An Ambitious New Book about Jewish History, and Its Flawed Prediction about the Jewish Future

The ancient rabbis understood the Roman empire as the successor to the ancient kingdom of Edom, and the rivalry between the biblical Jacob and his brother Esau—the ancestor of Edom—as a prefiguration of that conflict. Later on, Edom came to signify European Christendom in the rabbinic imagination. In his recent book Jacob & Esau: Jewish European History between Nation and Empire, Malachi Hacohen, a self-identified “post-Orthodox Jew,” combines a history of this typology with a general argument about the Jews of Europe and prognostications about the Jewish future. In his review, Allan Arkush writes:

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: European Jewry, Israel, Jewish history

Hamas Is Winning the War for Palestinian, and Israeli Arab, Hearts and Minds

While many in the West seem to think the current fighting in Israel is about housing policy, or human rights, or the selective blockade of the Gaza Strip, the rhetoric of Palestinian leaders and on Palestinian social media makes clear that it is in fact about al-Aqsa mosque. This should come as no surprise: fabricated claims that “al-Aqsa is in danger” have been used to provoke anti-Jewish violence for a hundred years. In this particular case, explains Haviv Rettig Gur, both Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party exploited the claim in their rivalry for Palestinian hearts and minds:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas, Israeli Arabs, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict