For the Jews of Russia, World War I Brought Persecutions, Slaughter, and Poverty

The opening months of World War I brought unmitigated disaster to Russian Jewry as the tsar’s army, blaming them for its own failures, punished Jews with massacres and expulsions. Then, in the latter half of 1915, much of the Pale of Settlement—where Russian Jews were concentrated—fell under a German military occupation that, while rarely anti-Semitic, was both harsh and immiserating. The war’s end brought even bloodier slaughter as various armies competed for mastery in Eastern Europe. Taking the city of Vilna as his prime example, Andrew Koss discusses with Avi Woolf the Jewish experience during the war and its aftermath. (Audio, 70 minutes.)

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Jewish history, Russian Jewry, Vilna, World War I

What Donald Trump Gets Right about Israel and the Arabs

Oct. 17 2019

With a brisk history of American policy toward the Jewish state, Michael Doran highlights the failure of those who have seen a solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict as paramount to U.S. interests, and the success of those who have instead made a clear-eyed assessment of Middle Eastern geopolitics. Too often, writes Doran, “Israel’s conflict with the Arabs has functioned as a screen onto which outsiders project their own psychodramas”: a skewed perspective that led to the failed Oslo Accords and to the misguided condemnations of American moves like the relocation of the embassy to Jerusalem. (Free registration required.)

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More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, US-Israel relations