Majorities Have Rights, Too

While liberal democracy, especially in its American form, is designed to follow the will of the majority while protecting the rights of minorities, Liav Orgad’s book The Cultural Defense of Nations argues that majorities themselves have particular rights that need protection—especially when immigration and demographic change threaten to undermine or replace national culture and values. Anna Su writes in her review:

[In shaping the U.S. Constitution, James] Madison assumed that . . . the majority can take care of itself, while the structure of government would ensure . . . that minority rights are not disregarded. In his timely and erudite [book], the Israeli legal scholar Liav Orgad flips that idea on its head and argues that majority groups under certain conditions also need protection. Their identity, history, government, and way of life need defending. And this need is most pressing when immigration renders their numerical superiority less salient. . . . Provocatively, Orgad justifies [his argument] on the same liberal grounds of the right to self-determination and right to culture [and] identity [on which minority rights are founded].

Why [the need to] play defense now? The first three chapters of Cultural Defense survey the landscape of changing migration patterns and chronicle the corresponding demographic as well as cultural anxieties . . . besetting countries in Western Europe, the United States, and Israel. . . .

Read more at New Rambler Review

More about: Democracy, History & Ideas, Immigration, Israel, Liberalism, Nationalism, U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship