Henry Kissinger’s Religious Awakening

Having come to America as a teenager fleeing Nazi Germany, Henry Kissinger returned during World War II with the U.S. Army and was deeply moved after playing a role in liberating a concentration camp. Yet he has had little connection with Jewish life in his long career since then. Jeremy Rosen was thus surprised by what he found in the controversial former secretary of state’s most recent book:

At the age of ninety-nine, [Kissinger] has just published a new book, Leadership: Six Studies in World Leadership, describing the careers of leaders he admired—Konrad Adenauer of Germany, Charles De Gaulle of France, Richard Nixon, Anwar Sadat of Egypt, Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, and Margaret Thatcher of the UK. Significantly, he points out that they were all deeply religious, with the possible exception of Lee Kuan Yew. . . . He laments the erosion of moral purpose and the religious belief that often underpinned Western societies, and looks aghast at these divisive destructive features of American politics today.

Although some Jews like to claim him as one of ours, his whole career seems to have been an escape from everything Jewish.

The Nixon tapes have recorded him remaining silent as his [boss] excoriates Jews in general. When he returned from the war in Europe, he told his father, “Certain ties bound in convention mean nothing to me. I have come to judge men on their merits.” He told Golda Meir that he was an American first, a Nixonite second, and a Jew last. She replied that in Israel, they read from right to left! . . . In recent years, [however], he has been seen in Orthodox synagogues on the High Holy Days.

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Decline of religion, Golda Meir, Henry Kissinger


Ordinary Gazans Are Turning against Hamas—and Its Western Sympathizers

In the past few days, difficult-to-confirm reports have emerged of unrest in the Gaza Strip, and of civilians throwing stones at Hamas operatives. A recent video from Al Jazeera showed a Gazan declaring that “God will bring Qatar and Turkey to account” for the suffering of Palestinians in the current war. Being an agent of the Qatari government, the journalist turned away, and then pushed the interviewee with his hand to prevent him from getting near the microphone. Yet this brief exchange contributes much to the ongoing debate about Palestinian support for Hamas, and belies the frequent assertion by experts that the Israeli campaign is only “further radicalizing” the population.

For some time, Joseph Braude has worked with a number of journalists and researchers to interview ordinary Gazans under circumstances where they don’t fear reprisals. He notes that the sorts of opinions they share are rarely heard in Western media, let alone on Al Jazeera or Iran-sponsored outlets:

[A] resident of Khan Younis describes how locals in a bakery spontaneously attacked a Hamas member who had come to buy bread. The incident, hardly imaginable before the present war, reflects a widespread feeling of “disgust,” he says, after Gazan aspirations for “a dignified life and to live in peace” were set back by the Hamas atrocities of October 7.

Fears have grown that this misery will needlessly be prolonged by Westerners who strive, in effect, to perpetuate Hamas rule, according to one Gazan woman. Addressing protesters who have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire on behalf of Palestinians, she calls on them to make a choice: “Either support the Palestinian people or the Hamas regime that oppresses them.” If protesters harbor a humanitarian motive, she asks, “Why don’t we see them demonstrating against Hamas?”

“Hamas is the destruction of the Palestinian people. We’ve had enough. They need to be wiped out—because if they remain, the people will be wiped out.”

You can watch videos of some of the interviews by clicking the link below.

Read more at Free Press

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian public opinion