jazz, as performers like Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw, club owners like Frank Schiffman at the Apollo and Max Gordon at the Village Vanguard, gangster benefactors like Dutch Schultz and Meyer Lansky, along with a legion of producers, bookers, and critics. Jews, like Blacks, had limited opportunities in white-shoe fields like advertising, publishing, and broadcasting. Such barriers are what made the equally rebellious field of comic books so attractive to Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and Batman inventors Bob Kane and Bill Finger, all Jewish and all aware they were getting in on the ground floor of a rapidly growing and super-profitable field that white American businessmen foolishly wanted no part of.

Read more at Tablet

More about: American Jewish History, Black-Jewish relations, Jazz, Popular music

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict