In a wide-ranging defense of the liberal tradition broadly defined—that is, the various approaches to politics that see government as the protector of freedom and that are associated with such thinkers as John Locke, James Madison, and Edmund Burke—Peter Berkowitz addresses a few of the recent attacks on this tradition. Among these is the claim by some religious conservatives that liberalism is inherently corrosive to religion and even to virtue itself. To the contrary, argues Berkowitz: while freedom and virtue are always in tension, the best of liberal thought has always recognized the importance, if not the necessity, of religion for the wellbeing of a democratic polity. (Interview by William Kristol. Video, 25 minutes.)
Why Religion and Liberalism Should Be Allies, Not Enemies
Is There a Way Out of Israel’s Political Deadlock?
On Tuesday, leaders of the Jewish state’s largest political parties, Blue and White and Likud, met to negotiate the terms of a coalition agreement—and failed to come to an agreement. If none of the parties in the Knesset succeeds in forming a governing coalition, there will be a third election, with no guarantee that it will be more conclusive than those that preceded it. Identifying six moves by key politicians that have created the deadlock, Shmuel Rosner speculates as to whether they can be circumvented or undone:
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