The Legendary Jewish Warrior Princess of the Berbers

Oct. 18 2018

In the late 7th century, the forces of the Umayyad caliphate were on the march westward from Egypt, eager to expand their empire. They soon found themselves fighting a confederation of Berber tribes led by a woman named Dihya al-Kahina, who to this day remains the stuff of legend. Arab accounts portray her as a sorceress, while some Algerian Jewish folklore has her as an anti-Semitic ogre. But the great 14th-century Arab historian ibn Khaldun notes that her tribe were converts to Judaism, and this is likely the origin of the claim that she was a Jew, made popular by the early 20th-century journalist Nahum Slouschz in his travelogue of North African Jewry. Ushi Derman recounts Slouschz’s version of her story:

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Read more at Museum of the Jewish People

More about: African Jewry, Algeria, History & Ideas

The War in Yemen Will End When the Houthis Are Defeated

Oct. 22 2021

The Biden administration took office with promises to “end” the civil war in Yemen and ease the humanitarian crisis there. And so it has reduced U.S. assistance to the Saudi-led Arab coalition that has been supporting the country’s pre-2015 government against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, and pressured Riyadh to scale down its military efforts. By doing so, Washington hopes it will encourage the two sides to negotiate a compromise, rather than simply encourage the Houthis to keep fighting until they conquer the whole country. Oved Lobel argues that this entire line of thinking is based on a fundamental misapprehension of the situation:

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Read more at European Eye on Radicalization

More about: Anti-Semitism, Iran, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen