A Great Jewish Historian’s Political Journey from Left to Right

April 3 2020

Born in New York City in 1915, Lucy Dawidowicz (née Schildkret) grew up in the company of radical Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants and their children. From 1938 to 1939 she spent a year in the Polish city of Wilno (now Lithuanian Vilnius) studying under some of the foremost figures of secular Yiddish scholarship. After World War II, Dawidowicz became a leading historian of the Holocaust and of East European Jewry. She also migrated intellectually from socialism to New Deal liberalism and then to the political right, styling herself an “independent neoconservative.” Discussing her recent biography of Dawidowicz with John J. Miller, Nancy Sinkoff explains how her subject’s encounter with the breakdown of civil society and of social stability in prewar Eastern Europe—with dire consequences for the Jews—informed her political transformation. (Audio, 17 minutes.)

Read more at National Review

More about: American Jewry, East European Jewry, Lucy Dawidowicz, Neoconservatism

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy