Benjamin Disraeli Deserves an Honorable Place among the Notable Figures of Jewish History

Examining the political and literary career of the Tory prime minister and parliamentarian, Gertrude Himmelfarb finds a powerful expression of Jewish pride, and a vision of Jewish-Christian harmony, in his works of fiction:

Though formally Anglican—his father had him baptized when he was twelve, before the rite of bar mitzvah—Disraeli identified himself, and was generally identified, as a Jew. He bore a conspicuously Jewish name, changing his father’s D’Israeli only by removing the apostrophe. He made no secret of his heritage in his speeches and writings, and flaunted it in his person, deliberately cultivating a Jewish appearance. And his novels dramatized a politics imbued with Judaism and a “New Crusade” that would restore Christianity to its Jewish origins. All of this in mid-Victorian England, when Jews were the villains of novels and the butt of satirists, when they could not even have a seat in Parliament let alone climb to “the top of the greasy pole,” as Disraeli put it. (Not one has since climbed it; there has been no Jewish prime minister in the nearly century-and-a-half since his death.)

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Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Benjamin Disraeli, British Jewry, England, History & Ideas, Jewish-Christian relations

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy