How the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto Defeated a Pandemic

July 30 2020

In the summer of 1941, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto were struck by a severe outbreak of typhus—to which they were especially vulnerable due to overcrowding, poor hygienic conditions, and widespread malnutrition. Yet infection rates dropped by some 40 percent in November, just when they would be expected to rise sharply as the weather grew colder. Emanuel Ringelblum, the ghetto’s leading historian, wrote at the time that “there was no way of explaining rationally” why the plague abated. But a recent scientific study appears to have found an explanation, as Eva Botkin-Kowacki reports:

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Read more at Christian Science Monitor

More about: Holocaust, Medicine, Warsaw Ghetto

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Do More Harm Than Good

Aug. 12 2020

With its size, budget, and remit greatly expanded following the 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah, the United Nations International Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is tasked with keeping both sides’ forces out of the southern portion of the country. While the IDF has indeed abided by the armistice, UNIFIL has failed spectacularly at compelling Hizballah to do the same. Eugene Kontorovich argues that, unless the peacekeeping force can be reorganized so as to be effective, it would be better to scrap it, or at the very least reduce its size:

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Read more at Kohelet

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations