The Jewish Banker Who Financed the American Revolution

Today (on the Hebrew calendar) is the anniversary of the death of Haym Salomon, a Polish-born American Jew who single-handedly raised most of the funds necessary to back the Continental army. And his devotion to the revolutionary cause did not end there, as Gershon Tannenbaum writes:

Arriving in colonial America in 1772, [Salomon] established himself in New York as a respected and well-liked merchant. . . . Haym enthusiastically joined the Sons of Liberty, a secret organization that had been established by men with business interests who were opposed to British rule. Haym was arrested by the British and charged with spying in September 1776, an offense punishable by hanging. His [linguistic] skills caught the attention of his captors and he was assigned to German General Heister.

As an interpreter for Heister, Salomon was allowed a relatively high degree of freedom. He contributed to the American revolutionary cause by persuading Hessian [mercenaries] to switch sides. . . .

Salomon continued [after his release] to work underground to sway Hessian allegiance, and was jailed a second time in August 1778 as one of several suspects thought to be planning a fire that would destroy the British royal fleet in New York harbor.

Read more at 5 Towns Jewish Times

More about: American Jewry, American Revolution, Finance, George Washington, History & Ideas

How to Turn Palestinian Public Opinion Away from Terror

The Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid, responding to the latest survey results of the Palestinian public, writes:

Not coincidentally, support for Hamas is much higher in the West Bank—misgoverned by Hamas’s archrivals, the secular nationalist Fatah, which rules the Palestinian Authority (PA)—than in Gaza, whose population is being actively brutalized by Hamas. Popular support for violence persists despite the devastating impact that following radical leaders and ideologies has historically had on the Palestinian people, as poignantly summed up by Israel’s Abba Eban when he quipped that Arabs, including the Palestinians, “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

Just as worrying is the role of propaganda and misinformation, which are not unique to the Palestinian context but are pernicious there due to the high stakes involved. Misinformation campaigns, often fueled by Hamas and its allies, have painted violent terrorism as the only path to dignity and rights for Palestinians. Palestinian schoolbooks and public media are rife with anti-Semitic and jihadist content. Hamas’s allies in the West have matched Hamas’s genocidal rhetoric with an equally exterminationist call for the de-normalization and destruction of Israel.

It’s crucial to consider successful examples of de-radicalization from other regional contexts. After September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia implemented a comprehensive de-radicalization program aimed at rehabilitating extremists through education, psychological intervention, and social reintegration. This program has had successes and offers valuable lessons that could be adapted to the Palestinian context.

Rather than pressure Israel to make concessions, Eid argues, the international community should be pressuring Palestinian leaders—including Fatah—to remove incitement from curricula and stop providing financial rewards to terrorists.

Read more at Newsweek

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion