How Chaim Weizmann Crafted the First Arab-Zionist Alliance

“No true Arab can be suspicious or afraid of Jewish nationalism. . . . We are demanding Arab freedom and we would show ourselves unworthy of it if we did not now, as I do, say to the Jews—welcome back home.” These words were spoken by Faisal al-Hashemi—the future king of Iraq—at a banquet in honor of Chaim Weizmann on December 29, 1918. T.E. Lawrence (a/k/a “Lawrence of Arabia”) served as the translator. While many today see the Israeli-Arab conflict as both eternal and inevitable, the idea of an alliance between Jews and Arabs in the Middle East seemed perfectly natural to Weizmann and to Faisal, who were seen by the British empire as the representatives of their respective peoples. Rick Richman tells the story of this alliance:

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Balfour Declaration, Chaim Weizmann, History & Ideas, Israel-Arab relations, T. E. Lawrence, Zionism

Israel Experiences a Resurgence of COVID-19, but This Time with No One to Blame

During the past two weeks, the Israeli government has been gradually reopening schools, restaurants, and beaches, leading to a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, the reclosing of some schools, and the quarantining of hundreds. The new outbreaks, for the most part, have spared the ḥaredi communities so severely affected by the initial waves of the virus. But, writes Ruthie Blum, there has been no parallel expressions of anger akin to what was directed at the ultra-Orthodox two months ago:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Coronavirus, Israeli society, Ultra-Orthodox