The Story of a 17th-Century Chinese Torah Scroll

While the first written evidence of Jewish life in in China dates to the late 8th century CE, Jews may have first settled there in the centuries before the Common Era, following the Babylonian exile. In the modern era, a Chinese Jewish community once flourished, but by the 19th century it was rapidly shrinking, in part due to increasing assimilation. It was then that Christian missionaries acquired a rare local Torah scroll, now found in the British Library, as Ilana Tahan writes:

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Read more at British Library

More about: China, Kaifeng, Rare books

How the U.S. Can Get Smart about Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in the Middle East

Sept. 27 2021

Considering the current state of the region and the policy mistakes of the recent past, David Pollock and Robert Satloff outline a strategy that is “both virtuous and realistic” for defending human rights and encouraging democratization in a region plagued by autocracy, chaos, and brutality. They argue that “in the long run, more democratic, tolerant, and inclusive governments are likely to be better at defending themselves, and more reliable and effective security partners for the United States.”

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Arab democracy, Human Rights, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy