How the Hebrew Bible Shaped the Ideas of One of Liberalism’s Founding Theorists

March 8 2023

Many of the ideas that shaped the modern West—including individual rights, the inviolability of personal property, and the need for religious toleration—have their roots in the work of the English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704). Yet for all that Locke is associated with secularism and the separation of church and state, he cites the Old Testament more than any other classical source in his Two Treatises on Government. By contrast, the treatises make no mention of the New Testament. Yechiel Leiter, a scholar who has devoted much time to exploring the significance of these facts, discusses Locke’s biblical thinking in conversation with Ari Lamm. (Audio, 52 minutes.)

Read more at Good Faith Effort

More about: Hebrew Bible, John Locke, Liberalism

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan