The Founder of Esperanto and the Dangerous Allure of Jewish Universalism

March 18 2020

Born in Russian-ruled Bialystok in 1859, Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof was fascinated by languages from a young age and, like many of his day, saw linguistics and politics as deeply intertwined. In the early 1880s, Zamenhof became an enthusiastic “territorialist”—believing that Jews should create a homeland somewhere outside the Middle East, in his view on the Mississippi River—and then a Zionist, although one who thought the Jewish state should be Yiddish-speaking. He then took another about-face and settled on the idea that would drive him for the rest of his life: the elimination of strife and prejudice through the end of linguistic differences—a problem he hoped to solve by creating a universal tongue, later known as Esperanto. As his Esperanto movement gathered steam, Zamenhof created an ideology to go with it, as Saul Jay Singer explains:

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Read more at Jewish Press

More about: Anti-Semitism, Esperanto, Universalism, Zionism

Despite Opposition from the Taliban, Islamic State Is Thriving in Afghanistan

According to Taliban officials, Islamic State’s Afghanistan offshoot (known as the “Khorasan province,” or ISKP) has but a negligible presence. American diplomats, for their part, have claimed that the new jihadist government in Kabul can provide a bulwark against the group, which opposes what it sees as the Taliban’s relative religious moderation. But, Oved Lobel argues, the evidence supports neither interpretation:

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Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: ISIS, Taliban, Terrorism, U.S. Foreign policy